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Celebrating Walt’s Dream 55 Years Later

“To all who come to this happy place … Welcome!”

July 17, 1955 – That’s the day Walt Disney opened the gates to Disneyland park. Now, here we are, 55 years later still celebrating his amazing dream. I remember celebrating the 50th Anniversary. I had just began my job a few months before in public relations and was assigned to produce some podcasts for the celebration. My all-time favorite in my 18-year career as a producer is the historical piece you are about to see. I love the vintage footage with Art Linkletter hosting a live broadcast with Ronald Regan at the grand opening – the official opening day for guests was the next day. A-listers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., can be seen taking a drive in the Autopia cars. Only 15,000 guests were invited to the “invitation only” event, but 28,000 showed up! The lines were long and the day was hot, and not everyone thought this new Park would be a success, but it didn’t matter. The guests loved it and Disneyland park forever changed how Americans vacationed.

I hope you enjoy this video. It was originally released on Disneyland.com in 2005. It not only entertains you with clips from opening day, but shows construction of Disneyland park and some old footage of some pretty important people who visited. Watch how Disneyland park evolved from Walt’s dream of a place “where the parents and children could have fun together” to an additional four Resorts around the world and a world-famous cruise line.

Happy 55th Anniversary, Disneyland!


  • this podcast is awesome. got a little teary eyed, i’m not gonna lie

  • I teared up too! I think more for the shots of Ronald Reagan before his Alzheimer’s got the better of him. But it’s always fun to see vintage footage of Walt and the park. It’s a trip that right now, we’re watching all the construction for Little Mermaid and Cars Land, and back then they were watching the train station and the actual park going up. = )

  • This is a great and truly memorial video for the happiest place on earth. By any chance how do you get the job with making videos and commercails for disneyland any ways, if anyone knows the answer that would defenitely help me with pursuing my dream of being a editor and director for the disney parks and resorts, thanks.

  • When a visionary defies the odds and builds what few can believe is possible, that person becomes a legend and an inspiration to many others walking a similar path… Happy 55th!

  • Happy 55th Disneyland !!..you are truly a magical place. I agree with Debra..we are very fortunate to have had Walt Disney in our lives. As a cast member, seeing this video and people comments it inspires to carry on and help create joy and inspiration for our guests (thanks you). Here’s to 55 more magical years.

  • I thought the video was realy good

  • Im sitting here in tears just imagining this man and his dream coming true…How many people in this world get to say the same?
    My Grandpa and My Father both just loved Disaneyland and made sure all of us had wonderful memories which we do. Although I am only 42 (first visiting Disneyland sometime in early 1972) I now have the honor of passing this wonderful feeling I have inside on to my children and Grandchildren.
    Happy Birthday Disneyland and thank you for helping me pass on my love of the “PLACE WALT (AND LILLIAN) BUILT!”

  • With tears welled up in my eyes, I say thank you Walt Disney for giving me an escape from all of my worries…..you don’t know how much Disneyland means to me.

  • JOY!

  • I didn’t think I would, but I did tear up after watching the video. Disneyland is a very special place. We visit almost every month and we’re not tired of Dland yet!

  • That is such a good video.. I have a question though of the 50th anniversary. I have been trying to find a video of the simulcast on may 5th, 2005 and can’t find one anywhere!! Does anyone know where I could find it??

  • P.S. the video made me tear up too!

    Happy Birthday Disneyland….

    Thanks Walt for giving us this great gift….

  • Love the vintage video – My dad went to the park when Disneyland had been opened about a year and all their photos are the b/w. I enjoy seeing how much the park has changed. We have been so many times – I love it! Our family went at Christmas and I don’t know who had more fun…my kids or my dad!! Thanks for posting the video.

  • This video was awesome. Just saw part of it in WDW, and it brought back great memories of our trip and why we like going there so much!! Thanks Walt for dreaming !!

  • This video is wonderful! This morning my 6 year old little girl and I watched it together and we both got tears in our eyes when she asked if Walt was still alive because she would like to meet him.

    I will forever love Disneyland!!!!!

  • Disneyland is exactly 8 years older than me. Happy 55th Birthday Disneyland, and Happy 47th Birthday to me!!

