ANAHEIM, Calif. – When Walt Disney opened Disneyland Park on July 17, 1955, it had 18 attractions, no Disney hotels and little but orange groves surrounding it. Today, as the Disneyland Resort marks its 63rd anniversary – during the first-ever Pixar Fest – 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 now includes two renowned Disney theme parks, nearly 100 exciting attractions, three hotels and the shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney.
Disneyland commemorated its role as the original Disney theme park Tuesday with festivities that included the “Happiest March on Earth” down Main Street, U.S.A. The cavalcade included 63 Disney characters, parade performers, the Dapper Dans barbershop quartet and the Disneyland Resort Ambassadors stopping at several points along the route to celebrate the historic occasion.
Final Weeks of Pixar Fest: Guests visiting the Disneyland Resort today and through Sept. 3 will enjoy the final weeks of Pixar Fest, a celebration of friendship and beyond. Pixar Fest features “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks show, along with Pixar Pals Dance Party and the Pixar Shorts Film Festival (resuming July 20). Only through Sept. 3, guests also may enjoy Pixar Fest atmosphere entertainment, playful décor, themed eats and treats, and limited-time merchandise at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.
Debut of Pixar Pier: This summer, the newly reimagined Pixar Pier opened at Disney California Adventure Park with the debut of Lamplight Lounge and the Incredicoaster – themed to Disney•Pixar’s blockbuster film “Incredibles 2.” As guests stroll through Pixar Pier, they explore whimsical neighborhoods: Incredibles Park, Toy Story Boardwalk, Pixar Promenade and, coming in 2019, Inside Out Headquarters.
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 was 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).
About the Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical, 973-room Disneyland Hotel – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” theme. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents. Located in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort opened July 17, 1955. Open daily, year-round.