Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Video: Watch Walt Disney's Speech From Disneyland's Opening Day

Before you read more...
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Sixty years ago on Friday, the Happiest Place On Earth opened its doors.

Naturally there was plenty of pomp and circumstance, as 28,000 people showed up for the opening ceremonies (it was only supposed to be 15,000, but there was a mix-up). ABC aired the ceremony in a 90-minute broadcast, and one of the hosts was actor Ronald Reagan.

Walt Disney himself, much to the pleasure of thousands of impatient kids and their parents, gave a speech that was short and sweet. It is now immortalized on a plaque in Disneyland's Town Square.

Support for LAist comes from

According to Variety, tickets were only $1 for adults and 50 cents for parents. The first two kids through the hallowed gates were cousins Michael Schwartner and Christine Vess.