Time to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary!!!
That’s right, folks! On this day 60 years ago, the gates opened for the first time at Walt Disney’s beloved amusement park, Disneyland!
History was certainly made that day. ABC was there to broadcast the festivities live, and so many people tuned in to see what was happening inside this magical place, that it became the biggest live telecast at the time!
Walt Disney, after being gracefully introduced by Ronald Reagan (famous for his career as an actor at the time), delivered this infamous speech as he welcomed the first guests in:
“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.”
While the park opened on July 17, 1955, it was invitation only. These invitations were given to the workers who had helped build the park, as well as sponsors and reporters. Surprisingly (or, maybe not so much), these coveted tickets were counterfeit, and so the park saw over 28,000 people through its gate.
This caused opening day to be dubbed by Disneyland employees as “Black Sunday”, because due to the overwhelming attendance, plus the normal mishaps that newly-opened businesses all suffer, the first day at Disneyland was chaotic to say the least.
There was a shortage of food, a gas leak (yikes!), crazy traffic jams around Anaheim, and who knows what else. But, they pulled through, and in less than 2 months from opening day, Disneyland welcomed over 1-million guests to the happiest place on earth!
Way to go, Disneyland! Let me celebrate by sharing some photos I took from my first trip there back in 2012. Enjoy!