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10 Not-So-Happy Secrets About The Happiest Place On Earth

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Disney Every Day

We all have happy memories of visiting Disneyland - the "happiest place on earth" - as kids. But when you revisit the park as an adult you pick up on things that you might have missed before.

It turns out the park has a long and surprisingly dark history. Here are 10 examples you won't read about in any guidebooks:

1. The park plays with your head

From the moment you step onto Main Street USA, the park is using a lot of sneaky tricks to play with your mind. Different scents are piped into parks of the park - fresh baked cooks, apple pie, horse manure - to influence your emotions and guide you around the park.

One of the park's signature tricks is the ride time signs. If you crunch the numbers, these helpful warnings actually advertise the time in line as 1/3 longer so you feel grateful and happily surprised by the time you get to the front. Even the clocks tick more slowly to keep up the illusion.

2. The Fantasmic duck roast

It turns out Donald Duck is lucky to be around, because Disneyland lost a lot of good ducks in a fiery accident. Disney historian and author David Koenig revealed that Disney engineers had to retool the "Fantasmic!" sound and light show to protect the park's feathered residents.

The show's finale involves the dragon from Cinderella setting the Rivers of America on fire. “What they quickly discovered when they first had the show was that the ducks that liked to hang out on the river were being cooked," Koenig said. Today, the rivers "bubble" before the fire-breathing scene to scare ducks away.

3. There have been a surprising number of deaths in the park

By the official count, 9 people have lost their lives inside the park, usually because they didn't follow directions on rides. A surprising number of the deaths involved guests trying to jump between the People Movers, and another person was hit in the head by the Sailing Ship Columbia when a rope holding it in place broke.

Sailing Ship Columbia.Disneyland

Disney World has had its share of tragedies as well. A little boy was famously eaten by an alligator at Disney's Grand Floridian resort in 2016. Another guest died in 1980 after catching a brain-eating parasite from the waters of Disney World's River Country attraction, which originally used un-chlorinated water.

4. The Haunted Mansion is really haunted

While no guests have met their doom while riding in a Doom Buggy, it's safe to say the popular attraction has its fair share of spirits. That's because the grisly ride has become a popular final resting place for serious Disney fans. There have been a number of reports of guests pouring out their loved one's ashes while on the ride.

The morbid tradition is so common that the ride's staff will actually warn you not to pour out any remains as you board. In case you were curious, it's illegal to dump ashes on private property, including theme parks.

A handful of attractions at the park have been removed for being too adult...

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