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Disneyland in 1955 and in 1988

Disneyland in 1955 and in 1988

July 18, 1955: Disneyland opens among orange groves. In foreground is the still-unfinished Santa Ana Freeway. The Harbor Boulevard intersection is on the extreme right. Below is a similar photo from 1988.

These two photos were published in the June 2, 1988, Los Angeles Times. They accompanied an article by Urban Affairs Writer Jeffery A. Perlman on Orange County’s rapid growth. His article’s lead:

Walt Disney knew. And he was all but ignored.

In 1953, a Disney-commissioned study predicted that Orange County was about to undergo tremendous growth. But state and county officials only laughed when told about plans to build Disneyland in an Anaheim orange grove. Why build something like the Magic Kingdom, they asked, out in the country?

By 1955, when Disneyland opened, county officials predicted that by 1970, Orange County’s population would be 720,000. The county hit that number in 1961, nine years ahead of schedule…

Perlman’s full story, A Growing Debt : County Paying for Past Planning Errors, is online.

May 28, 1988: An aerial photo of Disneyland. Running across the bottom of the photo is the Santa Ana Freeway and the interchange with Harbor Boulevard. Credit: Aurelio Jose Barrera / Los Angeles Times

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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2 Comments

  1. April 29, 2014, 8:07 pm

    My parents first took my little sister and I to Disneyland in 1960 when we were 4 and 3 years old. What a fairyland! The walk toward Sleeping Beauty's castle, along Main Street USA, was exciting with friendly, giant characters we knew from the cartoons. But I got quite nervous boarding the Monorail. Unlike my usual adventurous little self, I sat stiffly upright in an aisle seat, not a window one, because it seemed obvious to my 4-year-old notion of physics that too much weight on one side – perhaps mine – could make that thing topple sideways right off its skinny rail! Thanks, LA Times, for the photos and the memory.

    By: galvanlg@yahoo.com
  2. April 29, 2014, 8:23 pm

    My parents first took my little sister and I to Disneyland in 1960 when we were 4 and 3 years old. What a fairyland! The walk toward Sleeping Beauty's castle, along Main Street USA, was exciting with friendly, giant characters we knew from the cartoons. But I got quite nervous boarding the Monorail. Unlike my usual adventurous little self, I sat stiffly upright in an aisle seat, not a window one, because it seemed obvious to my 4-year-old notion of physics that too much weight on one side – perhaps mine – could make that thing topple sideways right off its skinny rail! Thanks, LA Times, for the photos and the memory, but you seem to have a secret limit on comment length!

    By: galvanlg@yahoo.com

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