When Disneyland opened in 1955, this section of the park was simply a huge 20-foot-tall mound of dirt. Named "Holiday Hill" and serving as a border between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, the area was created by piling up the soil that was excavated to create the moat around Sleeping Beauty's castle. Originally just a fenced-in mound of bare soil, guests would hop the fence and climb the dirt pile to get a good view of the park. Shortly after the park opened, when it was deemed too expensive to haul away the dirt, the park landscaped the hill, added trees and benches, and hoped that it would be a picnic area for families. Unfortunately, the area became a sort of "lovers' lane" and a popular make-out spot for teenagers. There is even a story that a gardener planted some marijuana plants on the hill, but that may be just an urban legend. Walt Disney suggested that the hill be covered with snow and turn it into a toboggan ride, but the difficulty in creating snow in California's climate and the drainage issues of constantly melting snow and ice quickly put a stop to that plan.
©2018 Joel A. Rogers.