New Orleans Square Fun Facts

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  1. Q: Who was the "Disneyland Travelling Ambassador" that Walt introduced his concept for New Orleans Square and the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to over television? A: Judy Reams
    REPORTED: Disneyman 17 SEP 98 pict from
  2. If you look at the top of the buildings of New Orleans Square, you can see the top of a pirate ship. It is like the Columbia Ship on the Rivers of America.
    REPORTED: Kurt Norby 23 FEB 97
    The sails were designed by Park Decorating to conceal the five 7K Synchrolite Searchlights on the Pirates' Roof. If you stand between River Belle Terrace and the River, and look up at the roof over the Gallery, you can see the sails and the searchlights behind them. The lights are painted "Smog Grey".
    CONFIRMED: anon 28 FEB 97
    CONFIRMED: Daniel Rodriguez 04 APR 99
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 06 JUN 00
    One of my all-time favorite hidden features in Disneyland is a gag you can see from Tom Sawyer's island. Go to Tom Sawyer's Island. Climb up into the treehouse. Go to the "telescope" facing New Orleans Square. Move the scope towards that one street (apologies, I forget the name(s)) betwixt Pirates/Gallery and the restaurant. Move the the thing up to just above the tops of the buildings, and you will spy masts. Yes, MASTS OF SHIP, complete with rigging and sails. They are not fullscale, but are there. They look to be on the rook of Clubb 33/Pirates, and a nice (and fabled "close attention to detail") little thing. They are small enough and pushed back enough that they can be best veiwed from this one spot. I have spotted them from other sites in the park.
    CONFIRMED: Rustin Parr 05 JUN 01
    CONFIRMED: anon 08 NOV 01
  3. Throughout New Orleans Square there is a lot of Ironwork. Some of it, though, is not iron at all. At the higher points of the ironwork (too high to reach without aid) some of the spires and such are made of rubber...painted to look like iron. The rubber lasts better in the elements and won't rust.
    REPORTED: Kim 16 FEB 99
  4. The Blue Bayau, Club 33, and the cafe in New Orleans Square are all connected together underground. Actually it is street level, but New Orleans Square is built on a hill. The restraunts are all connected underneath by tunnels that are more like high school hallways, complete with offices, a Cast Member 50's style diner, and elevators. The kitchen that takes care of the Blue Bayau and Club 33 are huge! CM's can move from one restraunt to another, even under the street, without being seen by the park guests! 100% attention to show!
    REPORTED: Jerry Matthew 30 NOV 98
    I can confirm the immense size of the New Orleans Main Kitchen (NOMK) which serves the Blue Bayou, French Market, Cafe Orleans and Club 33. It really is amazing how much food they prepare down there everyday! My dad was a chef there from 1975-1989, the last 8 years as assistant su(pervisory) chef. Since he made up the work assignments, he usually did his favorite: cooking for the Disney Employees Cafeteria (DEC). During my teen years in the early 80s I would often go with him to work during the summers and became quite familiar with the hallways underneath NOS. The CMs were always friendly as long as I stayed out of the way and I heard many of the stories related on your website about various Disneyland "secrets" from them. The funny thing is, and your website seems to confirm it, that even though you know what goes on behind the scenes, it doesn't detract at all from your enjoyment of the park.
    CONFIRMED: Erich Shiners 23 JUN 00
  5. They now have sounds coming from the windows in the New Orleans Square area...heard cats fighting and people talking
    REPORTED: James Harper 14 JUL 97
    There is a voodoo queen living off of a balcony on the backside of New Orleans Square near the bathrooms and the train station. If you listen closely you can hear her welcome a customer who is looking for a spell. She chants and rings bells. On the balcony are the masks of two voodoo gods, a voodoo doll and candles.
    CONFIRMED: Karen Rudolph 09 APR 98
  6. You may have noticed some strange vents along the wall close to the Rivers of America. Its hard to describe but its where most of the crowd sits while watching Fantasmic. Well, those vents are the exhaust air from the Fantasmic! light tower housed in the pit directly behind the vent.
    REPORTED: Josh Booth 25 SEP 96
    CONFIRMED: anon 17 DEC 96
    CONFIRMED: Eric B 30 DEC 96
  7. There is an extremely odd looking building where Adventureland empties out into New Orleans Square on the north side of street. The architecture changes in the space of three "buildings" (facades) from Jungle/Afro-Polynesian to 1800's French. This is the area opposite Tarzan's Tree House and behind the Golden Horseshoe Review.

