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Do You Know These Facts About Disney's Origin Story?

Explore the roots of the happiest place on earth

One of the things we love about Disneyland is the number of little "Disney treasures" that can be found throughout the park.

Now, we're not talking about the popular "Hidden Mickeys," Mickey Mouse head-shaped items scattered throughout the park. No, we're talking about little touches that add a little something extra to that "Disneyland Experience."

For example, there's the lamp that illuminates the room above the firehouse on Main Street's Town Square. The small apartment was used by Walt Disney when he stayed in the park overnight and is lit as a tribute to him.

We especially love the laminar flow fountains that shoot water over your head as you walk from Tomorrowland toward the Snow White Grotto.

They're created by Mark Fuller of WET (who we featured in our story about the San Pedro Fanfare Fountains), the same man who brought us the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. The water maintains its shape as it passes overhead -- never getting you wet -- almost as if by magic.

We also have a soft spot (if that's possible) for catching a glimpse of the wicked queen lurking behind the curtains above the entrance to Snow White's Scary Adventure.

And when we ride the King Arthur Carousel, we can't help but look to see if Jingles, Disney's favorite carousel horse, is available to ride.

The horse is recognizable by the ornate painted jingle bells near the neck and chest. And funny enough, the point of our story -- the origin of Disneyland and the "Disney treasure" relic that was part of its inspiration -- all started with a carousel.

Walt and Lillian Disney had two daughters, Diane and Sharon. For Walt Disney, Saturdays were the day to take the girls out for a fun afternoon.

A common stop among their travels was the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round. Walt would sit on a bench watching his daughters ride the carousel and think about creating the kind of fun place that he would enjoy visiting with Diane and Sharon.

And so, the concept of Disneyland was born.

It took years for the park to become a reality, but Walt Disney never forgot about those Saturdays at the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round.

If you venture into the Disneyland Opera House on Main Street's Town Square, you'll find a wonderful "Disney Treasure."

Inside is an original horse from the Griffith Park Carousel and the actual park bench Walt sat on while he dreamed up "the happiest place on earth."

To get more details about this amazing story, including how it almost got built in Burbank, watch our video hosted by Hira Srinivasan. And for more on the historic Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round, click here.

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