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The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems

by Tad on June 8, 2023 2 Los Angeles

'Sup! When people ask us our favorite things to do at Disneyland park, we sometimes don’t even know where to begin. There are SO MANY great rides, shows, foods and characters ... even seasons! With so many great things to do, why choose? But we do get an extra thrill from exploring all the little details that make the park extra special year-round. Some of these experiences are simply overlooked, and others are fun things that not everybody knows about. Either way, they’ll definitely sprinkle a little extra magic on your day! Whenever we discover one of these hidden gems we toadally get excited. And the great thing about Disneyland hidden gems is that they are great experiences to turn to on a peak day when the lines are long or you just want an extra dose of magic.

Our Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems

Hidden Mickeys aside, here are a few Disneyland hidden gems to keep an eye out for in Disneyland Park.

Disneyland Hidden Gem #1: Find Extra Fun in in Fantasyland

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Queen Looks Out Over Snow White's Enchanted WishIn Fantasyland, be sure to pause in front of Snow White’s Enchanted Wish and look up at the window. Every so often, the Evil Queen opens the curtains and peeks out at you.

While you are in Fantasyland, hop into the Mad Hatter store. Gaze into the mirror behind the registers and wait for the Cheshire Cat to magically appear.

Disneyland Hidden Gem #2: Play with Characters 

We’ve already shared our favorite tips for meeting characters at Disneyland so that you can pose for a photo, but did you know you can play games with certain characters? This can be random, but there are a few locations where you might get a chance for some whimsical character play time.

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Alice and Mad Hatter have a tea party with park guestsIs it your unbirthday? Well, it’s my unbirthday too! Celebrate your birthday or unbirthday with Alice and the Mad Hatter at Refreshment Corner. They usually gather guests for a crazy game of musical chairs at Refreshment Corner somewhere between 2:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; however, they can appear a couple of times throughout the day. The White Rabbit would not appreciate that it may not always be at an exact time. I guess they can never be late if it’s not a set date! We've also had a tea party with them in Fantasyland and have played a form of hot potato (with a plush teacup) with them in the park. You never know what to expect with these two!

If you will be riding “it’s a small world” after you play with Peter Pan, look for Peter Pan, Tink and many other Disney characters sprinkled throughout the ride amongst the singing dolls.

Peter Pan is so playful and will never grow up. He and Captain Hook are usually on the move and sometimes gather guests for play time and group photos near the raised area on the right as you approach “it’s a small world.” Or they might wander through Fantasyland. Sometimes they’ll get guests to act out Disney movies or engage in some games. They might collect lost boys and girls of all ages as they wait for an upcoming parade or just another random time. They are so unpredictable! But if you catch them (or they catch you) you’ll be in for a treat.

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Pluto plays duck duck goose with kids in Toontown as Goofy and Clarabelle watch

Toontown is another place where the characters might engage you in a bit of play. We've seen Clarabelle playing hopscotch with kids or Pluto playing Duck Duck Goose!

Dentist Sounds - Disneyland Hidden Gems

Disneyland Hidden Gem #3: Listen to the Sounds of Main Street U.S.A.

On the side of Main Street U.S.A., on the way to the lockers and next to Market House is an alleyway. Spend a little time in this alleyway. On the right side is the façade of a hotel and in the left back corner is a dental school.

You can hear all kinds of humorous sounds coming from the second-story windows. Enjoy your coffee or snacks from Market House or the fruit cart, have a seat at the tables in the middle of the alley and listen carefully. And from we have heard, you definitely do not want to make an appointment with these dentists in training!

Main Street is filled with all kinds of Hidden Gems, but did you know that the Baby Care Center has a picture of Walt Disney himself as a baby inside the entrance? Toadally cute!

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Walt Disney Baby Pic

Disneyland Hidden Gem #4: Locate the Little Man of Disneyland's House

While you are in Adventureland, be sure to look for the tiny Leprechaun house. It’s to the right side of the entrance to Indiana Jones at the base of a tree.

Patrick Begorra is the leprechaun featured in the story of the Little Man of Disneyland (one of the Disney Little Golden Books).

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Initials carved in tree

While we are on the subject of trees, over by the wishing well to the side of the castle, you'll see some steps. Climb them to look for a tree with PP and WD carved on it. (It's Peter Pan's and Wendy Darling's initials!)

Disneyland Hidden Gem #5: Flag Retreat Ceremony (and Character Show Moments)

Flag Ceremony - Disneyland Hidden Gems

If you have family members who have served in the military or are a patriotic person, then definitely hop to the flag pole in front of City Hall and join the Disneyland Band and/or the Dapper Dans in the late afternoon for an emotional salute to the flag. They will call up past and current members of the armed forces, honoring them by branch, sing some patriotic songs along with the National Anthem, lower the flag and fold it in the Flag Retreat Ceremony. You’ll need to consult the entertainment guide for the time, but it is usually in the late afternoon.

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Donald joins the Mad Hatters

Flag Retreat is on the park schedule, but there are two mini character shows that are not. At 10:20 a.m. watch the Straw Hatters perform near the Mad Hatter in Town Square. Disney characters will come out to dance around and maybe play some instruments of their own. We've seen Pluto, Donald, Mickey and Minnie, but it can vary. At 11:45 a.m. meet in front of the castle to see the characters join the Disneyland Band for the "Happiest March Along on Earth." Get in line and follow the characters to the railroad station in Town Square for more dancing at music at noon.

The Frog Family’s Top 5 Disneyland Hidden Gems-Characters leave the castle to march to Town Square

We could go on and on about the many Disneyland hidden gems, and we are always discovering new treasures that spark joy. These are just a few frogtastically fun finds that you can enjoy on any kind of day. They allow you to slow down, maybe take a break and experience something new, even if you visit quite often. We especially enjoy sharing these gems when we bring grandma and grandpa for a multi-gen trip to Disneyland. Do you have any favorite Disneyland hidden gems or special experiences you’ve discovered? Please share them in the comments section below.

Related: The Frog Family's Top 5 California Adventure Hidden Gems

Related: Toadally Cool Hidden Gems in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Disneyland 

Stay cool!

Keep hopping, Tad!
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Mar 2, 2019 at 4 p.m. Priyanka Says...

This article is very detailed and informative on this topic, thanks for sharing!

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Mar 4, 2019 at 7:52 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hoppy you liked it, Priyanka! Thanks for sharing!

Stay cool!

Tad

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