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Signs of the Times

posted on May 21st, 2010 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

For more than 40 years, the large marquee outside Disneyland was often your first clue that you had arrived somewhere different — you had finally arrived at Disneyland! Here’s a look back at the Southern California icon.

Signs of the Times

Above is the original 1958 marquee as it appeared in 1976.

Signs of the Times

A new electronic marquee arrived in 1989, briefly sharing the spotlight with its predecessor during installation.

Signs of the Times

The electronic marquee greeted millions of visitors in multiple languages for nearly 10 years.

Signs of the Times

Today, whether arriving by car, hotel shuttle or by foot, the tradition of greeting our guests in style continues.

Signs of the Times

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort



Fred from CA on May 21st, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Ah, I remember that electronic sign very well. :)

I love that picture of the two signs next to each other.


Krista on May 21st, 2010 at 3:57 pm

You can barely see the sign now, though the colors are pretty. I still miss the pretty pink and blue with the digital marquee I remember from when I was younger.


Yvonne on May 21st, 2010 at 4:43 pm

When I saw the original marquee I could not help but remember some wonderful memories from my childhood! Saw that sign the first time I visited in 1969… Wow, what a kick! Thanks for posting it!


Lynnae on May 21st, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I, too, remember the pink electronic marquee very well. As a child, I would get very excited when I saw that sign outside the car window, because I knew that a day full of fun and magic awaited me!

For some reason, the new signs don’t elicit the same feelings. Perhaps it’s because I never drive by the sign on Harbor and I already know I’m going to Disneyland by the time I see the signs in front of the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Still, I’m glad that the tradition continues for the new generation of Disney fans!


Penny on May 21st, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I was there in both 1976 and 1989. I love all the signs even the newest one. Sometimes I get on Google Earth just to go look at the entry sign, and show it to my three year old. “Look, it’s Disneyland!”


jose from AZ on May 21st, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Yikes how old am I. I have seen all of these signs. But you know it was some great times.


Chris on May 21st, 2010 at 5:09 pm

Wow…thanks for sharing these. That’s awesome!


Monica from CA on May 21st, 2010 at 5:19 pm

i remember all three also! i love disneyland <3


Martha from CA on May 21st, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Boy, does that bring back some wonderful memories! To think I’m in a generation that has seen all of the signs and remembers each one! It sure tells everyone how old we are! Thanks for the memories! Young and Old!


Jim on May 21st, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Can remember back to 1963 seeing the original sign and knowing we had arrived at paradise after traveling several hundred miles.


Scott on May 21st, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I have been to Disneyland many times in throughout my life, and have had the pleasure of seeing all the signs. But…… my opinion there is nothing better than the original sign. It is not necessary to add a lot of flare and pizazz to anything when you know beyond the sign is the most magical place on earth.


Jim on May 21st, 2010 at 6:04 pm

So is the sign in the third picture down still there? I know the park has changed a lot, but it doesn’t even look like the same location. I was there last in ’06, so I don’t remember.


Rindy on May 21st, 2010 at 6:22 pm

I love the original sign. I wish the would bring it back somewhere on the outside of the park, for nostalgia.


Karen from AZ on May 21st, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Yes I remember them all so does that tell you how old I am. I love Disney cant wait to get there this summer for all the new.


Deborah on May 21st, 2010 at 7:02 pm

I worked in the Parking Lot from 1977 to 1981, and had the job of changing the message on the original sign on many occasions. Very “high tech” you used a little black box connected to a very long wire with a joy stick! Each letter box had the entire alphabet in it as well as pictures of the characters at the end. I do miss the old school look of that sign. I wished they could have preserved it somewhere else on the property…


Leslie from CO on May 21st, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Oh and I worked in Tomorrowland summers of ’82 and ’83 — Miss the parking lot when I go back —


Melanie on May 21st, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Sorry guys, but the classic marquees are the best. Let’s go back to the retro signs! They are beautiful


Kristi from CA on May 21st, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I remember them all, as well, but I actually miss the 1989 version. It was just right somehow, and now there isn’t really a sign that you see in the same way as you drive down Harbor… or over by the hotels and parking structure either. Just like others I always got a little thrill when I saw the sign, even as an adult.


Dave from AZ on May 21st, 2010 at 8:05 pm

I agree the sign is so small now. Nice design but this is Disneyland and whether you know it’s there or not it is nice to “KNOW” it’s there.


carol on May 21st, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I like the original signs best. Will be there this weekend! Yay!


Lori on May 21st, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Very cool!!! I remember every one of these signs over the years. I have visited Disneyland frequently for the past 36 years. Loved every minute of it and looking forward to returning after the summer once again. Thanks for sharing :o)


Greg from CA on May 21st, 2010 at 8:33 pm

love the old sign. have fond memories of going with my family when I was young and seeing the sign. Now I am making memories with my wife and kids.


Karen from MO on May 21st, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I was 5years old when Disneyland opened. I had been many times thru childhood. I have taken my daughters, neice and been with my grandchildren. One of my memories was of my grandmother speaking with Walt Disney the week Disneyland opened. I will go again.


hope on May 21st, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I remember looking for the Disneyland sign each time we came for our family vacation. I still miss coming through the parking gates into the huge parking lot. and taking the old trams to the front of Disneyland. Those were the days.


Paul on May 21st, 2010 at 11:51 pm

I love the original sign the best. I remember it was bigger than life when we rolled up on the car and I seen the sign I was in for a fabulous time!


Thor from CA on May 22nd, 2010 at 5:01 am

Gosh I miss the big huge signs on Harbor Blvd. The new ones just don’t elicit that excitement for me unfortunately. Particularly at Mickey & Friends, you don’t have a chance to see them the way they are positioned and designed. It seems there is still a bit of magic that needs to happen with the signs today.


Lia on May 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 am

John Stamos now owns the original sign. He was the winning bidder when Disney put it for auction on ebay. That was probably at least 5 years ago.


Katy on May 22nd, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I am sad to say that i have ever seen the newer ones


Wayne from CA on May 23rd, 2010 at 12:18 am

I really miss that GREAT sign. Disney should put one like back.
I saw it for the first time in 1963.


Alan on May 24th, 2010 at 10:55 am

I too remember and miss both of the large marquee signs. When my wife and I got married at the resort we told the kids that the sign over the driveway on Disney Way was put there for us :) Years later they still point to the sign and tell us that they kept it there for us.

BTW- I think it was just the “D” from the original sign that was auctioned on ebay. I remember lusting after it and my bank account saying “yea right!”


daniel on May 25th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

i miss the old parking lot south of disneyland, and how you would enter off harbor….but now we have tower of terror and soon we will have cars land….


Jim on May 25th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Where is the sign at? On the Harbor side or the Disney Dr. side?


mike on May 25th, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I really miss the old sign…now days it feels more like you’re going in through the service entrance of a warehouse rather than entering DISNEYLAND!…especially when going into Mickey & Friends

seeing that old sign really makes me miss the grand old entrance to the Park :(