Disneyland in Opening Day, July 17, 1955

Disneyland in Opening Day, July 17, 1955


Disneyland was dedicated at an “International Press Preview” event held on Sunday, July 17, 1955, which was only open to invited guests and the media. Although 28,000 people attended the event, only about half of those were actual invitees, the rest having purchased counterfeit tickets. The following day, it opened to the public, featuring twenty attractions. 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, during which many guests tripped over the television camera cables. In Frontierland, a camera caught Cummings kissing a dancer. When Disney started to read the plaque for Tomorrowland, he read partway then stopped when a technician off-camera said something to him, and after realizing he was on-air, said, “I thought I got a signal”, and began the dedication from the start.

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Walt Disney speaks

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Walt Disney on the E.P. Ripley

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs float

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Walt Disney leaving Main Street Station

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

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Pirate Ship Restaurant

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Sleeping Beauty’s Castle from the Fantasyland side

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Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in front of the Pirate Ship restaurant

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Raising the flag

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Walt Disney at the opening dedication

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Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse piloting the Mark Twain Riverboat

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Parade

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Parade – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs float

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Entering Frontierland

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Fess Parker on horseback in Frontierland

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The Fantasyland view of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

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Irene Dunne christening the Mark Twain

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Parking lot

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Irene Dunne and Art Linkletter christening the Mark Twain riverboat

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Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck

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Walt Disney on a car

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Walt Disney on the E.P. Ripley

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Walt Disney rehearsing for the Disneyland Opening Ceremony

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1955 Disneyland opening ceremony

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Walt Disney with California Governor Goodwin Knight at the Disneyland Opening Ceremony

Photos by Tom Simpson


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