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13 Secret Places Your Family Can Visit In Disneyland - If You Know How


Even though 16 million guests flock to visit the world-famous theme park each year, Disneyland vacations have a reputation for being dull.

There's the teacups, the castle, It's a Small World, and not much else to see, right? Wrong.

If you know where to look and what to say, you can visit a number of secret Disneyland attractions.  

Luckily, we have the know-how you need:

1. The Main Street Cinema

Main Street Cinema, Main Street, U.S.A., Disneyland, Anaheim, CaliforniaKen Lund / Flickr

Of course it's hard to miss the small movie theater on the park's Main Street, but most guests assume it's only a sign on an empty building.

In fact, you can watch cartoons in the cool, air-conditioned building all day. And the theater is normally empty, so it's a great place to relax and catch your breath.

2. Disney's Private Apartment

It turns out Walt Disney had his own private place to rest inside the theme park: a hidden apartment above the Fire House on Main Street.

If you're lucky, you can get a private tour of the restored apartment, which is usually closed to the public. But you can always see the light left on by the second floor window, in Disney's honor.

Furniture from Walt Disney's apartment above the Fire Department at DisneylandLoren Javier / Flickr

3. The Riverboat Wheelhouse

While you're in line for the park's steamboat, the Mark Twain, ask a park cast member to see the ship's second floor.

If you're lucky, they'll invite you up to the pilot room, where you can meet the captain, steer the boat, blow the whistle and ring the bell.

4. Tour The Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery

As you line up for the famous ride, you can see just a glimpse of the park's spooky and silly pet cemetery. Ask a cast member for the tour and they will sometimes let you get a close look at the tombstones.

Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery Magic Kingdom Disney WorldMichael Gray / Flickr

Some of the graves reference Disney movies, while others (like Lilac the Skunk) are just for fun.

5. Ride On The Tender Car

There are a pair of special train-related locations to visit, but this is definitely the easiest to arrange.

Ask a cast member at the Disneyland Railroad if you can hitch a ride on the tender car. A tender car carries water and fuel, and the one on the park's train is just behind the steam engine, with a special two-person jump seat right next to the conductor.

Unfortunately, if the cast members need to access the tender car's storage (or don't feel like letting you ride on it) they will say no.

6. The Secret Rest Area

After a few hours of listening to screaming children, standing in lines, and walking in the sun, parents need a break. There are lots of benches to sit on, but one quiet rest area takes the cake.

Around the back of the Silly Symphony Swings gazebo, there's a shady, water-side deck with benches. The perfect place to rest your feet for a few minutes.

7. Snow White's Grotto

Just to the right of Sleeping Beauty's Castle, there's a small attraction that most guests miss entirely.

Snow White's Wishing WellHarshLight / Flickr

On your way to the Matterhorn ride from the castle, there's a pleasant waterfall with Snow White and the dwarfs on display. But the coolest feature is the wishing well. Lean in very close and you just might hear something...

8. Club 33

Tucked away in New Orleans square is a green door marked with the number 33. Only a select group of people know it's the entrance to Disneyland's member's only bar and restaurant, Club 33. It's one of the few places in Disneyland where you can get a real drink.

While the chefs spare no expense and the service is excellent, joining Club 33 is a real chore. It costs up to $10,000 annually, with an even bigger initiation fee, and the wait list to join is more than a decade long.

9. The Lilly Belle Train Car

The tender car sits at the front of the Disneyland train, but at the very back you'll find the Lilly Belle.

This presidential cabin is normally reserved for VIPs and special groups. But if you arrive at the station before the park opens, it's possible to make a reservation for the car.

10. Matterhorn Basketball Court

You won't see this one unless you work at Disneyland, but it's still pretty cool.

During the park's construction, Disney let his employees vote on how to use the extra space inside the Matterhorn. They chose a basketball court, and to this day employees use it to unwind during their shifts.

11. The Disneyland Dream Suite

You may notice a grand staircase above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It has a "no entry" sign placed on it, but used to lead to the park's most exclusive hotel room.

The 2,200 foot suite was based of Walt Disney's own directions, and designed by Gone With the Wind set designer Dorothea Redmond. It even included an outdoor patio to watch the nightly Fantasmic show.

Sadly, the room has been out of use since 2014, but hopefully someday they'll bring it back.

12. The Secret Trail

There are a handful of shortcuts and quick routes through the park, but this is our favorite.

As you leave Frontierland for Main Street, turn left just before the bridge. You'll find a quiet, shady trail with lots of places to rest. It will also take you directly to Fantasyland.

13. The Frontierland Mine Shaft

Behind a small pond in the park's western-themed area, you'll find a mine shaft entrance that has been nailed shut. In fact, this used to be park of the Rainbow Cavern Mine Train ride.

The ride was replaced when It's A Small World was built, but you can still find traces of it spread around the park.

[H/T: Mental Floss, Orange County Register]

Did you already know about any of these attractions?

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