Disney parks and attractions in Anaheim

Disneyland Park (Anaheim)

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Disneyland is an American theme park in Anaheim, California, owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division of The Walt Disney Company. It was dedicated with a press preview on July 17, 1955, and opened to the general public the following day. Disneyland holds the distinction of being the only theme park to be designed, built, opened, and operated by Walt Disney.

Currently the park has been visited by more than 515 million guests since it opened, including presidents, royalty and other heads of state. In 1998, the theme park was re-branded "Disneyland Park" to distinguish it from the larger Disneyland Resort complex. In 2007, over 14,800,000 people visited the park making it the second most visited park in the world, behind the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.


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The dedication to all Disney magic kingdom-style parks begins with the phrase "To all who come to this happy place, welcome ..." with the exception of Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. The dedication there begins "Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney ..."


Concept and construction

]] The concept for Disneyland began one Sunday, when Walt Disney was visiting Griffith Park with his daughters Diane and Sharon. While watching his daughters ride the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round he came up with the idea of a place where adults and their children could go and have fun together. His dream would lie dormant for many years. Walt Disney's father helped build the grounds of the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. This perhaps gave Disney the creative spark whence Disneyland originated. The fairgrounds for the World's Fair were a cheaply constructed set of individual "Country" areas from around the world and areas representing various time periods of man; it also included many "rides" including the first Ferris wheel, sky ride, a passenger train that circled the perimeter, Wild West Show, etc. Although the 1893 World's Fair was meant only to last a summer in Chicago, in Southern California the weather was accommodating to a "Fair Grounds" of stucco buildings that would otherwise disintegrate in the rain, snow and ice of other climates. One can see the resemblance of a "Land" filled with "rides" and a fairgrounds with differently themed areas to the Disneyland created 60 years later in the 1950s as the population of America for the first time shifted West into desert climes. See [1].

While many people had written letters to Walt Disney about visiting the Disney Studio, Walt realized that a functional movie studio had little to offer to the visiting fans. He then began to foster ideas of building a site near his Burbank studios for tourists to visit. His ideas then evolved to a small play park with a boat ride and other themed areas. Walt's initial concept, his "Mickey Mouse Park", started with an Шаблон:Convert plot across Riverside Drive. Walt started to visit other parks for inspiration and ideas, including Tivoli Gardens, Greenfield Village, The Efteling, Tilburg , Playland and Children's Fairyland. He started his designers working on concepts, but these would grow into a project much larger than could be contained in Шаблон:Convert.

Walt hired a consultant, Harrison Price from Stanford Research Institute, to gauge the area's potential growth. With the report from Price, Disney acquired Шаблон:Convert of orange groves and walnut trees in Anaheim, southeast of Los Angeles in neighboring Orange County.

Difficulties in obtaining funding prompted Disney to investigate new methods of fundraising. He decided to use television to get the ideas into people's homes, and so he created a show named Disneyland which was broadcast on the then-fledgling ABC television network. In return, the network agreed to help finance the new park. For the first five years of its operation, Disneyland was owned by Disneyland, Inc., which was jointly owned by Walt Disney Productions and ABC. In 1960 Walt Disney Productions purchased ABC's share. In addition, many of the shops on Main Street, U.S.A. were owned and operated by other companies who rented space from Disney.

Construction began on July 18, 1954 and would cost USD$17 million to complete, and was opened exactly one year later. U.S. Route 101 (later Interstate 5) was under construction at the same time just to the north of the site; in preparation for the traffic which Disneyland was expected to bring, two more lanes were added to the freeway even before the park was finished Шаблон:Fact.

1955: Opening day

Disneyland Park was opened to the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. However, a special "International Press Preview" event was held on Sunday, July 17, 1955 which was only open to invited guests and the media . The Special Sunday events, including the dedication, were televised nationwide and anchored by three of Walt Disney's friends from Hollywood: Art Linkletter, Bob Cummings, and Ronald Reagan. ABC broadcast the event live on its network; at the time, it was one of the largest and most complex live broadcasts ever.

The event did not go smoothly. The park was overcrowded as the by-invitation-only affair was plagued with counterfeit tickets. All major roads nearby were empty. The temperature was an unusually high 101 °F (38 °C), and a plumbers' strike left many of the park's drinking fountains dry. Disney was given a choice of having working fountains or running toilets and he chose the latter. This, however, generated negative publicity since Pepsi sponsored the park's opening; enraged guests believed the inoperable fountains were a cynical way to sell more soda. The asphalt that had been poured just that morning was so soft that ladies' high-heeled shoes sank in. Vendors ran out of food. A gas leak in Fantasyland caused Adventureland, Frontierland, and Fantasyland to close for the afternoon. Parents were throwing their children over the shoulders of crowds to get them onto rides such as the King Arthur Carrousel.

