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60 things you might not know about Disneyland

Sleeping Beauty's castle is all decked out for Disneyland's 60th anniversary.
Sleeping Beauty's castle is all decked out for Disneyland's 60th anniversary.

The wonderful world of Disneyland opened its gates to the public in 1955, and since then, millions of visitors from around the world have flocked to California to see Walt Disney’s dream-come-true. This year, the legendary theme park celebrates its 60th birthday, and in honor of all those decades of Disney magic, here are a few things you may not know about the park:

More than a million corn dogs are sold annually at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.

About 84 million Mickey Mouse ears have been sold since 1955. The Mouseketeers first wore the hats in the 1950s on “The Mickey Mouse Club” television show.

More than 700 million people have visited Disneyland since opening day.

More than 50 scuba divers maintain the water-based attractions and waterways at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Dream of getting married in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle? You can, but it will set you back $120,000 for an after-hours ceremony.

No gum is sold at Disney theme parks. Walt Disney didn’t want visitors to step in discarded chewing gum.

Disneyland’s work force amounts to 28,000 cast members, Disney-speak for employees.

Though Walt Disney sported a mustache for most of his adult life, Disneyland banned facial hair on its workers from 1957 until 2000, when restrictions were eased.

If Disneyland’s original $1 adult admission fee had increased in lockstep with the U.S. Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index, today it would be $8.87. Instead, it’s $99. (But in the old days, you had to buy ride tickets separately. Now they’re included.)

In September 1959, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev made a historic visit to Los Angeles and asked to see Disneyland. His minders first said yes, and then no, after Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker said that he couldn’t guarantee Khrushchev’s safety. “Why not?” Khrushchev protested. “What is it? Do you have rocket-launching pads there? ... Is there an epidemic of cholera there? ... Have gangsters taken hold of the place?”

In 1952, before Anaheim emerged as the location for Disneyland, Walt Disney went to the Burbank City Council with a proposal for a park. The council members turned him away, and one said, “We don’t want the carny atmosphere in Burbank.”

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