There’s more to Mickey Mouse than meets the eye. Believe it or not, Disneyland is a haven of secret lairs, wild felines, and a touch of magic at every corner. Here, four secrets (and a bonus) of Walt Disney's playground that will have you in the know.
1. Club 33 is the place to be -- if you can swing it.
Disneyland is one of the most visited places in the world, but there's one place in the park that not many eyes have had the chance to see: Walt's personal dining club, Club 33, in New Orleans Square. It was originally meant for the park's corporate sponsors and other industry VIPs, but the club also began offering individual memberships when it opened in 1967. Its steep initial membership activation fee of $25,000 and $11,000 annual fee grants access to the hallowed rooms of Disney memorabilia and haute cuisine. Once -- or should we say if, since there's a years-long waiting list -- you gain access into the club, don’t expect a free lunch, as the prix fixe menu hovers around $100 per guest. So this one's more of a fun fact than a to-do.
2. They've got cats.
Nope, your mind isn't playing tricks on you if you think you see a cat dashing across a walkway. Chances are you’ve spotted one of the park’s most beguiling secrets: Disney lets more than 200 cats run wild throughout the premises of its two parks and Downtown Disney to control the rodents of the area. While mostly seen at night, it’s fun to try and spot the cats throughout the park as they make themselves comfortable sleeping the day away in some unusual spots. Come feeding time, they've been found at the Hungry Bear Restaurant and the Grand Californian's White Water Snacks.
3. A little kindness goes a long way.
Cast members are Disney fanatics eager to let you in on their favorite attractions and places to eat in the parks. Better yet, if the circumstances warrant, they’re able to open doors and grant line-jumping access to some of the parks’ attractions. It’s important to note that this isn't an official policy and can vary depending on the cast member -- but it's worth taking the time to ask them questions and befriend them.
4. There's a secret pet cemetery at the Haunted Mansion.
Okay, it's not a real gravesite, but unbeknownst to many guests, there's a second pet cemetery at one of the park's most beloved attractions. When you queue up for the Haunted Mansion, you'll see a pet cemetery out front -- but there's another one located on the west side of the building that has four tombstones dedicated to a skunk, a frog, a cat, and a dog. The only way to access it and see it up close is it to politely ask a cast member, who should be happy to oblige.
Bonus: The new Disneyland app.
In case you missed it, Disneyland finally, finally has its own app. Loaded with information and maps to find attractions, restaurants, and shops, its most useful feature is the ability to check wait times for attractions. Plus, you can use it to purchase tickets and find out what times characters will be making scheduled appearances.