Tuesday, July 28, 2009

First Disney post - Disneyland opens

As often happens, I was looking up information for a potential post, and was sidetracked in an interesting way.

Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 to a specially invited group of guests, and to the public a day later. The special opening was plagued by multiple problems, including heels sinking into melted asphalt due to the excessive heat, food shortages, water fountains with no water, drink stands that had run out of drinks, broken rides, etc.

One of the most interesting things about opening day was how scarce Mickey and Minnie Mouse were..Later to be come the iconic Disney figures, they appear in the coverage only briefly in the parade, and for three minutes towards the end of the event.

Here are a very different looking Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

The highlights of opening day were broadcast on an ABC special. I'm not sure how many of you will want to watch it due to it's length (It's well over an hour long) it drags in places, but overall it's really worth watching. It's filled with bloopers, as live coverage from multiple vantage points was fairly primitive at that time. Numerous celebrities appear, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr, and Gale Storm .There are three hosts for the show: Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter and.... "Ronnie" Reagan.

You can link to the rest of the segments from here.


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