The park got such bad press for the event day that Walt Disney invited members of the press back for a private "second day" to experience the true Disneyland, after which Walt held a party in the Disneyland Hotel for them. Walt and his 1955 executives forever referred to the day as "Black Sunday". On July 17 every year, cast members wear pin badges stating how many years it has been since July 17, 1955. For example, in 2004 they wore the slogan "The magic began 49 years ago today." But for the first twelve to fifteen years, Disney did officially state that opening day was on July 18, including in the park's own publications. Disneyland referred to July 17, 1955 as "Dedication Day" in one of its July, 1967 press releases.

On Monday, July 18 crowds started to gather in line as early as 2 a.m., and the first person to buy a ticket and enter the park was David MacPherson with admission ticket number 2, as Roy O. Disney arranged to pre-purchase ticket number 1. Walt Disney had an official photo taken with two children instead, Christine Vess Watkins (age 5 in 1955) and Michael Schwartner (age 7 in 1955), and the photo of the two carries a deceptive caption along the lines of "Walt Disney with the first two guests of Disneyland." Vess Watkins and Schwartner both received lifetime passes to Disneyland that day, and MacPherson was awarded one shortly thereafter, which was later expanded to every single Disney-owned park in the world.

In September 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev spent 13 days in the United States. He had two requests: To visit Disneyland and to meet John Wayne, Hollywood's top box-office draw. Security concerns prevented Khruschev's Disneyland visit; he responded by publicly wondering whether missiles were hidden there. Walt Disney was reportedly upset, having been denied showing Khrushchev his submarine fleet, which was among the largest in the world at the time.

1990s transition: Park becomes Resort

In the late 1990s, work began to expand on the one-park, one-hotel property. Disneyland Park, the Disneyland Hotel and the site of the original parking lot as well as acquired surrounding properties were earmarked to become part of a greater vacation resort development. The new components of this resort were to be another theme park, Disney's California Adventure Park; a shopping, dining and entertainment complex, Downtown Disney; a remodeled Disneyland Hotel; Disney's Grand Californian Hotel; and the acquisition of the Pan Pacific Hotel (later to be remodeled and renamed Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel). Because the existing parking lot (south of Disneyland) was built upon by these projects, the six-level 10,250 space "Mickey and Friends" parking structure was constructed in the northwest corner of the property, at the time of its completion in 2000, it was the largest parking structure in the United States.

The park's management team during the mid-1990s was a source of controversy among Disneyland fans and employees. In an effort to boost profits, various changes began by then-executives Cynthia Harriss and Paul Pressler. While their actions provided a short-term increase in shareholder returns, they drew widespread criticism from employees and guests alike for the lack of foresight. With the retail background of Harriss and Pressler, Disneyland's focus gradually shifted from attractions to merchandising. Outside consultants McKinsey & Co were also brought in to help streamline operations, which resulted in many changes and cutbacks. After nearly a decade of deferred maintenance, Walt Disney's original theme park was showing visible signs of neglect. Fans of the park decried the perceived decline in customer value and park quality and rallied for the dismissal of the management team.Шаблон:Fact

Disneyland in the 21st Century

Matt Ouimet, formerly the president of the Disney Cruise Line, was promoted to assume leadership of the Disneyland Resort in late 2003. Shortly afterward, he selected Greg Emmer as Senior Vice President of Operations. Emmer is a long-time Disney cast member who had worked at Disneyland in his youth prior to moving to Florida and holding multiple executive leadership positions at the Walt Disney World Resort. Ouimet quickly set about reversing certain trends, especially with regards to cosmetic maintenance and a return to the original infrastructure maintenance schedule, in hopes of restoring the safety record of the past. Much like Walt Disney himself, Ouimet and Emmer could often be seen walking the park during business hours with members of their respective staff. They wore cast member name badges, stood in line for attractions and welcomed comments from guests.

In July 2006, Matt Ouimet announced that he would be leaving The Walt Disney Company to become president of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Soon after this announcement, Ed Grier, executive managing director of Walt Disney Attractions Japan, was named president of the Disneyland Resort. Greg Emmer retired from his job on February 8, 2008.

