Wednesday, July 18, 2012

July 18th Opening Day Reunion



There has been heated debate over which date is actually opening day, July 17 or July 18, 1955. It seems pretty easy to distinguish between the two. The 17th was the pre-opening special invitation gala opening, whereas the 18th was the first day that the general public could buy admission tickets at the gate for entry. Although the 1990 publicity release and photo state that this photo is from the 17th, I believe this shot of the first two kids entering Disneyland was actually from the next day, the 18th.

DISNEYLAND REVISITED—(left) On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney opened the gates of Disneyland to a waiting world. Two children—Michael Schwartner and his cousin Christine Vess—were honored as the Park's first guests. (right) Thirty-five years later, Disney Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner (center) welcomed the same two visitors back to the Magic Kingdom during festivities commemorating "Disneyland's 35th Anniversary" being celebrated year-long in 1990.



Back in 1965, 7/18 was celebrated as the Anniversary Date for Opening Day. Here, Walt cuts cake at The Plaza Inn.

ANAHEIM, CALIF: Walt Disney's Disneyland marked it's 10th birthday here 7/18 and Mickey Mouse, with plate in hand, was first in line to try a bite of the cake. The party marked not only the park's birthday, but the opening of two new features. A new Victorian restaurant and a Mr. Lincoln exhibit featuring a life-like figure similar to the one Disney made for the World's Fair. With Walt and Mickey is Miss Disneyland, Julie Reihm.



Check out that elaborate cake and its decorations!



Stay tuned as a July 18th extravaganza will be following tomorrow! Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more Disneyland Opening Day photos on my Opening Day web page.

7 comments:

Snow White Archive said...

Michael and Christine are perfect examples of why it pays to show up early to the park. :)

Knott'sAfterDark said...

Great photos, Dave! I also enjoyed looking at your opening day web page! The original Mickey walk-around was creepy! ;-)

Ben Myers said...

Michael and Christine also appeared in the opening ceremonies of California Adventure in 2001, for those keeping track.

K. Martinez said...

I'd have to wonder if Michael and Christine were really the first in line or if they were specificially picked to enter first because they had a specific look the publicity department was looking for.

Connie Moreno said...

Great post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Speaking of creepy, that character with his arms around Michael and Christine as adults is kind of scaring me.

Davelandweb said...

As they say, the Early Bird gets the worm! Ben - thanks for the extra info as always. K. - through the years I have read comments that the guests who are used in the publicity stuff are hand picked, but who knows. Tokyo - you are killin' me! How funny! Fortunately, I don't think that character can be found at the park anymore!