A Few of My Favorite Things – Happy Anniversary, Disneyland!

Michelle Harker

by , Manager, Event Programming

July 17 is a special day for so many of us! It’s hard to believe it’s been 58 years since the gates to Disneyland park first opened. How many of you Disney fans are joining us here at the Disneyland Resort today? I know I am.

This anniversary makes me think about some of my favorite things over the years here.

  • Putting the pedal to the metal on Autopia (yes, I really know how to drive; no divider needed to keep me on track).
  • Captaining my very own motorboat with my crew (otherwise known as my family).
  • Filling my day with characters (which over the years has changed from Minnie Mouse, Chip n’ Dale and Pluto to some of the “characters” I work with on a daily basis).

Today I found something else to add to my list. A piece of art created by artist and local restaurateur, Daniel Samakow, called Lady and Tramp’s World. “Lady and the Tramp” was one of my favorite movies growing up, so this piece naturally ignited a bit of nostalgia in me when I first saw it.

I caught up with Daniel briefly after his appearance at WonderGround Gallery for the Pop Fusion signing, as he traveled between his three restaurants in Venice, California, to see just what inspired him to create this piece. “I asked myself one question,” said Daniel, “what would Lady and Tramp see? The film is mainly shot from the dog’s perspective, but I wanted to take this painting a bit further and really show their point of view and the emotional transformation of the world around them. Love reflects feeling, so it’s no surprise that everything Lady and Tramp see appears in the shape or form of a dog, including the clouds and trees. When you combine their view with intense and beautiful colors, it reinforces their magic connection and the world around us.”

If you’re a fan of this piece, too, be sure to check out the Pop Fusion exhibit at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District to see Daniel’s newest works, which evoke the spirit of Disney from the time the park first opened, such as Mickey’s Enchanted Tikis, as well as artwork from some of our other renowned Disney-inspired artists.

Do you have favorite memories of your happiest times at the Disneyland Resort? Share them in the comments!


  • About the same time Disneyland opened in 1955, Lady and the Tramp was released, and we got to experience both as kids. My grandmother gave us Lady and the Tramp velour lamps with shades for our bedroom which were a favorite growing up with all things Disney. We were also given an RCA Alice in Wonderland 45 record player for playing the Disney golden records which we still have as well as the Pluto clock. With glowing in the dark eyes and moving bone hands, it frightened my younger brother but he got used to it.

  • me and my wife love disney land so much we got married on july 17 2010 and our son was born on october 1 disney world anniversary so happy anniversary to disneyland and to my wife

    P.S we want the next baby born on MGM opining day

    • Congratulations on so many special moments! Happy Anniversary!

  • Happy 58th anniversary Disneyland! Although I’ve never had the chance to go to Disneyland, I plan to make my way there within the next few years! I look forward to seeing what all it has to offer!

  • Great polaroid pic, Michelle! And Happy Birthday Disneyland! Can’t be there today, but will be in a couple of months!

    • Thanks Corene! Hope you enjoy your next trip to the Resort.

  • My happiest times at Disneyland began every time I walked through the front gate and gazed down Main St., USA!! Happy 58th Anniversary, Disneyland, and thanks for all my memories and the ones to come for me and my children and grandchildren!!

  • Happy Anniversary Disneyland!!! 58 years and still the happiest place on earth. Wish I was there to celebrate!

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