50th anniversary


The Happiest Homecoming on Earth was the eighteen-month-long celebration (held through 2005 and 2006) of the fiftieth anniversary of the Disneyland theme park, which opened on July 17, 1955. The Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorated fifty years of Disney theme parks, and celebrated Disneyland's milestone throughout Disney parks all over the globe. In 2004, the park undertook a number of major renovation projects in preparation for its fiftieth anniversary celebration. Many classic attractions were restored, notably Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. The 50th Anniversary celebration ended on September 30, 2006.

Park layout

The park is divided into realms, which radiate like the four cardinal points of the compass from Central Plaza, and well-concealed backstage areas. On entering a realm, a guest is completely immersed in the environment and is unable to see or hear any other realm. The idea behind this was to develop theatrical "stages" with seamless passages from one land to the next. The public areas occupy approximately Шаблон:Convert. When the park initially opened, it consisted of five themed areas:

  • Main Street, U.S.A., an early 20th century Midwest town
  • Adventureland, featuring jungle-themed adventures
  • Frontierland, illustrating western frontier
  • Fantasyland, bringing fantasy into a reality
  • Tomorrowland, looking into the future.

Since the initial opening, additional areas have been added:

  • In 1957, Holidayland, a Шаблон:Convert recreation area including a circus and baseball diamond, which was closed in late 1961.
  • In 1966, New Orleans Square, based on 19th century New Orleans
  • In 1972, "Bear Country", themed to the mountain forests of the South. It was later renamed Critter Country and themed around Splash Mountain's Song of the South elements.
  • In 1993, Mickey's Toontown, themed around the Toontown seen in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit

An elevated berm supports a narrow gauge railroad which circumnavigates the park. Disney's California Adventure Park was added in what used to be a Disneyland parking lot.

Lands of Disneyland


Main Street, U.S.A.

Main Street, U.S.A. is patterned after a typical midwest town of the early 20th century. Walt Disney derived inspiration from his boyhood town of Marceline, Missouri and worked closely with designers and architects to develop the Main Street appeal. It is the first area guests see when they enter the park, and is how guests reach Central Plaza. At the center of The Magic Kingdom and immediately North of Central Plaza stands Sleeping Beauty Castle, which provides entrance to Fantasyland by way of a drawbridge across a moat. Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland are arrayed on both sides of the castle.


Main Street, U.S.A. is reminiscent of the Victorian period of Americana with the train station, town square, movie theatre, city hall, firehouse complete with a steam-powered pump engine, emporium, shops, arcades, double-decker bus, horse-drawn streetcar, jitneys and other bits of memorabilia. At the far end of Main Street, U.S.A. is Sleeping Beauty Castle, and the Hub, which is a portal to all the themed lands.

The design of Main Street, U.S.A. utilizes a process to give the appearance of height called forced perspective, frequently used in movies. Buildings down Main Street are built at 3/4 scale on the first level, then 5/8 on the second story, and 1/2 scale on the third.


Adventureland is designed to be an exotic tropical place in a far-off region of the world. "To create a land that would make this dream reality", said Walt Disney, "we pictured ourselves far from civilization, in the remote jungles of Asia and Africa." Attractions include opening day's Jungle Cruise, the "Temple of the Forbidden Eye" in Indiana Jones Adventure, and Tarzan's Treehouse, which is a conversion of the earlier Swiss Family Robinson Tree House from the Walt Disney film, Swiss Family Robinson. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room which is located at the entrance to Adventureland is the first feature attraction to employ Audio-Animatronics, a computer synchronization of sound and robotics.

New Orleans Square

Main article: New Orleans Square

New Orleans Square is a themed land based on 19th century New Orleans. It was opened to the public on July 24, 1966. Despite its age, it is still very popular with Disneyland guests, being home to two of the park's most popular attractions: Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. Hidden in the walkway near the Blue Bayou Restaurant, there is a doorway with the number 33 beside it. This is the entrance to a private members-only club inside Disneyland, that members pay high amounts of money to get into. Club 33 is the only place in Disneyland proper to have alcoholic beverages.


