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Good afternoon! This day in Disney History, July 18th:Disneyland, Great Moments with Mr.Lincoln , The Red Wagon Inn (open since opening day), re-opens as the Plaza Inn and Splash Mountain all officially open to the general public!
1955: 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! ::gasps:: 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. ;)
(photo credit CobbPR)
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 Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln? What do you think of it?
*In Addition on that same day in 1965The 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 of the very special place we all get the famous “slap yo mama chicken”! His wonderful site features pictures from then and now. For the sake of time today I'll leave that up to him. ;) Hope you don't mind @Davelandweb :)
“On July 17, 1989, a new attraction opened to guests in Critter Country at Disneyland park — one that made a big splash. That attraction was Splash Mountain, a log ride that remains a guest favorite today. It stands 87 feet tall and drops guests five stories at a 45-degree angle. The attraction is a journey through scenes, featuring the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear, and ends with a thrilling splashdown. That’s the best part! No worries if you shut your eyes. A photo snaps a shot of guests reacting the moment they drop. If you don’t have a photo from splashdown with your face frozen in sheer elation, then it’s time to visit the Disneyland Resort. Trust me, it’s an experience you’ll always remember. Here’s a look back at opening day. Enjoy!”
I’m still giggling at the video they shared with it:
What do YOU think of Splash Mountain? Do you have a favorite part?
Thanks for reading and watching! Hope you all have a fabulous Friday!
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Big Thunder Ranch and Barbecue CLOSED permanently
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Disneyland Railroad Jan 10-TBA
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