5 Hidden Gems you don’t want to miss at Disneyland

Disneyland Emporium Windows

It can be said that the Magic of the Disney parks comes from the passionate pursuit details. Details are crafted into everything Walt Disney ever imagined. And for those who appreciate them, there exists another wonderful way to enjoy the Magic.

After working for Walt Disney World for 7 years and frequenting the Disneyland parks every two years since, my husband and I have seen pretty much everything the beloved parks have to offer.  Certainly, you can never get enough of Fantasmic or Big Thunder, or any of the wonderful shows throughout the parks. But having the good fortune of being able to visit the Parks often affords us the time to take a more leisurely approach to visiting the parks.  Its during these leisurely strolls through the Parks that we take the time to appreciate the often overlooked but charming little details of Disney. Here some our family’s favourite little gems you might have missed.

Disneyland Main Street Window Honors

Main Street Window Honours

Windows of Main Street shops contain some wonderful little details.  The windows contain the names of people and companies that have contributed to the Magic throughout the years. Usually they appear as a fictional business that refers to the honorees hobby or a contribution they have made to the company.  Don’t forget Main Street contains some tiny little side streets and alleyways where you can find even more window honours. Seen here in this photo is the window dedicated to the Sherman Brothers legendary songwriters who have created such Disney classics as “It’s a Small World (after all) and my favourite Mary Poppins.

Little Man at Disneyland

Little Man of Disneyland

A favourite story of ours is Little Man of Disneyland.  This Little Golden Book published in 1955 is a charming story about the creation of Disneyland and how a tiny leprechaun named Patrick Begorra found a home amongst the hustle and bustle of Disneyland.  Because the search is so much fun I won’t spoil it but will say Patrick lives in a tiny house at the base of a Disneyland tree.  Even after having found it our children still love to race over to say hi to little Patrick Begorra.

QUICK TIP: Keep an eye out on North Van Disney Mom to learn more about Patrick and perhaps discover a few hints on how to find the house yourself.

Disneyland Silhouette Bonnie

Getting your silhouette made by Bonnie

A favourite souvenir from a recent trip to Disneyland was having the kids silhouettes done by the long serving Disney cast member Bonnie.  For over 30 years Bonnie has worked at Disneyland  doing silhouettes on Main Street.  Bonnie was full of amazing Disney history and knowledge.  And although she created each child’s silhouette in just minutes we found ourselves staying longer just to hear more about all of her experiences.

Disneyland Silhouettes

Disneyland Silhouette studio is found on Main Street.  These handcut Silhouettes are $9.95 per figure in the photo, a frame can be purchased for $19.95.

Disneyland Emporium Windows

Disneyland Emporium Windows

Enchanted Windows of the Emporium

Since the early 1960’s the windows of the Emporium, the largest souvenir shop on Main Street, Disneyland have been brought to life with amazingly detailed displays featuring scenes from some of Disney’s animated classics. Part of the charm of Main Street is the music, the smells, and sights around you.  Often when you come into those iconic gates the excitement builds and sends you quickly off to explore the different lands.  Take a moment, slow down and look close at the magic in unexpected places.

Disneyland Radiator Springs

Radiator Springs Model Display

Heading over to Disney’s California Adventure Park is where you will find my little guy’s favourite hidden gem.

Inside Sarge’s Surplus Hut is the  intricately detailed scale model of the town of Radiator Springs. Wired with lights and the classic neon signs you get a birds eye view of the whole town.  This scale model is a testament to just how important details are in the creation of such a wonderful place.

Don’t forget to also check out our 5 Tips For a Stress Free Family Trip To Disneyland!


Growing up on Vancouver Island is where Calley’s love for the creative life and Disney began. With a passion for the arts she knew at the age of 5 working for Disney was in her future. After graduating her dream came true and she became a Disney cast member and met her husband while they were working at the Walt Disney resort in Orlando, FL.  Currently they live on the west coast of Canada where they’re are raising three Disney babies with plenty of fun and magic. Check out more of her Disney love at North Van Disney Mom.