/ Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Disneyland Entrance SignToday, Disneyland celebrates its 58th birthday! On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney dedicated the happiest place on earth with a star-studded live telecast hosted by Art Linkletter and Ronald Reagan, along with a long list of other special guests. Opening day is infamously known for having many issues (thousands of counterfeited tickets among them), but we can all agree that the park eventually became a resounding success.

As the first Disney theme park ever, Disneyland paved the way for the parks that followed it all over the globe. Though it may not have the space allocated to Disney’s later resort endeavors, its limited size is part of what gives it its intimate charm with that distinct influence of Walt everywhere you look.

In honor of Disneyland’s special day, this month’s Share YOUR Magical Disney Memories will highlight the original, Disneyland Partners Statueone-and-only Disneyland. You’re invited to post your favorite Disneyland memory in the comments below. New or old, Disneyland Park or California Adventure, anything goes! If you’ve never visited, perhaps describe any memory you have involving Walt Disney. Our stories together will serve as a virtual birthday card to the happiest place on earth!

I’ll start us off. My first and only (so far) visit to Disneyland was last summer. As a WDW veteran, I was anxious to explore two Disney theme parks that were entirely new to me. I got even more excited every time I was reminded that Walt personally oversaw the construction. On our first morning, I approached the turnstiles of Disneyland and I could not have been more thrilled. We walked toward the railroad tunnels, and just as we did so I noticed that the background music just so happened to be “Be Our Guest.” What a welcome! At that exact moment, I also noticed the “Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy” sign. Well, pair those two observations together and, well… I kept composure on the outside, but on the inside I was having a major nerdified panic attack. This was it. This was the park that Walt built. And I was about to step inside for the first time. The rest of the trip was wonderful, and I am so glad I got to experience where the magic all started.

Now it’s your turn! Share your Disneyland story below as a way to say happy birthday, and you might just win a WDW Radio Mystery Ticket!! The winner will be announced in next Wednesday’s Finding Disney post. See you then!




7 thoughts on “Share YOUR Magical Disney Memories of Disneyland”

  1. Patti says:

    Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always dreamed of going to Disneyland. Since I was a member of a large Italian family in NJ going to California was out of the question, not in my dad’s budget. So our family vacation was always in Florida which was nice but not Disneyland. I had to fill in that empty void by watching The Wonderful World of Disney every Sunday night. When my three boys were aged 10, 18 and 20 I finally took a family vacation to California and Disneyland. It was so great entering “into that magical place” and being where it all began. It took many years to fulfill my childhood dream but a wonderful experience to share with my own children.

  2. Wes Snyder says:

    My father and I made it to California Adventure about a month after the park opened. We waited in line to enjoy the brand new Soarin’ Over California ride, which in itself was (and still is) amazing. When the Disneyland park came into view at the end of the attraction, everyone riding began to cheer. It was a great moment!

  3. Brian says:

    My favorite childhood memory of Disneyland was when we visited in 1976 during the Bicentenial. We saw America Sings, America on Parade, and my brother and I got our silhouettes done on Main Street. It was the first trip to Disneyland that I clearly remember (I was 6 at the time).

    My other favorite DL memories are:
    My first times on Star Tours and Captain Eo, and seeing the Main Street Electrical Parade in 1987.
    New Year’s Eve 1990.
    My first time on the Indiana Jones ride, my first time seeing Fantasmic, seeing Animazement: The Musical and the Mulan Nighttime Parade in 1998.

    My biggest WOW moment was seeing the Haunted Mansion Holiday for the first time in 2008.

  4. Becky Manion says:

    Mine was going on Soarin (it was newly opened and had yet to cross the coast to WDW!), my family and I was all amazed, it was like a giant fun swing with sights and smells!

    We also came out of the ride, and ‘California Dreaming’ was playing on the sound system,my dad couldn’t rush quick enough to get the camcroder out to record this!

  5. Lorraine P.(strawberrylilacs) says:

    We were fortunate to be able to travel over 1000 miles to be at Disneyland on the ACTUAL 50th BIRTHDAY. First time for grandkids. It was extremely hot that week – even for the native CMs. We recieved free mouse ears with the date embrodered on it (they are in good keeping) and CMs strolled the park serving cupcakes all day. There was more icing than cake! A child’s dream! The four year old’s birthday was just a few days before and she thought everyone was celebrating her birthday.

  6. Steamboat Eddie says:

    Never been but I love any photo of Walt standing in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Words can’t describe those photos.

    Have an excellent day!

  7. Jodi says:

    We just went 2 weeks ago – 2 days after the 58th Birthday! This was our 1st time. We live in Indiana, so it’s a 2 hour flight to WDW where we have visited 7 times (& planning many more). This was a “Once In A Longtime” trip for us since there is nothing that will pull us to CA for years to come (atleast my kids will be grown & gone). So, since we were going ALL the way to CA, I could not pass by The Original Park! We had a wonderful time & it just did not seem as busy as WDW. Maybe it’s the close proximity of it all (still a lot of walking) but it was… surreal just knowing that this is the original! Seeing it in person was a dream come true! Some rides were the same but we got to experience rides that have been removed at WDW. DCA was fun too – Carsland is a HUGE hit as well as Radiator Racers! (They need to bring that ride to WDW!) It was bittersweet leaving since we LOVE WDW but many souvenirs later… Great memories made 🙂

    We also went to the Walt Disney Family Museum (since what took us to CA was in San Mateo) – we had to do that too! It was great for my kids to understand what a wonderful person was behind all the magic 🙂