Welcome back to the next installment of my 4-part series focusing on the “Hidden Gems of the Disneyland Resort.” Today, we are going to focus on 3 other lands of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. Those lands are New Orleans Square, Adventureland and Frontierland. Arguably, these lands contain the most popular attractions within all of Disneyland Park. But what if I were to tell you that there are still some hidden gems tucked away within each of these 3 lands, that are not just the major E-Ticket attractions.
Come with me and take a journey to our first stop: New Orleans Square.
New Orleans Square is one of my favorite lands in all of Disneyland. It is a wonderful place to shop and eat, as well as enjoy two of the best attractions in all of the park. Both Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion are usually the highest wait times in the parks (especially during Halloweentime and the Holidays when Jack takes over for Haunted Mansion Holiday), but there are a few things in this land that most people do not notice.
New Orleans Square Train Station- Now I know what most of you are saying, “This can’t be a hidden gem. The Disneyland Railroad is universally known.” And you would be right. But there is something special about this particular train station that has put it on my list for hidden gems. Get in line at the New Orleans Train Station and focus your attention across the tracks, which is home to the Telegraph Cable Office. If you listen, you will be able to hear a paraphrased morse code version of Walt Disney’s opening day speech for Disneyland back on July 17th, 1955: ” To all who come to this happy place, welcome! Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.”
The next stop on our journey through the park is Adventureland. This land is home to my personal favorite attraction, Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. This land just defines Disneyland to me. It was Tony Baxter who said Disneyland is the most charming of all the parks, and I think Adventureland proves that point.
The House of the Little Man of Disneyland- This one is easy to miss. Right outside of the Indiana Jones Adventure, is a tree. And if you look down at the base of the tree you might notice something is a little odd about this tree. There is someone living in it! Based on the book that was published back in the 50’s, this house is home to Patrick Begorra.
The story is that this leprechaun lives in a tiny, half-hidden house at the roots of an Anaheim orange tree — until one day Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy (and Pluto too) turn up. They are ready to start moving trees so they can build Disneyland. Mickey and his friends take the little man on a helicopter ride back to the Disney Studio to see the Disneyland blueprints. Patrick agrees to let them build the park with one stipulation, that he can live in the park. Once Disneyland is ready to open, Patrick moves into a home in a secret spot at the park known only to him. Now this secret spot is able to be found, hidden at the base of a tree in Adventureland.
Our final stop on our journey today is Frontierland. Celebrating the trailblazers, settlers and other heroes of the Old West. This land is home to one of the best of the Disney mountains: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you have not been to Disneyland in the last few years, you may want to check this classic out once again. I guarantee you it will be a BLAST!
The Stage Door Cafe- This one is my personal favorite on the list today. Everyone who knows about food at the Disneyland Resort, knows they are famous for their amazing corn dogs. Most people think you can only find them on Main Street USA at the Little Red Wagon outside of the Plaza Inn Restaurant, but I am here to tell you a little secret. There is another place at Disneyland that offers this amazing treat. Here in Frontierland, located behind the Golden Horseshoe, is Stage Door Cafe. Serving chicken nuggets, fish & chips and of course those legendary corn dogs. (Hint: there is also a secret menu item of mozzarella sticks served here as well).
Well, that will do it for this installment of the “Hidden Gems of the Disneyland Resort.” This part also will conclude hidden gems within Disneyland Park; on the next installment we will be traveling across the Esplanade to Disney California Adventure. (Also, I did not forget about Critter Country or Mickeys Toontown, they will be listed in my honorable mentions section of the final part of this series.)