Disneyland's Opening Day Mishaps, And Disney World's Triumph

By Penny Chavers
Vice President Richard Nixon at Disneyland at Anaheim, California, August 11, 1955. (Photo by USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images); a Disneyland ticket book.

In 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California, changing family amusement forever. The kid-friendly site, divided into various "lands" (Adventureland, Frontierland, etc.), dotted with rides and populated by characters Walt Disney had created set a new standard. Celebrities and civilians alike attended the opening, mingling with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other walking, talking animals, even though much of it didn't go as planned. The park in California was so successful that a second venue, on a lot more land in Florida, was opened a decade later.