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Happy Birthday Disneyland.

BAChicagoGal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My first trip, ever, to Disneyland was 11 years ago. Disneyland was turning 50, and I was just a few months short of my 58th birthday. The minute that I walked through the turnstiles, I was hooked. Disneyland became my happy place during that very first vacation. My avatar photo is of that first walk through the turnstiles.

Do you remember your very first visit? Were you there for the big 50th celebration? It was a wonderful time, and as I look back at some of my photographs, I realize that there were some glorious moments, where the crowds were not overwhelming at all, like they can sometime be 11 years later.
 

BAChicagoGal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster


One of my very first recollections is seeing the Palm Trees that line the streets in Anaheim. I am from Chicago, so we don't have palm trees. I think they are wonderful, and they immediately remind me, "that I'm in California".
 

BAChicagoGal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have since photographed the tunnel sign probably hundreds of times. However, this is most likely my first photo.




The first thing we rode, on that first day was the train. I was delighted to see that the Ward Kimball Train was running. I am super fond of Jiminy Cricket, and Ward Kimball was the artist who drew him.

 

ForeverAnna

Well-Known Member
What a great time for your first visit. I took my niece in August that year for her first visit. She was 8. I was 7 on my first visit in 1981. It was a single day in a cross country trip to visit my grandmothers. We lived in Alabama at the time and my Dad's mom lived in Oregon and my Mom's mom in the Bay Area. We moved to Oregon the next year so I had a few trips to DL growing up. Now I go multiple times a year.
 

BAChicagoGal

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
My grandson was supposed to be with me on my first trip to Disneyland, but he ended up in Summer School. I made it up to him, and we returned in 2006. I now have taken almost a dozen trips. I try and make it a yearly thing. I missed a few years, but a few years, I went twice. I am hoping/planning a birthday trip next year.

More pics to come later.
 

ajrwdwgirl

Premium Member
My husband and I went for the first time in 2007, there were some happy tears on my end. A few years later I was able to experience my niece and my sisters first visit, I think I was more excited for it than they were.
 

TP2000

Well-Known Member
My first trip, ever, to Disneyland was 11 years ago. Disneyland was turning 50, and I was just a few months short of my 58th birthday. The minute that I walked through the turnstiles, I was hooked. Disneyland became my happy place during that very first vacation. My avatar photo is of that first walk through the turnstiles.

Do you remember your very first visit? Were you there for the big 50th celebration? It was a wonderful time, and as I look back at some of my photographs, I realize that there were some glorious moments, where the crowds were not overwhelming at all, like they can sometime be 11 years later.

Well, aren't you kind to kick off an anniversary thread in such a fun and gracious way? Thank you!

I do remember the 50th very well. It was truly a magical time for Walt's park, and the park really sparkled that summer. The vibe was just wonderful, and all the little perks and extras they ladled on all over the park seem to be just as memorable as the big, splashy spectaculars they also added that summer like the 50th parade, 50th fireworks, and the new rides (Buzz Lightyear and a new Space Mountain).

Fast forward 11 years and the park still sparkles, and the 60th was a close second to the 50th for a brilliantly executed anniversary celebration. It's nice to know that while the years prior to Disneyland's 50th were troubled and unfortunate for the Anaheim property, the years following the 50th have been almost universally successful and fabulously Imagineered.

Happy 61st Anniversary Disneyland! Here's to your next 61 years!
 

Magenta Panther

Well-Known Member
Happy Birthday, Disneyland! Your founder took tremendous risks to see you get born. He took risks that today's Disney CEOs couldn't imagine taking. Thanks to HIS efforts, and HIS inspiration, Disneyland is still vibrant and magical. Its core will always be one man's dream, no matter what kind of unnecessary ill-fitting non-Disney-generated purchased junk ends up infesting it.

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"To all who come to this happy place...welcome!" - Walt Disney
 

Kiwiduck

Premium Member
My first visit was during the 30th anniversary celebrations. I have always remembered rushing to my first ride; the jungle cruise, having pored over pictures of it in my Disneyland book. Every time I returned as an adult I wanted to ride the jungle cruise first to help relive this memory. I recently found the diary I had to write at the time for school and discovered that I actually rode the railroad first !! Although my memories of the day were obviously a bit spotty I still remember the joy and wonder of it, and still feel that way every time I am there.
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
My first was in 2007 also.
I remember the 50th Celebration very well, as it was what grabbed my attention towards the West Coast and Disneyland.
Up until that point, I was a die hard WDW enthusiast who had been visiting well over 30+ years, as is typical of someone living on the East Coast.
Over all those years, I was never really able or overly interested in making the trip out to the 'other coast' to visit that 'smaller Park' ( !!!) i was aware of but not nessesarily drawn to.
That all changed when I saw what was going on at Disneyland for the 50th.
The marketing team did their work well, as even I heard the message and at that time I was a little cut off from the 'fan community' for the most part.
Didn't even have internet then...

The new entertainment offerings, Golden Castle decor, complete turnaround in quality compared to troubling earlier years, and the lure of unique DL exclusive experiences finally convinced me I needed to go see it all for myself.

Two years later i had the chance to visit CA with friends for a mega road trip and convention gathering.
During that first trek to CA, we all spent a couple of days at 'Walt's Park'.
I knew right then and there I needed to come back on my own to fully immerse myself in it all.
Visiting with friends is fun, but sometimes you are distracted and miss the little things that mean the most.
So I vowed to return alone.

I came back in 2009 ( with friends again for another convention ), but it was not until the first DL solo visit in 2013 the magical charm of the place really hit me.
Absolutely loved the Park and embraced the 'differences' to WDW.
Now I prefer Disneyland and have not been back to Florida since.

Now I visit yearly ( sometimes twice) and still love it all.
Every time there is something new to be discovered hidden in a corner or in a detail within a Attraction or Show.
The charm and overall ambiance inherent in the Park is just beautiful and truly unique.
Disneyland is where it's at for me now.

:)

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