Happy Birthday Disneyland!! Today we are celebrating Disneyland’s 65th Anniversary by taking a look back at the history of Walt’s original theme park!
On this day in 1955, Walt’s dream of a theme park built for families and people of all ages became a reality. As guests walked through the gates of The Happiest Place On Earth, they were welcomed by the beautiful sight of a life-size fairytale castle at the end of Main Street USA. Eighteen attractions opened with the park that day, some of which are still there 65 years later.
See Walt Disney’s welcome message to guests at Disneyland Resort on opening day:
And take a look at these links below for some wonderful articles on the history of Disneyland!
- “This Week in Disney History: Document Outlining Early Concept for Disneyland is Shared, 1948” – Disney Parks Blog (This article showcases an original document describing Walt’s vision for Disneyland. It is really neat to see how much thought Walt put into every detail!)
- “Then and Now: Celebrating 58 Years at the Disneyland Resort, Part 1” – Disney Parks Blog (The special photo featured in this article is awesome!)
- “Then and Now: Fantasyland at Disneyland Park” – Disney Parks Blog (This article compares Fantasyland as it opened with its original “medieval faire” style to what it looks like now. Be sure to scroll over the picture featured in the article to see a really cool photo recreation!)
- “This Week in Disney History: ‘Disneyland’ Debuted 65 Years Ago on ABC Television Network in 1954” – Disney Parks Blog (Here you can learn about and see clips from the very first episode of Walt’s “Disneyland” show where he talked about the making of his the theme park. This show debuted in 1954 on ABC, the year before Disneyland opened.)
- “Disneyland Park Favorite Attractions from 1955” – Disneyland Resort on YouTube (Guests talk about their favorite attractions that were a part of Disneyland’s opening day. This video features vintage footage of some of these rides.)
- “‘it’s a small world’ Opening Day Ceremony | Disneyland Resort” – Disneyland Resort on YouTube (This video highlights the opening day ceremony of “it’s a small world”. It’s a short video, but still neat to see a little bit of the history of this iconic ride!)
- “Time-Lapse: Disneyland Park Construction | Disneyland Resort” – Disney Parks on YouTube (Just like the title says, this video is a time-lapse of Disneyland construction and is another cool look back on the history of the park.)
- “A Look Back at Opening Days of Disneyland | Disneyland Park” – Disney Parks on YouTube (Some more vintage footage from Disneyland.)