#10 Nixon is Dopey
Richard Nixon was a huge Disneyland fan and visited the parks frequently. Did you know his epic “I am not a crook” speech was actually made from Disney World? It happened on November 17, 1973 while he was staying at the Contemporary Resort, right in the middle of the Watergate scandal. In this photo he rides Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
#9 Lingerie for Sale
Disney had to rely on corporate sponsorship to pay for the cost of building Disneyland and keeping it open. Hollywood-Maxell Brassiere Co. of Los Angeles was one of the first sponsors. It paid to have a bra and lingerie shop open right there on Main Street.
#8 Submarine Voyage
Disneyland’s Submarine Voyage opened in 1959. Part of the ride simulated the voyage under the polar ice cap in the Arctic Ocean that was undertaken by the USS Nautilus, a nuclear submarine. When Nikita Khrushchev was denied permission to go to Disney, Walt was disappointed because he wanted to show off his submarine.
#7 Sophia Loren’s First Visit
Sophia Loren first visited Disneyland in 1963 and the memories have lasted to this day. Loren remembers her visit as completely magical. In 2011, Loren added her voice to Cars 2, saying she did it in tribute to Walt Disney, who had helped her through her jitters when she received an award as a young woman. Walt talked to Loren for several memorable hours.
#6 1961 Christmas Parade
The Christmas Parade has been a major attraction at Disneyland since the the park opened. This photograph fro 1961 shows the trees from Babes in Toyland making their way down Main Street. Babes in Toyland was released just weeks earlier, in December 1961.
#5 Vintage Skyway
The Skyway used to ferry passengers from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. One of the best routes actually took riders directly over the Matterhorn. Under the eaves of the roof where people got on the ride was a quote from Alice in Wonderland, “Up above the world you fly, like a tea-tray in the sky.”
#4 Ghosts at Haunted Mansion
The Haunted Mansion is one of Disney’s most popular attractions. This photo shows three ghosts hanging out in front of the Disney World Haunted Mansion in 1987.
#3 Splash Mountain Critters
The show America Sings replaced the Carousel of Progress in June of 1974 in Tomorrowland. After its run, the park moved many of the animitronics like these three to Splash Mountain. The ride is based on Song of the South despite the fact that Disney mothballed the racially insensitive movie three years before Splash Mountain opened in 1989.
#2 Construction of Spaceship Earth
When Epcot was opened in Disney World Orlando, its most ambitious project was Spaceship Earth, a 16 million pound, 180 foot high geodesic sphere. This photograph from August of 1981 shows Spaceship Earth under construction. The sphere is now the welcoming icon to Epcot.
#1 Walt’s Secret Disneyland Apartment
Walt Disney, the man behind the magic, had a secret apartment at Disneyland. The apartment is above the little red firehouse on Main Street and has been kept in the same style as when Walt lived in it. The interior was designed by Emile Kuri, who had decorated many of Disney’s films, including “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”