Disneyland, owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company, is located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. Dubbed the “Happiest Place on Earth," Disneyland is the most famous theme park in the world.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2005, Disneyland opened its doors in July 1955. At an original cost of $17 million, the family mecca traces its roots to the early 20th century. Walt Disney, its founding father, headed one of Hollywood's successful studios. Sweltering from a 110-degree Fahrenheit heat wave, the park held its grand-opening celebration with 28,000 visitors — most of whom had counterfeit tickets. Although park attendence got off to a slow start, 50 million people would visit Disneyland in the following decade.
Today Disneyland, with its ambitious expansion from a theme park to a vacation resort, has become one of the most-frequented places in the world.
The 160-acre attraction was partially inspired by Tivoli Gardens of Copenhagen, Denmark; Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan; and the Children's Fairyland in Oakland, California.
As the kingdom of imagination, Disneyland comprises eight theme lands: Main Street, U.S.A.; Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, the King Arthur Carousel, Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square; Critter Country; and Mickey's Toontown. With one exception, each "land," or time capsule, sports rides related to its theme.
Main Street U.S.A., the only "land" without a permanent ride, features a nostalgic look at turn-of-the-20th-century, small-town America. The area is lined with 1880s-style shops, candy stores, a soda fountain, and a silent-movie theater.
Adventureland, home to Tarzan's Treehouse, offers a trip to the remote jungles of Asia and Africa. Frontierland brings back the 19th-century American days along the American frontier.
In Fantasyland, visitors can step into the world of classic bedtime stories. Tomorrowland showcases an optimistic look at the future and what technology may bring.
New Orleans Square captures the architectural marvel of New Orleans' legendary Bourbon Street.
The Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean of this area are noteworthy. Mickey's Toontown is home to many Disney characters.
Disneyland Railroad, originally called Disneyland and Santa Fe Railroad, features a magical trail between the Disney resorts and downtown Disneyland.
Disneyland also is known for its fine dining and shopping facilities. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts currently operates 10 theme parks on three continents, 35 resort hotels, 10 cruise ships, and other entertainment-oriented entities.
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