History of Disneyland

September 8, 2017

Have you ever wondered about the history of Disneyland?  An amusement park with a fairy tales theme and featuring animated Disney characters. Walt always dreamed of having a park with his characters in it. For example some of his movie characters that were featured in Disneyland were Dumbo, Snow White, and Bambi. Disneyland is a magical place started by one man who had a vision. His name was Walt Disney. Walt was the founder of Disneyland.

Walt talks about his plans for Disneyland

The inspiration for Disneyland took root when Walt visited some amusement parks with his daughters Diane and Sharon in the mid 1900. Specifically he went to Griffith Park. While watching his daughters on a merry-go-round, he got the idea to build a place where parents and kids could have fun together. At first his idea was to build an attraction that would cover eight acres. This would be next to his movie studios in Burbank which tourists, families, and his employees could visit. He later realized that the site that was too small to build what he had in mind. In 1953 he later bought a site that would better fit his project; a much larger piece of land that was 160-acres in Anaheim, California. Disneyland began construction in July 1954. Walt planned for Disneyland to have many things including waterfalls, teacups, moon rockets and much more. He decided he was going to call this magical place Disneyland.

Disneyland was expensive. Walt had to convince the financiers that he could achieve this and pay them back, but they didn’t lend him any money. Although the financiers wouldn’t lend him money, nothing was going to stop him. So he looked to his television program for financial help. Walt ran into many questions about the park. For example, ¨How do you go building a huge castle in the middle of Anaheim, California?¨ Walt turned to his movie staff for help and inspiration.

An aerial view of Disneland

“International Press preview” day was on July 17. Disneyland was packed. 28,000 people showed up, half being invited and the other half not. The park was not only packed but the day was also very hot, 101 degrees fahrenheit. There were problems with plumbing, so the park had to close toilets or water fountains. This left many water fountains dry making people think that the water fountains didn’t function because Disneyland was sponsored by Pepsi. This made the public mad. On top of that a ladyś shoe got stuck in asphalt laid that morning. Needless to say, the preview opening did not go as planned, so the park decided to give it another run, a second day that was private.  The amazing Disneyland finally open to the public the day after the private park day. People were so excited to get into the park that they started lining up at 2 a.m.

Originally, Disneyland had five different lands – Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. Each land is so  different and special in their own way.

Main Street U.S.A. – Walt built the front of the park, Main Street U.S.A. This is what Walt said about Main Street, ¨For those of us who remember the carefree time it recreates, Main street will bring back happy memories. For young visitors, it is an adventure in turning back the calendar to the days of grandfather’s youth.¨ The first park is the park you first see when you walk in, Main Street, U.S.A. It is the mid west themed, early 20th century. Some say that the themes idea was from Walt’s home town, Marceline, Missouri. This thought was wrong it was based on an imagineer’s hometown. Main Street U.S.A.  does not only have an interesting history but also has lots of fun things to see like the town square, train station, movie theater, arcades and lots more. Main Street is a fun, lively place.

Adventureland – Another land in the park is Adventureland, this land is supposed to make you feel like you are in a faraway exotic land. Walt Disney said this, “To create a land that would make this dream reality.” This land has many fun rides. My favorite ride on this land is Indiana Jonas, this ride is scary and fun at the same time.

Disneyland´s castle being bulit

Frontierland – Frontierland is another newer part of Disneyland. This land is themed like the pioneer days. Walt said, “All of us have cause to be proud of our country’s history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. Our adventures are designed to give you feeling af having lived, even for a short while, during ours country’s pioneer days.” This area has lots of fun things to see and ride.

Fantasyland – This land opened in 1959. This is what Walt said about this land, ¨What youngsters has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Aliceś nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyoneś youth have become realities for youngsters – of all ages – to participate in.¨

Tomorrowland – Personally my favorite land is Tomorrowland because it has Space Mountain in it. I love the dark thrilling roller coaster.

Little by little the park started to come together. Today, there are eight lands. They have added lands to the park over the years. A more recent land added is the New Orleans square. Based on New Orleans in the 19th century, this part of the park was opened on July 24, 1966. There is not much to say about this part of the park, but it does have some of the most scary and most popular rides.

The firework show

What does Disneyland have in store for the future and how much progress has it made since the beginning? Disneyland has a Star Wars land planned to open in 2019. Aside from the different lands, I personally am always excited to see the fireworks show. Even though when I was little I got scared, now seeing the elaborate fireworks is interesting and fun.

It is amazing how much Disneyland has grown over the years.. In 1955 the park only got one million visitors that year, In 2016 Disneyland had 17.94 million visitors! With popularity not only does the number of people visiting rise, but so does the price. Disneyland charged $10.75 in 1981 and now in 2017 it costs $97-124. I could not believe how much Disneyland’s prices and visitors increased over the years.

Disneyland all started when one man had a vision to build a place where kids and parents could have fun together. This small idea turned into a world-renown amusement park that is now a very popular destination filled with fun, exciting rides. Walt said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Next time you take a trip to Disneyland look around and think about all the history around you … and have fun!





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