You can always count on the folks at Disney to dream up a bunch of semi-secretive activities to integrate into their theme parks, just to keep things interesting for the die-hard fans. While you may not be able to afford membership at Disney Club 33, there are still a few off-the-radar things you can do during your next trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!
1. Get a unique drawing by a real-life Disney animator.
If you know your way around the Disneyland park, you’ve been in the Disneyana Gallery on Main Street. Disneyana houses original animated stills from Disney cartoons and films, as well as other artworks and Disney memorabilia. On occasion, an actual Disney illustrator will visit and produce original sketches. You can pick one up for as little as $50. (A veritable steal for something purchased at a Disney theme park!)
2. Visit the Haunted Mansion Pet Cemetery.
The original Pet Cemetery behind the Haunted Mansion was said to have been built in the 1980s, and was only visible to guests entering the attraction via the wheelchair side entrance. When a wheelchair ramp was built in 2003, an additional pet cemetery was placed in the front of the mansion along the main entryway with all but four of the original tombstones. The four tombstones are still in the old spot, and can be visited by guests accompanied by a cast member.
3. Charm a cast member into giving you a death certificate.
If a cast member likes the cut of your jib, you may get a death certificate as a souvenir after your Haunted Mansion ride! Unfortunately, not every guest who requests a death certificate receives one – it is completely up to the cast member, so ask very nicely.
4. Ask to wake up Jose.
At the beginning of the show at the “Enchanted Tiki Room”, a cast member wakes up a robotic Macaw named Jose (who is also the star of “The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management”). Cast members have been known to allow some guests to wake up Jose at the start of the show. If you ask nicely enough, you might be allowed to rouse the sleeping Jose.
5. Go on a Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tour.
If you don’t plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom with restless, excitable children, you might want to take a tour through the park (this is especially fun if you’re a Disney history fanatic). The three-hour walking tour gives you an interesting history lesson and insider information about the park, and includes a souvenir, a meal, and front-of-the-line admission on a few rides.
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Dean has been reporting news on the Disney theme parks for over 10 years. His experience includes working at the theme parks, attending previews and openings and of course writing about anything newsworthy that’s happening at the parks. He enjoys spending time at his home resort Disneyland with his family.