Friday, July 17, 2015

Top 10 Disneyland Turns 60

Remembrances of Our Disneyland Experience August 2001
(Photographs at

If you are in the vicinity of Magic Way and Disneyland Drive in Anaheim, California, Disneyland is in the neighborhood. Drop on by; they are celebrating their 60th Year, Diamond Anniversary!

Disneyland in Anaheim, California is the only theme park designed by and built under the direction of Walt Disney, so they do have some bragging rights. It opened on July 17, 1955 for the press and was covered on national television. The public got to go inside on July 18, 1955, approximately 50,000 people attended the first day.

It all started with 
Main Street USA

Disneyland Railroad is in the background as you enter Disneyland and I imagine you are still greeted today by a Disney staff photographer to take the family picture.  I do not know what Walt was thinking but I can just envision the train and transportation center symbolizing how you will be transported to a magical place like you have never seen before. He wanted all parents and children to experience this together. Couples of course count too but Walt Disney had the family in mind.

Walt's words found at Wikipedia:  For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main Street will bring back happy memories.  For the younger visitor, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather's youth.

There is something very special about walking down Main Street USA in any Disney location.  It is like an "I Have Arrived" feeling.  There is magic in the air or is it merely an illusion brought about by the Sorceress Apprentice?  Did you know that the design technique used on Main Street is "forced perspective?" It is an illusion of height.  The buildings are built at level one on 3/4 scale, level two is 5/8 scale and level 3 is 1/2 scale.

An admission, at the Main Street Cinema, there was no doubt that this young lady was the coolest little girl I had my eyes on. She carried that squirting water bottle with the fan, all four days at Disneyland.  I think she was trying to make a statement...Disney is Hot! Steamboat Willie was playing inside on the screen in black and white and all I remember him doing was whistling.  It was great cinema featuring the true star of Disney, Mickey Mouse.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle to me was a bit of a shock.  Call me spoiled but I had previously been to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando five times and I did expect to see Cinderella's castle at the top of or the foot of Main Street.  When I saw Sleeping Beauty's Castle, I said, it's pink?  It is also designed with the forced perspective and after the initial shock; I was forced to fall in love with it just as I did Cinderella's Castle.  It is just different. I am glad they kept the partners statute of Walt and Mickey the same.

 King Arthur's Carrousel was handcrafted by Dentzel of Philadelphia in 1922. There always seems to be a Philadelphia or Pennsylvania connection wherever I go.  Walt Disney purchased it from Sunnyside Beach Park in Toronto and redesigned it so everyone could ride a galloping horse. The previous model had giraffes, deer and other animals. Antique horses were obtained from various sources.  The carousel and some of the horses date back 90 years.

It is simply not proper for all young ladies not to take a spin at the Mad Tea Party and to get off the ride with composure without looking too dizzy.

Autopia is a Disneyland original where you can get the ultimate "safe" driving experience at any age on a limited access highway. You need to be of age and possess a license from your home state outside of Disney.

Alice In Wonderland is unique at Disneyland.  You will not find it at any other Disney Park or resort.  It is a good one with all your favorite Wonderland characters. Try not to come out with a Cheshire smile.

Peter Pan's Flight can be found at all Disney Parks and resorts.

Mark Twain Riverboat that travels through the Rivers of America was the first functional paddle wheeler built in the United States in fifty years. It is a fun cruise to Tom Sawyer's Island.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride has always been one of my favorites.  I was so disappointed when they closed this one in Disney World.  You can still have the "wild" experience in Disneyland.

Snow White's Scary Adventure, Storybook Canal Boats, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Jungle Cruise and the Golden Showcase Saloon complete the list of the original attractions found at Disneyland in 1955 and are still around today.

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