Kit Steinkellner
Updated Jul 18, 2015 @ 9:36 am

Happy 60th birthday, Disneyland! That’s a LOT of years of being the happiest place on Earth, way to play the long game, dude.

In honor of the big 6-0, we want to take our handy-dandy internet time machine back to July 17th, 1955, the day Disneyland opened. As CNBC reports, Walt Disney dreamed of building the park for 20 years, and on the park’s first day, 22,000 people were invited to attend the grand opening. Back then, admission to Disneyland was $1 for adults and 50 cents for kids. Today, that would amount to about $9.00 for adults and $4.50 for kids. That said, back then, you had to pay admission for individual rides (25-35 cents for adults, 10-25 cents for kids). According to Bob Thomas, an Associated Press reporter and Walt Disney biographer, “If you are a glutton and try everything, it could cost you $8.70 for yourself and $5.15 for each tot.” In today money, that would be about $77 for adults and $46 for kids, which is a hefty chunk of change, but still a bargain compared to the $99 adult passes and $93 kid pass prices the park charges in 2015.

Even though Disney and Co. worked tirelessly to make sure that their $17 million amusement park opened with a bang, their first day was not without its hiccups. As Time reports, “Traffic was backed up for hours, delaying celebrity guests. The temperature crept above 100 degrees, causing heels to sink into soft asphalt, while a plumbers’ strike decommissioned all water fountains. Oh, and there was a gas leak, too. Practically everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.” Plus, apparently the Mark Twain riverboat got stuck in the mud, the Storybook Land Canal ride broke down and the boats had to be pulled along by cast members in rubber boots, and Autopia had no guard rails and so several cars crashed into one another. Yikes and more yikes.

A dream that big was bound to have kinks that needed working out, but honestly, the pics came out SO great that day you can’t even tell that it’s madness behind the scenes. Here are some of our fave shots from the day:

YES on these mermaids. They need to make mermaids a bigger part of regular Disneyland, then I’ll be way cooler forking over a hundred bucks for admission.

I love how the lines back then look pretty much EXACTLY how the lines do now: endless.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, just as sweet all these years later…

LOVE this battalion of happy girls ready to have the best day ever.

Happy 60th birthday, Disneyland, here’s to 60 more wonderful years!


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