    The center "building" is truly amazing in its transition. Note how the pots are placed so the right side of the facade looks more "Adventurelandish" than the left side. The stark transition is successfully completed in a 20 to 30 foot section! If you look at this section on its own merit (sans environment) it looks rather silly. However, hundreds of thousands walk by without even the slightest sense that something is not right.
    REPORTED: David Vaughnn 27 AUG 96 pict from

  8. The best place to watch Fantasmic is actually at The Disney Gallery. I was able, thanks to some kind Disney Cast Members, to view it from a bench on the balcony, overlooking The Rivers of America. No one sits in front of you, and you get to see all of the show from all angles. If you sweet-talk them, maybe you'll get to watch it there, too. (P.S. It's a great spot to videotape the show).
    REPORTED: Dynara 22 DEC 96
    They usually don't allow people to view the show from the Gallery and usually will tell people to leave if they are not looking at the art work. They never allow people to go on the balcony as it is used at a viewing for paying guests. You have to pay $35 a seat to sit out there and you get a piece of chocolate pie with the show. I would not recommend trying to watch the show from up there for free because you will mostlikely be told to leave.
    CONFIRMED: Eric B 30 DEC 96
    It's true! There's practically nobody on the New Orleans Square and Critter Country rides during the Fantasmic shows. This is probably the best time to go on Pirates, Haunted, and Splash. If you want to have good seats for Fantasmic there is a dock where the Tom Sawyer's Island ferries usually pick up and drop off passengers that offers great a great view. There isn't a lot of people there so you don't have to save you seats for hours and you are close enough to feel the warmth of the flames when the water catches on fire. Watch out, if there's a wind you'll get wet.
    CONFIRMED: Stacy Hartman 04 APR 97
    There is a balcony where you can watch Fantasmic. We entered through the Art Gallery. There is a very obvious door, then you go over a balcony, and you are right there. There had a full dessert buffet and comfortable chairs.
    CONFIRMED: Joe Gullo 07 AUG 98
  9. Learn about Club 33. pict from
  10. The Bayou Blues Band plays in the Square
  11. The original Royal Street Bachelors (Hal Grant, Herb Gordy, and Jack Mcvea) were famous musicians in their own right, in fact Jack McVea wrote the song "Open the Door Richard."
    REPORTED: PhilChil 04 DEC 95
    Jack McVea wrote and recorded "Open the Door Richard." in 1946. He and the late Harold Grant, the banjo/guitarist, both were members of the street musicians group "The Royal Street Bachelors" along with the wonderful bassist, Herb Gordy, now the leader of the group, and the wonderful banjo/guitar Ernest McLean who replaced Harold Grant at the time of his death. Jack McVea retired from Disneyland in 1992 after blowing his clarinet/sax with the group for 27 years. He has been a professional musician since 1925. We feel that it is very nice to say honestly that one CAN retire from a place known as "The Happiest Place On Earth. Even though I don't know the name of the man that replaced Jack McVea and is playing clarinet at this time, we hear that he is really great! Jack McVea sends his well wishes to all of his fellow musicians to "Keep On Swingin'". If you would like further information or just to drop a note Jack, you can e-mail him at him. He is 84 years young and will enjoy answering questions about his experiences as a musician in Los Angeles, Central Avenue period, and his wonderful days at Disneyland, working with men that developed a great brotherhood through the years. They all are very much loved by Jack and his family. I know this because I am Jack McVea's daughter, Lyta.
    REPORTED: Lyta C. McVea-Abdullah 03 JUL 99
  12. The petrified tree stump at the pict from edge of the Rivers of America was given by Lillian to Walt as an anniversary present.
    REPORTED: an150734 02 NOV 95
    CONFIRMED: Eric B 22 AUG 96
    CONFIRMED: Gregg Ziak 08 DEC 96
    CONFIRMED: Benjamin Rockwell 20 JAN 97
    According to "Disney Magazine" Fall 1997, the petrified tree at the edge of the Rivers of America was given to Lillian by Walt. Walt saw the petrified tree for sale on private land in Colorado, and had to have it! He purchased it as a gift for his wife for their anniversary in 1956. Rather than keeping the 5-ton tree at their home, he had it installed next to the Rivers of America at Disneyland.
