Disneyland hits a milestone today as it turns 59 years old. Disneyland is a pure original. The park Walt Disney had designed and built out of personal passion has gone on to spawn four additional Magic Kingdoms around the world, with a fifth currently on its way in Shanghai. Today, in no particular order, we reflect and celebrate 59 of our favorite things at The Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland!  Happy Birthday to the park that started it all!

The logo for DIsneyland's Diamond Celebration was revolved this morning.
The logo for Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, which will happen next year, was revealed this morning.

59: “Here You Leave Today…” Plaque



58: Town Square




57: Main Street, U.S.A.




56: Delicious Disneyland Churros




55: Disneyana and The Disney Gallery




54: Horse-Drawn Streetcar and other Main Street Vehicles


The Horse Drawn Carriage


53: Grand Circle Tour aboard the Disneyland Railroad




52: Main Street Emporium




51: Main Street Cinema




50: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln




49: Candy Palace




48: Coca Cola Refreshment Corner




47: Corn Dogs at Little Red Wagon




46: Disneyland Popcorn




45: Mickey-shaped Pretzels




44: Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe




43: The Partners Statue




42: Cobb Salad at Plaza Inn




41: Disneyland’s Central Plaza




40: Mickey’s Soundsational Parade




39: Sleeping Beauty Castle


8502452780_d8fd7739c7_h copy


38: Snow White Grotto & Wishing Well




37: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique




36: Pixie Hollow




35: Matterhorn Bobsleds




34: Alice in Wonderland




33: “it’s a small world”




32: Storybook Land Canal Boats




31: Casey Jr. Circus Train




30: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride




29: Big Thunder Trail




28: Petting Zoo at Big Thunder Ranch




27: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad




26: Tom Sawyer Island




25: Sailing Ship Columbia




24: Splash Mountain




23: Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes




22: New Orleans Square




21: Mickey-shaped Beignets at the Mint Julep Bar




20: Pommes Frites at Cafe Orleans




19: Corn Chowder at the French Market




18: Club 33




17: The Haunted Mansion




16: Pirates of the Caribbean




15: Cristal d’Orleans in New Orleans Square




14: Le Bat en Rouge in New Orleans Square




13: Fantasmic!




12: Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye




11: The Adventureland Bazaar




10: The World Famous Jungle Cruise




9: Dole Whip at the Tiki Juice Bar




8: Space Mountain




7: Cooling off in Innoventions on a hot day




6: The Star Trader



5: Lush gardens and beautiful landscaping around the park




4: Disneyland Ducks!




3: The Holidays at Disneyland


Christmas Time


2: Fireworks in the skies above Sleeping Beauty Castle




1: The Amazing Cast Members



That was 59 of our favorite things from Walt Disney’s Original Magic Kingdom of Disneyland. What are some of your favorites from the Happiest Place on Earth? Let us know your favorite things and help us wish Disneyland a happy 59th birthday in the comments below!

  • thejonesman

    Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin!

    • DarthSavage

      Another attraction only found at Disneyland – Pinocchio’s Daring Journey! 🙂

      • DarthSavage

        Oops never mind – Paris and Tokyo has it, but not Florida!

  • dsnygrl13

    Happy Birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth!!!!!

  • NashvilleCat

    VERY appropriate to include the CMs, who work hard every day to help make it the Happiest Place on Earth!

  • Polo33

    You forgot one of Walts most important ideas , ” The Berm” !!! I love how a day at Disneyland shuts you out from the outside world.

  • LoveStallion

    Man, that new Club 33 logo really is bad, isn’t it?

    I second the love of the berm. The berm makes a huge difference!

    Happy birthday, Disneyland! For your sometimes irritating faults and artistic capitulation in the face of the abacus users, you are a wonderful place that not only helps me unlock my childlike wonder, but also reminds me of the childhood and life I’ve spent making memories there.

