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Tag Archives: 1950s

October 23

October 23, 1954 – Walt Disney Appears on the Cover of TV Guide

“Disney in TV Land: The old maestro is trying to top a fabulous career.”

On October 23, 1954, Walt Disney appeared on the front cover of TV Guide, alongside Goofy, Mickey, Pluto, Donald, and Dopey. The picture was meant to describe the featured article: “Why Disney Changed His Mind About TV,” which was all about Walt Disney’s newest show, Disneyland, which would be the first incarnation of the long-running anthology series. The article featured exclusive sketches of what would become Disneyland, and explained why Disney finally took the plunge and entered the realm of television.

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September 13

September 13, 1959 – The Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches Attraction Closes

On September 13, 1959, after only about four years of operation, the Rainbow Mountain Stage Coach attraction was officially closed. The attraction first opened in 1955 as the Stage Coaches, and was reopened as Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches on June 26, 1956. Guests boarded a stagecoach and traveled around Frontierland, particularly through the Living Desert and other updates to the area. Unfortunately, the attraction was forced to close due to the horses continually getting spooked by the Disneyland Railroad rolling by.

August 27

August 27, 1955 – The Mickey Mouse Club Theater Opens in Disneyland

                     Image credit: D23

“Walt Disney’s Cartoon Carnival”

On August 27, 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club Theater opened in Disneyland’s Fantasyland. The air conditioned theater gave guests a chance to sit down and enjoy some of the classic Mickey Mouse and friends cartoon short films that had dominated the 1930s and 40s. The shorts available were on a rotating schedule, and the theater itself was only open to guests during peak periods at the park. At one point, the theater offered an event called the 3D Jamboree, where guests put on their 3-D glasses to enjoy the short films Melody and Working for Peanuts, which were introduced by the Mouseketeers. As the only theater in the park, until the Opera House opened in the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln attraction, the theater was also used for special press conferences and cast member events. It was renamed the Fantasyland Theater in 1964, and was converted to a live performance venue. The theater closed on December 20, 1981, to make way for the new Pinocchio’s Daring Journey attraction, which would open in 1983.

August 16

August 16, 1958 – The Main Street Fire Truck Begins Operating in Disneyland

“Travel back in time during a breezy, one-way drive down Main Street, U.S.A. in a charming turn-of-the-century vehicle.”

On August 16, 1958, the Main Street Fire Truck began running in Disneyland. Based on the first fire engines that operated at the turn-of-the-century, guests are able to ride down Main Street and travel all the way to the front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Versions of the Fire Truck have also been added to Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World (added on October 1, 1971), World Bazaar in Tokyo Disneyland (added on April 15, 1983), and Main Street of Disneyland Paris (added April 12, 1992).

August 15

August 15, 1955 – Disneyland Appears in Life Magazine

Image Credit: http://vintagedisneylandtickets.blogspot.com/2008/05/disneyland-in-life-august-15-1955.html

“Uncle Walt packs his new park with the stuff children’s dreams are made on.”

On August 15, 1955, Life Magazine was released, featuring a four-page article on the opening of Disneyland, a few months after it had opened. The article featured pictures of early park attractions, and described the chaos that was opening day, with over 20,000 guests trying to mill about the park. The article covers the Golden Horseshoe (known as a “children’s saloon”), Casey Jr. as it passes by the canal, and a large image of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

August 14

August 14, 1958 – The Grand Opening of the Alice in Wonderland Attraction is Held

“Don’t be late, your adventure awaits.”

On August 14, 1958, two months after the opening of the attraction, the Grand Opening Ceremony for the Alice in Wonderland dark ride was held in Disneyland. The ceremony was a grand affair, featuring Walt Disney himself riding down Main Street in a horse-drawn carriage with Mouseketeer Karen Pendleton, who was selected by Walt to play Alice for the day. Joined by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as the White Rabbit, Karen was given the key to the attraction by Walt.

July 30

July 30, 1956 – The Mineral Hall Store Opens in Disneyland

“An exciting display of minerals glowing in the beauty of black light!”

On July 30, 1956, the Mineral Hall store and display opened in Disneyland’s Frontierland. Guests could enter the hall and see a variety of minerals under regular light and black light; there was a bonus of guests being able to see how their clothes would glow under the black light. Guests were also able to purchase the types of minerals on display. The store closed in 1963.