What was your favorite Disney Channel show? Rugrats, the green slime show Figure It Out. M, maybe That’s So Raven had you cracking up, or was it Recess helped you get through elementary school? Not to mention all the amazing Disney movies that came along.
Whether you love the Disney brand now, in the 90s (or both!), it changed our lives forever. Now with that said I want to warn you. There are a few hidden facts about Disney that Walt and the company’s executives wish you didn’t know and it is my job today to fill you in on the juicy secrets. We just hope it won’t taint too many of those childhood memories of yours, though when you learn that Tom Cruise inspired Aladdin, it’s hard not to have the movie get altered at least a little bit!
I looked far and wide to bring you controversial truths and some of the biggest and smartest business moves that Disney made such as buying ESPN and Star Wars. That’s right, Star Wars.
Kick your feet up and get your popcorn ready. You’re about to go on a fun fact ride about arguably the biggest company in the world.
Let’s start with the things Disney DOESN’T want you to know.
15. Disney Mascots and The Legal System Curse
Do you remember waking up early on Saturday morning to watch the Disney Channel? It doesn’t surprise me that we were obsessed with seeing cartoon characters in real life at theme parks, but our most favorite mascots aren’t as innocent as you think.
A woman took Disney to court in 2008 after an employee in a Donald Duck costume acted inappropriately with her at Epcot Theme Park. It doesn’t end there. Tigger became infamous at parks after people made allegations of his bad behavior.
A Winnie-the-Pooh performer allegedly slapped a girl in the head in the 1980s. The Disney employee embarrassingly had to wear the costume in court. During his testimony, Pooh Bear said that his arms were too short to hurt anyone. When he noticed the little girl was about to hit him, he moved and may have accidentally brushed up against her. Our favorite cartoon bear won the case and lived up to his kind reputation. He never asked for his attorney fees to be paid.
14. Disney Parks Turn People Sick
Imagine the innocent children filling their bellies with junk food before jumping on rides. The employees at Disney parks are entirely responsible for cleaning up the mess. Two former workers openly told their story on a podcast called “The Sweep Spot.”
While you are having fun on a rollercoaster and you hear “Code V” in the intercom, it means someone vomited on a ride.
Here are a few things to bring with you to avoid getting sick when your planning for a full day of fun:
Bring Tum’s antacid just in case you feel a little queasy in your stomach.
Band aids will be helpful if you run to a ride and fall in excitement.
If you easily get a headache because of screaming children on rides, keep a bottle of Advil in your pocket.
13. The Reality of Death and Disney
When you attend the Fantasmic Show at night, the set is on fire like fireworks on the Fourth of July. A dragon on stage breaths and roars giving the appearance that the river is on fire. While this show sounds spectacular in the 1990s, it was considered unsafe for children. The truth behind it is an unnamed star of Disney noticed that ducks near the river were getting burnt up. After the discovery employees figured out a way to splash water on the ducks to scare the innocent creatures away right before a show begins.
At the time of the Pirates of Caribbean was being constructed in the late 1990s the fake skeletons you see on location that remained were replaced with human skeletons. The medical division at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) set it up. If you ever notice a wedding ring on the ground, it was once on the hand of the skeleton bride on the ride.
12. A Secret Way to Avoid Long Waits at Rides
On a hot summer day with a long line up to get on a favorite ride, you have no choice but to wait. However, if you find a paint brush at Tom Sawyer’s Island, give it to an employee, and it will get you to the front of the line.
Disney Land prides itself on creating fun for people and families on weekends but the weekdays are definitely the best days to go. Request a day off for vacation and go when the park is practically empty.
There’s nothing like the FASTPASS and according to About.com, if you get to the park 15 minutes before it opens you can get first dibs in the fast pass line up.
11. The Downsides to Working at Disney Parks
Ex-employees have exposed their stories online, and I have the juice. There were even cast members that got fired for posting pictures of themselves on the job.
Previous employees admitted that it is a no-no to keep a uniform if you leave the company. What is even worse is if you don’t turn it in before you move on to a new organization, you will not get your last paycheck. While other employees managed to keep theirs, it is still against the rules.
Walt Disney wanted all visitors at his many parks to feel special. So much that if you see your favorite celebrity while working, you can’t acknowledge them. It is against employee rules to even take a photo or ask for an autograph. With hundreds of people in a park at a time, it makes sense that celebrities deserve their privacy while having fun.
10. The Re-Using Of Frames and Aladdin’s Inspiration
When you look at Yen Sid, the name of the evil looking sorcerer from Fantasia it is Disney spelled backward.
Despite Disney being a multi-billion dollar empire, the organization looks for ways to cut costs. Although the Robin Hood cartoon had a $1.5 million budget, the animation frames were re-used from Snow White and The Jungle Book.
While there are plenty of talented writers working for the company to create unique cartoon designs, you can understand they look to real life for inspiration. The redhead character Ariel is supposed to be a younger version of Alyssa Milano and our favorite cartoon Aladdin is an animated version of Tom Cruise.
In Rescuers if you look closely in the scene when Bianca and Bernard are in a sardine box you will notice the picture of a topless woman in a small mirror in a window. Disney was forced to recall 3.4 million copies of the animated movie because of the scandal.
9. They Made Nick Jonas Shave His Head
If you weren’t around during the time, The Mickey Mouse Club aired on television, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and Justin Timberlake’s careers were born on this show. Now that past and present members are all grown up; you will be surprised about the shocking stories they shared and how they feel about their first job with Disney.
Christina Aguilera had a Birthday at Disneyland in 2014 and asked Mickey Mouse to take a photo. The story is that instead of taking a picture with her, the mascot decided to go on a break. Christina retaliated by calling him a swear word I won’t repeat.
