Friday, July 17, 2015

A Most Magical 60th

Today is the day Disneyland officially celebrates its 60th birthday.  Yes, way back on July 17, 1955, Disneyland held its opening day.  Technically, this was not the first public day of operation, but rather a media event that included invitations to select guests and VIP's.  Of course, what ended up happening became known as "Black Sunday," as throngs of enthusiastic fans crashed the gates, hot temperatures melted the asphalt, a plumbing strike left the park without drinking fountains, and a live telecast devolved into disorder.

Despite this, the park made it through the day.  And ever since then, Disneyland has been a roaring success.  The park saw its one millionth guest enter just seven weeks after park opening.  Its ten millionth guest came just two years later.  Its hundred millionth guest passed through in 1971, before Walt Disney World even opened.  And today, over 650 million guests have made their way into Walt's Original Magic Kingdom--the Happiest Place on Earth.

Above all, Disneyland is a place of dreams, of joy, and of escape into the magic of our fantasies.  It is Walt Disney's most tangible legacy.  So I extend a round of thanks to Mr. Disney and wish the park a very happy diamond anniversary birthday!

A colorful sunset saturates the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle.
At night, spotlights shine bright like diamonds in this composite taken both before and after the fireworks.

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