    UPDATE: Kim Nissen 10 SEP 97
  13. Next to the Men's restroom near the train station in New Orleans Square there are saloon style double doors for Cast Members only. This path leads to the Westside Diner - a dining area for Cast Members only. The interesting thing about this is that the whole place is themed as a 1950's diner. The female cooks wear poodle skirts,the whole place is decked out in red vinyl, and there are bar stools where one can sip a shake. There is actually a 5 cent jukebox in the shape of the tailfins of a '57 chevy. This place is fun.
    REPORTED: Tony Mendes 10 JAN 97
    The "Diner" that is evidently a 50's style place for the Cast Members to eat located in New Orleans Square was once known simply as "The DEC". We Disneylanders called it by the way it looked (The Deck). It obviously stood for Disney[land] Employee Cafeteria.
    CONFIRMED: Chris 15 JAN 97
    The Cast Member cafeteria is not easy to see. You have to go downstairs and through a few doors to see it, but it definantely is there. I would've eaten there, but a couple of cast members there started asking questions, and I discovered that as a Disney Store cast member, I still can't eat there. What I saw was fully decked out though, and really classy!
    CONFIRMED: chernabog 16 NOV 98
    The Westside diner, named for the fact it is on the west side of the park is in fact decorated in 50's style, however the cooks do not wear poodle skirts and the jukebox does not actually work
    CONFIRMED: Rebecca Lynn 24 MAR 99
    About the CM cafeteria in New Orleans Square. When I worked at The French Market during the summer of 1989 the cafeteria was called DEC and the other CM eating area located behind Main Street was called The Deck because part of it used to be made out of wood. By the way the ramp that goes down to the DEC winds under the Pirates of the Carribean, the fire room to be exact. And if you listened you could hear the dialogue.
    UPDATE: Cara 24 FEB 00
    The cast member eating area The Westside Diner is no longer a 50's theme its been remodeled a while ago in a Dick Tracy theme
    UPDATE: Shea Carrasco 07 OCT 01 pict from
  14. The woman in the portraits (Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion) is Marie Laveau, the infamous voodoo queen, who reigned in New Orleans from the 1700's to the mid to late 1800's. It is rumoured that her daughter, also named Marie, took over the practice when her mother died and was buried anonymously. Others firmly believe that there was a single Marie Laveau, and that she lived and practised voodoo in New Orleans (granting wishes and casting spells) for over 150 years. Two things are certain: that the spirit of Marie Laveau lives on in the French Quarter; with those little brick dust "xxx's" on her tomb, and that the portrait you describe is a facsimile of the portrait of Marie in the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans.
    REPORTED: christopher mabli 01 AUG 96
    The disembodied spirit of Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion is the face of WDI Imagineer Leota Thomas from the model shop. Mrs. Thomas (whose maiden name was Toombs) can be seen in the old Small World souvenier books. She unfortunately departed this world just a few years ago. Her visage is also taken by "Little Leota" seen at the end of the attraction. Here, the voice of Little Leota is the actual voice of Leota Thomas, whereas the voice of the spirit in the crystal ball belongs to the actress Eleanor Audley (known also as the voice of the Matriarch Elephant in "Dumbo". Leota Thomas is survived by her daughter, Kim Irvine, who works in WDI's Show Quality Department based in Disneyland.
    UPDATE: Jim O'Connor 15 APR 97
    Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion is the voice of the step-mother from Cinderella. The track is of her first time reading the script, which is the one used here.
    REPORTED: Veronica Platt 24 AUG 97 pict from
  15. The wall in New Orleans Square next to Rivers of America are made up of concrete made to look like stonework except in one place. There is a small area, almost like a crypt, that is brick with the date 1764 above it.
    REPORTED: Meg 25 JUL 00
    CONFIRMED: TR Shaw 24 SEP 00
    The wall is purely there for decoration. Although there are many crazy rumors (such as that it is a closed up drainage line for The Haunted Mansion), the true story is nothing of the sort. to make a long story short... The man working on this area was making the "arch" when another worker told him that it needed to have a cornerstone, and that they usually have dates on them. They did not know what to put so eventually they decided to take the year of that workers birth and move it back 200 years.
    UPDATE: Tom M 31 MAR 06
  16. As a former Cast Member, I can tell you that there are many rumors about the fact that Disneyland is haunted. Especially New Orleans Square. I have heard many, many times that the New Orleans stock room is. That things fly off the shelves and land at your feet, and hearing footsteps behind you when your in there by yourself. Not too many people volunteer to go in there, I'll tell you that much. And not too many Cast Members want to be in N.O.S. after the park closes and when it's completly deserted because its really spooky.
    REPORTED: anon 31 JAN 00

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