Disneyland — aka, the “Happiest Place on Earth” — has changed quite a bit since its opening day on July 17, 1955. But some things, including the rides and Sleeping Beauty’s iconic castle — still feel wonderfully familiar.
Walt Disney goes for a ride
Walt Disney, his wife, Lillian, and their daughter, Diane, are spotted enjoying a teacup ride shortly after Disneyland first opened, in 1955.
This ride predates the The Mad Tea Party ride in Fantasyland, which was inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
The Tomorrowland Boats
The Tomorrowland Boats attraction only lasted one year, and was replaced by the Submarine Voyage in 1959.
The PeopleMover opened in 1967, and gave park-goers an elevated view of Tomorrowland, until the ride was decommissioned in 1995.
The Skyway, which opened in 1956, shuttled guests via gondola from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland, by way of the Matterhorn. It was shuttered in 1994, and the remnants were competely removed to make way for Disneyland’s most recent attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride
Some things hardly change at all – like this stretch of The Pirates of the Caribbean ride, seen here in 1966.
Frontierland, where you can find the Mark Twain Riverboat ride, was one of the original five lands when Disneyland first opened. The others were Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Main Street, USA.
The go-carts running on opening day gave way to the modern Autopia ride, which opened in 2000.
Main Street, USA
Dumbo looks a lot different now compared with the original costume worn back on opening day, July 17, 1955. The parade, which still happens at Disneyland, makes its way down Main Street, USA.
The Disneyland parking lot
Crowded as ever, the Disneyland parking lot on opening day, in 1955, was filled with cars of that era.
Long before Harold the Yeti moved in, in 1978, the Matterhorn featured cast members who climbed the mountain. The attraction opened in 1959, and was inspired by the Disney film Third Man on the Mountain, which was made in Switzerland.
A group of colorfully costumed showgirls from 1955 takes a break at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Saloon.
The Submarine Voyage
The Finding Nemo ride opened in 2007, replacing one of the iconic early rides at Disneyland, the Submarine Voyage. It was inspired by the USS Nautilus, and stayed virtually the same for its first 40 years.
The Casey Jr. Circus Train
The Casey Jr. Circus Train, one of the original rides, has stayed virtually the same since opening day in 1955.
The Jungle Cruise
The Jungle Cruise has anchored Adventureland since Opening Day. And it’s one of the few attractions that isn’t based on a movie. (That said, there’s a Jungle Cruise movie based on the attraction coming out in 2020! It will star Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt.)
The House of Tomorrow
The House of Tomorrow offered a glimpse at a 1,280-square-foot futuristic home, set in the year 1986, and designed by Disney, MIT and Monsanto. The attraction lasted until 1967.
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