Arts & Culture

Happy Anniversary Disneyland: An Icon Turns 60.

Disneyland entrance, circa 1960.

As the evening hours set upon Disneyland, thousands of guests continue to celebrate the park’s 60th anniversary, many of them arriving in the early hours of the day.  On July 17, 1955, when Disneyland opened, Walt Disney welcomed the first guests by saying, “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land.”  For the last 60 years, guests of all ages have enjoyed “The Happiest Place on Earth,” in fact, over 700 million guests have visited Disneyland since it first opened.

[blockquote right=”pull-right” cite=”Walt Disney”]Disneyland will never be completed, as long as there is imagination left in the world.[/blockquote]

While there have been many changes over the years, one thing remains the same, as Walt Disney said, “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”  Throughout the years, attractions have come and gone, ticket prices have changed and technology have evolved, but overall, Disneyland has remained a magical place for all ages.

Now for a few facts about Disneyland and the Disneyland Resort:

  • When Disneyland first opened, park admission was $1.00 for an adult and $.50 for a child.  Now ticket prices hover around $100.00.  Guests also purchased ticket booklets and each of the attractions were ranked from “A-E”, with “E tickets” being the most exciting attractions.  To this day, cast members refer to the more popular attractions as “E Ticket” attractions.
  • Originally, Walt Disney wanted to build the park in the Los Angeles area at what is now the popular Griffith Park.  However, because the land was less expensive in the orange groves of Orange County, it was decided to build Disneyland in Anaheim.
  • A handful of Disneyland’s 18 original attractions still remain today.  One of them is the World Famous Jungle Cruise.  When Walt first envisioned the attraction, he wanted to use live animals throughout the attraction.
  • Walt Disney was a big fan of trains and when the park was being designed, he liked the idea of the park, except that he said he wanted a train running around the entire park.  So the park was expanded slightly to include the Disneyland Railroad.
  • At one point, the Disneyland Railroad was actually called the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad as it was sponsored by the Santa Fe Railway.  Also, the trains were originally called Retlaw One and Two, which is Walter spelled backwards.
  • When the monorail first opened on June 14, 1959, it was the first daily operating monorail system in the Western Hemisphere.
  • It’s A Small World and the Grand Canyon and Primeval World on the Disneyland Railroad debuted at the New York’s World Fair in 1964.

Even though today is Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, the Diamond celebration will continue for many more months.  For the celebration, Disney has introduced a variety of new features to the Disneyland Resort. Disneyland debuted a new nighttime parade and firework spectacular while Disney California Adventure received an refreshed World of Color show.  To book your stay at the Disneyland Resort or for additional information on the 60th anniversary, visit Disneyland.com.

Disneyland, Anaheim, July 15, 1955 - Just two days before opening.  Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland, Anaheim, July 15, 1955 – Just two days before opening. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland, December 1966. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland, December 1966. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland entrance, circa 1960.
Disneyland entrance, circa 1960. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland from the air in 1962. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland from the air in 1962. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland sign, Harbor Blvd, 1974.  Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Disneyland sign, Harbor Blvd, 1974. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Monsanto Plastics Home of the Future, Disneyland, 1958. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Monsanto Plastics Home of the Future, Disneyland, 1958. Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.
Walt Disney, Art Linkletter, Richard Nixon and the Nixon Family with the first official trip on the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail, 1959.  Image courtesy of Tom Simpson.
Walt Disney, Art Linkletter, Richard Nixon and the Nixon Family with the first official trip on the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail, 1959. Image courtesy of Tom Simpson.

 

 

 

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