1958 Photo: Walt Disney Dances The Night Away at Disneyland Park

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

Among a small collection of the most enjoyable photos of Walt Disney at his beloved Disneyland park is a real gem – a picture that captures a side of Walt that just makes you smile.

1958 Photo: Walt Disney Dances The Night Away at Disneyland Park

In this 1958 photo, Walt is having so much fun dancing at Carnation Plaza Gardens, that you just can’t help but smile right along with him.


  • I think that a couple could start dancing anywhere in the parks and it would be ok. That’s what Disney is about. Letting go and having fun, enjoying the moment.

  • I just Love the Smile,that is the true Walt Disney.I cant believe that I was 8yrs old when that pic was taken,just a note! Is there any place that a couple could Dance now that Pleasure Island has changed?

  • I sure hope that at least one person (besides me) read my previous comments here, like the one in which I made the reference to Fantasmic.

    Again, I have a very strong feeling that this upcoming change is NOT going to be as radical as some people are thinking.

    I sure wish that people would not have such negative knee-jerk reactions EVERY TIME that Disneyland changes something.

    Walt WANTED Disneyland to change and evolve. Not to mention that change is a part of life. Some people have Disneyland squeezed so tightly that it can’t breath.

  • And this is why I’m sad to know the Gardens will be no longer πŸ™

  • I would like to make another point;

    During most of the year, Fantasmic plays on the Rivers of America. Its big, loud, and hard to miss, (and I mean that in a good way)
    My point is, in 1992, Fantasmic forever changed and “intruded” on the peaceful ambiance that New Orleans Square (and the river) used to have in the evenings in the park’s earlier days. And yet, most people don’t seem to mind that. (Fantasmic is awesome, but I admit, I don’t mind when its on hiatus and the river is peaceful and I can take a riverboat ride in the evenings)

    @Eric: Yes I know, I was there! πŸ™‚

    Fortunately, there will still be the same classic feeling at night at the stage even after the Fantasy Fair makeover.

    Walt wanted Disneyland to change and evolve! Change is not necessarily a bad thing.

    I’m just trying to be the voice of reason.

  • Yep – I’m smiling! Great picture!

  • @ Michael, Fred – Although most have noticed by now, when they announced the Rapunzel Faire at the D23, “Don’t worry, there’ll still be swing dancing at the Carnation!” got BIGGER applause from the crowd. πŸ™‚
    (And who can blame them?–Even Walt just wanted to get away from the princesses for a while and cut a rug.)

  • So many memories and they’re planning to make changes to the stage that will forever change the character. It’s not going to be the same.

  • Fred-
    Michael is right, it isn’t just about the swing dancing. It is about the ambiance, atmosphere and nostalgia. Carnation Plaza is one of the most charming places in the park. I will truly be sad to see it replaced by something that I believe will prove to be a short lived attraction.

  • …I have a strong feeling that this upcoming change will not be as big of a deal as people are making it out to be.

  • It is what it is.
    The fact of the matter is that Walt wanted Disneyland to change and evolve.
    Nobody ever said that change was easy. And incidentally, it is a fact that this is not the first time that the Carnation Gardens has seen changes.

    In the early 90’s, there was a small Beauty and the Beast show built on that stage, and even before that, there was a Roger Rabbit show on that stage.

    Judging from the concept art, the area will not be that much different that it is now, perhaps some new buildings will be added in the area but the stage itself will be more or less the same and unchanged.

  • I agree with Michael (not sure it is just about dancing, Fred).

  • Michael–
    Swing dancing will STILL BE OFFERED on that stage on select nights even after they put Fantasy Fair in this area. Same as always. So the change doesn’t affect the swing dance offerings at all.

    Awesome photo!

  • A perfect picture capture of dear Uncle Walt. πŸ™‚ He truly was a wonderful man.

  • What a Great Picture, Businessman but a kid at heart, I wonder if they are dancing to the Elliot Brothers πŸ™‚

  • What a sweet picture! It really did make me smile. πŸ™‚


  • A perfect example of why not to change this area.

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