Disneyland opened in July 1955 on a 160 acre site close to Anaheim, California, Disneyland quickly became a favorite destination for all. For Walt Disney, his dream became a reality. Disneyland is the only theme park to be designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney. The park was the first of its kind to feature a single entrance, and the layout of a wheel, featuring "lands", centered around Sleeping Beauty castle. Opening day lands included Adventureland, Frontierland, and Fantasyland. Opening day attractions included Space Mountain, Jungle Cruise, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. Later, they would add attractions such as Star Tours, Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin, and the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. From Disneyland's opening day until 1982, the price of the attractions was in addition to the price of park admission. Disneyland featured different levels of tickets, based on the attractions themselves. The attractions were designated as "A,B,C,D, or E" rides; the "A" being the least expensive, and the "E" being the most. In 1982, Disneyland went to an "all inclusive” admission price.
In 1955, Disney also opened up the Disneyland Hotel. This hotel, though using the Disneyland name, was owned and operated by a separate company. Disney would later purchase the hotel in 1988 and take over operations. Later, Disneyland would debut its monorail service, which opened in Tomorrowland in 1959 as the first daily-operating monorail train system in the Western Hemisphere. The monorail made its stops at Tomorrowland, and at the Disneyland Hotel. This guest favorite still operates today, and has become a signature attraction at the resort.
One of the many new technologies to debut at Disneyland was Animatronics, used in attractions such as Pirates Of The Caribbean, and The Haunted Mansion. An attraction that also had its debut with animatronics was the Tiki Room, which features many animatronic birds, and today remains a guest favorite. In 1959, Disney constructed the Matterhorn Coaster, which would be the first tubular steel continuous track roller coaster ever constructed. The Carousel of Progress, an attraction designed by Walt, had its debut at the 1964 World's Fair in New York. Later, in 1967, this attraction was moved to Disneyland and stayed there thru 1973. This attraction introduced the audience to several scenes of American History, complete with animatronics, and actually moved the audience around the stage. The Carousel of Progress holds the record as the longest-running stage show and is currently in operation at the Magic Kingdom in Florida. This attraction was known as Walt's favorite.
The Disneyland park is currently home to many attractions such as Peter Pans Flight, Alice In Wonderland, Space Mountain, and everyone's favorite, "it's a small world". Disneyland also shows Fantasmic!, as laser light and water show that had its debut in 1992. Disneyland has featured a number of different parades such as the Main Street Electrical Parade, which now resides at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. In July of 2005, Disneyland celebrated its 50th anniversary. This event actually went on for 18 months, and was one of the largest celebrations in Disney history.
Disneyland has undergone a number of expansions and renovations. Disney's California Adventure Park was built on the site of Disneyland's original parking lot and opened in 2001. Designed to reflect the culture and land diversity of California, this park included "lands" such as Golden State, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Paradise Pier, and Sunshine Plaza. It would include area names such as The Bay Area, and Grizzly Peak Recreation Area. Attractions include a new type of ride, Sorin', which has become a guest favorite. Other attractions include California Screamin', a high speed coaster, as well as the Grizzly River Run, a water-raft ride that takes guests thru the Golden State Mountain, which has the shape of a bear. Later, The Hollywood Tower of Terror was added. This park also introduced attractions that are Pixar based, such as "Flicks Flyers", and Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. A few years later, DCA would see the addition of Toy Story Mania. Currently, DCA is undergoing many renovations and expansions, which will include "Cars Land".
While constructing DCA, Disney also introduced a new shopping district, as well as two new hotel resorts. The Grand Californian Resort & Spa, which was actually built into Disney's California Adventure park, and includes its own entrance into DCA, and Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel. The entrance from the Grand Californian became the third entrance into DCA, the other coming from Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel, which was opened around the same time. This would make DCA the first and only Disney park to have three entrances, however, these entrances are for guests of the Grand Californian, and of Paradise Pier Hotels. This would bring the total hotels on Disneyland property to three. The new shopping district, named Downtown Disney, included the world's largest Disney store, "The World of Disney" as well as other unique shops and restaurants. Disney's Grand Californian Resort also included parts of Downtown Disney. The monorail stop was relocated from the Disneyland Hotel to Downtown Disney to accommodate guests from the shopping district as well as from the resort hotel.
The resort, known as Disneyland Resort, has been attracting guests for over 50 years. It is filled with nostalgia and history. The magical feeling here is incredible! The atmosphere, the cast members, the attractions and shows along with the feeling that your actually walking in Walt's footsteps make a trip to Disneyland perhaps the most magical and memorable destination ever. Disneyland is truly the "Happiest Place On Earth".
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