My birthday is just a few days from Disneyland’s birthday, although we weren’t born the same year. But, actually, what I didn’t realize is that Disneyland and I were both in the creation process at about the same time. I think, perhaps, God created Disneyland just for me. 🙂
My discovery came from reading this article in the latest AllEars newsletter, The Birth of a Dream: Disneyland 1953 (by Jim Korkis, Disney Historian). Notice the two dates (1952 and 1953) in this excerpt:
Disneyland Resort 60th Anniversary
Although this column is usually devoted to the history and stories-behind-the-stories of Walt Disney World, there would not be a Walt Disney World without the original park that is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month: Disneyland.
In honor of that celebration, here is a look at how Walt originally envisioned the world’s first theme park in 1953 when he was struggling to find investors to make his dream of a different kind of amusement venue a reality.
Walt hired a half-dozen people in 1952 and set them up in a building on the back lot of Disney Studios in Burbank, California. This was the core group that became what we know today as Walt Disney Imagineering.
While Disneyland was being built, my mother and I used to peek through the narrow opening to see what we could see. And when Disneyland opened in July 1955, my family and I went as soon as my step dad returned from Korea.
Disneyland Then and Now
We settled in Orange County, just 8 miles from Disneyland, and I remember summer nights playing baseball on our cul-de-sac until the Disneyland fireworks went off at 9:00 at night, Disneyland visits with family, friends, and relatives, taking my Pluto pencil to school, Catholic relatives going to church the next morning increasing my curiosity, field trips to the beach, the missions, parks, museums, family visits to Griffith Park where Walt took his girls, and seeing the man himself stroll the grounds at Disneyland.
You see, Disneyland and I go way back.
So happy birthday, Disneyland! Thanks for a memorable childhood!