In 1928, animator Walt Disney created his now famous character Mickey Mouse and throughout the 1930s and 1940s he rose to prominence through Technicolor feature films such as ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. (1937), “Pinocchio” (1940) and “Bambi” (1941). After World War II, Disney continued to expand its empire through blockbuster animated and live-action films, as well as its first theme park, Disneyland.
Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California in 1955 and is the only park that was built and designed under the direct supervision of Disney itself. Disney came up with the idea for Disneyland after visiting other amusement parks with his daughters, Diane and Sharon Mae Disney, in the 1930s and 1940s. He hired the Stanford Research Institute to help him find the right one location and in 1953 he purchased a 160 acre site. Construction of the park began in 1954, and Disneyland made its grand debut on July 17, 1955.
Disneyland has grown rapidly over the past six decades, adding New Orleans Square in 1966 (which includes The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean attractions) and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in 2019. Disneyland has the highest cumulative attendance in all theme parks in the world, with more than 726 million visitors in December 2018.
Disneyland inspired the construction of several other Disney parks, including Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1, 1971 in Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World was established after Disney’s death in 1966 and is home to the world’s most visited theme park, the Magic Kingdom. Other international locations include Tokyo Disneyland (opened April 15, 1983), Disneyland Paris (opened April 12, 1992), Hong Kong Disneyland (opened September 12, 2005), and Shanghai Disneyland (opened June 16, 2016).
In honor of Disneyland’s ever-growing legacy, take a look at 75 magical tattoos of the happiest place on earth. Then let us know your favorite Disney attraction in the comments section on social media.