60 Years ago TODAY, the most magical place on earth opened its doors for business and the world has never been the same! Even though the official opening day to the public was slated to be July 19th, 1955, it was July 17th that Disneyland officially opened its doors. So many people showed up that July 17th is the official birthday for Disneyland.
I really like this video that looks back at Disneyland’s opening day. In many ways, July 17, 1955 was a disaster. However, overall, guests came away with a very favorable impression of Walt’s theme park and the rest is history.
A few weeks before Disneyland’s opening, this show aired to let everyone see what was to come and how close Disneyland was to being completed. My mother in law and father in law tell me all the time how much anticipation there was around Disneyland’s opening day. For an entire year before it opened, ABC aired the Disneyland Television Show. Each show gave Walt the opportunity to tell the country about all the plans he had for Disneyland. The television show also provided Walt with the money he needed to finish Disneyland. I can only imagine how exciting it must have been to get to this point.
This video is really cool! It shows time lapse video footage of Disneyland being built with commentary. For me, the coolest part was watching Sleeping Beauty’s Castle go from nothing to castle! The commentary around that part mentions that Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was built a few years before the movie even premiered! Imagine that. Disney build a castle for a princess whose movie had not been released yet.
This video was part of a presentation at the D23 Convention 2011. I’ve included it because there is more footage from the construction and grand opening of Disneyland. The presentation goes beyond Disneyland’s opening day and includes some very interesting footage and information about classic Disneyland attractions. Cool stuff!
Want to know what it looked like to be in Disneyland 60 years ago today? This brief 4 minute video will give you an idea of what it was like.
Lastly, here is a brief clip, part in black and white, part in color, of the Mouskateers performing on Disneyland’s opening day.
I can’t resist the chance to include this video that includes a video hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck that was made for Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary. Even though the movie is 10 years old, it is a perfect way of remembering all the magic of Disneyland’s first 50 years.
To finish this off, I had to tie it all together with the Disneyland Forever fireworks show currently running at Disneyland. Happy 60th Birthday Disneyland! Thank you for so many wonderful memories! May you continue to inspire generation after generation of dreamers!