    Living in DC now, I think the thing I miss most about SoCal is not In-N-Out, the beach, or even my beloved Angels, it’s just casual trips to Disneyland with fellow passholder friends.

  • Marko50

    The fact that I’m going to be there – FINALLY – on 7/17. (It’s also my grandson’s birthday.)

  • Park Hopper

    Happy Birthday Disneyland! I’ve been an annual pass holder there for 25 years now, and I must say you’ve aged a lot better! You’re even more beautiful than the day I first stepped through your gates!

    • michael darling

      great post

  • phruby

    What? No love for Pooh?

  • Geezer

    Happy Birthday to the park created by an American original….and it’s a great day for all the CMs, Artisans and Guests who have helped make DL the place it is.

  • rstar

    Sitting in the cool shade on the lower patio at Hungry Bear, all the way in the back and by the water on a warm day watching river traffic go by while eating a hamburger.

    Happy Birthday Disneyland!

  • Barbaraann

    Thanks for the great photos. Each and every one of us definitely have our own favorites. I’d have a hard time narrowing it down to 59. What’s not to like about Disneyland?

    Happy Birthday Disneyland.


    For me, Disneyland is about all the friendships I’ve made there. Nearly every friend I have has something to do with this amazing park (MiceChatters, attraction designers, cast members, suppliers, artists, etc). It’s remarkable that a park Walt Disney built for his daughters has gone on to inspire so many countless millions of people. Amazing what a project built out of personal passion can achieve.

  • Carnation Dave

    Happy Birthday To the Magic Kingdom! 59 years of magic and more. Here’s to many more.

  • mightymicroscope33

    My favorite thing about disneyland is how immersive it is. From the moment you step through the gates, you feel like your in a completely different world. So happy birthday Disneyland!

  • Bob Gurr

    Gosh…it’s 59 years already? Gee, I was only 23. I think I’m still 23 when I’m there.

  • michael darling

    You West-coasters are so fortunate. What a magical place. HAPPY B-DAY DLAND!
    (why can’t the Magic Kingdom have food like this? And in places you don’t have to book online 8 months in advance.)

  • Claybob

    First off…Happy Birthday to the Happiest Place on Earth! For me it is being able to return to that place I’ve held in my heart for many years and still enjoy it as though I walked through those magical gates for the very first time.


    I just have to go back a few years and place my vote for Fantasia ice cream from the Carnation Gardens. So very good and so very missed. Happy Birthday D’Land!!

  • Algernon

    I can see Walt Disney going there now: “Look what they’ve done with my Subs. You now go underwater to watch a mindless cartoon for four year olds. Why didn’t I think of that? A ride for the whole family when it opened? What was going through my head! And check out all the paving stones! I just love real-world intrusions whose graphic weight draws attention to itself, destroying my previous dreamy-look. What? No Peoplemover? Well, only 4,000 an hour ever went on that ride, anyhow. No Skyway? Hey, who needs it! And I just love the look of the new Tomorrowland. Why didn’t my team come up with that brilliant design? Or Tarzans Treehouse, for that matter. I can’t wait to come back in another 59 years!

  • bayouguy

    My favorite place is the Castle Drawbridge. It’s one place that Walt spent some moments, walking across the bridge.

  • eicarr

    If this was an official blog, it would be “Disney Parks turn 59” and they’d have included photos of EPCOT. BTW… Perfect images for us to celebrate at home today… Thanks!!!

  • Skimbob

    Happy Birthday Disneyland. You are always on my mind. Thank you Walt for sharing your dream with all of us. You are definately one of my heroes.

  • Illusion65

    I love entering the park and hearing the bell and announcement for the main street train station, ding, ding, ding ” now arriving …….. ” the moment I hear that I feel the excitement I have felt since I was a kid and know I am entering a magical place. Happy 59th Birthday Disneyland , thanks for so many wonderful memories.

    • michael darling


    • Laughing Place

      Agree 100%. Nothing like that first moment entering the park.

