After a press preview on July 16, 1955, Disneyland opened to the public on July 17 – complete with insane traffic on the roads to the park, crowds that overwhelmed the park’s infrastructure, and marks from guests’ high heels in the still-soft asphalt. You can watch TV news coverage of the opening here.
I have only visited Disneyland once, in 1994, at the tender age of 9. I don’t remember much from the visit, but I know I was in awe of the facade for “it’s a small world” and I loved the queue for Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.
In lieu of a more detailed personal remembrance, allow me to share my favorite bit of current Disneyland trivia: feral cats! The park is home to a large population of feral cats who help keep the rodent population down at night, and spend most of the day out of sight. Of course, sometimes they still make an appearance, such as this little guy completely ruining the scale of Storybook Land Canal Boats.
So, happy birthday, Disneyland! Someday, I hope to get back out to the west coast to visit.