Sixty-six years ago today, Disneyland opened its doors to the public for the first time. The theme park is not to be confused with Disney World, the resort in Orlando, Florida. Disneyland is the Anaheim, California-based destination designed and built under the watchful eye of Walt Disney himself.
The original theme park featured just 18 attractions, according to Disneyland public relations director Michael Ramirez. They included the Disneyland Railroad, the Jungle Cruise, the King Arthur Carousel and of course, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
In a blog post, Ramirez described how Disneyland has grown since then. The park underwent major expansions in 1959, 1966, 1993 and 2019, he said. Those brought new attractions to the park. Among them are New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown and “Star Wars”: Galaxy’s Edge. Disneyland was also the world’s first theme park to include a tubular steel roller coaster.
Nowadays, Disneyland is made up of two separate theme parks, three resort hotels and a Downtown Disney district.
Watch footage from Disneyland’s Opening Day celebration here:
Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion to Close for Renovation Soon
From Aug. 16 to early September, Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion will be closed. During that time, park workers will remake the building into a “Nightmare Before Christmas” display.
The attraction was added to the park in 1969. It will be shut down for about a month to get it ready for Halloween and Christmas, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Visitors’ last chance of the year to see the classic version of the Haunted Mansion will be on Aug. 15. After that, it will take on new décor through the winter holiday season.
Disneyland’s official Halloween Time begins on Sept. 3. That will also mark the opening of Haunted Mansion Holiday. The Haunted Mansion’s Grand Hall will then feature a giant gingerbread house. The house celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Hall’s holiday makeover with design nods to the past 19 gingerbread houses.
The Haunted Mansion itself got a major renovation when Disneyland closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It now boasts new carpet, draperies, wallpaper and décor. It also has brand-new exterior paint and plants.
The attraction eventually reopened with socially-distanced lines. But then Disneyland had to find a way around the Haunted Mansion’s stretching room elevators, which posed a public health risk. So workers made use of a secret servants’ entrance to the ride that brought riders straight into the portrait gallery.
Fortunately, the park is now back from its pandemic-induced hiatus. And crowds have started to return to their favorite attractions. Meanwhile, workers are preparing to redecorate those attractions for the holidays over upcoming months. For example, “It’s a Small World” will be closed for its holiday renovation from late October to early November.