Nick Jonas revealed in an interview that his entire Disney career was constrained when he was working on different shows for the network. Executives had a say in who he dated to the hair on his head. While Nick was 20 years old, he was asked to shave the hair on his face and head to look like a 16-year-old. He also mentioned that when Vanessa Hudgens nude pictures showed up online in 2007, she was in the head office for a full day as the team tried to figure out how to handle the scandal. Many young stars felt obligated to the brand because working there was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
8. Walt Disney’s Hidden Past – High School Drop Out
With the amount of success Walt Disney had one would think he went to Harvard Business School or a prestigious university. The truth is he was a high school drop out at 16 years of age. His goal was to join the army, but he wasn’t accepted because he was too young. He found a job in France driving ambulances for the Red Cross.
Before he took his last breath, Walt Disney called out Kurt Russell’s name. No one has been able to explain this until this day.
He helped the U.S. Government by developing animated cartoon training films for the military.
Despite his contributions to entertainment, there were many critics when Walt Disney was alive that thought he was crazy when he thought of the idea of creating Snow White.
He is the only entertainer alive to be nominated 59 times and win 22 Academy Awards.
7. A Technological Experience at Disney Parks
With the help of modern technology, Disney theme parks are stepping up their game. Rather than faster rides or 200 feet tall roller coasters MyMagic+ technology is being used. MyMagic+ is becoming popular with visitors. It is a wristband that people use that holds their photo, what rides they went on in the past, and which theme parks they visited.
The My Disney Experience mobile app helps theme park goers schedule dinner reservations plus it tells you about attraction ride wait times.
6. The Star Wars, Marvel and Disney Connection
Who knew Skywalker would be an interest of the Disney empire? Now that the company owns the Star Wars franchise films, the movies are expected to exceed the level of perfection that fans have come to expect from the outer space franchise. After all, Disney invested $4 billion and is hoping to see a return on investment.
When the news was out that the company planned to buy Marvel in 2009, comic book fans didn’t believe a Mickey Mouse creator could live up to Marvel’s reputation. The idea of Donald Duck in a Batman movie gave some of us nightmares. Since the business acquisition, Marvel has seen an uptick in movie box office tickets and the Marvel fan community approves. When you consider the upcoming Avengers movie will surely make over $1 billion at the box office, you can imagine Disney is pretty happy with this acquisition.
5. There is a Secret Apartment
Walt Disney’s Estate owns a piece of property in New Orleans Square that only rich people can enter. It is an exclusive club that costs $25,000 to join with a $10,000 fee that members need to pay every year. Back in those times if you had this kind of money to invest, brushing shoulders with a genius like Walt Disney was worth it.
Believe it or not, he lived on-site at Disney Land. With all of the money he earned, most thought he had a castle not too far to the park. At the fire station on the property of the park is an inconspicuous apartment. Only a few people can enter this place because it is the same way that Walt left it. His presence in the apartment remains as a lamp in the window stays lit. I wonder if he requested it to be this way.
4. Disney Owns 2 Major TV Networks – ESPN & History Channel
When we think back to traditional Disney cartoon movies, the last thing that crosses our minds is ESPN. The story begins in 1978 when the founder of the network named Bill Rasmussen lost his job as a Communications Director at the World Hockey Association (WHA). In less than a year, he started ESPN and earned 1.4 million customers. In 1984 the ABC network bought ESPN and Disney bought it in 1998. At a purchase of $19 billion, Disney had $31 million in equity. Thanks to Disney, ESPN is the world’s top media company according to Forbes.
In 1996 Disney joined ABC network to take over the History Channel. Depending on your opinion, there is now more reality television shows now on the network in comparison to the historical documentaries that the channel was known for.
3. Secret Tunnels Beneath Disney World
There were many secrets about Disney World that employees are asked to keep top secret. Did you hear about the secret underground tunnels? During the construction of Disney Land, secret tunnels were built for Tomorrowland employees to walk to Fantasyland which helped keep the two brands separate from the eyes of the public.
Walt Disney also made sure that empty buildings at parks were painted a camouflage green for the rides to be the center of attention.
When carrying large wads of cash to send to the bank, these tunnels are used to avoid robberies at ground level.
2. Justin Bieber’s Banned and No Gum Allowed
To all of the junk food lovers, don’t expect to get a piece of gum at any Disney Park. It is just not allowed for visitors to buy.
Justin Bieber is not allowed to go to any Disney Park for physically abusing a Mickey Mouse mascot.
People that work at these parks can’t point at anyone with two fingers because it is offensive in some cultures.
While it may be fun to be taking selfies and joke around with cartoon mascots, employees in costumes cannot give adults a high five.
If you hear the words “treasured guest” from on-site employees, it means that you are a trouble maker they want to avoid.
1. Controversial Walt Disney Rumors: True or False
Walt Disney wanted the world to have a piece of the experience of his cartoon animation and theme parks but did not give women a chance to work as animators. True
He was cryogenically frozen in 1966 when he died of cancer. False – While he had a fascination for cryogenics and the physics of objects in low temperature, that did not influence his afterlife experience. His family cremated him two days after his death.
Whether it is true or not, some critics consider Walt to be anti-semitic because, during the 1930s, he showed up at German-American Bund meetings which were a Pro-Nazi organization. If that isn’t more salt on a wound, he invited Leni Riefenstahl, an advocator for the Nazis regime on a tour of Disney Studios. False. There is no clear evidence to prove he was an anti-semitic allegation.
His signature we see on merchandise was manufactured and looks nothing like his real name. True
Male employees could not wear beards, mustaches or any facial hair as it was against employee policy. True. It was a rule he approved in 1957, but since the year of 2000, employees can only grow mustaches.
Did you like this blog? Stay tuned for more fun topics on my TheRichest Blog.