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5 Best Kept Disneyland Secrets - Best Spots To See At Disneyland

Updated on October 7, 2011

A Disneyland vacation is an experience that everyone should have in their lifetime. I come from a family of Disney fanatics, so when we all hit the park, we go full force.

The night before we go into the park, we all gather around. Moms, dads, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends all squeeze into one of our hotel rooms, and we make our battle plan.We want to do everything there is to do, and so we plan the day accordingly.

Through many trips to Disneyland, and many battle plans later, we feel like we know the park inside and out. We also became aware that the majority of people who visit Disneyland and California Adventures often miss some of the attractions that my family considers some of the hidden wonders of Disneyland.

So, I will share some of my family's Disneyland secrets with you now.

Hidden Wonder #1- Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Show

  • Billy Hill and the Hillbillies Show at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland. Located right on the waterfront, this show is often bypassed, or thought to be only a restaurant. However, it is soooo much more!
  • In 7 years of watching the saloon show, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies have never let me down. Visitors can chose to sit on the floor level or in the balcony. The braver (or maybe unsuspecting) visitors sit closer to the stage, where they will, most likely, become part of the act! You can get food and drinks if you get there early enough before the show starts.
  • The show is a combination of comedy and musical talent. The show makes references to pop music, current events, and thrives off of audience participation. I believe each show lasts around 45 minutes to an hour, which is well worth the time.
  • So, next time you go to Disneyland, stop by this "diamond in the rough" (cue small disney reference), grab some good food and a seat, and enjoy the show!

Hidden Wonder #2 - Disney's Animations Building

The second attraction is found in California Adventures. Disney's Animations is more than just a good place to catch a break from the California sun and cool down. When you walk into the building, you follow a wall that has the words "Once Upon A Time" painted on it.

  • Following this path, you are dumped into an enormous room and are surrounded by a 360 degree view of huge screens that play scenes from Disney movies. I like to go in and sit on one of the couches in the main room and just watch and listen. Its pretty magical, in the true Disney fashion.
  • Then, spiraling out of the main room, are different wings inside the Animations building.One area shows the original sketches of cartoon characters. My favorites are the original sketches of Ursula from the Little Mermaid, The Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and Buzz from Toy Story.I never knew that one of the ideas for The Beast's character was a baboon! This room also shows how characters were originally constructed and made to move. You can create your own moving cartoons on tables inside this wing.
  • In another wing, is the show Turtle Talk with Crush from the movie Finding Nemo. Members of the audience can actually talk with the animated version of Crush on screen inside the little theater.My family and I have tried to figure out how someone in the audience can talk with the cartoon character, and have Crush actually respond back to their question or response. Crush can identify specific people in the audience by what they are wearing, or how loud they are.Its really amazing! You can ask Crush any question, and he will answer. One of our friends asked what Beatles song was Crush's favorite, and he said that Yellow Submarine was his favorite! I think the show lasts around 20 minutes. The show kept me and my family talking about it for the rest of the day!
  • One of the other wings inside the Animations building lets you figure out which Disney character you are most like. My whole family went wild in this room! The room itself is designed to be how The Beast's library would look. There are maybe 10 stations where you can take the quiz and have your picture taken. The quiz determined that I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast, my dad was Mushu from Mulan, and my mom was (of course) Mulan. Even my grandparents got really into it and were excited to find their Disney alter ego.
  • The last wing that me and my family really liked was Arielle's Grottos , where Ursula steals your voice, and places it into scenes from Disney movies. You can chose if you want to sing a song, or have your voice dubbed into a conversation. My favorite scene to do is the clip of Simba and Scar from the Lion King where they talk about being a monkeys uncle. Its just as much fun to watch other people in my group do the voice overs, as it was for me to actually do the talking.

Hidden Wonder #3 - Pineapple Whip

Most people run through the gates to Adventureland, completely bypassing one of Disneyland's Hidden Wonders. And this little treasure, is found right inside the gates to this land.

  • Walking through the gates, simply glance to your left, and you will find this hidden wonder. Located right in front of the Enchanted Tiki Room, is the juice bar that serves the tastiest treat in the entire park: Pineapple Whip. I still can't completely identify what it is, because it's a mix between ice cream, and slushy, and yogurt, and juice. Combine all those things together, and you get The Whip.
  • My advise: order one serving of Pineapple Whip before you get in line for a ride, consume said Whip while you wait...Or, pick up some Whip whenever humanly possible!

Homemade Dole Pineapple Whip!!!

Hidden Wonder #4 - Front compartment on the monorail

My friends and I discovered this fantastic little secret on one of our last nights in the park.

