Sunday 1 February 2015

Disneyland then and now...

Check out video footage of Walt Disney's original resort from 60 years ago and today. The difference is striking... but that warm, fuzzy feeling remains the same.

Published 03/07/2014 | 21:14

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on February 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. With the worsening economy, declining attendance and reduced operating income, the Walt Disney Company announced that it plans to restructure its domestic theme-park operations, which will result in the layoff an unspecified number of employees in the coming weeks. Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will reportedly be consolidated into a single unit headed by Worldwide Operations President Al Weiss. Attendance at Disney theme parks in the US dropped 5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year and in January, Disney offered buyout packages to 600 US executives.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA: The entrance to Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

When Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, it blew the minds of families all over the US. Today, it would barely count as a 'land' within a Disney Parks. Take a trip down memory lane...

The first Disneyland - and the only one designed under the supervision of Walt Disney himself - opened on July 17, 1955. Check out this gloriously nostalgic footage from the very first year of its existence.

Almost 60 years later, of course, it's less a park than a phenomenon.

Walt Disney’s original theme park is today divided into eight colourfully themed lands - Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown, Frontierland, Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Adventureland.

Here's a look at what's happening this summer, with Southern California reporter Audra Stafford introducing upgrades to Big Thunder Mountain, a look at Anna, Elsa, and Olaf in Fantasyland (hey, it was only a matter of time), and much more...

Disney parks are of course a global force today, welcoming over 100 million guests a year in locations including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Paris and, as of next year, Shanghai. The original may not be the best, but it's still got something special.

Here's Walt's original dedication:

"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

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