Frontierland recreates the setting of pioneer days along the American frontier. According to Walt Disney, "All of us have cause to be proud of our country's history, shaped by the pioneering spirit of our forefathers. Our adventures are designed to give you the feeling of having lived, even for a short while, during our country's pioneer days." Frontierland is home to the Pinewood Indians band of animatronic Native Americans, who live on the banks of the Rivers of America. Entertainment and attractions include Fantasmic!, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Frontierland Shootin' Exposition and Sailing Ship Columbia. May 2007 featured the opening of "Pirate's Lair at Tom Sawyer Island". Frontierland is also home to the Golden Horseshoe Saloon, a show palace straight out of the Old West. Currently the comedic troupe "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies" entertain guests on a daily basis.

Critter Country

Critter Country opened in 1972 as "Bear Country", and was renamed in 1988. Formerly the area was home to Indian Village where actual indigenous tribespeople demonstrated their dances and other customs. Today, the main draw of the area is Splash Mountain, a log-flume journey inspired by the Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris and the animated segments of Disney's Academy Award-winning 1946 film, Song of the South. In 2003, a dark ride called The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh replaced the Country Bear Jamboree, which closed in 2001. The Country Bear Jamboree presented shows featuring singing bear characters that were visualized through electronically-controlled and mechanically-animated puppets, known as Audio-Animatronics.


Fantasyland is the area of Disneyland which Walt Disney said, "What youngster has not dreamed of flying with Peter Pan over moonlit London, or tumbling into Alice's nonsensical Wonderland. In Fantasyland, these classic stories of everyone's youth have become realities for youngsters - of all ages - to participate in." Fantasyland was originally styled in a medieval European fairground fashion, but its 1983 refurbishment turned it into a Bavarian village. Attractions include several dark rides, the King Arthur Carrousel, and various children's rides.

Mickey's Toontown

Mickey's Toontown opened in 1993 and was partly inspired by the fictional Los Angeles suburb of Toontown in The Walt Disney Studios' 1988 release Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Mickey's Toontown is a 1930s cartoon come-to-life and is home to Disney's most popular cartoon characters. Toontown features two main attractions: Gadget's Go Coaster and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin. The "city" is also home to cartoon character's houses such as the house of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.



During the 1955 inauguration Walt Disney dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: "Tomorrow can be a wonderful age. Our scientists today are opening the doors of the Space Age to achievements that will benefit our children and generations to come. The Tomorrowland attractions have been designed to give you an opportunity to participate in adventures that are a living blueprint of our future."

Disneyland producer Ward Kimball had Rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Willy Ley, and Heinz Haber served as technical consultants during the original design of Tomorrowland. Initial attractions included Rocket to the Moon, Astro-Jets and Autopia; later, the first incarnation of the Submarine Voyage was added. The area underwent a major transformation in 1967 to become New Tomorrowland, and then again in 1998 when its focus was changed to present a "retro-future" theme reminiscent of the illustrations of Jules Verne.

Current attractions include Space Mountain, Innoventions, Star Tours, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Autopia, the Disneyland Monorail Tomorrowland Station, the Astro Orbitor and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened on June 11, 2007, resurrecting the original Submarine Voyage which closed in 1998.

Theatrical analogy

Disneyland staff use theatrical terminology. This is to emphasize that a visit to the park is intended to be similar to witnessing a performance. For example, visitors are referred to as Guests and park employees as Cast Members. On Stage refers to any area of the Resort that is open to Guests. Backstage refers to any area of the Resort that is closed to Guests. A crowd is referred to as an "audience." Costume is the attire that Cast Members who perform the day-to-day operations of the park must wear. Terms such as uniform are not used. Show is the Resort's presentation to its Guests, such as the color and façades of buildings, placement of rides/attractions, costumes to match the themed lands. Each Cast Member's job is called his "Role." When working in their roles, Cast Members must follow a "Script." This is not a traditional play script, but more of a strict code of conduct and approved, themed phrase-ology that Cast Members may use when at work. Park employees were often reminded that "no" and "I don't know" are not a part of a Cast Member's script. When signing credit card receipts for souvenirs or food, Guests are asked for their autograph. "Stage Managers" are responsible for overseeing the operation of the different areas of the park. Cast Members who are in charge of a specific team are called "Leads," as in a film or theater "Lead Role." In the earlier years of the park, the offices where administrative work took place were referred to as "Production Offices." "Production Schedulers" build employee work schedules to meet the necessary workload, while "Stage Schedulers" handle day-to-day changes in that work schedule (such as a change in park hours, necessitating a change in everybody's shifts).


