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Disneyland - Page Text Content

FC: Disneyland | By Maido Maasepp

1: Disneyland Park is a theme park located in Anaheim, California, owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division of The Walt Disney Company. Originally, and still often colloquially, called Disneyland, it was dedicated with a televised press preview on July 17, 1955, and opened to the general public on July 18, 1955. Disneyland is the only theme park to be designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney himself. In 1998, the theme park was re-branded "Disneyland Park" to distinguish it from the larger Disneyland Resort complex. Disneyland has a larger cumulative attendance than any other theme park in the world, with close to 600 million guests since it opened. In 2009, 15.9 million people visited the park, making it the second most visited park in the world that calendar year.

2: The concept for Disneyland began when Walt Disney was visiting Griffith Park with his daughters Diane and Sharon. While watching them ride the merry-go-round, he came up with the idea of a place where adults and their children could go and have fun together. His dream lay dormant for many years.[3] Walt Disney also may have been influenced by his father's memories of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago (his father worked at the Exposition). The Midway Plaisance there included a set of attractions representing various countries from around the world and others representing various periods of man; it also included many rides including the first Ferris wheel, a "sky" ride, a passenger train that circled the perimeter, and a Wild West Show. Another likely influence was Benton Harbor, Michigan's nationally famous House of David's Eden Springs Park. Walt Disney visited the park and ultimately bought one of the older

3: miniature trains originally used there; the colony had the largest miniature railway setup in the world at the time. | Walt Disney

4: Disneyland Park was opened to the public on July 18, 1955 with only 20 attractions. A special "International Press Preview" event was held on Sunday, July 17, 1955, which was only open to invited guests and the media. The Special Sunday events, including the dedication, were televised nationwide and anchored by three of Walt Disney's friends from Hollywood: Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan. ABC broadcast the event live on its network. The event did not go smoothly. The park was overcrowded as the by-invitation-only affair was plagued with counterfeit tickets. Only 11,000 people were expected to show up, but a staggering 28,154 was the eventual population. Movie stars and other famous figures scheduled to come every two hours showed up all at once. All major roads nearby were empty. The temperature was an

5: unusually high 101 F (38 C), and a plumbers' strike left many of the park's drinking fountains dry. Disney was given a choice of having working fountains or running toilets and he chose the latter. | An aerial view of Disneyland in 1956. The entire route of the Disneyland Railroad is clearly visible as it encircles the park.

6: The park is divided into "lands" (themed areas) and well-concealed backstage areas. On entering a land, a guest is completely immersed in a themed environment and is unable to see or hear any other realm. The idea behind this was to develop theatrical "stages" with seamless passages from one land to the next. The public areas occupy approximately 85 acres (34 ha). When the park initially opened, it consisted of five themed areas: *Main Street, U.S.A., designed to resemble an early 20th-century Midwest town; *Adventureland, featuring jungle-themed adventures; *Frontierland, illustrating an American Old West frontier town; *Fantasyland, bringing to life characters and places from Disney's movies for children; *Tomorrowland, an optimistic vision of the future.

7: Since the initial opening, additional areas have been added: *In 1957, Holidayland, a 9 acres (3.6 ha) recreation area including a circus and baseball diamond, which was closed in late 1961. *In 1966, New Orleans Square, based on 19th-century New Orleans. *In 1972, Bear Country, themed around the mountain forests of the American South. It was later renamed Critter Country and themed around Splash Mountain's Song of the South elements. *In 1993, Mickey's Toontown, themed around the Toontown seen in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Throughout the park are 'Hidden Mickeys', or representations of Mickey Mouse heads inserted subtly into the design of attractions and environmental decor. An elevated berm supports a narrow gauge railroad that circumnavigates the park.

8: Disney California Adventure Park was added in what used to be a parking lot for Disneyland guests. | Aerial view of Disneyland in 1963, looking southeast. The Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) is in the upper left corner. Harbor Boulevard forms the eastern boundary of the park. Anaheim's newly completed Melodyland Theater ("theater-in-the-round") is at the top of the photo.

9: Main Street, U.S.A. is patterned after a typical Midwest town of the early 20th century. Walt Disney derived inspiration from his boyhood town of Marceline, Missouri and worked closely with designers and architects to develop the Main Street appeal. It is the first area guests see when they enter the park (if not entering by monorail), and is how guests reach Central Plaza. At the center of The Magic Kingdom and immediately North of Central Plaza stands Sleeping Beauty Castle, which provides entrance to Fantasyland by way of a drawbridge across a moat. Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland are arrayed on both sides of the castle.

10: Main Street, USA as seen on July 4, 2010

11: Adventureland is designed to recreate the feel of an exotic tropical place in a far-off region of the world. "To create a land that would make this dream reality", said Walt Disney, "we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa." Attractions include opening day's Jungle Cruise, the "Temple of the Forbidden Eye" in Indiana Jones Adventure, and Tarzan's Treehouse, which is a conversion of the earlier Swiss Family Robinson Tree House from the Walt Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room which is located at the entrance to Adventureland is the first feature attraction to employ Audio-Animatronics, a computer synchronization of sound and robotics.

13: New Orleans Square is a themed land based on 19th-century New Orleans. It was opened to the public on July 24, 1966. Despite its age, it is still very popular with Disneyland guests, being home to some of the park's most popular attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, including nighttime entertainment in Fantasmic!. Also included are the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Sailing Ship Columbia, and Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The above-mentioned attractions are sometimes mistakenly placed as Frontierland attractions.

14: Frontierland recreates the setting of pioneer days along the American frontier. According to Walt Disney, "All of us have cause to be proud of our country's history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. Our adventures are designed to give you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country's pioneer days." Frontierland is home to the Pinewood Indians band of animatronic Native Americans, who live on the banks of the Rivers of America. Entertainment and attractions include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Frontierland Shootin' Exposition. Frontierland is also home to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, an Old West-style show palace. Currently the comedic troupe "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" entertains guests at the Golden Horseshoe.

15: Critter Country opened in 1972 as "Bear Country", and was renamed in 1988. Formerly the area was home to Indian Village, where indigenous tribespeople demonstrated their dances and other customs. Today, the main draw of the area is Splash Mountain, a log-flume journey inspired by the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris and the animated segments of Disney's Academy Award-winning 1946 film, Song of the South. In 2003, a dark ride called The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh replaced the Country Bear Jamboree, which closed in 2001. The Country Bear Jamboree presented shows featuring singing bear characters that were visualized through Disney's electronically controlled and mechanically animated puppets, known as Audio-Animatronics.

17: Fantasyland is the area of Disneyland of which Walt Disney said, "What youngster has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice's nonsensical Wonderland? In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyone's youth have become realities for youngsters – of all ages – to participate in." Fantasyland was originally styled in a medieval European fairground fashion, but its 1983 refurbishment turned it into a Bavarian village. Attractions include several dark rides, the King Arthur Carrousel, and various children's rides. Before the fireworks begin, some attractions in Fantasyland close at approximately 8:30 on nights that fireworks shoot off at 9:25. The inside of Sleeping Beauty's Castle is a walk-through of the story of Sleeping Beauty that was previously open from 1959 to 1972 and then closed for several years. The walkthrough is now reopened and it features the restored work of Eyvind Earle (not Mary Blair). Fantasyland has the most fiber optics in the park; more than half of them are in Peter Pan's Flight.

18: Fantasy land

19: Pictures from:

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