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A Look Back: New Orleans Square Offically Opens

posted on July 23rd, 2010 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations


I love showing off our amazing collection of historical video, especially when you get to see Walt Disney himself grinning from ear to ear. He was such a kid at heart and the historical footage really captures his love of Disneyland park. The footage you are about to see is bittersweet. It shows one of the last times Walt was on film enjoying his park. The day was 44 years ago, July 24, 1966 (Walt died later that year). Walt and New Orleans Mayor Victor Schiro officially opened New Orleans Square. It was the first time since opening day in 1955 that a new land had opened. It was also the only area at the park named after a real city. Guests enjoyed shopping, dining and music, and Pirates of the Caribbean opened the following year. I hope you enjoy this fun piece of history.

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Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

22 Comments

1

Ashley on July 23rd, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Happy Anniversary New Orleans Square!!! 44 years and counting!!

And what a marvelous video!!

2

Debbie on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:16 pm

44 years and still looks as good as the day it opened happy anniversary.

3

Billy from CA on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I love New Orleans square, by far my favorite section of the park. Thank you for the old videos, I really enjoy them. Happy Birthday!! With many more years to come!!

4

Lindy on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I barely remember the excitement when it opened! But I can’t remember what was there before that. Does anyone know? Is there a map online someplace that shows the original Frontierland before the ‘Square’ opened?

5

Fred from CA on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Happy Birthday New Orleans Square!

Its a great area of the park.

6

Adrienne on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Oh my. That video was way too short! I Love New Orleans Square. I could sit there all day and people-watch, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells. No matter what else I do when I visit I always end up in New Orleans Square at some point in my visit.

7

Leslie on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Love it! Particularly interesting for me, since I was born that year. (I’m as old as New Orleans Square!) Look at the clothing and hairstyles!

8

Michael on July 23rd, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Lindy – I think New Orleans Square occupies the area that was formerly Holidayland, which was sort of a large park-like area with picnic benches, a baseball diamond, and a large circus tent. It even had its own separate entrance on the outside.

9

Lindy on July 23rd, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I feel so fortunate to have been able to visit NOS just after it it opened, and to have ridden on Pirates of the Caribbean in its early days, before all the fame! I only wish the Blue Bayou were still as affordable as it was then. It’s just too darn expensive for me now. :-(

10

Richard from CA on July 23rd, 2010 at 4:05 pm

My best memory of New Orleans Sq at Disney is going to Pat Obriens in New Orleans and thinking, wow, this reminds me of Disney ;>

11

Tisa on July 23rd, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Thank you for sharing Valarie. It was for sure, not long enough. I am a cast member, and I can honestly say when I work in New Orleans Square, I am the most happy. I love it there.

12

kimberly from AZ on July 23rd, 2010 at 4:38 pm

i love watching movies with walt disney.wish i was born back then. would of love to of met him. i am a disney freak.love seeing the changes they do and looking back in the day.just amazed on how it used to look.when i was little i loved the shrinking machine..have a great 44th.wish i could be there

13

Wendy from NH on July 23rd, 2010 at 4:49 pm

New Orleans Square went next to land that previously had a wonderful chicken dinner restaurant right by the river, with broad pathways above it between it and the train track. The paths and ground above the restaurant were where they built New Orleans Square, and moved the paths to where the restaurant had been. It was all part of Frontierland. Beyond that area was the native American village, with native dancers, and where the Indian canoes were docked. It was landscaped between the restaurant and the village. We were sad the restaurant was torn down; we always had our Disneyland dinner there when my family went (our first family visit was in 1957, when I was 8). Now I eat at Cafe Orleans or the Blue Bayou, when I can get there from NH.

14

Nathan on July 23rd, 2010 at 5:12 pm

Hey that video is awesome. You know whats not awesome though? Putting this episode on two separate Disney Treasures so I had to buy it twice.

15

Colleen from CA on July 23rd, 2010 at 6:44 pm

My family was visiting Disneyland the year it was being built and they detoured everyone off of the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse due to the construction but my little brother was so used to exiting the normal way he automatically went that way and fell face down, full-bodied, into the pink, wet concrete. I thought the construction workers were going to kill him. They had just finished leveling it out. Hilarious!! NOS is one of my favorite parts of Disneyland.

16

Diana from sonora on July 23rd, 2010 at 7:14 pm

He looks so good…so sad to think that he died later that year.

17

Louise on July 23rd, 2010 at 11:20 pm

I was there that wonderful day as one of the first cast members in the Silver Shop. That was a great day. All the cast for NOS had their new costumes made especially for them. I had three fittings for the most beautiful pale blue tapesty dress with brown lace insets. The dress had a peplum and all. Those were the days. I only wish that tape were longer. I was fortunate enough to meet Walt Disney that day and show him around the Silver Shop. Love that area. I was also at work the day Walt died. The highest and the lowest of times all in one year.

18

Shawn on July 24th, 2010 at 4:51 pm

It’d be wonderful to have that old program available on DVD.

19

Sabina on July 24th, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Louise, Thank you for sharing…Wow what it must have been like to be around Walt…What an honor it must have been for you to share “your shop”!
These little snippets are wonderful..too bad we didnt hear what he had to say about this area of the park…also one of my favorites…
Happy Birthday NOS…!

20

Eliel on July 24th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

It would be great to see snippets of history like this one every once in a while on the Disney channels. It would give my Grandchildren and much of today’s younger generation a sense of who Walt Disney was. Perhaps even running some of the old shows on the weekend like “Spin & Marty”, “The Hardy Boys Mysteries”, and “Men of the Western Sea.” Of course Mickey Mouse would have to introduce this you know. :)

21

Brian on July 25th, 2010 at 4:07 pm

no wonder new orleans square is my favorite,we’re the same age

22

Stevie on July 29th, 2010 at 11:58 pm

new orleans square is one of my favorites. i love it.

22 Comments