Friday, June 12, 2015

Once Upon A Time In Anaheim - Disneyland Turns 25!

Allow me to take you back to a fun time in Disney history! Today, I have the honor of joining with many other amazing bloggers as we look back over Disneyland's past and look forward to Disneyland's future! Our 60 Days to 60 Years count down began with 1955 and so far, we're at Disneyland's 25th Anniversary!

The year was 1980 and the Disney company was overflowing with excitement - a landmark year in Disney history had arrived - Disneyland's Silver Anniversary! That's right, the park had been open for 25 years and was fast approaching it's 200 millionth guest.

A few facts about Disneyland in 1980:
  • Disneyland's Silver Anniversary aired with a celebratory TV special!
  • The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World was released on Disneyland records.
  • Dick Nunis retired as Executive Vice President of Disneyland (he had been with the company since 1955)
  • Disneyland's first 25 hour party was thrown, celebrating 25 hours for 25 years of the Disneyland theme park! 
  • Newly launched Make-A-Wish Foundation united with Disneyland to grant the organization's first official wish - a trip to Disneyland for 7 year old Frank Salazar! (How cool is that?!)
  • General admission entrance to Disneyland ranged from $7 to $8 e-ticket prices going up from there.

The official album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World was a huge hit. I'm pretty sure this one still remains in my parents record collection.

The 24-hour celebrations held over the past few years were not a first for Disneyland! That's right! On July 17th, Disneyland held a 25 Hour Party, celebrating one hour for each year the park had been open to the public! Bonus: One free meal was included with each ticket entry AND unlimited use of all attractions AND free parking! Whoa. Mind is officially blown.

Each guest in attendance also received an "I was there" button! Pretty nifty!

The park sure looked different back in those days with many attractions that no longer exist or have been made over to a completely different attraction!

Perhaps one of the most exciting parts about Disneyland's 25th Anniversary was their made-for-TV special, sponsored by Kraft!

"Once upon a time in Anaheim, California...there grew a grove of orange trees, covering a lot of ground.

Once upon a time in Anaheim, California...a man beheld those orange groves wondering if he had found the answer to his special dream – his very special vision. He walked around… and looked around… and came to this decision...

The man’s name was Walt Disney. And as he stood in that orange grove 25 years ago, he saw in his mind’s eye a magic kingdom the likes of which never, NEVER existed anywhere on Earth before.

And he said, 'I will build my dream in Anaheim, California! And everything I build will be the grandest sort of fantasy...imagination is the key to Disneyland!

I will build it all in Anaheim California...and if I build my dream with care, folks will come from everywhere...share the wonders waiting Disneyland'!" --Danny Kaye, Disneyland's 25th Anniversary Special

The 25th Anniversary special followed a young boy named Adam on his first trip to Disneyland. While there, he met up with several interesting characters (all played by Danny Kaye) who enlightened Adam on Disneyland's history. Throughout the special, appearances were made by host Danny Kaye, The Osmond Brothers, Annette, Michael Jackson, and many others (you can check the list out here). Better yet, click "play" below to see the entire special via YouTube!

"I would like to mention one fact that I believe contributed greatly to the remarkable success of the first 25 years of Disneyland. I think Disneyland appeals to the whole family because Disneyland IS a family. The people who work here and keep it going are to be congratulated and envied. It's a lovely job, manufacturing happiness. I applaud them, I thank them, and I love them for making all our dreams come true.

You're never too old and you're never too young to enjoy the magic of the Magic Kingdom!" --Danny Kaye, Disneyland's 25th Anniversary Special
Interested in hearing more about Disneyland's history, year by year? Check out the linkup below! You can also find links to all of these years and more on our Pinterest board!


  1. Wow I had no idea they did a 25 hour event :) Love the characters in the video.

  2. I would LOVE to go to DL the the 60th celebration. Not sure it's going to happen :(

  3. I, too, was amazed to read that the recent 24-hour events were not a new invention. What a hiatus!! I loved watching the TV special, though I am surprised that Danny Kaye didn't make a more attractive old lady. ;) He did get something very right, however- "Disneyland IS a family."
    Walt Disney World too! After all these years, that is unchanged. If the future looks like the past, I say we're in fine shape. Thank you so much for breaking us into the 1980s Karen!!!

    1. HAH Danny Kaye did a great job! I really enjoyed the special! I feel the same way about WDW! :)


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