Backstage areas include closed areas of attraction, store, and restaurant buildings, as well as outdoor service areas located behind such buildings. Although some areas of the park, particularly New Orleans Square, have underground operations and storage areas, there is no park-wide network of subterranean tunnels, such as Walt Disney World's utilidors.

There are several points of entry from outside the park to the backstage areas: Ball Gate (from Ball Road), T.D.A. Gate (adjacent to the Team Disney Anaheim building), Harbor Pointe (from Harbor Boulevard), and Winston Gate (from Disneyland Drive).

Berm Road encircles the park from Firehouse Gate (behind the Main Street Fire Station) to Egghouse Gate (adjacent to the Disneyland Opera House). The road is so called because it generally follows outside the path of Disneyland's berm. A stretch of the road, wedged between Tomorrowland and Harbor Boulevard, is called Schumacher Road. It has two narrow lanes and runs underneath the Monorail track. There are also two railroad bridges that cross Berm Road: one behind City Hall and the other behind Tomorrowland.

Major buildings backstage include the Frank Gehry-designed Team Disney Anaheim, where most of the division's administration currently works, as well as the Old Administration Building, behind Tomorrowland. The Old Administration Building additionally houses the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas visible on the Disneyland Railroad.

The northwest corner of the park is home to most of the park's maintenance facilities, including:

  • Company vehicle services, including Parking Lot trams and Main Street Vehicles
  • Scrap yard, where the Resort's garbage and recyclables are sorted for collection
  • Circle D Corral, where the Resort's horses and other animals are stabled
  • Parade float storage and maintenance
  • Distribution center for all Resort merchandise
  • Ride vehicle service areas
  • Paint shop
  • Sign shop

Backstage also refers to parts of show buildings that are normally not seen by guests. Backstage areas are generally off-limits to park guests. This prevents guests from seeing the industrial areas that violate the "magic" of on-stage and keeps them safe from the potentially dangerous machinery. Cast members can also find some solace while they work or rest, as backstage offers alternate routes between the park's various areas.

Many attractions are housed in large, soundstage-like buildings, some of which are partially or completely disguised by external theming. Generally, these buildings are painted a dull green color in areas not seen by guests; ostensibly, this choice has been made to help disguise the buildings among the foliage and make them less visually obtrusive. Most of them have off-white flat roofs that support HVAC units and footpaths for cast members. Inside are the rides, as well as hidden walkways, service areas, control rooms, and other behind-the-scenes operations. Photography is forbidden in these areas, both inside and outside, although some photos have found their way to a variety of web sites. Guests who attempt to explore backstage are warned and often escorted from the property.

The boundary between on and off-stage is demarcated at every access point. Everything within guest view when a door or gateway is open is also considered on stage. It is from this point, that characters start playing their part. That way, when the door is open, guests will not accidentally see a person out of character backstage.

Various amenities exist for Cast Members backstage when they are on breaks, or before and after their scheduled shifts. A number of cafeterias, now run by Sodexho, offer discounted meals throughout the day. These include Inn Between (behind the Plaza Inn), Eat Ticket (near the Team Disney Anaheim building behind Mickey's Toontown), and Westside Diner (located in a lower level beneath New Orleans Square). Partners Federal Credit Union, the credit union for employees of The Walt Disney Company in Orange County, provides nearly 20 ATMs backstage for cast member use and maintains an express branch at the Team Disney Anaheim building.


Walt Disney had a longtime interest in transportation, and trains in particular. He even built a miniature live steam backyard railroad, the "Carolwood Pacific Railroad", on the grounds of his Holmby Hills estate. Throughout all the iterations of Disneyland during the seventeen or so years when Mr. Disney was conceiving it, one element remained constant: a train encircling the park. The primary designer for the park transportation vehicles was Bob Gurr who gave himself the title of "Director of Special Vehicle Design" in 1954.

Disneyland Railroad

Шаблон:Main Encircling Disneyland and providing a grand circle tour is the Disneyland Railroad (DRR), a short-line railway consisting of five oil-fired and steam-powered locomotives, in addition to three passenger trains and one passenger-carrying freight train. Originally known as the Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad, the DRR was presented by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway until 1974. From 1955 to 1974, the Santa Fe Rail Pass was able to be used in lieu of a Disneyland "D" coupon. With a three-foot gauge, the most common narrow gauge measurement used in North America, the track runs in a continuous loop around The Magic Kingdom through each of its realms. Each turn-of-the-19th-Century train departs Main Street Station on an excursion that includes scheduled station stops at: Frontierland Station; Toontown Depot, the gateway to Fantasyland; and, Tomorrowland Station. The Grand Circle Tour then concludes with a visit to the "Grand Canyon/Primeval World" dioramas before returning passengers to Main Street, U.S.A.

