Recently unearthed home movie of Disneyland from 1956

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love that Tomorrowland rocket at the end. i’ve never been to Disneyland, but it is interesting to see vintage footage of it. it looks very early, with so many water features still dry.

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Brought to you by Monsanto!


Walt had to wrangle a lot of sponsorship deals to raise the cash to get Disneyland off the ground, so early Tomorrowland was basically just a big corporate exposition.

Even today the “Autopia” ride still uses gasoline powered cars because Chevron.



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My family visited Disneyland in the late 60s, and I had a map/poster on my wall for several years thereafter. Tomorrowland was still taking shape; there was a big tentlike object where Space Mountain would eventually be installed, and the PeopleMover and Skyway were still hot items. Storybookland ride was shut down when I was there (I remember the entrance through Monstro the Whale’s gullet) and there were a lot fewer of the rollercoaster style rides, the Matterhorn Bobsleds being a notable exception. My father didn’t like “It’s a Small World” after it got stuck in the middle for 10 minutes.

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My family visited Disneyland in early 1956. I remember only a few things–I was very young. Among the fragments I recall are the Flight to the Moon, the Circlerama, and Monsanto’s trip into the atom. But my clearest memory is the display of props from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. For some reason I thought the diving suits were the coolest thing in the park.

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Go. I never went till I was a all adult as I lived some 2000 miles away when I was a kid.
When the kid was small we took a family road trip to LA. I went with the kid while the wife had fun on a Marilyn Monroe hollywood tour with her pen pal.
We only had half a day and it was great fun but I really want to visit again with time to see the park proper and the one next door (Universial Studios?). It really is an excellent if expensive theme park.

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Just amazed at how wide and open that looks! It’s cliché to mention it, but most of the Southern California flatlands were once citrus orchards. Now it’s just endless sprawl – cul de sac neighborhoods and strip malls.

You’re probably thinking Knott’s Berry Farm, which is less than 10 miles away if you’re a crow. Universal Studios is much farther northwest, near Hollywood.

My earliest memories of Disneyland (which because we lived nearby, we visited several times of years) were from the early 70s. At the time, entrance to the park was free, and you would buy tickets for the attractions from booths located around the park. Depending on the attraction, you’d pay more or less for them by purchasing A, B, C, D, and E tickets.

Sometime in the late 70’s they swapped that out for an admission ticket, which on certain weekdays were hugely discounted for local residents. I remember coming home from school in 5th grade and my mom saying “You kids wanna go to Disneyland?!”

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Peeking a Google Maps now. California Adventure. You can buy admission to one or both parks.

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Oh you meant literally “next door”… I conflate both California Adventure and Disneyland in my rapidly fossilizing brain.

Shout out for Knott’s – always a lot of fun, and at least 25 years ago, was cheaper than Disneyland. And you could finish the day out with a tasty chicken dinner using Mrs. Knott’s original recipes. Okay, reading that back, not as cool as D-land.

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Hey if there are good coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm I would happily make a visit there too.

It took a few years for Disney’s California Adventure to really find its footing but it’s grown into quite a fun theme park too. Plus you can actually get a pretty decent Manhattan there so that’s cool.

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Definitely makes going there with the screaming kids more bearable.

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