Today in Disney History

Disneyland:  May 28, 1960
Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland opens in Frontierland, which is a new and improved version of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, which first opened in 1956.  The attraction features themes and scenery popularized by Walt Disney’s “True-Life Adventure” films of the 1950’s.  It is the park’s third “E” ticket attraction.
 
Disneyland:  May 28, 1966
It’s A Small World, completely relocated from the 1964-65 World’s Fair in New York opens in Fantasyland.   A beautiful new exterior facade is designed by Mary Blair, featuring architectural concepts and landmarks from around the world; and like the park’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, the attraction has real gold shimmering on the various spires.  The large animated clock in the center marks each quarter hour with a fanciful presentation.  The 18-minute attraction, sponsored by Bank of America, features 297 animated dolls, 256 toys, a canal filled with 233,000 gallons of water, and of course the famous song written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. It is the park’s first continually loading high capacity ride funneling thousands through per hour (which leads the Operations Cast Members to affectionately dub it a “people eater” given the very high throughput compared to extremely slow loading, low capacity attractions found throughout the rest of the park).  Walt Disney himself hosts the Grand Opening celebration with children dressed in traditional clothing from around the world, who then pour waters from the seven seas of the world into the canal to demonstrate the unity of the globe as the attraction’s theme song so persistently tries to convey.  (The attraction will prove to be so popular that versions will later be added at each of the future Magic Kingdoms around in the world:  Walt Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland).
 
Walt Disney World:  May 28, 1994
Wilderness Lodge opens . Located at 901 Timberline Drive, this 728-room lakeside deluxe resort is inspired by the great American National Park lodges of the early 20th Century and reminiscent of the Pacific Northwest.  It features an 80-foot tall three-sided fireplace in the lobby representing the various strata of the Grand Canyon.  The impressive lobby has four large teepee inspired chandeliers, and two 55′ totem poles stand guard.  A bubbling hot spring originates in the lobby and appears to continue on outside where it is transformed into a roaring waterfall that “pours” into the swimming area.  Follow the path behind the pool area to a 120 foot geyser that erupts hourly throughout the day.  Situated on the shores of Bay Lake, and only a mile away from the Magic Kingdom, the resort is surrounded by 56 acres of oak and pine trees.

Leave a Reply