Monday, July 18, 2011

Late July 17 - Disneyland Guest Post

Oh man, I'm so sad to say that this is coming to you late!  However, you will enjoy it despite.  What a great guest post written by David Zumbrennen, one of my friends from high school.  Show is post some love, despite my tardiness in getting it to you!  Thank you David and Happy Anniversary Disneyland!

:)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  ;)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)

"To all who come to this happy place – welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past
and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, dreams
and the hard facts that have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world." Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955

From its simple beginnings to the conglomerate it truly is today, Walt Disney and Disney Worldwide Services Inc.
(as it is officially called) have provided memories, experiences and a world where its hard to imagine not having "Disney" around. Whether its Pixar, ESPN, ABC, Baby Einstein, Marvel Comics, etc... Disney has its magical hands and memory making machines hard at work.

As a cast member for Disney it truly is a magical place and a place that evokes tender moments for visitors and
cast member alike. For all its glory, hype and for some complexity it all was quite simple to Walt and where it all began at Disneyland.

Disneyland was ultimately built as a place where both adults and children could go play together. Having visited
Griffith Park with his two daughters Walt was determined to create a "magical" place in which life's troubles could
be forgotten and families could be together as one, in a safe, fantasy land environment. One of his original ideas was to build a park next to his budding studio in Burbank, California, where tourists could visit. Knowing this space wouldn't be large enough he began the process of buying more land and the idea of a small park grew into the Disneyland area that is cherished and loved today.

The original concept for Walt's "Mickey Mouse Park" was to be an 8-acre park. Quickly realizing this was not large
enough Walt acquired 160 acres of orange and walnut grove trees in Anaheim, California. In order to finance the park, Walt and his brother Roy Disney turned to ABC television network to help cover the costs.

Construction began on July 16, 1954 and cost $17 million to complete. The park opened one year and a day later.

July, 1955: Dedication Day and Opening Day.  For as clockwork as Disney seems to run, the dedication and opening of Disneyland was a disaster.  Opening to the public on July 18, 1955 the park had 20 attractions.  A special invitation only event occurred on Sunday, the 17th of July 1955.

The event was to only have 11,000 guests but over 28,000 showed up. The event was televised nationwide.
Celebrities showed up at once, the temperature was 101 degrees, a plumber's strike left many of the drinking fountains dry.  In fact Walt had to decide between water fountains or flushing toilets. He chose the flushing toilets. This generated negate publicity since Pepsi helped sponsor the parks opening. Vendors ran out of food, cement was still fresh and hot from the temperature, that women's high-heeled shoes sank into it. A gas leak caused certain sections of the park to close early.

Despite the concerns and issues, It was successful and popular and today continues to be a magical and memorable place for all.  Disneyland itself land by land is a concept of ingenuity and precision an opportunity for us all to experience our inner childhood and to create memories that will last a lifetime.  It is a place to forget the present and go to another place as real as the life you have left behind. Most important it is a choice and chance to share, grow, experience and create magical memories as an individual and a family for a lifetime.

May we always realize that we can all pursue our dreams no matter what they may be and that a small dream can
change the world. Happy 56th Birthday Disneyland.

**Pictures borrowed from

1 comment:

  1. I love Disneyland! Every time I go, it seems to get more magical. It's awesome to know the history of it as well (women's heels sinking into the pavement? LOL!). Thanks for the guest post, David!