Disneyland’s Opening Day is the highlight of this week’s Tiggerific Tuesday Disney Trivia!
When Disneyland opened its gates for the first time on July 17, 1955, it was far from being the Happiest Place on Earth. Last minute construction, painting, and planting continued right up to the start of Walt’s live television broadcast. Thousands more guests than anticipated showed up for the opening–many with counterfeit tickets, creating massive traffic jams, causing rides to break down from additional usage and infrequent stoppage, and insufficient food and beverage products. To top it off, the heat rose above 100 degrees, making the recently poured asphalt sticky and bubbly. The project, which took only one year and one day to build, was dubbed “Walt’s Folly,” and was expected to be his undoing and was sure to bring ruin to his budding entertainment dynasty.
However, an estimated 70 million people–out of a country of 165 million (that’s nearly half the population of the United States at the time)–tuned in to ABC to see the grand event. Since its opening day, Disneyland Park has welcomed more than 650 million Guests! In 2013, it saw 16.2 million Guests alone, making it the third most-visited theme park that year. I’d say “Walt’s Folly” was, on the contrary, Walt’s grandest design!
Happy 62nd birthday, Disneyland!
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