ByMarlon McDonald, writer at
Umm... are you going to drink that Skooma?
Marlon McDonald

Aah Disneyland, the home of magic and miracles. Where the rollercoasters are powered by optimism and jellybeans, and pirates happily eat chicken and sing sweet shanties of the joys of being a watery crook.

Everything is lovelier at Disneyland when sauntering through with your loved ones, and attempting to impress your wife in a push up competition with Gaston.

Like check out this advert for Disneyland's new Frozen Fun extravaganza and tell me your heart doesn't swell:

But have you ever stopped to consider what goes on behind the scenes in this ticketed utopia? The lengths gone to in order to keep the brilliant veil of enchantment and mystery afloat like a boat in the Haunted Mansion?

Of course you have, that's why you're here! And that's exactly what I'm going to offer you, plucky visitor: a peek behind the curtain to see the mechanical innards of what it is that drives children and grown adults wild in equal abandon:

The Secret Life Of Disneyland

Pirates of the Caribbean

Main Room Pirate Ship

When you're on the ride and marveling at the wondrously beautiful pirate ship...

(Image via Wiki)'d never expect them to be attached to some steampunk device of a torturous nature. This picture was taken before the 2006 remodel, in which I'm sure they upgraded the machinery that powers the puppets' animatronics.

(Image via imgur)

Pirate Bridge

What about these guys? They look positively chipper!

(Image via davelandweb)

Yeah, more like microchipper! *dives out of window*

(Image via imagineeringdisney)

Auction Scene

What about this perfectly innocuous auction scene? Surely these are people in prosthetics or something?

(Image via testdb.msmagazine)

Oh... okay, maybe not. This lucky Disneyland employee is getting to grips with sexy C3P0 and its smooth scalped robo-pal. Not sure if his smile indicates actual happiness or the realization that this may be the strangest threesome he's ever encountered. Carpe diem!

(Image via imgur)

Attempted Escape

Here's that famous scene with the attempted luring of the dog...

(Image via freshbakeddisney)

And here it is from, literally, behind the scenes. Though how did that prisoner get away with their camera intact?

(Image via imgur)

Jungle Cruise

Elephant's Paradise

What a wonderful surrounding for any sentient creature to relax in!

(Image via mousetroop)

Except that when the water is drained, it seems as if they're not sentient after all. And since when did elephants use stools?

(Image via imgur)

Beware The Angry Hippo!

Hippos are pretty damn scary to begin with...

(Image via Al_HikesAZ)

But, again, once the water is drained, it's clear that this robo-hippo is something to be feared more than fear itself.

(Image via imgur)

Matterhorn Bobsleds

The Blood Red Eyes

The first moment you lock eyes with the terrible yeti will haunt you...

(Image via davelandblog)

Until you realize they're just lights stuck to a wall. The horror.

(Image via imgur)


And yeah, the yeti is pretty chill, guys. Quite small too when not riding the Matterhorn.

(Image via imgur)

Haunted Mansion

Ghost Rave

Here we have the creepy ghosts getting close under a vintage disco ball. But how did Disney manage to trap these souls in an eternal disco?

(Image via hauntedmansionbackstage)

Well, these nu-rave spectres are made resoundingly ethereal by utilizing the Pepper's ghost illusion technique! It's all smoke and mirrors. Quite literally actually...

(Image via disneyland-secrets)

Hall of Presidents

There's nothing quite like sitting in a beautifully decorated theater and being regaled by 43 robo-POTUSes, like this impressive yet utterly creepy recreation of Abe Lincoln.

(gif via Nate Tonnessen)

What do you think goes on beneath its dead eyes and fine tailored suit?


Some ridiculous engineering goes into making the perfect president. Poor Abe looks a bit shy sans clothing.

(Image via Jared)

And looks positively nightmarish without a face! Make it stop, please!

(Image via backstagemagic)

I thoroughly enjoyed that wander through the secrets of a few of Disneyland's greatest attractions. It's always awesome to peer behind the curtain and witness how magic is nurtured and handled by loving and talented artists and engineers.

How about you?

Did you enjoy this foray into the underbelly of Disneyland?


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