Featured Attractions

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Forty Years of Walt Disney's Space Mountain

When the Matterhorn Bobsleds opened in 1959, they were an instant hit with guests. DISNEYLAND management begged Walt Disney for another roller coaster style ride. Even Roy O. Disney, who had originally fought against building the Matterhorn was eager to add another hugely profitable coaster to the park. Walt Disney came up with the idea for an indoor coaster that would simulate being blasted into outer space with special effects taking place in a pitch dark environment. The project was temporarily shelved when the technology to build Walt Disney's full vision was not yet in existence. Imagineers suggested building a "Matterhorn indoors" but Mr. Disney refused to compromise his vision.


When Disney World's Magic Kingdom Theme Park needed a roller coaster, the idea that Walt had rejected was resurrected; after all, Florida's park didn't have a Matterhorn. The "Matterhorn Indoors" version of Space Mountain opened in 1974. By this time, technology had caught up with Walt's imagination and his full vision was finally realized in Anaheim on May 27, 1977.

Disney Goes To War


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A World of Lyrics!

For the 45th anniversary of it's a small world the Sherman Brothers wrote another verse for the iconic song. We present the verse below:


Monday, May 22, 2017

Building the Dream: The Story of DISNEYLAND


Now, our entire The Story of Disneyland series is available on one convenient page! Posted throughout DISNEYLAND's Diamond Anniversary, this popular series covers the history of the park from its beginnings as a dream in Walt Disney's imagination to its ongoing legacy. Access it through the link at the top of the page or by clicking 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Freaky Fridays: L. Ron Hubbard & Walt Disney?

L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the crazy Scientology cult, had big plans in 1955. He wanted to lure celebrities into his so-called church and one of the biggest entertainment titans that year was Walt Disney.

Xenu's Homeboy

Hubbard offered his followers huge bonuses if they could lure any celebrities into the bizarre religion and reportedly tried to target Walt Disney himself. Of course, Walt's attentions were focused elsewhere in 1955. Though even if DISNEYLAND weren't occupying his attention at the time it's unlikely he would have given Elron the time of day.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Theme Park Thursdays: it's not a small world

Shanghai DISNEYLAND is missing one attraction that is located at every other Disney resort- it's a small world.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Walt Wednesdays: Hollywood Sports Garden

In 1938, Walt Disney joined up with Bing Crosby to embark on his first foray into a real estate development. After he suffered a polo accident that resulted in neck pain which plagued him for the rest of his life, Walt was looking for a sports related enterprise to occupy his spare time. He and Bing Crosby teamed up to build a sports enterprise that would rival New York's Madison Square Garden and offer a more year round sporting experience in Los Angeles' more temperate climate.


The World War, however, put a damper on those plans. With every resource being put towards the war effort, a sports enterprise was seen as too frivolous. The process intrigued Walt Disney, however, and the idea of a sports garden morphed into a Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Toontown Tuesdays: Gurgi


Gurgi is a forgotten character from Disney's Black Cauldron. Based on the novels by Lloyd Alexander, the film had a long production period in the 1970's and 1980's. While some in the company wanted the film to be a departure from the studio's other animated features, others thought it was too gritty and dark. The ensuing fallout would result in the departure of many of the company's new generation of animators. 

By 1984, studio management had changed and the new guard just wanted the film completed regardless of the outcome. A new cut of the film was hastily put together and the film was rushed to theaters. While the movie was mostly overlooked, the rambunctious and plucky Gurgi was a standout.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Music Mondays: "At The Happiest Place on Earth"


There is only ONE place called the happiest place on earth and that is DISNEYLAND. Up until its 50th year, it never really had an official song. The park began playing the song At the Happiest Place on Earth began getting played at the opening of the park and during The Magic Kingdom Cavalcade which runs during rainy days and when the park's daytime parade isn't scheduled.

