Disneyland Opened Its Doors to Hysterical Kids Sixty Years Ago Today

In Depth

Today is the 60th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland.

At the time, the AP reported that 22,000 “invited guests” would visit on opening day, including “mayors and officials, education leaders and businessmen from southern California, press from throughout the nation, move stars and their children.” It was all broadcast on ABC, complete with appearances by Walt Disney and, er, Davy Crockett. You can watch for yourself, thanks to YouTube:

The AP’s man in Anaheim noted Disney’s attention to detail, relaying that, “The interior of the railroad station, for example, had to be designed with the ornate woodwork of the 1900 period” and “The 72 horses on the $102,000 King Arthur’s carousel were rebuilt so they would appear to be leaping instead of merely galloping.”

And how much would a day at the park set you back? Entry $1 for adults, 50 cents for kids, and “You probably could have a good time without spending more,” said the AP, as “there are many arresting sights to see, and many industrial firms have fascinating exhibits for free.” But of course, you wouldn’t get off that easily:

But the chances are the kids will hound you into buying them tickets on the 35 out-of-this-world rides. If you are a glutton and try everything, it could cost you $8.70 for yourself and $5.15 for each tot.
You can take a trip around the whole park on a miniature railway that costs 50 cents for yourself and 25 cents for youngsters. For the same prices you can travel down an American riverway on the paddle-wheeler Mark Twain, take an excursion boat through land and be scared by the life-like animals or be rocketed to the moon.
Most of the other attractions run around 35-25 cents for adults and 25-10 cents for children.

Nowadays, of course, admission alone sets you back nearly $100.

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