Depending on how you count it, either Saturday or Sunday will be the 55th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim. On July 17th, 1955, the press, dignitaries, and Walt Disney's Hollywood friends saw the park for the first time. That was also the day that the big Dateline: Disneyland TV special gave the whole country its first look at the (almost) completed theme park.
The following day, July 18th, 1955, was the first day the park was open to the public.
Which anniversary date you think of as the actual opening is up to you.
The photo at the top of today's post comes from a 1957 issue of Holiday Magazine. The early concept art for the Mad Hatter's Tea Party (a.k.a. "the Teacups"), shown below, comes from a 1955 issue of McCall's magazine. I found both on a neat blog called Gold Country Girls.
Notice how the characters of Alice In Wonderland were to play a much more central role in this early version of the attraction.
Artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily of Anaheim have come up with some totally outstanding merchandise in honor of Disneyland's 55th. (And what could be more appropriate than celebrating a Disney milestone with merchandise?!?) Check it out on Kevin's blog and the Disney Gallery's website. Jody and Kevin will be inside the park, at the Disney Gallery (the old bank on Main Street), signing their work on Saturday, the 17th, from 9am to 11am.