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'World of Color' at Disney California Adventure Park

Disneyland Resort Remembers

posted on November 23rd, 2009 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company

President John F. Kennedy and the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sékou Touré

Forty six years ago this week, America lost its 35th president, John F. Kennedy. Kennedy is known to have visited Disneyland park only once, as Senator, in October 1959. He is shown here during that visit at the Main Street Station of the Disneyland Railroad with the President of Guinea, Ahmed Sékou Touré.

Searching through our archives, we also found this photo showing that Disneyland park closed its gates on November 23, 1963, in honor of the president.

Disneyland park closes its gates in honor of President John F. Kennedy

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort



David on November 23rd, 2009 at 3:36 pm

This was only one of I think three times the park has ever been closed unplanned. The other two were 9-11 and a day when some group was protesting in the parks or something.

The park was also cosed day before California Adventure opened, but that was planned.


Svea from CA on November 23rd, 2009 at 7:52 pm

Another reason I love Disney. The Happiest Place on earth pays respects on a very unhappy day. It shows they are not completely all about the money. Mr. Disney built an amazing company.


Ted from BC on November 23rd, 2009 at 8:48 pm

With respect, I believe that the assassination was on the Friday. If so, the sign would indicate that DL was closed on the following day.

I was a Canadian high school student at the time, but I remember those four days sadly and with horror.


Mary on November 23rd, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Mary from Santa Barbara, CA
I was not born yet when President Kennedy was killed…But he must have touch so many in this world especially when Walt Disney closed down the park in respect of the great man and this horrible lost. We will always have this respect for this President who lost his life so young..Thank you Disney for sharing this memory today!


Melissa on November 24th, 2009 at 12:39 am

I never even knew Disneyland ever closed their doors, but it is good to know that when our Nation is mourning, the park respects our feelings.


Debbie from GA on November 24th, 2009 at 12:08 pm

On a lighter note…is that a Cast Member standing by the sign? Can you imagine being the lone CM out there by that sign all day? :(


Dirk from FL on November 24th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I know we have the DL/DW Treasures DVDs and all, but it would be neat to have a place on the website to stow more of these archival photos.

Thanks for sharing!


Jeannie from CA on November 24th, 2009 at 6:33 pm

I remember that day like it was yesterday, I was getting ready to go somewhere and my mum came in and said “President Kennedy was just assassinated.” She was very saddened by the event, we watched it on TV and I remember JFK Jr. in his little outfit, saluting when the casket went by, it was very touching.