Disneyland's actual birthdate?

Disneyland68

Active Member
Original Poster
Aloha,

OK DL experts and veterans, please explain to me why Disney celebrates Disneyland's birthday on 17 July when it is actually 18 July.
 

cmwade77

Well-Known Member
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Because it is actually July 17 contrary to what some may try to claim. July 17 is the date people were invited to, July 18 is the date that the park opened to the public.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Disneyland's Birthday is Some time in 1954 when Walt Disney and his crew used the first dirt mover and/or tree removal started on the lot purchased.

There is the year and a day story, but multiple Old Timers said work started before July 17th, 1955.

The Anniversary, like every other Disney Park is July 18th, the date the park opened to the general public with full priced tickets sold.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Because it is actually July 17 contrary to what some may try to claim. July 17 is the date people were invited to, July 18 is the date that the park opened to the public.

People are invited to new attractions and parks before they open to the public all the time, especially for media purposes. But Disneyland is the only case I can think of where the opening date listed isn't the first day it was open to the public but instead an invitation only event. I suspect it's partly because Disney loves the stories of how bad Disneyland's opening day was and the excellent story and marketing it provides.
 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
Plain and simple, its July 17th because that is when Disney says it is. It doesn't matter if it wasn't the first day of public operation. It was the day that Walt gave his opening day speech, so that is the date that is celebrated.
 

Darkbeer1

Well-Known Member
Ok, while Walt Disney was still alive,the Anniversary was always celebrated on July 18th.

As for when it changed, it seem is was 1970, where July 18th fell on a Saturday, and someone in Public Relations/Marketing decided or was told to move it to the 17th to accommodate a Friday press event.

Every retired Old Timer, and they basically all have retired, say that the Anniversary is July 18th.





By the way, in 1965, July 18th fell on a Sunday.

 

Disney Irish

Well-Known Member
Theme parks are not birthed. They are not living things.
Actually I would disagree. A theme park had to be birthed because it comes from someone's imagination. It goes from conception, where it grows, to being birthed when its released into the world. So in a sense it is a living thing because an idea is a living thing.

So its right to have a birthday on the day its released into the world. And that date is July 17th because that is when idea came into the world and Walt became the proud daddy.
 

Phroobar

Well-Known Member
Actually I would disagree. A theme park had to be birthed because it comes from someone's imagination. It goes from conception, where it grows, to being birthed when its released into the world. So in a sense it is a living thing because an idea is a living thing.
Sorry but my iPhone wasn't "birthed" by your definition. I consider it more of an anniversary.
 

SevenSevens

Member
Reading the police log. I hope Detective Jack Koontz captured the three escaped juveniles from Juvenile Hall. They probably just went to Disneyland. Looks like the police had a lot of trouble with juveniles shoplifting and vandalism of schools back then.

Is Dean his son?
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
People are invited to new attractions and parks before they open to the public all the time, especially for media purposes. But Disneyland is the only case I can think of where the opening date listed isn't the first day it was open to the public but instead an invitation only event. I suspect it's partly because Disney loves the stories of how bad Disneyland's opening day was and the excellent story and marketing it provides.

Exactly.

Star Wars Land opened on May 31st, 2019. But on May 28th-30th they had a series of invited previews and premiere parties that the public wasn't invited to. They had the big celebrity opening ceremony and party on May 30th.

Cars Land opened on June 15th, 2012. But in the days leading up to June 15th they had invited previews and a big splashy premiere party on June 14th that the public wasn't invited to.

I get a real kick out of @Darkbeer1 and his passion for this topic. Like most Disneyland fans, I had been using July 17th as the "opening date" for Disneyland for many years. Through the archival material and clear evidence Darkbeer provides, it's now obvious that for at least the first 10 years Walt and his team at Disneyland considered July 18th to be "opening day".

A fun quirk of history how it changed and how Disney itself reclaimed July 17th as the opening. If I were to guess, the change would have traced back to the anniversary TV specials in the 1980's where the celebrity hosts would talk wistfully of the disaster of opening day, ladies heels sinking into the wet pavement, etc.

But before then, the mess on July 17th would have been fresh and embarrassing memories for Walt and his team in the 1960's, so the accurate date of July 18th was used and July 17th's celebrity TV party was conveniently forgotten.
 
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SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Exactly.

Star Wars Land opened on May 31st, 2019. But on May 28th-30th they had a series of invited previews and premiere parties that the public wasn't invited to. They had the big celebrity opening ceremony and party on May 30th.

Cars Land opened on June 15th, 2012. But in the days leading up to June 15th they had invited previews and a big splashy premiere party on June 14th that the public wasn't invited to.

I get a real kick out of @Darkbeer1 and his passion for this topic. Like most Disneyland fans, I had been using July 17th as the "opening date" for Disneyland for many years. Through the archival material and clear evidence Darkbeer provides, it's now obvious that for at least the first 10 years Walt and his team at Disneyland considered July 18th to be "opening day".

A fun quirk of history how it changed and how Disney itself reclaimed July 17th as the opening. If I were to guess, the change would have traced back to the anniversary TV specials in the 1980's where the celebrity hosts would talk wistfully of the disaster of opening day, ladies heels sinking into the wet pavement, etc.

But before then, the mess on July 17th would have been fresh and embarrassing memories for Walt and his team in the 1960's, so the accurate date of July 18th was used and July 17th was conveniently forgotten.

More interesting than Disneyland's opening day is the confusion about when The Haunted Mansion officially opened. Long Forgotten has a great write up on the subject...

 

Disneysea05

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
I recognize July 17. With the passage of time, that date has much more significance than July 18 regardless if those in attendance entered with an invitation or a paid ticket.
 
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