Walt Disney had the idea of the park for many years before it was built. He dreamed of the park being built on eight acres beside Burbank Studios in California. World War II put those plans on hold.
The Disneyland location in Anaheim is the only theme park directly supervised and built by Walt Disney.
In the early 1950s Walt Disney decided to go ahead with his plans after a survey found a larger, more appropriate site for his park.
Disneyland California Adventure was built on the site of the original Disneyland parking lot.
Construction began on Disneyland only one year before it opened.
In 2013, Disneyland was the third most visited park in the world with about 16.2 million guests visiting.
Walt Disney designed five different 'lands' for Disneyland. These included Main Street, U.S.A.; Adventureland; Frontierland; Fantasyland; and Tomorrowland.
The earliest documented account of Disney’s plans was in 1948 in a message to a production designer. He referred to his concept at the time as “Mickey Mouse Park.”
For opening day, the $17 million Disneyland park had been prepared for 6,000 invited guests. Tickets were counterfeited and more than 28,000 people showed up. The day, although memorable for Walt Disney, was an epic disaster for the park itself.
Upon opening day in 1955, 28,000 people attended, however half of those purchased forged tickets or snuck into the park by hopping the fence.
On opening day, with more than 20,000 uninvited guests in attendance on top of the 6,000 invited guests, and temperatures as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit, food and drink ran out, wet asphalt trapped high heels and the Mark Twain Steamboat nearly toppled from the large number of passengers.
When it initially opened, admission cost $1 – today it is now a whopping $99!
Disneyland recovered quickly from its opening day disasters, and went on to become a popular park for adults and children alike.
The most popular Disneyland souvenir is the Mickey Mouse ears. Over 84 million have been sold since the park opened!
The opening event was covered and televised nationwide by three of Walt Disney's friends, including Ronald Reagan, an actor and future United States President.
There are approximately 200 wild cats that live in Disneyland to help get rid of rodents. All of the cats were spayed and neutered before being re-released back into the park. When the cats can’t survive off of only hunting the rodents, there are feeding stations set up for them around the park.
Early rides at Disneyland included Snow White's Adventures, Jungle Cruise, Stage Coach, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. On opening day there were already 20 rides to enjoy.
Over 700 million people have visited Disneyland since the initial opening.
Within only 10 years of opening day, Walt Disney's Disneyland had greeted more than 50 million guests. To date it has welcomed well over 650 million people.
In the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, all of the skeletons used to be real, taken from UCLA’s medical center. Now, there is only one human skull in the ride, which is the one attached to the headboard.
Disneyland is open year round, and in 2013 alone it welcomed more than 16 million guests.
Disneyland employees were not allowed to have mustaches until 2000.
In 2005 it was estimated that Disneyland Resort employs more than 65,700 people.