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1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

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  • 1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

    I know this is a long shot, but I'm looking for information related to the "50 Happy Years" celebration event that took place at Disneyland in spring of 1973, to commemorate the golden anniversary of Walt Disney Productions. Anybody happen to remember that?

    My (soon to be) husband and I were members of a college choir that performed during the official ceremony that was held on Main Street. It was "just another gig" to us at the time, but now I'd give anything to find references to it; photos, newspaper articles, programs, etc.

    All I have ever seen is products with the "50 Happy Years" logo; such as a collection of Disney music on LP, fan cards or posters with an image of Disney characters, and "Disney on Parade" programs. I've also found general info on the anniversary of the company, but I have yet to find anything that references the actual ceremony that took place at Disneyland. (It's amazing how much times have changed since that "50th" and the recent 50th birthday celebration; apparently the promotion was much more low-key.)

    I did discover that a 1973 "Wonderful World of Disney" episode was devoted to the anniversary, but I have no idea if it even mentions the park ceremony, and it doesn't appear to be available on DVD or tape. The Spring 1973 volume of "Disney News" magazine (which I haven't been successful in obtaining) is about the anniversary, but again, I don't know if the ceremony is covered.

    I hope it's ok to post this here, as it's about events of Disneyland's past, rather than attractions.

    Any help/leads at all would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: 1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

    Send a PM to Opus1Guy. If anyone has something about this, he will have it.


    • #3
      Re: 1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

      Got your PM. I really don't have much to add other than I remember it well, and also have some merchandise and souvenirs that have the "50 Happy Years" logo on them.

      As far as the ceremony goes, I would contact the Disneyland Press and Publicity Department to see if they might be willing to help locate any stills or film footage. But don't be surprised if they tell you "Sorry...this department is not staffed to handle non-Press related research." The Disney Archives in Burbank would probably tell you similar.

      The anniversary was really more related to the Company & Studio as a whole, than to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. While Disneyland did have a wasn't really a super big deal and was one of those smaller ceremonies they do for the local Press, and I imagine it would be difficult to locate photos or film of it.

      It probably got very little Press coverage via Disneyland. Most of the 50 Happy Years stuff was generated out of Burbank on a National scale, involving the Character Merchandise Division most, rather than the Parks. Because it wasn't really "about" the theme parks per wasn't like the normal big-deal Disneyland anniversaries that get promoted at the Park to the hilt.

      Sorry I couldn't help you out. Good Luck on finding more!


      • #4
        Re: 1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

        Thanks, Opus1guy. Yeah, that's the impression I've gotten from my search results; that the commemoration wasn't really geared to be park-specific. Wonder if they would do it differently today?

        Thanks for your suggestion; I'll try the Publicity department and the Disney Archives, for what it's worth.

        I'll bump this thread every once in a while. Perhaps others who participated in the ceremony will eventually see it, who knows?


        • #5
          Re: 1973 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney Company

          I have both the 50 Happy Years anthology show taped from the Disney Channel and the Disney News issue. I don't think there is any reference in either of them to the Disneyland ceremony. In fact, this is the first time I've ever heard reference to a ceremony at the Park.


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