Thursday, July 19, 2012

July 18, 1955 Extravaganza, Pt. 1

One of my earliest acquisitions in vintage Disneyland images was this set of July 18, 1955 slides documenting the first day that the park was open to the general public. Oddly enough, there wasn't a single Main Street shot in the bunch! Some of these have been published here before, and some haven't. This is the first time that they've been all put together in one fantabulous place. Hope you like! This little series will start off with some views of the Castle, beginning with the momentous occasion that the drawbridge was lowered for the second time (the first being the previous day).

Look at that storm of people rushing into Fantasyland; you'd have thought it was a concert by The Who!

How about that vintage paper hat? I am sure it is causing some fits of jealousy for a few collectors out there who wish they had one!

No crest on the castle just yet; that would take another ten years.

Ebony and ivory: both colors of swans seem to be getting along just fine in the castle moat.

Hey folks—you're going the wrong way! Either that, or they realize they should try other lands while the herds of cattle invade Fantasyland.

They just keep on going, like the Energizer Bunny. Look at that line!

Note the patriotic bunting on the quaint little bridge:

Come back tomorrow for some great views of Fantasyland!

See more vintage and current Sleeping Beauty Castle photos on my Castle web pages.


K. Martinez said...

Nice images! Great to see them together in one place.

Connie Moreno said...

What I would give to jump into these photos!

Anonymous said...

I was there because of my Dad's job with the State of California Board of Equalization (taxes). His job was to assess (by just looking around) approximate income of the park. We got press passes, and I rode all the rides for free. Whooppeeee!


Todd J. Pierce said...


These are great shots.

Here's a quick story. So--though the Disney company has forgotten this--the park did re-do some of the press preview day festivities on July 18th. This included the lowering of the Castle bridge for the opening of Fantasyland. About one hour before the bridge was to be lowered, a natural gas line broke under the recently pored asphalt in the castle courtyard. A construction worker threw down a cigarette and ignited ground. Workers dug up the asphalt, capped the pipe. But right up until the scheduled opening, park officials were debating if they should open Fantasyland at all because they were unsure if there were other leaks in the area.

Great photo of the bridge back in its raised position.

Todd Pierce / DHI

Daveland said...

Lee - I definitely envy you on that one!

Thanks for the great story, Todd!