Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 113: Opening of Disneyland

Since we celebrating a park's birthday yesterday, I figured today would be a great time to talk about the original park opening...of Disneyland on July 17, 1955. This comes partly for two reasons...one, on the 17th I'll just be getting back from my trip to Florida, so it wouldn't exactly be the best time to write a post on something so different, and two, because I was just watching the opening day TV special the other day.

I have to say it's an interesting TV special, although maybe not quite as interesting as the fourth anniversary parade (I mean...the fourth anniversary had a dead lion on a stick and a live bar fight on a float). It's really interesting to see how much everything has changed. I've only been to Disneyland once, but it's enough for me to know what it looks like (even if I can't exactly picture it in my head like I can do with WDW), and in this TV special, it's interesting because everything looks so much more...green. There's obviously no Matterhorn there yet, since that wouldn't open until 1959 (At that same fourth anniversary celebration), and there are several other things casually missing from the park (some wouldn't appear until after the World's Fair in 1964-65). It just looks...empty.

But along with that, I have to say that as a student who works mainly on a wireless laptop, using wireless internet, and has a wireless cell phone...it's kind of funny to see how everything has changed technology wise. In both the opening celebration and the fourth anniversary celebration, there are ads from Kodak for cameras and such...and boy have those changed. I'm pretty sure our out digital video camera cost a few hundred dollars...and back in the 50's you could get a COLOR video camera for just $3.95. If that doesn't show some perspective I don't know what does.

This also goes along with a series of pictures that have been floating around various Disney blogs for the past several weeks...having started on the ImagineeringDisney blog. There's a series of pictures of "Then" and "Now" from many of the Disney parks (or at least those that are old enough to have then and now pictures). There are pictures such as those below, from Disneyland, and then there are sections for The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, River Country and the 1964-65 World's Fair (which I'll have to do a post on soon since it keeps coming up in discussions!) Check the entire series out here. 

These are just pictures from Disneyland...although I think there are two things to note from these. One, how much Tomorrowland has changed. I'm one of those that feel it's going to need an update soon (although I think WDW more-so than Disneyland), but the difference from the past fifty (almost sixty now!) years is incredible. And second, how different the characters are now. I decided to share that particular picture because the characters, I feel, are just down-right scary. I'm so thankful for the costuming department at Disney and all the work they do (and you can head inside the one at WDW on certain tours...it's well worth it! Of course, you can always see it on the Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios). 

Here's today's Disney History: 1928: Shirley Jane Temple, the popular child star who presented Walt Disney with special Oscars for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is born in Santa Monica, California. As an adult, she took part in a 1957 Disneyland dedication and later served on the board of directors of some of the largest enterprises including the Walt Disney Company (1974-75). (Today is also my dad's birthday! Happy birthday Dad!)

Have a magical day!