Since the Happiest Place on Earth opened in 1955, older Disneyland memories have mingled with remembrances of the constantly changing 160-acre property in Anaheim, California.
At a cost of $17 million, the park broke ground in 1954 but was rushed into service in 1955, while still under construction.
That was OK with Walt Disney who, like a kid with a model railroad, looked forward to continuing to build his dream. Unlike his films, the attractions would remain “a work in progress.”
Here is a collection of videos of Disneyland memories, as the park once was, and during construction.
Here’s a two-part video of Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland with recordings of the original ride’s narrator, photos, and nostalgia trivia. By the way, the sign read “thru” not “through” since miners didn’t always spell so well.
Click here to see Part 2 of Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland
Time-lapse photography of Disneyland under construction, with commentary by two Imagineers. Note their amazement that the Disney brothers pulled off the completion of major attractions with only days to go. Disneyland’s Matterhorn had yet to be built and the Haunted Mansion was years in the future.
Walt Disney himself shows off his land being born, 10 years after.
Here’s a video of the construction of the Pirates of the Caribbean. Watch how excited Walt Disney gets when he describes his dream of New Orleans square and the boat ride down the Bayou and through the town being ransacked by pirates. He sees Disneyland as a giant stage, not a static place, but a show, something like a three-dimensional movie.
“Disneyland will never be completed as long as there is imagination in the world,” as Walt Disney said when the park opened. But for every generation Disneyland memories stay vividly permanent. No wonder people of all ages are fascinated by Disneyland facts and trivia.