Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Opening Day at Disneyland

If I had to pick only one day to visit Disneyland in its past, it would most likely be opening day, July 17, 1955. Although some of my favorite attractions were yet to be built, the excitement, enthusiasm, and burst of last-minute creativity would have been a total rush. These first three photos show the Mouseketeers in Fantasyland, outside the Theater. Shots #1 & #2 show the filming of a number that would be inserted into the live ABC broadcast of the opening festivities. This little number essentially marked the debut of the Mouseketeers, and it must have been a real thrill for these children. In Photo #2, Annette Funicello can be seen in the back. Even at this early age, she stands out amongst her peers.

This shot is of a few of the Mouseketeers gawking at the 3D Jamboree poster, most likely taken a year or so later (thanks for the correction, Jason!):

Here’s that same poster in living color:

Back to opening day: here’s the whole gang shown entering Town Square:

Meanwhile up up at the Main Street Train Station, Ronald & Nancy Reagan, Art Linkletter, and Disneyland Press Staff member George Margolis share a quiet moment before the onslaught of guests arrive.

See more vintage Disneyland Opening Day photos on my Opening Day web page.

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Thufer said...

wouldn't it be simply amazing to have been there on that day. just milling about and taking it all in. very special photos. thanks Dave.

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, these are fun! The Mousketeers are such icons of the 50's, and the Mickey Mouse Club was all about a kind of entertainment that no longer exists, I guess!

PS, love the poster in the first shot! ;-)

The Viewliner Limited said...

Fantastic pics Dave. Brings back a lot of cool memories.

Jason Schultz said...

Dave, I'm pretty sure that first photo isn't from Opening Day, or even 1955. 3D Jamboree, according to Disney A-Z, didn't begin playing in the Mickey Mouse Club Theater until June 16, 1956. But it's still a nice photograph. :)

Daveland said...

Jason - Should have looked closer; different outfits, and of course the poster. You are probably right. I shouldn't have "assumed" that since they came in the same batch that they were related! Thanks for the info!

jedblau said...

Thank you and thank you again for posting this photo. I have this poster on my wall at home and to see it in its natural context is AMAZING! THANK YOU!!!!