Disneyland Resort in California is celebrating its 68th anniversary today! In honor of the occasion, they shared a masterful video of art depicting the opening day of the Park on July 17, 1955. The “zoom” video highlights Disney100 as well by literally taking you into Walt Disney’s mind (through his painted eye), picturing scenes from Disneyland’s first day of operation! If you were lucky enough to actually be in attendance on opening day in Anaheim, do these pictures spark your memory?
The video starts with fingers pinching and zooming into the left of a colorful Walt Disney painting. As we get closer, we see that his pupil contains another drawing, this time of the opening day festivities of Disneyland Resort in 1955. It’s like we’re really diving into Walt Disney’s mind and living the colorful memories with him!
The green and red Disneyland Railroad train looks like it’s being conducted by Walt Disney himself and none other than Mickey Mouse! Two American flags fly on the engine, and a banner announces Disneyland, with the year listed underneath. Excited Guests gather around to watch and wave.
We pinch into the spotlight on the train, and suddenly, we’re on Main Street USA! It looks like one of the very first Disney Parks parades is performing. Disney Princess Snow White and her dwarfs sit center stage on a green float, with musicians marching behind them, and dancers just ahead of them. Guests gather to watch with a Mickey Mouse shaped cloud over head.
Then, we dive into Snow White’s crown and she transports us to a steamboat full of Guests rolling down the river! Known as the Mark Twain Riverboat, the power steamer water craft is still in Disneyland Resort today! Then we enter the center of one of the ship’s red banners.
Check out this vintage depiction of Disneyland’s Astro Orbiter. The Park looks unrealistically empty in comparison to today’s usual crowds, but it really puts the Disney rocket ship on display. Three children happily run in the foreground of the artwork in some vintage style 50’s clothing.
Inside one of the Astro Orbiter’s panels, we make it to Tommorrowland’s Autopia! See the primary colored mini cars dash along the now classic motorway. The license plates even say “Disneyland!” Diving into the right headlight brings us to the centerpiece of all Disney Parks – the castle!
See the drawing of Sleeping Beauty Castle on the first day Guests could experience it. It hasn’t aged a day! Three happy children also run through the foreground of this memory.
The next two images are some of Disneyland’s most iconic rides. Take a look at the colorful Mad Tea Party ride in Fantasyland next to the King Arthur Carrousel (not to be confused with Prince Charming Carrousel in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida). Then see the happy little elephants in the Jungle Cruise ride as they spray water from their trunks. Guests in the 50’s were probably very impressed with the ride design, while today’s Guests find it nostalgic.
The last two pieces of artwork take us back to Walt Disney himself. He sits in a casual outfit on a rock in front of Sleeping Beauty castle with a microphone in hand. The color scheme is monotone, suggesting this is a depiction of him from 1955. The next is in full color transporting us into present day. It shows the famous statue of Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse’s hand as they explore the Park together. These last two designs suggest that Walt Disney’s spirit is always right where it belongs, in the heart of Disneyland right by the castle.
Watch the whole zoom video here and see it all come together!
"To all who come to this happy place: Welcome.” Zoom back with us to July 17, 1955 and relive #Disneyland’s opening day as we celebrate our 68th anniversary during the #Disney100 Celebration! Drop a 💜 to help commemorate this special day! pic.twitter.com/qBa27tiTRG
— Disneyland Resort (@Disneyland) July 17, 2023