  • jcruise86

    Great photos, Norm! Thanks!

    (Ever photograph any cats there? The real kind.)

  • Erik Olson

    Great photos! The trees on Main Street are too large – completely ruin the scale at this point.

    • ayalexander

      As Walt said: “Trees have no scale”

      • Kennyland

        If that was true, then why did they experiment with and utilize various sized trees and plants for Storybook Land and the timberline of the Matterhorn? Trees can be used to affect scale. Just because Walt Disney said something, didn’t make it fact. Eventually overgrown trees will affect the scale and feel of an area.

      • ayalexander

        Kennyland, yes trees can be used to effect scale, and for that purpose small trees were grown for storybookland, but those trees on Main Street have yet to grow tall enough or full enough to actually rob the view of its scale. I remember in the 90’s the trees lining main street had grown to the height of the roofs of Main Street, yet they still looked pretty and well in place. When I used that Walt quote it was because it was said in a time when they were building Disneyland and Walt wanted all the buildings to be scaled to forced perspective but the designers (WED Imagineers) opposed his idea of putting in full sized trees into Disneyland stating that it would ruin the scale of Disneyland, Walt said “Trees have no scale” -in that context he meant that sometimes the trees should be allowed to be full sized for aesthetic purposes like in Jungle Cruise, some of the bamboo forests have grown to four stories tall, (the ones taller than that have bent over so its hard to tell whether they reached full natural height) -if those trees were scaled down to match Adventureland, you wouldn’t have a convincing Jungle. If the trees of Frontierland were scaled down, you wouldn’t have a convincing frontier. If the trees of Main Street are all scaled too small, you have a dollhouse.

  • ayalexander

    A cruise aboard the Mark Twain… mmmhmmm…. 🙂

  • Big D

    Happy Birthday Disneyland!!! I can’t believe it’s been 59 years old. My Grandma and my Dad were there on opening day, and my dad, myself, and my brother all worked there (but not at the same time). It is our families favorite place in the world, and I miss it every day.

  • heffalump

    Great list, but its missing the best attraction: Peter Pan. The $4 churro is also only for chumps at this point.


  • Rick Wright

    #1 The Amazing Castmembers.

    An awesome tribute to an incredible group of people – the heart of Disneyland.

  • whamo

    My memory of opening day #1, with the press, is my fondest memory of Disneyland. My dad left with the Disney entourage to the Mark Twain for a speech, and I made a bee line for the castle. The drawbridge was up, so I walked around the castle to the back end. I entered Fantasyland, alone. Most of the rides were down. I woke up a guy in the back at the Wild Ride of Mr. Toad, rode it once, got out, rode it again, and then wandered around Fantasyland. I was the first kid in Fantasyland, the first to ride a ride, and the first to get scared. I was 3 years old. I just wrote a 50 page book for ibooks, “Disneyland Dad” that I’m waiting for Apple to approve, which covers my life experiences at Disneyland in detail.

  • HarboringKatella

    Disneyland’s 1955 opening as seen by our Los Angeles Times:

  • Eagleman

    GREAT ,Picture’s ……
    Thank You for shareing Walt Disney,Special ,Magic Kingdom…..
    Happy Birthday…..Disneyland ……

  • Susan Hughes

    This is always a special time of the year, July 17th. Some years have had big celebrations, others just mild. But marking the day when something incredible happened always brings out the goosebumps and a tear in the eye.
    There are those who will complain about what Disney will be doing to celebrate their 60th anniversary. Whatever they end up doing, it’s important to remember what the “meaning” of the celebration, not “what you can get”.

  • DarthSavage

    The uniqueness of Disneyland. Only at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom!

  • Goofyswife

    Main St at night when the lights come on! Riding Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn and the Tower of Terror at night!

  • tooncity

    Disneyland is really a wonderful theme park Museum. Everything old.

    • ayalexander

      ^Well how about that little news to lift your spirits on Disneyland’s birthday ^