“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.” – Walt Disney
Disneyland opened its doors on July 17, 1955. The theme park was the first of its kind–an impossible sort of place no one expected to stay open for long, much less succeed. Like John Hammond mentioned in Jurassic Park, the park had struggles when it opened. Most memorably, the asphalt wasn’t completely dry and high heels worn by female attendees (Crocs were not in fashion in the ’50s) sunk into the pavement. Restaurants and kiosks ran out of food and beverages, rides broke down, water fountains were inoperable–in short, the park’s first showing to the world didn’t go as planned. Still, none of these issues stopped the world from realizing that Disneyland was special. Magical, even.
The park is celebrating its 60th anniversary for the rest of the year, but on its actual birthday on July 17, they piled on the pixie dust. They handed out special guide maps at the park and offered limited merchandise, and online, they turned back the clock.
The official Disneyland Twitter feed traveled to 1955 and live-tweeted images and videos from opening day as though they were happening now. They shared some images I hadn’t see before, and it was a delight to watch the day unfold as cars and crowds flowed into the park and Walt gave his memorable opening day speech. These are some of the highlights:
And now I want to go to Disneyland—well, more than I usually do.
Please share your Disneyland stories and feelings in the comments or come to Twitter and tell me about your favorite rides.