Friday, April 19, 2013

Disneyland Diary, 1960-1962


• NATURE'S WONDERLAND based on Walt Disney's Academy Award winning True-Life Adventure motion pictures opens in June with 204 life-like animals, birds and reptiles; a re-creation of wilderness and desert regions of the American West — Frontierland

• AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL, all new version of the 360-degree Circarama production in a specially designed theatre comprised of nine screens — Tomorrowland

• ART OF ANIMATION exhibit, an entertaining and informative display tracing the history and development of motion picture animation (since removed) — Tomorrowland

Attractions total reached 45 this year.


The New Year's Eve Party was attended by more than 14,000 people.

The 20 millionth visitor arrived in April.

The Park presented its first Private Party on Friday, May 13, when 5,042 Knights of Columbus enjoyed exclusive use of Disneyland. On October 22, United California Bank (now First Interstate Bank) held a Private Party at Disneyland with 6,315 people in attendance. Their party continues today to be an annual event at the Park.

Disneyland's first "Dixieland at Disneyland" show attracted 9,000 people drawing acclaim from guests and reviewers. Six bands performed on Frontierland's Rivers of America aboard rafts, and in concert at various other Park locations.

"The Parade of Toys" was added to the "Christmas in Many Lands" parade.

Candlelight caroling by 800 singers followed the parades.

Disneyland's Community Service Awards program honored the work of nine county organizations with cash awards totaling $9,000. The Assistance League of Anaheim won the outstanding Award.


• Konstantinos Rodopoulos, President of Greek Parliament (February)
• Her Royal Highness Princess Rudi Voravan of Thailand (March)
• Prince Ernst August of Greece (March)
• Princess Ortoud of Hanover (March)
• Crown Prince Hassan Ibn Talal of Jordan (March)
• King Mahendra and Queen Ratna of Nepal (May)
• Three Scandinavian Princesses, Margrethe of Denmark, Astrid of Norway and Margaretha of Sweden (June)
• King Bhumibhol and Queen Kirikit of Thailand accompanied by their children, Prince Vajiralongorn, Princesses Ubol Ratana and Sirindhorn (June)
• Prince Akihito and Princess Michiko of Japan (September)
• King Fredrick IX and Queen Ingrid of Denmark (October)


• DISNEYLAND-ALWEG MONORAIL SYSTEM (2 1/2 mile expansion connecting the Park and Disneyland Hotel)

NOTE: Here is some additional info about the Monorail extension, from the February 1961 issue of the Disneyland Newsletter:

The addition to our Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System that will transport guests between the Disneyland Hotel and the Park is making rapid progress and will be the first passenger carrying monorail in America to run adjacent to a major highway.

Connecting to our popular Monorail in Tomorrowland, the new link will go over the berm, run south along Harbor Blvd. to the auto entrance, turn west across the parking lot and go over West St. to the Disneyland Hotel. Here is will stop to dishcharge and pick up passengers, then return by passing Holidayland and the Park's main entrance, go over the employee entrance and back into Tomorrowland where it will complete its trip over the original route.

Guests will be able to board the Monorail from either the new station at the Hotel or the present station in Tomorrowland. Total length of the round trip will be nearly 2 1/2 miles as compared to about 3/4 of a mile on the present attraction.

Being constructed at present are 700 holes, 24" in diameter and 30 ft. deep, which are filled with concrete and reinforcing steel. These will be the foundation for the pylons supporting the 200 additional sections (8,600 ft. ) of beamway for the extended "highway in the sky."

The next four months will see many changes in the face of the Magic Kingdom. The Heliport has been temporarily re-located just north of the main auto entrance, we will have our own "stack" (3-level variety) where the Monorail crosses itself and the mainline Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad. The Holidayland boundary on the south side will be changed somewhat to accommodate the new beamway. Our main entrance will also have a completely new look with the addition of a canopy under the Monorail beam.

The parking lot will have a beautiful new face with base plantings surrounding the pylons at each isle along the Monorail route as well as in the center of West Street. Our landscape artisans will also be busy with overall beautification that will put the final Disneyland touch to the completed project.

