For about 20 years, Walt Disney had wanted to create a one-of-a-kind amusement park. Originally, he thought about building it next to his studios in Burbank, California. But he soon realized there wasn’t enough land there, so he purchased 160 acres near Anaheim in 1953, then spent two years designing and building his iconic amusement park.
In July 1955, Disney unveiled his fantasy in a televised press event. Today, Disneyland has entertained more parkgoers than any other theme park in the world. Back then, entrance to the most magical place on Earth cost $1 for adults and 50 cents for children. Rides were extra, starting at 10 cents a go. Today, a one-day pass starts at $104 per person.
That Disneyland magic:
- The park cost $17 million to build, including the changes Disney made to ensure that every detail was just right. For example, the 72 horses on King Arthur’s carousel were rebuilt so they would appear to leap, and not merely gallop.
- Disneyland has undergone major renovations over the years, including the addition of New Orleans Square in 1966, Bear Country in 1972, Mickey's Toontown in 1993, and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019.
- The Federal Aviation Administration created a no-fly zone for Disneyland, a protection granted to only a few areas considered to be critical infrastructure.