This is the only Disney park built and stepped foot in by Walt Disney himself.
Happy 65th anniversary to the original Magic Kingdom and the Happiest Place on Earth!
Walt Disney came up with the concept of Disneyland after visiting various amusement parks with his daughters in the 1930s and 1940s. He initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain fans who wished to visit; however, he soon realized that the proposed site was too small.
After hiring a consultant to help him determine an appropriate site for his project, Disney bought a 160-acre (65 ha) site near Anaheim in 1953. Construction began in 1954.
Main Street, U.S.A. is patterned after a typical Midwest town of the early 20th century, and took much inspiration from Walt Disney's hometown, Marceline, Missouri. Main Street, U.S.A. has a train station, town square, movie theater, city hall, firehouse with a steam-powered pump engine, emporium, shops, arcades, double-decker bus, horse-drawn streetcar, and jitneys.
Encircling Disneyland and providing a grand circle tour is the Disneyland Railroad (DRR), a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge short-line railway consisting of five oil-fired and steam-powered locomotives, in addition to three passenger trains and one passenger-carrying freight train. Originally known as the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad, the DRR was presented by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway until 1974. From 1955 to 1974, the Santa Fe Rail Pass was accepted in lieu of a Disneyland "D" coupon. With a 3 ft (914 mm) gauge, the most common narrow track gauge used in North America, the track runs in a continuous loop around Disneyland through each of its realms.
One of Disneyland's signature attractions is its Disneyland Monorail System monorail service, which opened in Tomorrowland in 1959 as the first daily-operating monorail train system in the Western Hemisphere. The monorail guideway has remained almost exactly the same since 1961, aside from small alterations while Indiana Jones Adventure was being built.
Disneyland was dedicated at an "International Press Preview" event held on Sunday, July 17, 1955, which was open only to invited guests and the media.
How much did it cost for adults and children to enter Disneyland on July 18, 1955?
Although 28,000 people attended the event, only about half of those were invitees, the rest having purchased counterfeit tickets or even sneaked into the park by climbing over the fence.
The Special Sunday events, including the dedication, were televised nationwide and anchored by three of Walt Disney's friends from Hollywood: Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan.
On December 5, 1985, to celebrate Disneyland's 30th year in operation, one million balloons were launched along the streets bordering Disneyland as part of the Skyfest Celebration.
The "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" was an eighteen-month-long celebration (held through 2005 and 2006) of the 50th anniversary of the Disneyland Park, also celebrating Disneyland's milestone throughout Disney parks worldwide. Attractions that had been in the park on opening day had one ride vehicle painted gold, and the park was decorated with fifty Golden Mickey Ears. The celebration started on May 5, 2005, and ended on September 30, 2006.
Disneyland aerial view in 1963.
Disneyland aerial view in 2004.
Mickey and Minnie in 1955.
Walt Disney with models of the Magic Kingdom and the Matterhorn.
Answer trivia: A one-day ticket to Disneyland on 7-18-55 and in 1955 cost $1 for adults and $.50-$.75 cents for children. In addition to the price of entry, each of the park's rides had a fee.
Sources: Disneyland; D23; Wikipedia