Disneyland Approaches Six Decades
By: Jules E. Beuck
Photos By: Jules E. Beuck 

On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney opened Disneyland. Since that time it has grown, expanded to different states and countries and added a new park across from the original. On July 17, 2014 Disneyland celebrated its 59th anniversary with a small ceremony.

It began with the Mayor of Main Street U.S.A., complete with top hat and tails, greeting the assembled crowd as he gave a little history of the park. Walt Disney's opening remarks were played over the public address system. “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past and here, youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts which have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to the world.” — Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

After Walt's remarks the Dapper Dans, Disneyland's acapella vocal group, came and performed some theme songs from various rides and attractions like “It's A Small World,” Pirates of the Caribbean ride and the Tiki Room theme song. On this occasion the acapella group was actually accompanied on piano.

After the Dans were finished the Mayor brought out 59 characters that have graced Disney movies and cartoons. The assembled characters were remarkable for who was included and who was not. For example, Terk from Tarzan, Lilo and Stitch, as well asMerida from Brave were there, but Winnie The Pooh and Snow White or any of the seven dwarfs were not. The characters joined the mayor in singing Happy Birthday to Disneyland. The logo for the diamond anniversary was displayed and it was announced that the diamond anniversary celebration will begin next spring.

Some of the original rides that are still around today include Jungle Cruise and Autopia. The '60s saw Haunted Mansion, Enchanted Tiki Room and It's a Small World added. Star Tours and Splash Mountain did not come along until the '80s.

In anticipation of the diamond anniversary Disney is having a contest. Disney is inviting the generations of families and friends who have visited the resort to share their favorite memories through photos taken at the Disneyland Resort. Readers of the DisneyParksBlog will vote for the top photos and one lucky guest will have a chance to win a trip to the Disneyland Resort for the start of the 60th anniversary celebration in Spring 2015.* Starting today, guests are invited to submit photos that represent their memories from the Disneyland Decades – 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000 to the present. Using hash tag #Disneyland60Contest, guests may share their photos via Twitter or Instagram byAugust 27, 2014. For complete rules, go to DisneyParksBlog.com

Even after 59 years Disneyland continues to enchant young and old  One day one park tickets are $96 and $125 for a park hopper ticket that will get you into both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. As you purchase multiple day tickets the average price  per day decreases.

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