Disneyland Monorail System


One of Disneyland's signature attractions is its monorail service, which opened in Tomorrowland in 1959 as the first daily-operating monorail train system in the Western Hemisphere. The monorail guideway has remained almost exactly the same since 1961, aside from small alterations while Indiana Jones Adventure was being built. Five generations of monorail trains have been used in the park, since their lightweight construction means they wear out quickly. The most recent operating generation, the Mark VII, was installed in 2008. The monorail shuttles visitors between two stations, one inside the park in Tomorrowland and one in Downtown Disney. It follows a 2.5 mile (4 km) long route designed to show the park from above. Currently, the Mark VII is running with the colors Red and Blue with one more color to be added in the coming months.

The monorail was originally built with one station in Tomorrowland. Its track was extended and a second station opened at the Disneyland Hotel in 1961. With the creation of Downtown Disney in 2001, the new destination is Downtown Disney, instead of the Disneyland Hotel. The physical location of the monorail station did not change, however the original station building was demolished as part of the hotel downsizing, and the new station is now separated from the hotel by several Downtown Disney buildings, including ESPN Zone and the Rainforest Café.

Main Street vehicles

All vehicles that are found on Main Street were designed to accurately reflect turn-of-the-century vehicles, including a double-decker bus, a horse-drawn streetcar, a fire engine, and an automobile. They are available for one-way rides along Main Street, U.S.A. The horseless carriages are modeled after cars built in 1903. They are two-cylinder, four-horsepower (3 kW) engines with manual transmission and steering. Walt Disney used to drive the fire engine around the park before it opened, on most mornings. It has also been used to host celebrity guests and used in the parades.

Disneyland Helipad

From the late 1950s to 1968 Los Angeles Airways provided regularly scheduled helicopter passenger service between Disneyland and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and other cities in the area. The helicopters initially operated from Anaheim/Disneyland Heliport, located behind Tomorrowland. Service later moved, in 1960, to a new heliport north of the Disneyland Hotel. Arriving guests were transported to the Disneyland Hotel via tram. The service ended after a fatal crash in Paramount, California, on May 22, 1968 killed 23 (the worst helicopter accident in aviation history at that time) and another in Compton, California on August 14, 1968 killed 21.

Live entertainment

In addition to the attractions, Disneyland provides live entertainment throughout the park.


Disney characters, who greet visitors, interact with children, and pose for photos, can be found throughout the park. Some characters have specific areas where they are scheduled to appear, but can be found wandering as well. One reason Mickey's Toontown was created was so that there would be a place for Mickey Mouse to always be available to guests in his own house.

Periodically through recent decades (and most recently during the summers of 2005 and 2006), Mickey Mouse has climbed the Matterhorn attraction several times a day with the support of his friends Minnie, Goofy, and some Disneyland guests. Other mountain climbers could also be seen on the Matterhorn from time to time. As of Spring 2007, Mickey and his "toon" friends no longer climb the Matterhorn but the climbing program continues.

Daily ceremonies

Every evening at dusk there is a military-style flag ceremony to lower the American Flag for the day, performed by a regiment of the Disneyland Security Personnel. The ceremony usually begins at 4:30 or 4:45pm.

The Disneyland Band

The Disneyland Band, which has been part of the park since its opening, plays the role of the Town Band on Main Street, U.S.A. It also breaks out into smaller groups like the Main Street Strawhatters, the Hook and Ladder Co., and the Pearly Band in Fantasyland.


Fantasmic! is a popular multimedia nighttime show hosted by Mickey Mouse which debuted in 1992. The presentation is made at the Laffite's Tavern end of Pirate's Lair at Tom Sawyer Island and uses the Rivers of America as part of the stage. It uses Frontierland and New Orleans Square as the spectator arena.

It consists of synchronized lighting and special effects, with floating barges, the Mark Twain Riverboat, the Sailing Ship Columbia, fountains, lasers, fireworks, thirty-foot-tall "water screens" upon which animated scenes are projected, and an automated forty-five foot fire-breathing dragon.


