“To all who come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past…and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America … with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” ~Walt Disney
I truly believe that for those of us that step foot in Walt Disney’s Parks and make it a second home, we should understand the history that is behind the magic. There has been so much hard work, value and vision dedicated to bringing our families and friends so much love for many years to come.
There is quite a bit of history involved in the opening day of Disneyland. On July 17, 1955 in Anaheim California Disneyland it’s gates at 2:30 PM. It was a Sunday afternoon and included Mouseketeers, Ronald Reagan, television crews and 28,000 guests to see Walt’s dream become a reality. While 7/17 was opening ceremonies, 7/18 was the day the park opened to the public.
Here are some fun facts for the opening day of Disneyland. Enjoy!
- The Mouseketeers were first introduced to the public during the live
broadcast of the Disneyland opening day festivities. All 24 members were featured in the inaugural Main Street parade and were showcased with their very own musical production number. (Mickey Mouse Club would make its national television premiere on October 3, 1955.)
- July 17, 1955 was known by Disneyland old-timers as”Black Sunday” (because of the numerous mishaps)… yet in those first 7 weeks more than a million people walked down Disneyland’s Main Street USA!
- The park offered 5 themed lands with a total of 18 attractions. Disneyland
opened as invitation only on this day, given to studio workers, construction workers, the press and officials of company sponsors. (The park opened to the general public the following day – July 18.) Because tickets to the grand opening were counterfeited, a surprising 28,000-plus attended. The day was marked by numerous disasters, including a traffic jam, a shortage of food, and a gas leak in Fantasyland. Even a chunk of window from the Mark Twain Steamboat crashed on the head of an invited state senator! Disneyland encouraged visitors to arrive before 4:15PM, as during the live ABC telecast the park’s gates were closed from 4:20PM to 5:30PM.
- The asphalt was sticky, so sticky that heals of women’s shoes were sticking into it. This is because the ground was paved only hours before park opening.
- There was a heatwave that caused a lot of discomfort during the opening day ceremonies.
- A gas leak caused several themed areas to be closed.
- A plumber’s strike caused only a few water fountains to be functional on such a hot day.
*Some facts collected from thisdayindisneyhistory.com.
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