Saturday, May 25, 2013
30th Anniversary of Fantasyland 2.0
Thirty-years ago today, Fantasyland 2.0 opened to the public, showing a version of this beloved land that was not possible back in 1955 when Walt Disney found himself short of money. Today's post celebrates all things Fantasyland, starting out with a construction shot of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Zooming in, it would appear that the original intention was to put something on the area where the crest now resides. However, this area remained blank for another ten years. Another cost cutting measure, perhaps?
Relive the excitement of Opening Day, July 17, 1955 as you read the publicity blurb that accompanied this photo of the first children to experience Fantasyland:
THE RUSH TO FANTASYLAND IS ON—Children sprint across the drawbridge and through the castle that marks the entrance to Fantasyland during today's premiere of Disneyland here. Fantasyland, on which Walt Disney's creators lavished their most vivid imaginations, remained closed until late in the day. A full scale stampede developed when it finally was opened.
Plenty of celebrities on hand for Opening Day festivities, including Jerry Lewis on Mr. Toad:
and Richard Nixon:
Anyone know what this cast member's shirt says?
In this October 1958 shot, you can see that the 3-year old Castle was already in need of a bit of maintenance, with scaffolds surrounding the turrets:
Although the style was charming, this October 1958 shot of the Mad Hatter stand shows the basic flaw with early Fantasyland: flat and somewhat cheap looking. Still, it is pretty cool to think that the people who painted these signs were not too far removed from the artists that first created these legendary animated characters.
A colorful 1960's overview of Fantasyland:
Flash forward to the 2.0 version, here are a few aerial/zoom views of what it looked like from the sky:
The entry sign on Harbor Boulevard is visible here:
The original stampede photo was recreated; the kids of 1983 seem just as excited as their 1955 counterparts:
The new façade for Peter Pan:
A few interior shots of the attraction:
A brand-new attraction for Pinocchio, who replaced the Fantasyland Theater:
Toad Hall comes to life:
Naturally a new restaurant, The Village Haus, joined the mix:
Which do you prefer? Fantasyland or Fantasyland 2.0?
UPDATE: Thanks to the generosity of Disneyland nametag/badge collector, Benson Myers, you can now see the debut of two items from his collection: badges given to members of the press and invited guests at the premiere of New Fantasyland:
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