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10 Hidden Gems in Fantasyland

Attractions, Disney History, LandsKatComment

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.

 

10 Hidden Gems in Adventureland

Tips, LandsKatComment

Adventureland is always a sea of hustle and bustle - sometimes you’re lucky just to get through the walkway down to the Pirates of the Caribbean line (and let’s not talk about the disaster that is the area right in front of the Indiana Jones queue). Because there is always so much hullabaloo, it’s easy to miss these hidden gems - but next time you’re in Adventureland, keep your eyes peeled!

leprechaun door adventureland

The Little Man of Disneyland’s Door

In 1955, a Golden book was published about a leprechaun, Patrick Begorra, who lived in a tree in a grove in Anaheim. He meets Mickey Mouse and his friends, who let him know that the trees will need to be moved to make way for Disneyland. Naturally, Patrick isn’t too happy about the situation, but Mickey and friends show him all of the amazing plans for Disneyland and eventually Patrick agrees to let them build the park - as long as he can stay in a tree house tucked out of the way.

In Adventureland, you can find Patrick Begorra’s door of his house, hidden away in a tree next to the Indiana Jones ride. It took us many, many trips to Disneyland before we finally happened to see the door - making this about as hidden as a hidden gem can get. 

 

indiana jones safety video

Eeyore Sign in Indiana Jones

Before Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye was built, the land it’s situated on was home to a parking lot. The name of the parking lot was - you guessed it - the Eeyore Parking Lot. Behind the projector in the safety video room, there’s a sign featuring Winnie the Pooh’s grumpiest friend, which is just visible in the dim light.

indiana jones ride temple of the forbidden eye truck

Indiana Jones Props

Speaking of Indiana Jones, did you know that both the mine cart and the Mercedes truck in the queue (most visible as you’re exiting the ride) are actual props used in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

indiana jones ride do not pull rope sign

Indiana Jones Queue

While we’re still on the topic of Indiana Jones, while you’re inside the Temple in the queue, pay attention to the signs asking you not to pull on the bamboo and or the rope - and do the exact opposite.

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Mrs. Potts And Chip

As you wander through Tarzan’s Treehouse, you may see a familiar face (or lack of one, really). The tea set on the ground floor features none other than Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast - minus the enchanted facial features.

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Swisskapolka

While you’re searching for Mrs. Potts at Tarzan’s Treehouse, pay close attention to the gramophone at the base of the tree. It’s playing the Swisskapolka, a song from the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson, which was the inspiration for the original Swiss Family Treehouse before it was re-themed to the Tarzan's Treehouse of today.

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Adventureland Radio

The next time you’re walking by Jungle Cruise, stop and listen to the loudspeakers. Adventureland has its’ own radio station - perfectly themed to match the vintage environment. Some of our favorite excerpts include updates on recent lost Jungle Cruise voyages and ads for new-and-improved mosquito netting.

we buy and sell the rare and exotic adventureland

We Buy and Sell the Rare and Exotic... Sign

Set up on a back wall of the seating area for Bengal Barbecue is a sign that reads “We Buy & Sell the Rare & Exotic...at our other store” This sign, up until Summer 2017, was featured prominently on the Tropical Imports facade across the walkway.

jungle cruise offboarding dock sign

Jungle Cruise Offboarding Dock

The next time you ride Jungle Cruise, take a look at the end of the dock as you depart your boat - often, there are funny messages written on sign-boards, props you might not expect to see, or other easy-to-miss hidden gems. While you’re there, you might as well ask a Cast Member for a Jungle Cruise map.

head shrink of the jungle shrunken ned adventureland

Shrunken Ned

Now that a good portion of the Adventureland shops have been remade into Bengal Barbecue seating, it’s easy to walk by Shrunken Ned, the Head Shrink of the Jungle and fortune-telling machine. For a quarter and a quick scan of your palm, Shrunken Ned will give you some useful advice and a printed fortune (one of Disneyland’s cheapest and most unique souvenirs).