Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 66
  1. #1

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    This is quite possibly the most significant find from the Hollywood storage vault which I first accessed in 2010. Just a bit of history for those who have not heard the story on this. I was driving home one night back in October of 2010. I received a cell phone call from Chris Wrather, the son of Disneyland Hotel original developer/owner Jack Wrather. Chris told me about a storage vault in Hollywood which he hadn't accessed in decades and he stated there may be some business related items contained within the vault, i.e. Disneyland/Disneyland Hotel related material. He then asked me if I would like access to see the contents. After almost wetting my pants, I quickly said yes of course. My wife and I made arrangements to fly to Hollywood for the day (left at 7:00 am, flight home at 8:00 pm). We brought notebooks, a laptop, a scanner and a few cameras and I remember remarking to my wife, "if I find 10 pictures in this vault that I haven't seen before, this will have been a successful trip." Just to put it in perspective, I recently scanned picture number 1500, document number 900 and have converted 14 films from 16mm to DVD. I have made six subsequent trips to the vault and each time I find more and more interesting items. It was on trip number four that I made the most substantial of finds when I came across this particular can of film:



    It simply says "55-56 TLR at Corriganville", followed by "Westlake Mayday". TLR is of course, The Lone Ranger which is precisely the reason I took the film to convert it in the first place. Disney was still filming their version of The Lone Range and I thought this would make for interesting conversation from the 1950's, Wrather version of TLR. Corriganville was a Western movie ranch used for location and periods films with a Western theme or genre. I took the film out in my hotel at night and began looking at it frame by frame, not even with a viewer, just by eye on a table. Needless to say, I was most pleasantly surprised by what I saw on this film right at the beginning of the reel. This is color film, shot by Jack Wrather from the Press/Invited Guests opening of Disneyland on July 17th, 1955! I will now post some still images from this absolutely amazing find from the storage vault, locked away and unseen for over 55 years! This film clip (and I have since found another color clip from opening day) was the cornerstone of my most recent D23 presentation this past August in Anaheim.

    The first part of the film shows Bonita Granville Wrather with actress/singer Debbie Reynolds and her then husband Eddie Fisher sitting inside the car they would ride in the opening parade. I believe this is located at the base of the train station stairs near the right tunnel as you enter Disneyland.



    Next one is really neat! This is a still frame of Walt Disney arriving on the E.P. Ripley at the train station near Main Street. Walt was interviewed by Art Linkletter shortly after arrival. Note the photographers and cameramen on the top of the coal car behind Walt.



    Next, Mr. Wrather moved over to Tomorrowland and captured the Boy Scouts forming for the opening day parade, the first parade ever at Disneyland.


  2. #2

    • Minion
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Notre Dame
    Posts
    2,622

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    thanks for sharing




  3. #3

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Jack then headed over to Autopia and captured some amazing footage of a brand new attraction. Notice, brand, spanking-new cars and absolutely no foliage whatsoever on the course.






  4. #4

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Next, a couple of amazing shots of Ronald Reagan looking over his script. He would later that day interview the Wrathers next to the short-lived Phantom Boats attraction regarding the soon-to-be opening Disneyland Hotel.




  5. #5

    • Minion
    • Online

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,368

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Fantastic!
    Princess of Agrabah and Queen of Never Land

  6. #6

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Jack would then start heading back to Main Street to participate in the before-mentioned parade. Here is a shot of his wife Bonita Granville along with the crowd. Bonita is wearing the yellow lei.




  7. #7

    • Mouseke-Awesome
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    287

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    I love stuff like this Thank you for sharing!


    Trip Reports: One, Two, Three, Four

  8. #8

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Next, we see the crowd with the entrance to Frontierland in the background.


  9. #9

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    320

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Amazing shots of a moment in history many thanks for sharing

  10. #10

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Next we have several shots of the camera crews filming the live broadcast. I never knew that some of these cameras were red in color. Only thing I had before was black & white photos and footage to look at.






  11. #11

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    Led by 1st Lt. Frank Zam, we have the San Diego Marine Recruit Depot Band:


  12. #12

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    The arrival of Mr. Walt Disney himslef accompanied by Gov. Knight, his wife, military personnel and members of the clergy to Main Street to formally dedicate Disneyland.






  13. #13

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!







    The next shot captures Walt Disney at what could quite possibly be the happiest moment in his life. The day had arrived and he was about to dedicate his dream, Disneyland. Justlook at that smile, it really says it all.


  14. #14

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    The color guard advances the flag:




  15. #15

    • Member
    • Offline

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    1,185

    Re: 1955 Disneyland Opening Day in Color with Walt Disney!

    And finally, "To all who come to this happy place, welcome!"



    Followed by the raising of the flag:






Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. 1955 Disneyland Preview with Walt Disney
    By The Blue Parrot in forum Community Outpost
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 07-12-2007, 10:02 PM
  2. Disneyland Opening Day
    By zippythesquirrel in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-07-2007, 08:46 PM
  3. 1955 Disneyland Opening Speech
    By Beast in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-23-2006, 03:22 PM
  4. All tickets for HK Disneyland opening day sold out-China View-9/8/05
    By 100th Dalmation in forum MiceChat News Archive
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-08-2005, 11:51 AM
  5. Wanted Disneyland Opening day stats
    By yensid1987 in forum Disneyland Resort
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-29-2005, 10:07 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •