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Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

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  • [Question] Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

    So someone is trying to convince me that there is a full minute of additional material before Walt Disney said "To all who come to this happy place, welcome". What did he apparently say? Something about how Disneyland was supposed to be affordable to families...

    To my understanding, even on opening day, there was the $1 admission plus in order to ride attractions, you have to buy ticket books. I don't know how much those cost. But I was pretty sure there was a discussion with Walt Disney that he shouldn't charge a $1 admission at the gate because no one would buy into that.

    I've never heard of this "claim" before. Apparently Disney kept this "very secretive". Anyone have anything to say about this?
    Last edited by filmfreak11; 05-12-2009, 12:57 PM.

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    "With this place, I wanted to give them something real, something that wasn't an illusion, something they could see and touch. An aim devoid of merit."
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  • #2
    Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

    First off, Walt Disney dedicated the park twice, first live on National TV on July 17th, around 4:45 PM as part of an "International Media Preview". No tickets were on sale, you had to be an invited guest to attend.

    The park did open to the Public on Monday, July 18th. And yes, you had to buy a ticket at the turnstile to enter (the ticket booth and the turnstile was one and the same). And you bought a ticket (between 10 and 35 cents) for each ride at the actual attraction.

    In October of 1955, the lettered coupon system was started (originally just A, B and C), and coupon books were placed on sale. Some of the ticket booths remained in the parks, to sell "additional" tickets, if someone ran out, or opted to just pay for General Admission at the entrance.

    Going back to the Dedication Ceremonies held on July 17th and July 18th. Walt Disney (and others) participated in a ceremony that included the National Anthem and honoring the flag, a religious prayer, the official dedication, and some short speeches.

    Here is a 5 minute video of the Ceremony that originally aired live on ABC on July 17, hosted by President Reagan (back than, just the "actor", Mr. Reagan).

    [ame=""]YouTube - Complete Disneyland Dedication Ceremony[/ame]

    Here is a photo of the Original Admission Ticket, with some history.

    Darkbeer : photos : Disneyland Opening Day, July 18th, 1955

    And some historical documents and photos from the early years.

    Darkbeer : photos : Disneyland Historical Documents/Photos - 1955 thru 1970 (11/6/08)

    And an interesting speech (basically audio only) given by Walt Disney back in July of 1965 to those Cast Members who started back in 1955. (also known as Club 55'ers).

    [ame=""]YouTube - Walt Disney 1965 Speech to "Club 55" at Disneyland Hotel[/ame]

    Hope that helps.
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    • #3
      Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

      and the "thank you" is always cut out of it lately :P

      also...during the governor of california's speech which i've never really listened to I heard a clock chime.. did the train station used to have a chime in it? (for what would seem to be the 4:45 chime)
      Last edited by almandot; 05-12-2009, 02:09 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

        Originally posted by almandot View Post
        and the "thank you" is always cut out of it lately :P
        I've noticed that too! For a while I thought I was losing it because I had not heard it in a while. Did I imagine it? I guess not!

        Random fact that relates to opening day. From what I remember reading somewhere, Walt didn't want to charge admission into the park. He was advised by his lawyers that he should to keep the "riff raff" out of the parks.


        • #5
          Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

          Here is a link that shows the original ticket booth/turnstiles.

          THE GHOST OF DISNEYLAND PAST Disney History
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          • #6
            Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

            Watching that longer dedication ceremony and the flag raising reminds me that the US only had 48 states at the time. Simple random fact.


            • #7
              Re: Opening Day Speech (the extended version?)

              I would love to get ahold of that pin of the first ticket. My son would love it. I loved the video. Thanks for posting it.


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