1955: Disneyland becomes a dream come true
July 17, 1955: Disneyland opened its doors to 30,000 special guests one day before it welcomed the public.
Art Linkletter emceed the opening parade, which was broadcast by ABC as part of a 90-minute show.
Actress Irene Dunne christened the riverboat Mark Twain.
"All who come to this happy place — welcome," Walt Disney said in a speech dedicating the $17,500,000 park. "Here age relives fond memories of the past … and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future."
(Most of us agree that Walt Disney's head was not cryogenically frozen in the above tank after all, but who knows? Disneyland is America's last great pop culture mecca for all ages and it's going strong, despite the dull park across the way that will soon make way for Pixarland.
(For topnotch Disneyana facts and memories, read and bookmark the esteemed Jon Crowley's Hollywood Thoughts. Just surf the Net to find fifty-one-derful years of bizarre Disneyland tragedy, and click here to remember a Mouseketeer who took off everything but her Mouse ears...)