ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 16, 2018) —When Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955, it had 18 attractions, no Disney hotels and little but orange groves surrounding it. Now, as Disneyland Resort plans to mark its 63rd anniversary, the original theme park has expanded to become a world-class family resort destination. With more than six decades of inspiration and innovation, the resort includes two renowned Disney theme parks, nearly 100 exciting attractions, three hotels and the shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney.
Disneyland will commemorate its role as the original Disney theme park Tuesday, July 17, with festivities that include the “Happiest March on Earth” down Main Street, U.S.A.
A Place Where Dreams Come True: The popularity of Disneyland through the past 63 years celebrates Walt Disney’s dream of a place where family members of all ages can have fun together in a safe, clean atmosphere that emphasizes imagination and extraordinary guest service. Since 1955, dignitaries, heads of state, celebrities and more than 800 million guests have passed through its gates.
As part of the tribute to opening day, July 17, 1955, a recording of Walt Disney’s speech will be played: “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, the 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.”
With that goal, Disneyland transformed the amusement industry. It delivered an entirely new concept in family entertainment: a “theme park” where rides, shows and characters become part of a total storytelling environment. Creativity, technology and innovation continue to bring stories to life, while fulfilling Walt’s promise that “Disneyland will never be completed … as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
The success of Disneyland Resort also results in $5.7 billion in total economic activity to the Southern California economy annually. The resort’s workforce of more than 30,000 cast members makes it the largest single-site employer in Orange County. The Disney Parks entertainment experience has expanded worldwide and is enjoyed by guests at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disney Resort in mainland China.
Disneyland Resort Fun Facts:
This magic kingdom is continually evolving and expanding. Pixar Pier opened in June, 2018, creating a new home for beloved Pixar characters and stories at Disney California Adventure Park. And in summer 2019, Star Wars:Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland Park, the largest single-themed land expansion ever at Disneyland Resort.
Mickey Mouse ear hats are the most popular Disneyland Resort souvenirs of all time, with more than 90 million “ears” sold since 1955.
The Incredicoaster zooms across more than a mile of track, making it the longest coaster at the Disneyland Resort. It’s also the fastest, and it opened with a super new storyline plus new music, lighting and special effects.
The Matterhorn Bobsleds was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world when it opened in 1959. It set the standard for modern-day roller-coaster design.
Disneyland Park created the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere. It opened June 14, 1959.
Cast members are hired for lots of cool jobs at the Disneyland Resort, including candy makers, scuba divers who maintain the water-related attractions, and resort enhancement teams that work year-round to prepare for the seasonal transformations for Halloween and Holidays.
More than 40 different languages are spoken among Disneyland Resort cast members.
More than 400 Disneyland Resort cast members have achieved beverage accreditations. Four have received Advanced Sommelier Diplomas (level three) from the Court of Master Sommeliers of the Americas, and one has received a Master Sommelier Diploma (level four).