Welcome to Disneyland
A visual history of the world’s megalopolis of magic
Walt Disney dreamed for decades about opening the ultimate entertainment venue, but it wasn’t until the early 1950s that his handpicked team began to bring his vision to life. Together, artists, architects, and engineers transformed a dusty tract of orange groves into one of the world’s most beloved destinations, one that every child in America begs to visit.
Today, there are Disney resorts from Paris to Shanghai, but the original Disneyland in Anaheim, California, which has been visited by more than 800 million people to-date, remains one of America’s most popular attractions. From the day it opened on July 17, 1955, Disneyland brought history and fairy tales to life, the future into the present, and far-off cultures and even farther galaxies right before our eyes.
This bountiful visual history draws on Disney’s vast archives, private collections, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy. Disneyland documents Walt’s earliest inspirations and ideas; the park’s extraordinary feats of design and engineering; its grand opening; each of its immersive “lands” from Main Street, U.S.A. to Tomorrowland; and the evolution of the park in the six decades since it opened. It is a treasure trove of Disney original documentation and expertise, with award-winning writer Chris Nichols drawing on his extensive knowledge of both Disneyland and Southern California history to reveal the fascinating tale of “the happiest place on Earth.”
“The astonishing collection of images and stories will delight both fans of American history and of Walt Disney and his pioneering work.”
— D23.com, Official Disney Fan Club
The editor and author:
Chris Nichols is a writer and historian specializing in Southern California architecture and culture. He is the author of The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAllister and has been profiled in Smithsonian magazine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and LA Weekly. Nichols serves on the board of directors of the Hollywood Heritage Museum, and his live appearances, lectures, exhibitions, and tours have enjoyed sellout crowds. He currently writes Los Angeles magazine’s “Ask Chris” column.
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