Disneyland; one of the most iconic theme parks in the entire United States. Many of you have been there at least once, others frequent the park on a yearly basis. Disney has become a household name over the years through their very famous cartoons. We are all familiar with Walt Disney and his movies, but how much do you know about the history of the theme park. Let’s take a look at how the iconic theme park became what it is today.
Walt Disney originally wanted the theme park to be adjacent to his studio, his original idea was to provide visitors something to do besides see his studio. After much thought and consultation, he decided to purchase land in Anaheim, California. Disney purchased a 160-acre site in 1953, but funds weren’t as abundant as he had hoped.
Once the site was purchased, Walt Disney had to come up with the funding to start building his glamorous theme park. One of the ways that he decided to raise money to start construction was to create the show titled Disneyland. Disney agreed to air his show on ABC if they financed the construction in return. The show aired the same year that construction began in 1954 to advertise the theme park.
On July 17th 1955, Disneyland celebrated its grand opening to invited guests and media. Around 28,000 people attended the event that day, supposedly only about half of the guests were actually invited. Rumor has it that many of the guests entered the theme park on opening day with counterfeit tickets. On July 18th, 1955 the park opened to the public.
During the 90’s construction began to expand the park as well as build the Disneyland Hotel. Between the late 90’s and early 2000’s the park added Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. During the construction of these sites the theme park decided to rebrand and change their name to Disneyland Park to differentiate itself the new additions.
Over the years the theme park has changed and added many things for their guests. Since 2005 the park as restored attractions such as Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The park has been and will continue to be a site for many family vacations.