This year in July will be Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim California and was the only theme park designed and built under the direction of Walt Disney.
Opening day was broadcast live by ABC (one of the investors and joint owner of Disneyland) and was hosted by three of Walt’s friends: Art Linkletter, Bob Commings, and Ronald Reagan. About 28,000 people visited the park. Watch the whole thing below!
Believe it or not, Disneyland was built in 7 months before opening day! Also, Tomorrowland construction was delayed and was put together in the last 2 months! Before building began, Walt Disney was insightful to place towers around the area to film time-lapse movies during the construction. Check out this video of one of the film reels. It is really cool to see what that area of Anaheim looked like before Disneyland was built.
When guests entered the park, they were given little guides that told them about all the attractions at Disneyland. Check out this 1958 guide and maps.
I like in the Tomorrowland section there is a caption that reads “The colorful Avenue of Flags marks the entrance to Tomorrowland, the world of 1987”. I don’t remember 1987 looking like that!
Note no Monorail, Matterhorn, or Submarine Voyage. Those came in the summer of 1959. Check out this insert that was placed in the guides.
If you plan on visiting Disneyland tomorrow on anniversary day … all I can say is good luck to you and stay sane!
Thanks for posting! What a great video. My 17-year-old son walked in and I showed him the orange groves in Anaheim. He said, “That’s what Washington looks like!” We have relatives in southern Washington. Ah, yes, the Southern California of yesteryear…