The complete Monorail extension, which will open to the public about June 1st, will have a third train and an additional car on each of the present trains bringing the capacity of the three up to a total of 318 people, nearly double the present capacity of 164.

Disneyland employees are proud of the fact that they are Disneylanders for many reasons and the present pace setting Monorail extension, which has created world-wide interest, is just one more example.

• FLYING SAUCERS (individually controlled flight through space - since removed) — Tomorrowland


The New Year's Eve Party brought 18,000 celebrants to Disneyland.

The 25 millionth visitor was greeted in April.

Benny Goodman played a three-night engagement Memorial Day weekend and for the opening of "Date Nite," the first time a big-name star ever appeared in the Magic Kingdom for more than one performance.

The first all-night Grad Nite Party was held at Disneyland in June, bringing 8,500 young guests for the biggest high school graduation party ever held in the U.S.

The "Date Nite" program entered its fifth season, presenting five permanent bands.

"TINKER BELL," a live performer, began summer flights from the peak of Matterhorn Mountain and across Sleeping Beauty Castle, setting off the nightly "Fantasy in the Sky" fireworks spectacular.

The second annual "Dixieland at Disneyland" brought 14,000 visitors. Louis Armstrong led the array of bands on rafts down the Rivers of America in Frontierland, followed by the "Mark Twain" with 50 musicians playing aboard.

The "Parade of Toys," "Parade of All Nations" and Candlelight Caroling Procession again highlighted the Christmas season.


• Prince Bernard of Holland (April)
• Prince of Montenegro (August)
• Maharaja and Maharanee of Jaipur, India (August)
• His Excellency, El Ferik Ibrahim Abboud, President of Sudan (October)

• Prime Minister Jawaharal of Nehru of India (November)

• General and Mrs. Dwight Eisenhower (December)


• JUNGLE CRUISE (enlarged, including a new fun theme in animation featuring the "bathing pool" of Indian elephants) — Adventureland


• SAFARI GAME SHOOT (since removed) — Adventureland


• TAHITIAN TERRACE — Adventureland


Some 17,000 guests greeted the New Year at Disneyland's New Year's Eve Party.

Four top bands played for "Spring Fling" during Easter vacation.

Vintage cars with 200 riders and dancers dressed in turn-of-the-century styles, promenaded down Main Street for the Easter Parade.

Two all-night Grad Nites helped Southern California high school graduates celebrate in style.

Disneyland became the mecca of big-name bands with Harry James, Benny Goodman and Ray Anthony, plus a special "Big Band Night" starring Count Basie and Charlie Barnet.

"Dixieland at Disneyland" presented Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong and many other top jazz musicians.

Another huge "Christmas in Many Lands" parade featured 2,500 participants and another 1,000 carolers in the Candlelight Procession.

Disneyland's Community Service Awards program saluted the efforts of nine county service organizations, with cash awards totaling $9,000. The Outstanding Award was shared by the Assistance League of Anaheim and the Big Brothers of Orange County.


• Pasha Kenitra, Morocco (January)
• M. Ahmed Kamel, Consul General of United Arab Republic (March)
• Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran (April)
• Gov. Edmund G. Brown of California (September)

See more vintage & current Disneyland photos on my Disneyland web pages.


K. Martinez said...

Love the Flying Saucer image with the great view of the platform.

What are those two guys doing standing outside the jungle boat in the 3D Jungle Cruise image?

CoxPilot said...

After reading all that happened during that time, I can not believe that I was there for all of it. How time changes things. This is a great series. Thanks.

Major Pepperidge said...

I love the picture of Walt with his grandkids (and the beaver holding the rope!).

Douglas McEwan said...

I too loved the photo of Walt teaching his granddaughter how to be an axe murderess. This whole timeline series you're doing is terrific and much appreciated.

Daveland said...

K - Don't know the answer to that one!

Lee - I can almost hear Walter Cronkite..."You...were there!"

Douglas - You are one twisted man. I love it!

Lizzy Tex Borden said...

I still have some flyers from the Systems Development Corporation Nights at Disneyland... Something like $2.95 covered all except parking and the shooting gallery. I grew up going every year in September of October.