This day in Disney History, July 18th, 1955.Disneyland officially opened to the general public.
It was a humid Monday morning, park hours that day, 10am-10pm. Approximately 50,000 people attended. As mentioned yesterday, tickets cost $1.
A lucky 22 year old college student from Long Beach was the first to purchase a ticket and enter the park. Dave MacPherson waited all night to be the first. He is awarded a lifetime pass (otherwise know as a Golden pass) good for any three people and himself to Disneyland. The Pass is awarded to all Disney Legends, has been handed to countless dignitaries and heads of state, and all the members of the board of directors hold one.
He was so tired from waiting all night he later said he didn't ride any attractions nor take any photos! I bet he regrets that!
The first children to enter the park? Lucky Cousins, Kristine Vess age 5 and Michael Schwartner, age 7. They were also both awarded with a Golden Pass. Talk about a good day! :)
Hank Dains, an original Cast Member of Disneyland is famously quoted for saying: "I remember the first day we had paying guests in the park and Walt was over at the Fire Station looking out the window. I heard him say, 'Paying guests. I love you' ….and threw them a great big kiss!"
*Also on this day in 1965: Great Moments with Mr.Lincoln officially opens to the public. Yesterday was it's official dedication, but I didn't want to take away from yesterdays spotlight on Disneylands birthday. ;)
Disneylands most patriotic attraction, Lincoln was dedicated by Walt and Lillian in celebration of the Disneyland's tenth anniversary (pictured below) It first appeared one year earlier at the 1964 New York Worlds Fair.
Walt summed up his purpose for presenting “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” on an episode of his television series, the Wonderful World of Color, entitled “Disneyland Goes to the Worlds Fair”:
“Ever since I was small boy in Illinois, I have had a great personal admiration for Abraham Lincoln. So when we decided to re-create some of the great moments in Mr. Lincoln's life for the World's Fair we directed all our energies to that task. We wanted to bring to the people of today the inspiring words of the man who held this nation together during its moment of greatest crisis - the Civil War.” Walt Disney
Have you had the chance to enjoy this attraction? What do you think of it?
*In Addition on that same day in 1965 The Red Wagon Inn (open since opening day) , re-opens as the Plaza Inn.
The original delicious restaurant was the parks most popular, and Walts personal favorite.
Dave from davelandweb.com does an excellent job on his blog explaining the transition and also showing pictures from then and now. For the sake of time today I'll leave that up to him. ;) Hope you don't mind @Davelandweb :)
Big Thunder Mountain to reopen March 17 Alice in Wonderland will be closed Mar 10-July 3, 2014 Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will be closed Jan. 6-Sept. 26, 2014: it’s a small world will be closed Jan. 21-Apr. 18, 2014: Indiana Jones will be closed Mar 17-May 8 Club 33: Reopens July 1st Space Mountain will be closed May 12-Jun 26: King Arthur's Carrousel will be closed April 28-May 22 Pirates of the Caribbean will be closed April 28-May 22
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE:
Grizzly River Run will be closed Apr. 21-June 19, 2014
The Little Mermaid will be closed Mar 20-May 9, 2014:
it's tough to be a bug will be closed April 21-May 8
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