By indexer
180 days ago

Disneyland's first day, 1955

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Walt Disney opened Disneyland, at Anaheim, California, on Sunday 17th July 1955. Despite the fact that it has been a mega-success ever since and welcomed more than 650 million visitors, the first day was a disaster.

For one thing, far more people turned up than had been anticipated. 11,000 tickets had been sold, but many fake ones had been printed and pirated, and security was so lax that thousands of people just walked in by climbing over the fences.

July in California is often hot, but the day in question was exceptionally so, with temperatures exceeding 100°F (38°C). The asphalt melted in the park and on surrounding streets, with the result that high heels sank into the surface and traffic jams formed in all directions.

Some of the rides broke down, there were gas leaks, food and drink sold out, and the water fountains ran dry due to a plumbers’ strike.

The TV coverage was terrible, caused in part by the incompetence of one of the presenters, a certain Ronald Reagan.

One might have imagined that “Black Sunday” would have been enough to condemn the venture to an early grave, but that was not the case. Disney had invested millions of dollars in the project, which had been developing ever since 1948, and public interest had grown throughout this period. It was simply too big to fail, and it clearly did not do so. Disney theme parks – in California, Florida and France – have continued to be major international attractions that show no sign of ceasing to be so.
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Lucia5 Very nice article!
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soncee Gorgeous place !!
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Justin Very interesting
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