Sunday, July 17, 2011

Happy Birthday Disneyland

As many of you know, today is the “official” birthday of Disneyland.

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome..."

While it didn’t open to the public until July 18th, on July 17th, 1955, it was opened to invited guests. About 11,000 studio workers, Disneyland construction workers, dignitaries, press and employees of companies who sponsored attractions were amongst the invitees. Due to a clever counterfeiter, however (also some crafty gentleman who set up a ladder at the back fence and charged people to climb it into the park), roughly 33,000 people showed up.

July 17th, 1955 would be dubbed “Black Sunday” due to the myriad of problems that happened as a result of the overcrowding. Rides broke down, eateries and snack stands ran out of food and drink, and water even found its way onto the deck of the Mark Twain due to too many passengers. But while everyone may know that story, they also know that it would hardly stop Walt or his dream. Ninety days later Disneyland received its 1 millionth guest, and the rest, of course, is Disney history!

On a side note, today is also the birthday for Splash Mountain! Disneyland’s opened in 1989, Disney World’s in 1992. It was the first theme park ride that depended upon a computer to control its motion. At the time, that 52-foot flume was the longest in the world.

"Hey can I call you back in about 3 seconds?"

And as many of us “old-timers” know, many of the audio-animatronic figures used in Splash Mountain were taken from the recently closed attraction America Sings.

Happy Birthday Splash. And Happy Birthday, Disneyland.

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