The opening of the 160 acre park know as "Black Sunday" was and invitation only event. Guests included: Art Linkletter, Ronald Reagan, Bob Cummings, The Mouseketeers, 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 & 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 & Santa Fe/ Disneylands Railroad (2 engines: number 1- C.K. Holliday & number 2- E.P. Ripley)
Adventureland: Jungle Cruise, (2 boats: Ganges Gal and Congo Queen) & Red Wagon Inn
Forntierland: 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 & 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 & Snow White's Adventures
Tomorrowland: Autopia, Circarama USA (Showing the film A Tour of the West), Monsanto Hall of Chemistry, Space Station X-1
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 such as: a food shortage and traffic jam! Temperatures soared into the 90s and women's high heels sank into softened 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 & even a piece of a window from the Mark Twain fell on the head of a State Senator!
The price of a ticket to enter Disneyland on opening day was $1. You had to spend from .10 cents to .35 cents for individual rides. On Oct. 11, 1955, a new system was implemented with ticket books costing $2.50.
Disneyland opened to the public the following day, a Monday, July 18th, 1955. 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 asstounding success. His simple concept spawned Disney theme parks in Florida, Japan, France and Hong Kong, 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 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 58th birthday Disneyland & thank you Walt Disney for persevering!
Thank you all for reading! Hope you enjoy this fabulous day! And for those enjoying the park today, maybe I'll see you there! ;)
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MouseWait Christmas Party December 20! La Brea Bakery Party, Saving Mr. Banks Meet up, Satellite Parties, Lounge Party, LIVE BROADCAST, and more! Join us on the 20th from all over the world for our Christmas Party. We will broadcast LIVE from Downtown Disney and from our Satellite Locations!
ORNAMENT EXCHANGE AT LA BREA 8pm. Bring a Disney ornament for our exchange at our La Brea Bakery Party!
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This is MrMOMzers wonderful picture with a little magic added! We've been beta testing the MouseWait Advanced Composer for awhile now. This allows approved MWers to create their own "column" in the Lounge with expanded posts, pics, and videos inside the post. We are ready to open this feature up to more people who are intersted in having their own MouseWait Column in the Lounge. Your posts could be featured on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ and seen by our 100,000+ strong social media audience!
This feature is best used for instructional posts, history posts (like Duchess_SMK's column), and for reporting news (i.e. BaseballMickey_CM's posts). You could also do this to create a post describing your recent visit to the Parks with multiple pictures, videos, and more--think of it like an article that would appear in a magazine. The Advanced Composer only works on the web version. GO HERE TO APPLY and watch your email for more info (make sure you're email client is not blocking our emails or sending them to Spam--for some reason icloud.com, me.com, and mac.com will not allow our messages to come through.)
Thank you to everyone who strives to add quality content to the Lounge! Thanks again to MrMOMzers for the amazing picture!
Mr. Disney was one of five children, four boys and a girl. He was the fourth born Disney son. He was named after his parents pastor and friend Walter Parr, a preacher at St. Paul Congregational Church. The pastor, in turn, will later name his son Elias, after Walt's father.
Most of Walt's childhood was spent on a farm in Marceline, Missouri, where he began drawing, painting and selling pictures to neighbors and family friends. In 1911, the family moved to Kansas City, where his love for trains really developed. His Uncle, Mike Martin, was a train Engineer who worked on the route between Fort Madison, Iowa, and Marceline. Walt would later work a summer job with the railroad, selling newspapers and snacks to the travelers. To read more about Walts love for trains
Video: Walt riding the Lilly Belle at the Studio. Video courtesy of The Walt Disney Family Museum.
To watch a short biography of Walts life:
Walt and Lillian Disney with unnamed friend, London, 1935.
Walt Disney in my opinion, is a wonderful example of the American dream! He represents: imagination, optimism, creation, and self-made success in the American tradition. He brought us closer to the future, while telling us of the past, it is certain, Walt Disney was a great man! He and his brother Roy co-founded Walt Disney Productions, which became one of the best-known motion-picture production companies in the world! Disney was an innovative animator and created the cartoon characters we all love to watch today. :) He won 22 Academy Awards during his lifetime, and was the founder of the magical playgrounds that ties us all together, Disneyland and Disney World. Had he been alive today he would be 112 years old! Happy birthday Walt! Thank you so much for believing in your dreams! You are a true inspiration.
In honor of today, it would be fun if we all mentioned our favorite quote from Mr. Disney. I'll go first, I have many, but this one always sticks out:
"I've always been interested in the past and history and I think it's vital."
Thanks for reading and watching! Hope you all have a terrific Thursday!