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MAGIC MORNING Disneyland Park: Guests with a 3+ day ticket can choose ONE day for early entry Tues, Thu, or Sat. EXTRA MAGIC HOURS for Resort Hotel Guests: Disneyland Park, Tue, Thu, Sat. California Adventure (including Cars Land) Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun. Radiator Springs Racers is open during early entry, but Fastpasses are not available during this time. More info here.
The opening of the 17 million dollar 160 acre park, know as "Black Sunday" was and invitation only event. Guests included: Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings, The Mouseketeer's, Thurl Ravenscroft, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr., Danny Thomas, Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, California Governor Goodwin J. Knight, construction workers who worked on the park, studio workers, the press, and officials of company sponsors.
53 year old Walt Disney is introduced by the then actor, Ronald Reagan- "And now, Walt Disney will step forward to read the dedication of Disneyland."
"To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to al the world." Walt Disney
*Attractions, shops and restaurants available for the guests enjoyment:
Town Square: City Hall, Fire Department and Plaza Pavilion Restaurant
Main Street U.S.A.: Bank of America, Camera Center, Carnation Ice Cream Parlor, Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner, Emporium, Horse-Drawn Fire Wagon, Horse-Drawn Street Cars, Horse-Drawn Surreys, Main Street Cinema, Main Street Penny Arcade, Ruggles China and Glass house, Story Book Shop and Santa Fe/ Disneyland's Railroad (2 engines: number 1- C.K. Holliday and number 2- E.P. Ripley)
Cover your eyes kids, this version of Mickey scared me too!
Adventureland: Jungle Cruise, (2 boats: Ganges Gal and Congo Queen) and Red Wagon Inn
Frontierland: Chicken Plantation Restaurant, Davy Crockett Arcade, Frontier Trading Post, Golden Horseshoe Revue (at Slue Foot Sue's Golden Horseshoe Saloon), Mark Twain Steamboat, Mule Pack and the Stage Coaches
Fantasyland: Canal Boats of the World, King Arthur Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Merlin's Magic Shop, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pans Flight and Snow White's Adventures
Tomorrowland: Autopia, Circarama USA (Showing the film “A Tour of the West”), Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, Space Station X-1
Is it just me or do those chairs look really comfy?
The photo below shows the Mouseketeers on parade down main street. Would you look at those ponies! LOL
Even Dumbo made an appearance...
Opening day had it's fair share of mishaps. Scalpers printed up thousands of counterfeited tickets, causing the park to be overcrowd which lead to problems including a food shortage and traffic jam! Temperatures reached 101 degrees and women's high heels sank into softened freshly paved asphalt; plumbing was a major issue as drinking fountains were turned off so that the park's toilets could work; and some of the rides malfunctioned. There was a gas leak in Fantasyland which caused the entire area to be closed to the public and even a piece of a window from the Mark Twain fell on the head of a State Senator! YIKES!
Notice the man running after his toddler on the left...been there! LOL
Disneyland opened to the public the following day, a Monday, July 18th, 1955. The price of a ticket to enter Disneyland was $1. You could spend from .10 cents to .35 cents for individual rides.
On October 11, 1955, a new system was implemented with ticket books costing $2.50.
On Sept. 8, 1955, after just seven weeks in operation, Elsa Marquez was Disneyland's one millionth guest!
Clearly, Walt's idea of a park where children and parents could have fun together was, and has been, an astounding success. His simple concept spawned Disney theme parks in Florida, Japan, France, Hong Kong, the upcoming resort in Shanghai as well as other successful offshoots like The Disney Channel, the Disney Vacation Club, Disney Stores and the Disney Cruise Line.
Disneyland, like Disney himself, is an original. Close inspection of the elaborate workmanship, architecture and landscaping shows an attention to detail that make the park, when viewed as a whole, a true work of art!
Were YOU or someone you know there on opening day? Any stories you would be willing to share with us? If you weren't, and could have been, what attraction would you have been most excited to see and why?
Happy 61st birthday Disneyland and thank you Walt Disney for perservering!
WARNING! While watching this video one MAY require tissues!
Thank you all for reading and watching! This information may be redundant for some, as I've posted this before. But as i'm sure you understand, History doesn't change, therefore, deserves to be revisited. :) Hope you enjoy this fabulous day! And for those enjoying the park today, please post lots of pictures for those of us stuck at home! Thanks! ;)