Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Happy 64th Anniversary, Disneyland!

In honor of the 64th Anniversary of Disneyland’s Grand Opening Gala, I will present a few memorable images of that historic day starting off with the christening of the Mark Twain. Art Linkletter mugs while actress Irene Dunne smashes the bottle of water from various American Rivers against the Twain.

Here Fess Parker and Buddy Ebsen (aka Davy Crockett & George Russel) ride down Main Street in the Opening Day Parade:

The Mouseketeers, with Annette Funicello in the second row:

Walt Disney himself:

Walt was a busy man that day, running back and forth from Parades, the Disneyland Railroad:

to Town Square for the official opening ceremony:

to the Sleeping Beauty Castle with drawbridge being lowered for the first time to the public:

and hob-nobbing with celebrites Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on Main Street, U.S.A.:

Congrats on your Anniversary, Disneyland - and thanks to Walt Disney for his creative vision and making this American Institution a reality!

See more vintage and contemporary Disneyland photos at my main website.

Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Instagram.


Fifthrider said...

First I dialed in on Art's shoes, what a piece of 50's history. Spiffy. Then I saw the ivory handled gun in his pocket. That sort of thing wouldn't go over well in Disney today. ....well, maybe in Toontown. Bring two.

Stefano said...

Oh man...if Disneyland were asking this question via the Beatles' "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?", the answer would be a resounding NO! But these pictures recall the park I loved (though the first visit wasn't for another 15 years).

Thanks Dave for highlighting the great era; and it's amusing to see Eddie Fisher enjoying the park with Debbie, just as he will be with Liz a few years later.

Daveland said...

Bryan -'re killin' me!

Stefano - I should have thought of the Beatles song! I wonder if Eddie enjoyed Disneyland more with Debbie or Liz?

Chuck said...

Dave, sorry I'm late to the party, but I'm still glad I stopped by.

I think the photos of the Mark Twain christening, the color guard, and maybe even the Fishers were actually taken during the dress rehearsal. Walt and Art both wore sportcoats and ties for the broadcast, Irene Dunne wore a different dress, and the color guard is definitely not dressed for a ceremonial occasion - wrinkled khakis, open collars, the sailor has stripped down to his white pants and a t-shirt, and the rightmost two guys sporting helmets aren't even wearing uniforms.

For comparison, here's footage of the Town Square dedication, and here's the christening of the Twain. And if you're really bored, the flag raising is at 15:47 on this video; they are definitely dressed more snazzily here.