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Disneyland history

Disneyland, Walt Disney's metropolis of nostalgia, fantasy, and futurism, opens on July 17, 1955. The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.

Walt Disney, born in Chicago in 1901, worked as a commercial artist before setting up a small studio in Los Angeles to produce animated cartoons. In 1928, his short filmSteamboat Willy, starring the character "Mickey Mouse," was a national sensation. It was the first animated film to use sound, and Disney provided the voice for Mickey. From there on, Disney cartoons were in heavy demand, but the company struggled financially because of Disney's insistence on ever-improving artistic and technical quality. His first feature-length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938), took three years to complete and was a great commercial success.

Impact in america

Walt Disney's influence on American culture is almost beyond reckoning. From humble origins as a small-time animator, he built a huge empire of movies, television, theme parks and merchandise. The very name "Disney" conjures a specific mood and feeling, which anyone in the Western world immediately understands.

Facts about Disneyland....

  • Disneyland first opened July 17, 1955, and was the world's first Disney park - Disney World in Florida opened in 1971, and Disney's California Adventure opened in 2001.
  • In its more than 55 year history, the park has entertained more than 515 million guests.
  • The Disneyland Monorail was the first daily operating monorail to open in the western hemisphere when it debuted in 1959.
  • The top floor of the fire station on Main Street USA was Walt Disney's private apartment during the park's construction. It is still furnished but is not open to the public, though a light is left burning in one of its windows each day in tribute to Walt.
  • The original price of the park's land and initial attractions was $16 million.
  • The drawbridge on Sleeping Beauty Castle is real and has been raised and lowered twice; once when the park first opened, and again in 1983 when Fantasyland was rededicated.
  • The Matterhorn Bobsleds coaster was the first tubular steel roller coaster in the world when it opened in 1959, and as such it revolutionized the design and construction of roller coasters.