Crystal Ro
June 16, 2016 2:17 pm
Hulton Archive / Getty

Known as the “happiest place on Earth,” Disneyland always seems to live up to its name. And if you’ve been fortunate enough to visit (and even if you’ve only seen pictures), you’re probably very familiar with what this iconic theme park looks like.

But, you might not recall what it looked like half a century ago. Here’s what the park looked like during its first year of operation, way back in 1955 and 1956.

The man himself, Walt Disney, and his grandson sitting in front of the castle.

Walt Disney again, this time steering a horse-drawn fire wagon through Town Square.

Here’s Walt and his family on opening day enjoying the Mad Tea Party ride in its original location, in the castle courtyard (where the carousel is now).

The gateway to Fantastyland, Sleeping Beauty’s castle on opening day. The drawbridge was lowered for the first (and one of the only times) that day.

The entrance to Frontierland.

The Mark Twain Riverboat on opening day.

A reverse view of the Adventureland entrance.

The “Chicken of the Sea” Pirate Ship Restaurant in Fantasyland. It was a recreation of Captain Hook’s ship from Peter Pan and sadly, demolished in 1982.

A view of Tomorrowland. The red and white TWA-sponsored Rocket To The Moon stood 70 feet tall back then. Today, a scaled-down tribute version exists in its place at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port.

Autopia, a ride that ~basically~ remains the same today.

The entrance to Disneyland on opening day.

And finally, Mickey himself waving “goodbye.”

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