DISNEYLAND RESORT – Anaheim, California
the theme park, first opened its’ gates to the public on July 17, 1955 (57
years ago next Tuesday), though Disneyland the idea, first started to percolate
in the mind of its’ progenitor – Walt Disney, as early as the mid-1930’s. It began as a dream of a magical little park,
where parents and children could have fun together – as a father watched his
little girls playing on the merry-go-round and other enticements at Griffith
Park, not too far from Hollywood, where Walt would take his daughters on Sunday
the years his magical little park grew in scope, and was placed on the back
burner as a variety of events around the world played out throughout the late
1930’s and on through the 1940’s – most famous of all of course was World War
II, when many activities at Walt’s studio were halted or at least temporarily
ceased. But after the war ended, the
ideas began to bubble up once again to the surface of Walt’s imagination. In the early 1950’s that magical little park
was to be located across the street from the Studio complex in Burbank,
CA. But the ideas just kept getting
bigger and grander, and Walt knew that there just wasn’t enough land available
for what he wanted to do in his park. So
the search was on for a suitable location to build his dream – Walt’s Folly –
as it came to be known throughout the entertainment industry.
|Concept Art for Sleeping Beauty Castle|
by Herb Ryman - 1954
invited Marvin Davis, Herb Ryman, Ken Anderson and a few select others to help him turn his dreams into concepts
on paper. Soon the park started to grow
again as lands of fantasy, adventure, the American frontier and tomorrow began
to appear. And before long, Walt was
selling the idea not just to those within the Studio, but to some outside the
company. It was a rough beginning, and Walt put much of his own portfolio on
the line in order to get the park built, but his persistence paid off.
|Sleeping Beauty Castle - January 2012|
July 17, 1955 – Black Sunday – as it became known within the management ranks in Burbank – came and the park was flooded with guests. Many more than they anticipated, thanks to some clever counterfeiting of tickets – thereby swelling the guest count by nearly double what was expected. Despite negative publicity following a variety of concerns on Opening Day (non-working attractions, not enough drinking fountains, excessive heat, super-sized crowds, and more) the public quickly embraced “Walt’s Folly”, defying what the critics had to say. And even though the park was closed two days each week, by the end of September 1955, more than one million guests had passed through the park’s gates. What was anticipated to be a passing fancy that would quickly shut down – not only survived, but thrived! And here we are, 57 years later, about to mark another July 17th and the much celebrated continued success of Walt’s magical little park.
theme park venture has been the inspiration for not just one, but five sister
Magic Kingdoms around the world… in Florida, Japan, France, Hong Kong and
soon-to-be in mainland China – in Shanghai where the next Magic Kingdom is
currently under construction. No matter
which park you visit – the original inspired design concept of the “Main Street”
corridor leading up to the Central Hub is repeated time and again – all leading
to that central structure – the castle – or the “wienie” as Walt liked to call
it – beckoning guests forward to discover more delights that lie further
IS Disneyland? That question solicits a
response that will be different from anyone that you ask. To some, it is just an amusement park, like
many others around the nation. To
others, it is a design inspiration.
Still to others it is a place where youth lives – and relives fond
memories from the past – as well as allowing guests to dream about far off
places, imagining themselves in different worlds or environments… much as they
once did when in childhood playtime they let their imaginations run wild.
As a theme
park, Disneyland is comprised of 6 individual themed lands: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland,
Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country
and Mickey’s ToonTown. Be sure to check
back next Wednesday for more individual information about Disneyland – the park.
As a Resort Destination, the Disneyland Resort is comprised of two theme parks: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (opened in 2001) – as well as a dining, shopping and entertainment district – Downtown Disney District – and three resort hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
|Disneyland Resort - Map art
For the as yet Walt Disney World only guest - yes, of course the Disneyland Resort is small. But that roughly 600 acres that it encompasses is jammed full of fun and excitement! The resort itself just came off a 5-year expansion program that brought the all-new CARSLAND to Disney California Adventure, as well as a multitude of new and updated attractions, shows and other offerings at both parks, and at Downtown Disney and in the hotels. It is a multi-day destination in itself, but also easily serves as a "home-base" for extended Southern California exploration.
It is a
resort destination that annually attracts more than 15 million visitors. It is home to the original version of many
beloved Disney theme park attractions now found in other Magic Kingdoms around
the world, including: Pirates of the
Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Tom Sawyer Island, Splash Mountain,
Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Jungle Cruise, Star Tours, the
Enchanted Tiki Room and more.
is located in the city of Anaheim in Orange County, and is about 26 miles southeast
of Los Angeles. It is just minutes away
from miles and miles of famed Southern California beaches, and not far from
three metropolitan airports: Los Angeles
International, Ontario International and John Wayne-Santa Ana – plus two
smaller airports: Long Beach and Burbank.
Convenient shuttles and buses can transport air travelers to the resort