July 17, 1955: Disneyland Theme Park Opens in California

July 17, 1955:  Disneyland Theme Park Opens in California

On this day in 1955, Disneyland Park opened its gates to 28,000 people, half of whom entered using counterfeit tickets. The day was marked by numerous disasters including: heavy traffic, extremely high temperatures, a shortage of food, and a gas leak. For over a decade, Walt Disney and his executives referred to this day as “Black Sunday,” declaring that the official opening day was the following day, July 18.

The $17 million theme park in Anaheim, California was the only theme park to be designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney.

Learn about the early beginnings of the cartoonist who gave the world Mickey Mouse and Disneyland.

Photo: Children running through gate of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Walt Disney’s theme park, Disneyland, July 1955 (Photo by Allan Grant/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images).

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July 17, 2013 · 4:58 pm

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