5 Overlooked Disney Films to Watch Before Heading to Disneyland

Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has gone through a lot of changes. Throughout the park, there are familiar faces and stories we all know and love. What about the inspirations and movies that helped this park become what it is today? Grab your VCR player, be kind, rewind, and get ready to binge these films before you head to Disneyland! Wait. Have I just extremely dated myself?


1. Silly Symphony Shorts: Three Little Pigs (1933) & Lullaby Land (1933) 
2 of the 75 Silly Symphony’s are shown in Storybook Land Canal Boats. You’ll see Brick, Stick and Straw houses from the Three Little Pigs. The Patchwork Quilt owned by The Giant from Lullaby Land can be seen as well. There are other mini-Disney favorites you can check out! Villages from Pinnochio and Alice in Wonderland, as well as Peter Pan’s London among others,  are there to be marveled at. If your feeling daring and have a free weekend on your hands, find the collection of Silly Symphony and absorb some true Disney originals.


2. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)
Every big Disney fan needs to cross this movie off their list. Not only is it a Disney animated classic, but it holds two fantastic films in one! Let’s just focus on a toad – Mr. Toad in fact. His name may be familiar to you from the movie – or from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. One of the remaining rides still around from Disneylands 1955 opening, it has been updated but is still cherished as a longstanding favorite. Its counterpart in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom did not stand the test of time – but visitors to the Anaheim original seem to be in it for the long haul!


3. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
Some people know of different rides. Disney World’s 2o,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage – closed in 1994. Original Disneyland go-ers know the classic Submarine Voyage – closed in 1998. But visitors for the past 14 years know Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Whatever your favorite, know that it was based on the U.S.S Nautilus – the name, which was featured in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.  Captain Nemo? Finding Nemo? Do you see where I’m going with this? Enjoy this fantastic movie, where not everything is as it seems whilst an eager crew struggles under their corrupt leader.


4. Third Man on the Mountain (1959)
Fans of Matterhorn Bobsleds, gather around, this is the movie for you. The story goes, whilst this classic was being filmed in Switzerland, Walt Disney grabbed a postcard of the real Matterhorn and sent it to Imagineer Vic Greene and wrote, “Vic. Build This. Walt.”.  The movie itself is a son’s mission to climb a mountain that killed his father. Not as lighthearted as the ride, the movie gives the great history behind one of Disneylands treasured mountains.


5. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
As a child, I did not appreciate this movie for how amazing it truly is. The animation is flawless and extremely underappreciated. This masterpiece very deservingly got its own ride in 1994 called Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. You go on a chase very similar to the one that Roger goes on in the film! Spin and swirl along with Roger as you look to rescue his lovely Jessica Rabbit. Look out for the license plates – they may be spelling out some of your favorite movies.


No matter what you choose to watch or not watch, hopefully, this list has given you an insight into some Disney favorites. The next time you go and visit Disneyland, keep an eye out for these classic films – whilst hopefully eating a churro.

Danielle H