Elaborate fireworks shows synchronized with Disney songs and often an appearance by the Peter Pan character Tinker Bell. Recent presentations have become more elaborate, featuring new pyrotechnics, launch techniques and story lines. In 2004, Disneyland introduced a new air launch pyrotechnics system, reducing ground level smoke and noise and decreasing negative environmental impacts. At the time the technology debuted, Disney announced it would donate the patents to a non-profit organization for use throughout the industry.

  • 1958–1999 Fantasy in the Sky
  • 2000–2004 Believe... There's Magic in the Stars
  • 2004–2005 Imagine... A Fantasy in the Sky
  • 2005–Present Remember... Dreams Come True

During the Holiday Season, there is a special fireworks presentation called Believe... In Holiday Magic which has been running since 2000, except for a short hiatus in 2005 during the park's 50th Celebration.

The Golden Horseshoe Revue

The Golden Horseshoe Saloon offers a live stage show with a frontier or old-west feel. The Golden Horseshoe Revue is an old-west Vaudeville type of show starring Slue Foot (or Sluefoot) Sue and Pecos Bill. It ran until the mid-1980s, when it was replaced by a similar show starring Lily Langtree (or Miss Lily) and Sam the Bartender. Most recently, Billy Hill and the Hillbillies have played their guitars and banjos in a bluegrass-and-comedy show.

Additionally, in front of the Golden Horsehose Saloon, The Laughing Stock Co. enacts small humorous skits with an old-west theme.


Disneyland has always had parades that have marched down Main Street. There are several daytime and nighttime parades that celebrate Disney films or seasonal holidays with characters, music, and large floats. One of the most popular parades was the Main Street Electrical Parade (now at Disney's California Adventure as Disney's Electrical Parade).

Debuting in May 5, 2005 as part of the Disneyland's 50th Anniversary, and running through November 7, 2008, Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams was presented, celebrating several of the classic Disney stories including The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Alice in Wonderland, and Pinocchio. During the Christmas season, Disneyland presents "A Christmas Fantasy" Parade which celebrates the joy & wonder of the Christmas season.

In 2009, Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams was replaced by Celebrate! A Street Party which will premiered on March 27, 2009.

  • Current Parades:
    • A Christmas Fantasy Parade (3rd week of November - 1st week of January)
    • Celebrate! - A Street Party (2009-Present)

Tomorrowland Terrace

The Tomorrowland Terrace is a stage in Tomorrowland. It is a two-story stage where the lower stage rises from below with dramatic effect. It was popular in the 1960s with music performers of the day. Over the years, it was eventually replaced with Club Buzz, a Buzz Lightyear themed stage and show featuring the space character from the Toy Story movies. In 2006, it was restored to the Tomorrowland Terrace with the same style and design as the original. It is now home to the Jedi Training Academy interactive stage show where children are chosen as Jedi padawan and taught how to use a Lightsaber. Each child then has the opportunity to face Star Wars antagonists Darth Vader or Darth Maul. Recently, local bands have returned to play in the evenings, just as Tomorrowland Terrace hosted in the 1960s.

Other performers

Various other unscheduled street performers play and sing throughout the park, sometimes only seasonally, including:

  • The All-American College Band performs around the park. The band is composed of talented college students who audition for the chance to perform in Disneyland;
  • Alice in Wonderland characters staging a wacky game of "Musical Chairs" either at "Coke Corner" or the porch of the Plaza Inn daily;
  • The Bootstrappers, a band of pirates that performs songs based on Pirates of the Caribbean, along with other sea-shanties;
  • The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet often sings on Main Street;
  • The Firehouse Five Plus Two, originally a band composed of Imagineers, can be found on Main Street;
  • The Main Street Piano Players play at Corner Cafe, also known as "Coke Corner" on Main Street;
  • Merlin appears in Fantasyland several times a day to help a lucky child pull the sword from an anvil and stone;
  • The Trash Can Trio, a STOMP like group that performs using trash cans in Tomorrowland; and
  • Various bands in New Orleans Square, often with a jazz influence.
  • The Tomorrowland janitors perform during breaks.

Also, during the Holidays, many other smaller entertainment offerings are added, such as the Main Street Carolers who perform throughout the day.


