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The Day the Disney Theme Park Legacy Began

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RISMEDIA, July 17 2007—The Disneyland theme park, located in Anaheim, California, opened on this day in 1955. The park is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company.

The park consists of various areas with separate themes:

Main Street USA: patterned after a typical Midwest town of the early 20th century.
Adventureland: designed to be an exotic tropical place in a far-off region of the world
Frontierland: recreates the setting of pioneer days along the American frontier
Fantasyland: brings to life fantasy for visitors
Tomorrowland: looks into the future.

Three additional areas were added to these original park areas later: New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Critter Country. An elevated beam supports a three-foot (narrow) gauge railroad which circumnavigates the park. Disneyland features rides and attractions designed to appeal to all ages.

The park has been visited by more than 515 million guests since it opened to the public, including presidents, royalty, and other heads of state.

Did You Know?

-  Famously, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev was not one of these visitors, as security could not be established for him to visit during his U.S. tour in 1959, for which he publicly complained.

-  In 1998 Disneyland was renamed Disneyland Park in order to distinguish it from the larger Disneyland Resort complex. Today, there are two other parks which share the Disneyland name, Disneyland Resort Paris in Paris France and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort in Hong Kong.

-  During the dedication ceremony, Walt Disney said, “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. Thank you.”

-  Construction began on July 18, 1954 and would cost $17 million to complete. U.S. Route 101 (later Interstate 5) was under construction at the same time just to the north of the site; in preparation for the traffic which Disneyland was expected to bring, two more lanes were added to the freeway even before the park was finished.

-  Disneyland Park was opened to the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. However, a special “International Press Preview” event was held on Sunday, July 17, 1955 which was only open to invited guests and the media. The event did not go smoothly. The park was overcrowded as the by-invitation-only affair was plagued with counterfeit tickets. All major roads nearby were congested. The summer temperature was over 110 degrees Fahrenheit, and a plumbers’ strike left many of the park’s drinking fountains dry.

-  In 2004, the park undertook a number of major renovation projects in preparation for its fiftieth anniversary celebration. Many classic attractions were restored, notably Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. The 50th Anniversary celebration ended on September 30, 2006.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disneyland.

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