  • We decided to take the monorail back to our hotel that night. As we were waiting in line, we noticed that the head of the monorail train had seats inside. We asked the attendant if we could sit inside that compartment, because the doors to that section didn't open when the rest of the trains doors did. He spoke to another attendant, and opened the door for us. We decided to name this compartment the VIP Lounge.
  • Essentially, I think that the compartment is meant for those in wheelchairs because it is larger and roomier. But, if at all possible, next time you take the monorail at Disneyland, ask an attendant about the front of the train, because its worth it!

ASIMO at Disneyland

Hidden Wonder #5 - ASIMO Robot

Disney's Innovations building is located in Tomorrowland. Honestly, I have walked by this building each time I went to Disneyland. But, my dad went inside to check it out one time.

  • Later that night, he raved about this robot called ASIMO that could dance, run, and interact with human gestures. Dad said that the imagineer (word Disney uses for their engineers) said that ASIMO was only one of two robots like it in the world.
  • He said that it was a must see attraction, and I plan on doing just that next time I'm at Disneyland, and you should too!

Bringin' it all home

So, to sum up, Disney's 5 Hidden Wonders (according to me) are:

#1 Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland

#2 Disney's Animations building

#3 Pineapple Whip at the juice bar outside the Enchanted Tiki Room

#4 The front compartment on the Monorail (VIP Lounge)

#5 ASIMO Robot show inside the Innovations building in Tomorrowland

Hope you check out these little know wonders on your next trip to Disneyland!

Check out for all things Disney! My mom uses this site all the time to get customer reviews on hotels, parks, and other Disney tips.

Which ride at Disneyland do you head for first?

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    • SJ Hope profile image

      SJ Hope 

      5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are our family's FAVORITE! I have never heard of the ASIMO robot - we will check that out on our next trip!!!

    • BernietheMovieGuy profile image

      Bernie Ment 

      5 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I need to get to Disneyland. Been to DisneyWorld more times than I care to count, but never to Disneyland. Thanks for the recommendations. I will be printing yours and several other articles to take with me on the adventure if I ever get the chance to go. Voted Up!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      One of my family traditions is on our last day in the parks we usually spend it in Cali adventures, we always go back to Disneyland for the fireworks but we are always running late and the fireworks end up going off right when we're crossing from park to park, and actually one of my favorite things is sitting on the bricks between the parks and watching the fireworks with my family. You can't hear the sound effects but it's not very crowded and it's an epic moment with family.

    • anjperez profile image


      7 years ago

      been to Disneyland twice but only to Disneyland Park. Not Disney California Adventure Park (where Disney Animation is). which have more new adventure to offer. no wonder i was scratching my head while going over the list above (except that i saw ASIMO). looks like i missed some interesting stuff. nonetheless, it was sooo fun!!! however i beg to disagree that Thunder Mountain Railroad is the wildest ride. once you ride Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain is like nothing. (i road these two rides in different order in different occassions). Yes Space Mountain is wilder... (,")

    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Glimmer515 - Most excellent! Its tragic when people go to Disneyland and miss out on all the lesser known cool things there.

      MoneyCreator24 - Please do! Do some research on when to go and the best ways to do the parks before you go, and you'll have a great time!

      retrobandit - Pineapple Whip does hold a special place in my heart as well... :)

      Cydro - Ain't it the truth...? :)

    • cydro profile image

      Blake Atkinson 

      8 years ago from Kentucky

      Very nice, now i only need the money to go!

    • retrobandit profile image

      William Johnson 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Great hub! Can't wait to make my own Pineapple Whip at home. It's been to long, my frozen friend...

    • MoneyCreator24 profile image


      8 years ago

      I have never been to Disney Land, but I really should. voted up

    • Glimmer515 profile image


      9 years ago from Never Never Land

      I am a hard core disneyland fan myself and new about most of the list and i love love the pineapple whip!! But i will def check out the saloon next time im there :)

    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      izettl- Thats so exciting! The anticipation is almost as much fun as going...almost : ) The Disneyland experience is different every time depending on who is with you. Children are some of the most fun people to go to disneyland with. They help adults get the full experience. But, since both you and your daughter will be going for the first time, it should be equally magical for both of you!

    • izettl profile image

      Laura Izett-Irwin 

      10 years ago from The Great Northwest

      This is great info! I've never been and I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to enjoy. She's almost two and I'm counting down already.

    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thanks Gin! Disney is one of my not so secret obsessions.

    • Gin Delloway profile image

      Gin Delloway 

      10 years ago

      nice article!I like it! ;)

    • cjcarter profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      You're right! Every time I come off of Pirates of the Caribbean I pass the Club 33 door and wonder what it is like inside. Your link told me a little bit more about it. Thanks for the tip.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      There are some you missed...One that you missed that is very cool is Club 33. Check out this website to find out more about it.


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