    (Christine’s husband)

  • Thank you. I was there yesterday, as I was in 2005. What a wonderful place to grow up with. Yes, this brought a tear to my eye thinking that we all are so lucky as to have had a man like this in our lives. Happy 55th Disneyland!

  • That is Great… glad Im not the only one with tears.. Disneyland is truly Magical.. and Im glad that Walts Dream and Imagination came to life, I couldnt imagine a world without Disney 🙂

  • Can’t imagine a world without Disneyland!!!!!

  • The look on Walt’s face on opening day is possibly the happiest proudest face ive ever seen and he deserves to be that proud and happy,

    Happy 55th Disneyland 🙂

  • I love Disneyland.
    Walt’s original park. 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Disneyland! I’m not gonna lie this made me tear up. I love love loooove disneyland and go almost every month. I just realized that I will be 62 when Disneyland has it’s 100th birthday and I bet I’ll still be doing the same things I do today there! <3

  • Is there somewhere I can download this?

  • Is there somewhere I can download this podcast video?

  • I was there on the 50th, and I’ll be back soon. Disneyland is the best!

  • Happy 55th Disneyland, “The Happiest Place On Earth”

  • I loved watching this video! Thank you so much for posting this – it’s always a magical experience watching Walt and seeing his excitement over his creations. I never get tired of seeing these videos from Disney’s past.Happy Anniversary, Disneyland!

  • All the way from Australia, happy anniversary Disneyland.My family and I have been blessed with the ability of being able to visit this magical place 4 times.My children now 18 and 15 love all that’s Disney and i can say that the bond my wife and i have with our children stems from those unforgettable holidays at Disneyland where as a family we grew closer together finding the a true bond that continues.We will return no doubt …one day with “extra numbers”!

  • Happy Birthday Disneyland! We Love You! See you next month!

  • Happy 55 magical years Disneyland! 🙂

  • I absolutely loved watching this. It is always such a treat to see Walt and hear him talk about Disney and his dreams and plans. Happy 55th Disneyland!

  • that video is beautiful!!!
    wish i was there opening day…but i wasn’t even born haha
    can’t wait to experience the next 55 years with disney <3

  • Happy 55 Birthday Disneyland!

    As someone who has been fortunate to visit all 11 Disney Parks around the world, I can really appreciate the impact and influence the “original Magic Kingdom” has had on not only all the other Disney Parks, but also the world.

    Walt’s famous words to the world, “Disneyland is your land”, really couldn’t have be more true. We can be greatful and appreciate this wonderful “gift” Walt gave to us all 55 years ago.

    Today, Walt’s vision and inspiration continue live on, and I would like to say “Disneyland is YOUR land Walt. Thank you”.

  • Congratulations on your Champagne Anniversary, Disneyland!

  • Happy 55th Birthday
    Does anyone know the songs the played on it?

  • Happy 55 and going strong

  • Happy 55th, DL! You ARE my laughing place.

  • Enjoyed the clips very much! 🙂
    2005 or 1995?

  • Happy Anniversary, Disneyland! It’s been 55 since ’55.

  • Happy 55th Anniversary Disneyland! I, too, remember the 50th anniversary. I remember running around the park, trying to get pictures of all the 50th Mickey logos on the rides. I cannot wait to head to the park to help celebrate the park’s 55th. That video of Walt and opening day is incredible and always a pleasure to see. Here’s to 55 more magical years, Disneyland!

  • I always tear up when I hear that famous speech made by Mr. Disney 55 years ago today. Truly an amazing place.

  • Thanks for re-posting this video, I really enjoyed watching it today just as much as 5 years ago. The entire world, entertainment, theme park, and “happiness” industries would not be the same without the one park that started it all… Disneyland. I’m glad we’re celebrating and remembering today.

    Lets just hope for the 60th we get a bigger celebration!

    P.S… Did anyone else tear up while watching this?

  • Happy 55th Anniversary, Disneyland!

  • Great Video!! I wish I could have been there on opening day!
    Happy 55th Disneyland!!!!

  • Made me cry!

  • Awesome video! Just so amazing what one man’s dreams has brought to the world.

  • Happy 55th Birthday Disneyland!!!!

  • I loved watching this video! Thank you so much for posting this – it’s always a magical experience watching Walt and seeing his excitement over his creations. I never get tired of seeing these videos from Disney’s past.

  • Awesome podcast!

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