6 True Stories About Disneyland They Don't Want You to Know

#3. The Feral Cat Kingdom

The Happiest Place on Earth!

As your children roam through a magical wonderland of fun and adventure, they're often greeted by their favorite Disney characters - characters that are recognized and beloved the world over for having netted the Disney Corporation millions in merchandising and copyright revenue, but mostly for being totally wuvvable and huggable ($5 per hug, limit four per customer).

Not So Happy:

Just don't hug any actual animals you see, or you'll end up going full-zombie on your family and being sent into a gibbering panic at the sight of drinking fountains... on account of the rabies.

See, Disneyland has a secret army of filthy and diseased stray cats that roam the park grounds every night. It all started in the early years of Disneyland when ride operators found themselves sweeping mice out of the attractions and restaurants by the plague-full (isn't that a pleasant idea?). The mouse problem went away when someone suggested letting around 50 cats loose to hunt down the remaining mice, who may or may not have sung beautifully orchestrated songs about hope and enchantment while being devoured.

You might recognize this plan from a cartoon by the competition.

Unfortunately, when you give a stray species a warm place to sleep at night, an endless food supply and free roam of a place with giant fences to keep out potential predators, they tend to stick around. And that's just what the cats did. Judging by their track record of remarkable foresight, Disney park officials are probably already implementing a stray dog strategy to hunt down the remaining cats, then a cougar strategy to counter the inexplicably rising dog problem, and so on until they'll have to change Disneyland's nickname to "the Grizzly Beariest place on Earth (And Also Some Wolves)."

#2. The Yippie Invasion

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Disneyland's Tom Sawyer Island! An exciting land of adventure! See th- Wait, they removed that. OK then, ride- Oh, there are no rides. Well, you can dine in th- No restaurants? Seriously? All right, there are absolutely no reasons to visit Tom Sawyer Island.

Not pictured: Fun.

Like everything else that's wrong with anything, you can blame this one on the hippies--back when they invaded the island in the 70s.


Not So Happy:

On the 6th of August, 1970, about 300 members of the Young International Party (Yippies) descended upon Disneyland to protest against stuff and junk or whatever (we literally could not give a shit long enough to look up the explanation). After taking over Castle Rock, the hippies hoisted the Viet Cong flag, marched down Main Street USA and harassed the marching band while sarcastically singing the theme to the Mickey Mouse Club. In response to this minor annoyance, Disneyland did what any sane, rational company would do in these circumstances: Call in the fucking riot cops.

"Who the fuck was singing?"

Fights broke out between the Yippies and the police--one eyewitness account describes a girl with her "head split open, blood dripping all over her face"--as children everywhere were mentally scarred for life at the sight of Mickey Mouse passively watching an intense and violent beating... and then possibly physically scarred for life because their colorful T-shirt was just a little too close to tye-dye. It got so bad that, for the first time in park history, Disneyland closed the gates early. Despite the horror, the tragedy and the violence, that day is still remembered in history as the most fun anybody ever had on Tom Sawyer Island.

#1. Gay Days

The Happiest Place on Earth!

Truly, Disney is a gay playground. Full of lightness and whimsy, staffed by cartoon animals, soundtrack by the laughter of children--can there be any place more joyous and gay and...what's that? Oh, you meant gay in the homosexual sense?

We're not sure how the rainbow got mixed up in all this.

OK, hey, that's great too: Disneyland is about fun in its purest and simplest form, so of course it welcomes all comers. Attendees can gather as equals and... what's that again? There's a bunch of horrible discrimination and protests and even frequent death threats?

Not So Happy:

Gay Days is a week or so out of the year where the homosexual community comes together as a group at the Disneyland theme park. It's not sponsored by Disney or anything, they just gather there because no matter who you like to hump, everybody likes roller coasters. This is all anything but surprising. Quite frankly, if anybody is out of place at Disneyland, it's heterosexual adults. Somewhere between mincing about in the Enchanted Castle and doing the Running Man with a cartoon duck, you just lose the ability to be butch about anything. If there's anywhere homophobes have to concede to the presence of homosexuals, it's Disneyland.

But unfortunately, that is not the case.

Disney steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that Gay Days is a thing (despite tens of thousands of participants), but that doesn't stop them from being the target of mass protest, veiled threats and sometimes even implied violence by the religious right (for... failing to stop it, we guess?).

The American Family Association sends "undercover photographers" to every Gay Days celebration, attempting to photograph "sexual misconduct," (which is totally not just a convenient excuse for some fundamentalist to volunteer for the cameraman position at a gay orgy, you know, "for the cause.") The Christian Action Network has a long-standing 10 year boycott of all Disney products in response to Gay Days, even going so far as to protest in Washington D.C. Their official petition states that they are "shocked and outraged" that Disney has transformed this traditionally macho and totally Christian establishment where men dance about in tights and anthropomorphic animals practice magic into an anti-family values terror-pit, like unto "Sodom and Gomorrah."

And, like Sodom and Gomorrah, this immoral behavior is about to result in complete destruction. That's right: Pat Robertson has gone on record as officially stating that "[A] condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It'll bring about terrorist bombs, it'll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor."

This raises two troubling implications: First, that Robertson actually thinks Disneyland is a "nation," whose people are all wise-cracking cartoons ruled over by the iron-fist of Prime Minister Mickey. And second, that Pat Robertson does truly and literally believe that he has nature-based superpowers, and is shocked, shocked every single time he tries, and ultimately fails to summon natural disasters down on things he doesn't understand.

"Goddamnit, TiVo, why won't you record?! That's it! That is it! I SUMMON THE METEORS!"

See more of JD Niemand at his webcomic, Stickman and Cube.

Danny Gallagher also writes for TVSquad.com, Spike.com and Asylum.com and can be found on the Web at www.dannygallagher.net.

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