Disneyland, the original Disney park, is located adjacent to Disney's California Adventure and Downtown Disney California in Anaheim, CA. Officially opened on July 17, 1955 but the park didn't open to the public until July 18. The July 17th opening was a special "International Press Preview" day that was only opened to invited guests and media, although the event didn't go over very well. The park was severely overcrowded as the by-invitation-only event was bombarded with guests with counterfeit tickets, the temperature hit an unusually high 101 degrees and a plumbers' strike had left many of the park's drinking fountains not working. There were several other problems including that the asphalt had been poured the night before the event and had not completely dried to the dismay of many a high-heeled female as they sank into it, many of the vendors ran out of food, a gas leak in Fantasyland caused several of the lands to close for the afternoon and some attractions were not functioning properly. These problems were soon overcome though.
It is estimated that the park has been visited by more than 515 million guests since its opening day. The park today consists of eight "lands": Main Street U.S.A, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Frontierland, Critter Country, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown and Tomorrowland. The park has went through many changes throughout the years but one thing has stayed constant: Walt Disney had an idea of a place where families, young and old alike, could enjoy together. That was the Disneyland of yesterday and still the Disneyland of today.
Park Dedication (Walter E. Disney - July, 17, 1955)
To all who come to this happy place...welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. Thank you.