On this day in 1955, Disneyland in Southern California opened. Disneyland, Walt Disney’s metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, a $17 million theme park, was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits.
Walt Disney, born in Chicago in 1901, worked as a commercial artist before setting up a small studio in Los Angeles to produce animated cartoons.
In the early 1950s, Walt Disney began designing a huge amusement park to be built near Los Angeles. He intended Disneyland to have educational as well as amusement value and to entertain adults and their children. Land was bought in the farming community of Anaheim, about 25 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and construction began in 1954. In the summer of 1955, special invitations were sent out for the opening of Disneyland on July 17. Unfortunately, the pass was counterfeited and thousands of uninvited people were admitted into Disneyland on opening day. The park was not ready for the public, but soon recovered from its rough start with attractions such as The Castle, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Adventures, Space Station X-1, Jungle Cruise, and Stage Coach. The attractions and special events drew countless children and their parents and today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.
Soon after Walt Disney’s death in 1966, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida was planned and opened in 1971. Since then, locations of the Disney theme parks have opened in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong.
Want to visit Disneyland or its sister locations in Orlando, Tokyo, Paris or Hong Kong?
Use your FFP miles! It might be a great big, wide world out there, but…
IT’S A SMALL WORLD AFTER ALL.
Offices: Orlando | Los Angeles