At The Happiest Place on Earth

Come with me
And we'll be
In a magical fantasy

Happy faces
In places you wanna be

Explore your destination
All you have to do
Is use your imagination
And the magic will come to you

And you can live fantastic adventures
And you can play for all that you're worth
And you can face the place of the future
At the happiest place on earth

Here we are
Not too far
From the star that we wished upon

And it seems
That the dreams
That we dreamed
Are about to dawn

Explore your destination
All you have to do
Is use your imagination
And the magic will come to you

And you can find your far away frontier
And you can sail on laughter and mirth
And be a part of a fairytale kingdom
At the happiest place on earth

Let your cares drift away
And your dreams point the way

And you can live fantastic adventures
And you can play for all that you're worth
And you can face the place of the future
At the happiest place on earth
And you can find your far away frontier
And you can sail on laughter and mirth
And be a part of the fairytale kingdom
At the happiest place on earth
Here at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

From D to E

In 1959, DISNEYLAND introduced the E Ticket, meant to designate the biggest, most popular attractions. At that time, the Sailing Ship Columbia was one of many attractions that was upgraded to E from D.


By the time the park discontinued ticket books, the Columbia had been demoted back to a D Ticket.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Walt's Web


Walt Disney put together this web to illustrate his idea of how the studio operated and fed the other parts of the company. It was always clear in his mind, but this was his first attempt to illustrate it to others.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Different Angle- July 17, 1955

Most pictures from DISNEYLAND's opening day were taken from the vantage point of ABC's cameras and were in black and white. This picture, however, is from a different angle and in glorious color!


Imagine the excitement in the air as Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom opened its gates for the very first time! This moment, captured in time, was one of Mr. Disney's proudest. His greatest dream had finally come true.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Theme Park Thursdays: Did you know?

From 1955 until 1982, DISNEYLAND sold ticket books that provided admission to the park and offered a set of ride tickets for access to the various attractions. Less adventurous guests could pay a smaller admission fee to get into the park and enjoy the parades and shows without having to pay for any rides. While today's admission tickets provide access to all attractions and shows, everyone must pay the same, regardless of how they spend their day in the parks.


Did You Know that leftover ticket books and tickets can be exchanged for admission discounts and/or entire admission? Guests who show up with completely unused ticket books can exchange them at DISNEYLAND for a one day admission ticket. However, these unused ticket books are often sought after by collectors. Depending on their condition, they are often worth much more than the one day admission price.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Walt Wednesdays: New Orleans

One of Walt Disney's favorite cities to visit was New Orleans. Whenever he was in the area, he made sure to stop by. He would enjoy the sights, sounds and food of this very special place.


When DISNEYLAND first opened, Frontierland had a tiny New Orleans district as part of the main area. On subsequent trips to the real New Orleans, Mr. Disney would collect new antiques and assorted treasures for inclusion in this area. When it came time to expand the park in this area, it was a no brainer to create a new land that would reflect Walt's love of the French Quarter- New Orleans Square.


Walt was able to bring a slice of his favorite city to his guests in his most favorite place in the world. It's one of the reasons why DISNEYLAND remains such a special place; it truly reflects the spirit and passion of its founder.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Toontown Tuesdays: Evolution of Mickey

In 1949 when Walt Disney was dreaming about DISNEYLAND, he originally believed that it would feature his characters as statues. Guests would be encouraged to pose alongside the statues to remember their visit to the Magic Kingdom.


By 1955, however, it became clear that this wouldn't be good enough for DISNEYLAND. But how else could the cartoon characters be represented in the park? Strapped for cash and facing a deadline, the park borrowed costumes from the Ice Capades to use on opening day. These costumes were designed for skaters who would be viewed from afar by audiences, not for close up viewing by theme park guests. 


They weren't the greatest solution, but they would work. Walt Disney quickly put his Imagineers to work designing costumes and they've never stopped trying to improve them since.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Music Mondays: DISNEYLAND Records Release #11:


The next release from DISNEYLAND Records was another soundtrack- Walt Disney's Westward Ho the Wagons! This was the type of release that Disney's previous soundtrack partners at RKO would have never approved- a mostly instrumental album. With Fess Parker's success as Davy Crockett, this release likely found a larger audience than it would have gotten otherwise.