Saturday, August 16, 2014
What could you accomplish in 361 days!!!
Walt Disney built a theme park????
That's right-it took less than a year from time bulldozers first arrived at the orange groves in Anaheim to the day the first Guests were welcomed at the Main Entrance of Disneyland.
July 21,1954 (Dr Lee was 2 years,1 month and 1 day old).....
The first trees were cleared from the property Walt Disney purchased. the main work involved removing citrus trees and moving 11 houses.
Actual earth-moving began, but there was no official groundbreaking ceremony. The McNeil Construction Company of Los Angeles, the lowest of 8 bidders, was awarded the construction contract, which included excavation for a lake , rivers and a bed for railroad track, installation of all underground utilities and a railroad overpass to serve as the entrance to the park.
Also in August, a 50-foot camera was installed in the center of the hub to record construction. In addition, a merry-go-around was purchased in Toronto. After it was shipped to California, it was altered to a four-abreast configuration, and all standing horses were converted to jumpers.
The first "Disneyland" television series episode debuted; later episodes included construction progress updates.
Major companies committed to participation in Disneyland, including Santa Fe, Bekins, U.S. Time, Chicken of the Sea, ABC, Carnation, TWA, and American Motors.
Earth work, fencing, water mains, gas lines and telephone conduits neared completion. At this time, the total staff consisted of 21 permanent cast members and five consultants (excluding contractors.)
Construction began on Tomorrowland. Originally not planned to open with the rest of the park, Walt changed his mind and included Tomorrowland as part of opening day. He also announced plans to build a hotel on West Street. The Disneyland Hotel was initially owned and operated by the Wrather Corp.
The first orientation program was conducted by Van France, who founded Disney University and was later named a Disney Legend. The term "We Create Happiness" was rolled out- and is still used today.
July 17, 1955...
Opening Day (Invitational Press Preview); the park opened to the general public the following day.
Opening day Facts & Figures....
5, number of lands(Main Street, U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland and Frontierland.)
18, number of attractions
28,154, number of Guests
70 million, estimated number of Americans who watched the live broadcast of opening day
Started my career at Disney on 12-12-81, and the rest is history...Dr Lee