Lost Weekenders

hidden gems

Hidden Gems of Main Street, USA

Basics, BeginnersKatComment

Main Street, USA isn’t just a bunch of shops – it’s home to all kinds of hidden gems that are way too easy to miss, especially if you're hustling to get to Space Mountain or Indiana Jones. The next time you find yourself walking down Main Street, keep an eye out for these little surprises:

1.     Walt’s Bench

In the entrance to Great Moments with Mr Lincoln, you’ll see a small green bench – the same bench that Walt Disney sat on in Griffith Park while watching his daughters play and came up with the idea for Disneyland.

main street residents disneyland

2.     Main Street Residents

Hang out in the small alleys of Main Street, especially between Disney Clothiers and Market House (Starbucks), and listen to the residents of Main Street, USA.

penny films main street disneyland resort

3.     Penny Films

These are hidden in plain sight, but in the Penny Arcade, you can actually watch the variety of films in the entrance for 1 cent.

4.     Tilly

The ticket agent of Main Street Cinema, Tilly, happens to be from Marceline, MO (as stated on her ID badge) – Walt Disney’s hometown.

5.     Walt’s Light

The light in Walt Disney’s apartment (over the fire station in Town Square) is always kept on, as a symbol of Walt’s presence in the park.

main street disneyland

6.     Music Machine

That giant organ-looking machine in the Penny Arcade shop is actually a Welte Orchestrion, and it is older than the park itself. 

houdini main street disneyland

7. Houdini on the Phone

In the Magic Shop on Main Street, you can pick up the vintage phone next to the poster of Houdini and listen in on a recording of Harry Houdini himself.

8. Victorian Era Party Line

Speaking of listening in on phone conversations, the next time you're waiting for your latte in Market House, pick up a vintage phone receiver and observe a Victorian-era party line.

railroad disneyland main street shop

9. Disneyland Railroad Miniature

The next time you find yourself in Emporium, be sure to look up. There are tons of easily-missed decorations throughout Disneyland's shops, but this one is one of the best - a miniature Disneyland Railroad. Be sure to watch the whole loop to see all of the interactions.

lightbulb disneyland main street

10. The Painted Lightbulb

The story goes that Walt Disney noticed two lightbulbs painted the same color next to each other over the doorway to Coke Corner and couldn't accept the break in the alternating pattern - the best compromise was to paint one lightbulb half white and half red. While you're checking out the lightbulb, be sure to take a gander at the vintage coke bottle museum surrounding the door. 

10 Hidden Gems in Fantasyland

Attractions, Disney HistoryKatComment

Fantasyland is easily one of the most magical places in Disneyland and unfortunately, that means it’s frequently crowded with people all trying to experience that magic. In the rush to get to a ride before a huge line creeps up you could easily miss one of these hidden gems:

rapunzel statue disneyland fantasy faire fantasyland

Rapunzel’s Tower

This might be my favorite hidden gem in the entire park. Rapunzel’s statue, at the center of Fantasy Faire, is a great place to take a break and rest your feet while watching a (bad) performance at the Royal Theatre - but when the sun goes down, the magic really comes out: the statue lights up and plays music.

I cannot for the life of me figure out the timing of this thing, and it doesn’t happen during Swing Dancing nights (which is almost always the one night we have on our Disneyland trip), but my best guess is that it happens every 15 minutes or so. If you’re lucky enough to witness it, it’s truly magical!

snow white's scary adventures evil queen fantasyland disneyland

The Evil Queen

Keep your eyes on the window above the Snow White queue entrance to get an occasional glimpse of the Evil Queen, gazing with disdain at the passers-by.

snow white poison apple

The Poison Apple

Speaking of the Evil Queen, next time you’re entering the Snow White queue, give the bronze Poison Apple at the entrance a touch - you might just get a reaction from the Evil Queen herself.

snow white fountain

Snow White’s Wishing Well

Snow White’s wishing well is located on a less-traveled path on the side of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Toss a coin into the fountain and listen to hear Snow White sing. Perch there for a few minutes, and you might get to enjoy a small water and light show at the grotto across the water. It’s also a hotspot for Character meet-and-greets, if that’s your thing.

yeti footprint

Yeti Footprints

As you walk the perimeter of the Matterhorn, keep an eye out for a cast of a footprint believed to belong to Harold the Yeti himself.

golden spike disneyland

Golden Spike at the Center of Disneyland

Rumor has it that this spike in the ground marks the center of Disneyland - but unfortunately, it’s just a rumor. Really, it was just placed there to make sure Main Street was lined up perfectly to Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It’s actually not even a spike at all, just a gold cap in the ground - and there are a few of them throughout the park. But even if there is no huge significance to the “gold spike” of Disneyland, it’s a fun gem to spot.

sleeping beauty castle walkthrough

Castle Walkthrough Special Surprises

As you’re enjoying the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough, be sure to touch and pull on every door handle and latch you can. There are several bits of Disney magic that are only activated that way.

sword in the stone disneyland

Sword in the Stone

They say that if you are successful in pulling the sword from the stone in front of King Arthur’s Carousel, you’ll be crowned king or queen. The sword DOES come out of the stone on occasion, though it hardly ever actually does - but you never know if it will work for you.

monstro fantasyland

Monstro

The entrance to Storybookland is through Monstro the Whale’s giant and terrifying mouth - but he’s holding a few more secrets. If you watch him long enough, you’ll notice Monstro’s giant eye blinking, and you might even get to see him blow up a jet of mist (which totally terrified me the first time I saw it).

tinkerbell disneyland

Tinkerbell’s Fountain

At the entrance to Pixie Hollow, there is a fountain featuring Tinker Bell and her pixie friends. At night, every so often, you can enjoy a small light and water show at the fountain - imagine the tiniest World of Color.