From Disneyland's opening day until 1982, the price of the attractions was in addition to the price of park admission. Park-goers paid a small admission fee to get into the park, but admission to most of the rides and attractions required guests to purchase a book of tickets that consisted of several coupons, initially labeled "A" through "C". The coupons were also sold individually. "A" coupons allowed admission to the smaller rides and attractions such as the vehicles on Main Street, whereas "C" coupons were used for the most common attractions like the Peter Pan ride, or the Tea Cups. As more thrilling rides were introduced, such as the Monorail or the Matterhorn bobsled, "D" and then eventually "E" coupons were introduced. Coupons could be combined to equal the equivalent of another ticket (e.g. two "A" tickets equal one "B" ticket). From the thrill ride experience at Disneyland, the colloquial expression "an E ticket ride" is used to describe any exceptionally thrilling experience.

Later Disneyland featured a "Keys to the Kingdom" booklet of tickets, which consisted of 10 unvalued coupons sold for a single flat rate. These coupons could be used for any attraction regardless of its regular value. Obviously it would behoove the buyer to use these for the most thrilling attractions or rides.

In 1982 Disney dropped the idea for individual ride tickets to a single admission price with unlimited access to all attractions, "except shooting galleries" . While this idea was not original to Disney, its business advantages were obvious: in addition to guaranteeing that everyone paid a large sum even if they stayed for only a few hours and rode only a few rides, the park no longer had to print tickets or ticket books, staff ticket booths, or provide staff to collect tickets or monitor attractions for people sneaking on without tickets.

Later Disney introduced other entry options such as multi-day passes, Annual Passes which allow unlimited entry to the Park for an annual fee and Southern California residents' discounts.

One-Day, One-Park, Adult Admission Prices over time
Year 1981* 1982 1984 1985 1986 1987 1990 1991 1993 1994 Jan 1999
Price US$ $10.75 $12.00 $14.00 $17.95 $18.00 $21.50 $25.50 $27.50 $28.75 $31.00 $39.00
Month & Year Jan 2000 Nov 2000 Mar 2002 Jan 2003 Mar 2004 Jan 2005 Jun 2005 Jan 2006 Sep 2006 Sep 2007 Aug 2008
Price US$ $41.00 $43.00 $45.00 $47.00 $49.75 $53.00 $56.00 $59.00 $63.00 $66.00 $69.00

 * previous to 1982 passport tickets were available to groups only.

Accidents, injuries and deaths


Since the park's opening in July 1955, there have been numerous accidents, injuries, and deaths at the park. As of December 2006, 13 guests and 1 Cast Member have died inside the park, while over 100 guests have been injured.


Disneyland Park has had three unscheduled closures since it opened in 1955

  • In 1963 due to President Kennedy's assassination.
  • In 1970 due to a demonstration by Yippies in August. The stated reason for the attack was because Bank of America -- a sponsor of Disneyland -- was allegedly financing the Vietnam War, which the Yippies opposed. The park had attempted to run as usual but the demonstrators accosted guests and raised the South Vietnam flag at Tom Sawyer's Island, forcing Disneyland to close in the afternoon, offering refunds and free passes to guests.
  • Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, both of the resort's parks did not open for the day.

Additionally, Disneyland has had numerous planned closures included:

  • In the early years, the park was often scheduled to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays during the off-season. This was in conjunction with nearby Knott's Berry Farm, which closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays to keep costs down for both parks, while offering Orange County visitors a place to go 7 days a week.
  • On May 4, 2005 for the 50th Anniversary Celebration media event.
  • Due to various special events, the park has closed unusually early to accommodate them, such as, special press events, tour groups, VIP groups, private parties, etc. It is common for a corporation to rent the entire park for the evening. The corporation's guests would be issued special passes, which were good for admission to all rides and attractions. In the late afternoon, park employees would announce that the park was closing, then clear the park of everyone without the special corporate passes.

See also

  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • Incidents at Disney parks
  • List of Disney attractions
  • List of current Disneyland attractions
  • List of past Disneyland attractions
  • "Disneyland with the Death Penalty" - a 1993 magazine article comparing Singapore to the park
  • Nara Dreamland - Now defunct Japanese Theme Park closely themed after Disneyland
  • Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park - Mainland Chinese Theme Park closely themed after Disneyland



Further reading


External links

Aerial photos

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Tips & Hints
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Ellen DeGeneres
5 July 2011
Welcome to the Happiest Place on Earth. While you’re in Disneyland, make sure you go to the castle. That’s where I ran into Mickey! Mickey Disanti, from my old neighborhood. He looked great.
Douglas Price
20 November 2009
Go ride the Jungle Cruise!
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0.2km from Main Street U.S.A., Anaheim, CA 92802, USA

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