Happy 56th birthday, Disneyland
Written by Robert Niles
Disneyland celebrates its 56th birthday on Sunday. Walt's original theme park opened July 17, 1955, the flagship of what is now a collection of 11 (soon to be 12) Disney theme parks around the world. Even though it's Disneyland's birthday, the present just opened across the plaza at Disney California Adventure - the new turnstiles are open.Tweet
Photo courtesy Disney
As we noted before, the park's new entrance will look familiar to any Disney fan who's visited the Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park at Walt Disney World in Florida. Both the California Adventure turnstiles and Hollywood Studios ticket booths borrow their designs from the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in Los Angeles.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
The Pan-Pacific opened in 1935 and served as a convention center, sports arena and concert hall until it was closed in the early 1970s upon the opening of the Los Angeles Convention Center downtown. The building showed up in a few movies and TV specials, but pretty much just decayed until it was destroyed by fire in May 1989, just days after the opening of the then-Disney-MGM Studios in Florida.
The new turnstiles are the first complete step in the transformation of California Adventure's entryway from a somewhat cartoonish contemporary California theme to a 1920s-era Buena Vista street from Hollywood. When the transformation is complete (next year, perhaps?), we'll have an 1890s street welcoming visitors to the original Disneyland park and a 1920s street welcoming people to California Adventure.
Which raises a question: What's your favorite architectural period to see represented in a theme park? (Cite an example in the comments.) Or, if your favorite era isn't in a theme park yet, why not suggest a way it could be used?
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