Disneyland at 60: How to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary if you’re not at the Happiest Place on Earth

Sixty years ago, entertainment was transformed. On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. It was the first place of its kind, elevating the idea of a simple amusement park by transporting guests to worlds of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.

To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. – Walt Disney, Disneyland Opening Day Speech


For those of us who aren’t lucky enough to celebrate at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle today, don’t worry. Below I’ve listed festive activities to help ease the pain. P.S. – Theme Park Princess is traveling to Disneyland in a few weeks to celebrate, so plenty of Diamond Anniversary posts are headed your way!

1. Follow @Disneyland on Twitter to be transported to 1955


Today, Disneyland’s Twitter will be transported to 1955 as they “live tweet” opening day 60 years ago. They’ll use the hashtag #LiveFrom55. History Channel did something similar to this on the anniversary of the Titanic. It’s fun to see something modern like social media used to represent a more classic time.

2. Know the relevant hashtags.

You’ll see #Disneyland60 and #LiveFrom55 used today. Search these hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.

3. Stock up on Diamond Anniversary merchandise.


The online Disney Store has a few pieces of Diamond merchandise on sale, including this cute, vintage-inspired Dumbo tee. Unfortunately, most of the anniversary merchandise is only sold in the parks. The good news is you can find some of these pieces on Ebay. Magical Memories and Merchandise buys extra Disney goods on their trips and resales them to you. She’ll even ask via Facebook if people are interested in a certain item.

4. Follow relevant Disney addicts


In addition to following the official Disney accounts, such as @Disneyland and @Disney, I highly recommend following some hardcore Disney addicts who will be at the Happiest Place on Earth today. Francis (@frncissdominc) works at Disneyland and has one of the best Instas ever.

5. Study up

tumblr_ljmmqjy9P91qhagnxo1_500The whole park wasn’t quite ready on opening day, but several attractions were. Below are the original opening day attractions.

  • Autopia
  • Disneyland Railroad (Main Street and New Orleans Square locations)
  • Jungle Cruise
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Main Street Cinema
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Now re-imagined and updated in time for the anniversary)
  • Snow White’s Scary Adventures
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats

The Casey Jr. Circus Train and Dumbo the Flying Elephant opened later in 1955.

6. Learn all the secrets


This is one of my favorite Disneyland facts books. It’s quick, entertaining, and only $3.99 at Barnesandnoble.com right now.

7. Get inspired

Listen to Walt’s opening day speech. Think about how far the dream has come. One, fairly small park (Disneyland can fit inside Ticket and Transportation at Walt Disney World) inspired so much. The Florida Project now consists of four theme parks, two water parks, an entertainment district and many, many hotels. Disney parks now exist in China, France, and Japan. Without Disneyland, other theme parks such as Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and Busch Gardens probably wouldn’t exist.

More than anything, though, Disneyland gave us the opportunity to transport ourselves to a world of adventure with our loved ones.

Here’s to the next 60.


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