Hollywood Secrets: Griffith Park is actually considered the birthplace of Disneyland

Welcome to Hollywood Secrets -- a weekly video series uncovering Hollywood's best-kept secrets. Check back for new episodes every Tuesday!

Disneyland is now seen as the magical place where all your dreams come true, but let's just say the world-famous amusement park had some very humble beginnings ...

The park is currently located in Anaheim, California, but its birthplace is actually just an hour's drive north in Hollywood, California. That's right -- Walt Disney first created his dream park, which would eventually be called Disneyland, at Griffith Park.

The mastermind behind the iconic theme park first created rides with miniature steam trains at what is now called Walt's Barn in Griffith Park. Who knew such a simple idea could lead to the greatness that is Space Mountain?!

Griffith Park was also home to a zoo, which the city opened in 1912. The animals are long gone, but the cages are still standing. In fact, they've served as the backdrop for several movies. And before the city zoo, ostriches also roamed free throughout the park.

Griffith J. Griffith, a 19th century industrialist who owned the park, raised ostriches on the land. He then gifted 3,000 acres of land to the city of Los Angeles in the 1880s for residents to enjoy. And the rest was history!

14 PHOTOS
Walt Disney over the years
See Gallery
Walt Disney over the years
UNSPECIFIED - NOVEMBER 27: Walt Disney's father and mother late 19th century (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
Actor Leslie Howard and producer Walt Disney shake hands after playing in a polo match together.
(Original Caption) Walt Disney (1901-1966), famed orignator of full-length animated motion pictures, at work at his drawing board.
(Original Caption) Portrait of Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966), originator of the vast Disney empire consisting of theme parks, cartoons, and movies. Disney is waving and smiling for the camera in this 3/4 length photograph.
Walt Disney with kittens.
(Original Caption) 2/1942: Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Walt Disney, Assistant Secretary of Treasury, John L. Sullivan, Assistant to the Secretary George Buffington, Disney Artist Joseph Grant, and Disney writer Richard Huemer look over Disney's sketches for 'The New Spirit,' Disney cartoon for the Treasury Department.
(Original Caption) Walt Disney takes an imaginary spin high on an old Eagle racing bike while his daughter, Diane, paces him on an 1870 model tricycle. The bikes are part of a collection in Ford's Edison Museum. Undated photograph.
(Original Caption) Walter E. Disney, famous producer of animated cartoons, is shown with doll replicas of his most famous characters which were responsible for his being conferred an honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts at Harvard University Commencement. President James Bryant Conant made the presentation before 5,800 special guests, alumni, students, faculty and members of the graduating class.
(Original Caption) Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse, with Louis Lumiere, French Grand old man of films, during the former's visit to Paris.
American film producer and creator of Disney World, Walt Disney, holds sheet music with actor Eddy Nelson.
(Original Caption) 1939-Los Angeles, CA- Shirley Temple presents an Academy Award to Walt Disney for his outstanding cartoon, 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,' one big statue and seven little ones, at the 11th Annual Academy of Motion picture Arts & Sciences dinner.
(Original Caption) Arriving on the Rex is Walt Disney, creator of Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is the animated cartoon character who cavorts his way over the silver sheet much to the delight of America's younger generation.
(Original Caption) Walt Disney learns to do El Gato, one of the colorful and traditional dances of the Argentine countryside. During the survey trip which Disney and a group of his artists made to South America, they spent many hours studying and recording through sketches and photography, the ins and outs of numerous dances and costumes.
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Check out more Hollywood secrets about Griffith Park in the video above!

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.