Walt Disney wanted a theme park where kids and adults can both have fun. Somewhere that brings back childhood memories, nostalgia, but feelings of the future as well. And with that, Disneyland was born from Walt Disney’s imagination.
Disneyland first opened on July 17th, 1955. It cost $17 million to build the park on 160 acres of land in Anaheim, California. The park was built after the success of many of Walt Disney’s movies and television shows. He developed several feature length films and television shows, including Snow White, Fantasia, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi.
Walt Disney wanted Main Street, U.S.A., where people enter the park, to remind them of the past, of a turn-of-the-century city Main Street. This brings back feelings of nostalgia and childhood memories. He also wanted to have several different areas or “lands” within the park.
So, he created an Adventureland to have a sense of an exotic tropical place far away. Here they built jungles and forests like those in Asia and Africa.
He then created Frontierland to remind people of the pioneer days of the American frontier in the country.
He also wanted a Fantasyland where people can feel like dreams come true, and that both kids and adults can have dreams. Here he built Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Fantasy Village.
Lastly, he wanted a Tomorrowland to show people the future and how that might look.
While the first few days of the park opening were not as successful, due to the park not being finished yet and due to a heat wave, it still went on to attract millions of visitors each year. They built Disneylands all over the world, including Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, and Florida. Each park caters to the local tastes and culture, and still brings in millions of visitors.
Disneyland continues to remember Walt Disney’s dream, and they add new rides and shows every year. Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world” (Imagineering Disney).