This day in history: Disneyland opens to the public

BY MOLLIE S. WATERS

The Greenville Standard

 

Few places are as magical as Disneyland, which opened for the first time on July 17, 1955.

According to an article on History.com, Disneyland may have started small and in just one place, but since its opening nearly 65 years ago, it has expanded to multiple parks across three continents.

“The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, Calif., and soon brought in staggering profits,” states the article about the original Disneyland. “Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.”

The creator of Disneyland and its subsequent additions was Walt Disney, who started his dream as a cartoonist with a vision.

After creating characters such as Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Dumbo, and many others, Disney came up with a plan to solidify the cartoons’ successes.

“In the early 1950s,” the History.com article states, “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.”

On its first day of opening, things do not go exactly as planned at Disneyland.

“The park was not ready for the public,” states the article on History.com, “food and drink ran out, a woman’s high-heel shoe got stuck in the wet asphalt of Main Street USA, and the Mark Twain Steamboat nearly capsized from too many passengers.”

Luckily, Disneyland’s auspicious beginning did nothing to hurt visitors’ interests, and it did not take long before Walt Disney began to expand his parks into other locations.

“In 1965, work began on an even bigger Disney theme park and resort near Orlando, Florida,” states the article.

Since that time, the Disney universe has grown to include twelve parks in four different countries: the United States, China, France, and Japan.

 

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