Fastpass To History: Building Disneyland

Walt Disney had dreamed of a place like Disneyland for years before it became a reality. In the 1930s, after visiting various parks with his daughters, Walt envisioned a place where both parents and children alike could have fun together. The park would be a magical place for families to enjoy.

Walt initially planned on constructing a park just across from his Burbank studio. It would take up about 8 acres of land. Plans for the Burbank park were eventually put on hold due to World War II; however, this gave Walt time to continue imagining the park he would one day build. He soon realized those 8 acres were not going to be anywhere near big enough for all of his ideas.

In 1953, Walt hired the Stanford Research Institute to help determine the best location for the park. Their analysis took into account demographics, traffic patterns, population, weather conditions, and much more. It was determined Anaheim, California would be a suitable location for Walt Disney’s park. So Walt purchased a 160-acre plot of land near the Santa Ana Freeway and Harbour Boulevard. At the time, the land was home to orange groves and walnut trees.

Construction on Disneyland began on July 16, 1954, just one year before the park would open. Progress updates could be seen on the Disneyland television show. In order to construct Disneyland in just one year, crews often had to work around the clock. The park opened on July 17,1955; however, despite the crews’ best efforts, opening day didn’t quite go off without a hitch. Thankfully all of the opening day problems were later worked out and Disneyland quickly began receiving spectacular reviews.


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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, she can also be found writing for Park World Travel and selecting music for Park World Radio.

Latest posts by Kimberly (see all)

  • Always love to hear how it all started. Visiting Disneyland, I can never imagine it being just a patch of orange trees 🙂

    • I’m certainly glad it’s not orange groves anymore! Disneyland sounds like a lot more fun!

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