Who: Brainchild of Walt Disney

What: A theme park.

Where: Anaheim, California

Why: Because Disney hasn’t got enough money?

When: Opened July 7, 1955.

“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination in the world.” – Walt Disney

Whilst walking in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, with his children, Walt Disney formed an idea of creating a park where adults and children could have fun together. Disney originally planned an eight acre plot near his studios in Burbank, before realising his needs were much larger. He then hired the Stanford Research Institute to find a location for the park, stipulating the need for 100 acres, proximity to a freeway and that it be in the Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. The company found 160-acres of orange grove in Anaheim, California. To fund the dream, Disney cut a deal with the television corporation ABC, in return for ABC funding the park, Disney would produce a television show, which he called ‘Disneyland’. The park cost $17 million to build; after years of planning and research, the construction lasted twelve months. The park opened in July 1955 to disaster: a heatwave meant the recently laid asphalt was soft, and commandeered people’s high heeled shoes, and a plumber’s strike meant many of the water fountains weren’t functional. 6,000 people were invited to the by-invitation-only opening day, but 22,000 people came with counterfeit tickets. After fully opening to the public, a million people had visited it by the end of the year, among them the then-11-year-old George Lucas. By 2012, Disneyland would be attracting nearly 16 million people.

The Sleeping Beauty Castle

Further reading:




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