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Tag Archives: 1950s

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).

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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.

July 18

July 18, 1955 – The Puffin Bakery Opens in Disneyland

On July 18, 1955, the Puffin Bakery opened on Disneyland’s Main Street. Opening the day after the park’s grand opening, the bakery featured a variety of pastries and drinks for guests to either enjoy at the shop’s window front, or take with them as they traveled through the park. The shop closed in 1960, and was replaced with the sponsored Sunkist Citrus House.

July 9

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July 9, 1955 – The New York Times Publishes Article on Disneyland

“Fantastic Amusement Park, at Cost of $16,500,000, to Open July 18.”

On July 9, 1955, an article ran in the New York Times about the soon-to-open Disneyland theme park. Entitled “Disneyland Gets its Last Touches,” the article focused on Walt Disney’s vision for a brand new type of amusement park, to which the article wrote “For its appellation ‘amusement park’ is inadequate, for it has no banalities as roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and dodge-‘ems in a milieu of honky-tonk.” This was one of many articles used to promote this new type of park, which was seen as very different from the amusement parks of its time.

June 26

June 26, 1956 – The Attraction Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches Opens in Disneyland

On June 26, 1956, the Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches attraction opened in Disneyland’s Frontierland. Guests could board a stagecoach and travel around Frontierland, particularly through the Living Desert and other updates to the area. This attraction would share a road with the Conestoga Wagons, another attraction where guests are taken en masse down the Frontierland trails. Unfortunately, the attraction had many issues, including the horses often getting spooked by the Disneyland Railroad as it passed by, and the attraction was closed on September 13, 1959.