Orange Coast Magazine



Secrets of Disneyland

We dispel the enduring myths of America's most-loved theme park

Secrets of Disneyland Mickey peers into a vault

Check back all week as we reveal our take on seven enduring myths of Disneyland. Disneyland has no official comment on any of them.

The Myth: A series of tunnels run beneath Disneyland.

Our Take: According to cast members, tunnels exist in different parts of the park, but they're not extensive.

The Myth: Those who die in the park are not declared dead until their bodies are off the property.

Our Take: Snopes cites a 1985 Los Angeles Times article reporting that one guest was declared dead in the parking lot, but Snopes also says it's possible that other deceased guests were not legally pronounced dead until arriving at the hospital.

The Myth: There's an underground jail where misbehaving guests are taken.

Our Take: "I know some people who've been put there," says Chad Elliot, host of Disney blog

The Myth: Disney Clothiers Ltd. on Main Street is kept 10 to 20 degrees colder than other shops to sell more sweaters.

Our Take: Although posters on forums insist this is the case, our own test with a laser thermometer found no great temperature variation from store to store.

The Myth: Undercover security roam the park, dressed as regular tourists, often in Hawaiian shirts.

Our Take: Anecdotal reports from guests who have had interactions with these guards and from former plainclothes officers themselves suggest that undercover security exist.

The Myth: A small metal circle in the pavement under Sleeping Beauty Castle's entrance marks the center of the park.

Our Take: There is a small brass spike. On Disney forums, some say this was the exact center of Disney before Mickey's Toontown; others say it was a survey marker. Old maps of the park indicate that the original center would have been closer to the Central Plaza.

The Myth: Disney built a basketball court in the Matterhorn because city regulations only allowed athletic facilities to be that high.

Our Take: According to the rumor-checking website Snopes, Disney Matterhorn climbers added a half-court to the peak to pass the time during inclement weather. Anaheim didn't have height restrictions until the 1970s, long after the mountain was built.

Illustration by Red Nose Studio

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. Tina Martin posted on 02/28/2013 12:10 PM
    Thank You for the Disney Myth fun!Love your magazine,love your topics,love your enthusiasium,and I love California!
  2. John Delmont posted on 02/28/2013 05:25 PM
    Your cover and title seem oddly familiar. I'm trying to think where I've seen it before...
  3. KimMiller posted on 03/12/2013 12:58 PM
    Thanks for this article! I enjoyed reading it. I knew about a lot of these myths but did not know about the jail. I want to go there just to say I did!! I wonder if guest who behave can just check it out??
showing all comments

More on 'Center of the Universe'


CRIME: O.C. Confidential

Our "Center of the Universe" story about seduction and a serial killer is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.

 For more true crime coverage, check out:
  • Murder, Love & Redemption Everyone knows how Manson girl Susan Atkins helped take lives. But few know the story of the life she helped save. 
  • Sandy Murphy's Complicated Life Convicted of murder in 2000 and branded as Las Vegas’ most notorious femme fatale, she resurfaced a decade later as the happily married owner of a Laguna Beach art gallery. 
  • Murder. Just Because. One of the most loathsome killers in Orange County talks. Without remorse. And that’s the scariest thing of all.
  • The Private Struggle of a Public Woman To Orange County society, Debbie Simon had it all—beauty, wealth, family, friends, and a landmark Newport Beach address. But in the desperate months before her death, she lost what mattered most.

California has more national parks than any other state: nine. Use our guides, outlines below, to plan a memorable visit.

READ NOW: Serial Killer Seduction

Our "Center of the Universe" story is being read all over the world right now. Click here for the story.


Who Did Randy Kraft Seduce?

Current photos of author Jay Roberts.


A Fact-Checker's Journey to a 1980 Afternoon

Our intrepid intern tracks down the details in Roberts' story.


Why Isn't Randy Kraft Dead?

Our original piece on one of California's deadliest and most depraved serial killers. 


Editor's Letter, October 2013

Our editor considers "Center of the Universe" to be compelling—and incredibly frightening. Click above to find out why.