In light of my posting yesterday, I thought that it was only fitting that I post tips on how to save money at the Disneyland Resort. Some of these I’ve posted before and others I grabbed from my site.
On June 14, 1959, Disneyland premiered its first roller coaster-style “thrill ride,” the Matterhorn Bobsleds, during a live television special. Since it opened, the 147-foot 1/100th scale replica of the famous Swiss peak, has carried more than 258 million guests down its icy slopes.
Walt Disney was an avid lover of railroads. In fact, he had a miniature railroad called the Carolwood Pacific that ran through his Holmby Hills backyard. Amidst his backyard wonderland, Walt built a barn where he could monitor and control the operation of his railroad. Walt’s Barn also served as a workshop and a place for Walt to relax. The barn was moved from his backyard to Griffith Park (near Burbank) ten years ago and showcases great memorabilia.
Walt’s Barn is open the third Sunday of every month, from 11a.m. to 3p.m., to the public. This is a must-see for Disney fans. If you are from out of town or plan on visiting Disneyland in the future, making a trip out to Walt’s barn is a great way to expand upon your Disney experience. According to the Carolwood Foundation, the Carolwood Pacific provided the launching point for Walt’s vision of a family-oriented themed amusement park, Disneyland. Why not spend a couple of hours where it all started? Parking and admission are free.
Griffith Park – Walt’s Barn
5202 Zoo Dr.
Los Angeles, CA
July 16, 1954, Walt Disney broke ground on his dream. After attending carnivals and other family events with his children, he wanted to create a theme park of his very own. He wanted to create a place where adults and children could have fun together in a safe environment. He wanted a place where his fairy tale adventures could be come real life excitement.
On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened its gates. The event was to be a day that was by invitiation only, but those with counterfit invitations made their way in to Walt’s magic kingdom. This day has gone down in Disneyland lore as Black Sunday. It was truly a disaster. The plumbers had been on strike just prior to the park opening, and Walt had had to make a choice between restrooms and drinking fountains. He opted for restrooms and had cast members walk the park with cups of water for the guests. With the unexpected guests, one can only imagine the results of the underestimated need for water and other amenities. The park asphalt had been poured just before the opening and in the 101 degree weather, the women’s heals sunk into the pavement.
Things have improved a bit since Black Sunday. Disneyland has become and remains the place of Walt’s dreams. As I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again, I don’t agree with everything that Disney management does within the park. But I do believe in Walt’s original vision. I believe in spending quality time with my children in a place that we can enjoy together. I, like Walt Disney, believe in prolonging childhood and imagination.
Happy Birthday, Disneyland. May your current gate keepers remember that it all started with the magic of a mouse and a dream. May they remember that “Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, dreams, and hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will become a source of joy and inspiration for all the world.” May they remember that Disneyland is more than a theme park, it is a work of art and monument to a great American folk hero.