Today in Disney History

Disneyland:  July 18, 1955
The day after the official Grand Opening for invited guests, Disneyland opens to the general public at 10 am  Admission cost $1.  Attractions are separately priced, using ticket books with A-D labeled tickets:  with the most exciting attractions taking a D ticket.  (E tickets would not be introduced until 1959 with the opening of the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Submarine Voyage).  The park remains open until 10 pm, and approximately 50,000 guests enter.  The first children to enter are cousins Michael Schwartner, age 7, and Kristine Vess, 5.  Walt Disney himself poses for a photo with them,  and gives them both lifetime passes.  
 
 
Disneyland:  July 18, 1965
After a very successful foray into the east coast marketplace at the 1964-65 World’s Fair, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln opens to the public (the day after its official dedication) in the new theatre added inside the Opera House located in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.  (which was the original structure built at Disneyland and had been used as the lumber mill during the park’s construction, later used to house special events and limited-run attractions).
 
 
Disneyland:  July 18, 1989
Splash Mountain, a brand-new log flume attraction, based on the characters and stories of Walt Disney’s 1946 feature film “Song of the South”, officially opens.  The ride features the longest, steepest drop of any flume attraction in the United States, and the drop takes guests briefly out into the Rivers of America.  The attraction was designed incorporating all of the audio-animatronic figures from the former America Sings attraction that ran in Tomorrowland from 1974-1988, and is the first water-based thrill attraction.  The attraction is located in the former Bear Country area of the park, on the western most edge, in the newly renamed Critter Country.   This newest attraction expands the “Disneyland Mountain Range” to a total of 4 peaks, including:  Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain and now Splash Mountain.  (Splash Mountain would be such a hit with guests, that Walt Disney World would quickly determine to add their own version of the attraction inside the Magic Kingdom‘s Frontierland, which would then open in 1992.  Tokyo Disneyland would soon follow opening theirs in 1995 in their own version of Critter Country).

 

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