Monday, October 24, 2011

Old School Disneyland Primer

What would happen if you were able to have access to a time machine that allowed you to visit Disneyland back in the early days? Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Especially if you could take a camera. However, you wouldn't want to be discovered as a visitor from the future; if you've ever seen an episode of "Lost in Space" or any other vintage TV shows that deal with time travel, you'd know that strangers from the future typically don't get a warm welcome! Today's post is designed to help you assimilate and make sure that you look like you know what you're doing on a typical day at Disneyland, circa 1950's. If you're driving a car into the park, the first shot shows you the view that you would encounter as you enter the property. You'd park your vintage car alongside of all the other way cool vintage cars. And are just steps from the entrance! No gargantuan parking garage to deal with...just one level of asphalt that gives you a direct view of your destination. Oh the excitement is building!

Of course, you do have an alternative. If you had a long drive, you might want to spend a few days at Disneyland and check into the Disneyland Hotel.

You could board the Disneyland Hotel Tram and leave your car parked safely at the Hotel.

Either way, you are only steps from the entrance.

But wait...where are the ticket booths in the esplanade? In fact, where is the esplanade and the California Adventure entrance? Folks, you just parked there. Yup...DCA and the ticket booths are standing where the original parking lot was located. Back in the 50s, the ticket booths were at the entrance. How convenient is that? Again, just steps away from your destination (now I know you're really salivating).

One final tip though, and this is a crucial one. Whatever you do, don't ask the ticket counter cast member for an annual pass. Or a park hopper. Instead, you'll be paying for admission into the park, as in one park. Uno. Un. Eine. Here's a detail of the ticket prices you'd pay in the 1960's. Sorry, couldn't find a decent closeup from the 50s, but figured this would still help prepare you for the sticker shock. When was the last time you paid $5 for ANYTHING at Disneyland?!?

Wait a minute...what are those ticket books? Is that like buying multiple day passes? Nope...ticket books are what you need for the attractions. One ticket for each attraction, and depending upon the attraction, you might need an A, B, C, D, or E ticket. Here's a July 1959 photo of a guest holding their attraction ticket book in their hands. D tickets cost 35¢ back in the day, meaning you'd have to pay 35¢ to ride each D ticket attraction.

And now that you have parked your car, bought your tickets, and walked up to the entrance gate, you are almost ready for your day of fun. The turnstiles are so close! But what's the boy in the straw hat and striped shirt doing? Is he taking surveys for marketing purposes?

Nope. He's just selling guidebooks, and you'll definitely want one of those to help acquaint you with what's available at Disneyland circa 1950's. I'd recommend you buy it from this salesman though...I hear he can do magic tricks, too.

See more Disneyland entrance photos on my Disneyland entrance web page.

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Thufer said...

I; by no particular blessing of any institute of higher anything, hereby proclaim this the best post every in the history of the internet. It is complete and shines as that most wondrous example of PLACE at it's Happiest. All is well in my world today and I have see the promise land. From the original marquee to the high power lines and towers, to the curvy entrance lanes to the chug of trams. It is all right here in one amazing post. This post which shows the world what can be done with 100 acres of cement and some paint. Ticket books and posters and early morning haze burn-off. What a way to start my day. And, as a bonus, a young Steve poising like an Egyptian. have reached the 'Mountain Top' of park salutes this morning. Thank you.

stu29573 said...

You can also catch a glimpse (and I do mean just a glimpse) of that particular salesman in the Disneyland Dream home movie from the Barstow family.

Davelandweb said...

Thanks Thufer - I very much appreciate your salutation!

Connie Moreno said...

WOW!!! What Thufer said times 6!! Awesome post. I was salivating, LOL!

JG said...


Dave, this looks to be shaping up into a series, I hope.



fuzzhead said...

I'm so glad to have experienced the parking lot!

Does anyone remember the little dip in the pavement as you drove in? As you first entered off the street?

Katella Gate said...

Beautiful pictures Dave, and a very funny post.

Sorry Fuzzhead, we came in through the Katella Entrance... I was shocked as a teenager to learn that Disneyland had another... bigger... entrance.

Corporate Entertainment said...

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post

Kristen said...

Wonderful! I'm actually doing an art project that has a time traveler's journal and one of my entries will be Disneyland in the 1950s! Did you read my mind? :)
It would probably take me a long time to get into the Park cause I'd be drooling over all the awesome cars.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I'm stealing that ticket picture - WOW!

Davelandweb said...

Tim - I was wondering when you'd chime in! Figured you'd dig that one. Not often you see a vintage photo that is focused (pun intended) on the tickets themselves.

Miss said...

This is just awesome! Being a child of the 80's I can remember the parking lot but not much else. I love vintage Disneyland ANYTHING.