The history of Disneyland attractions, stores, and restaurants is well documented and easily found online. Lately, however, I've been wondering about the history of Disneyland entertainment. While primitive versions of Mickey and the gang were present during the opening day broadcast of Disneyland, I recall hearing once that the scruffy appearances of these characters could be partly attributed to the fact that the costumes were designed to only be seen on television and that Walt did not have any plans on adding them to the park until guests demanded it. Is there any truth to this? Were characters added to Disneyland as an afterthought, or were they part of the master plan from the very beginning?
I was thinking about many of the early shows and realized that much of the early entertainment was not based on Disney characters; even once they were added to the park, they seem to have originally only been found in Fantasyland. They have been spreading throughout the park ever since. Early Tomorrowland had its spacemen and jetpack man, early Frontierland had cowboys and Indians, and early Main Street had Trinidad the sweeper and gaslamp lighters as forms of atmosphere entertainment. Even the shows throughout the park were rarely Disney-based and had much more in common with the area's theme such as the Indian Dance Circle in the back of Frontierland and the Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland.
Does anyone know of a moment when this policy started to change? There is definitely a transition present because pictures exist of Disney characters wearing land-specific costumes, such as space suits in Tomorrowland. Now, it's much more likely to see a generic Mickey park-wide and little non-Disney atmosphere characters.
Finally, a daily parade is somewhat expected by guests at Disneyland now. I'm sure this wasn't always the case since the Opening Day parade ran only once and another parade was not prepared to run daily in early Disneyland. Does anyone know what the first daily parade was? I'm thinking it could have been the Mickey Mouse Club Circus.
Any informations on any of this early history would be appreciated. I think it would fill in many gaps in my knowledge on the evolution of Disneyland entertainment throughout the years. Thanks!