On July 17th, 2010 guests lined up outside the gates of Disneyland, before park opening, in hopes of being one of the first people through the turnstiles on Disneyland’s 55th anniversary. Coming together with guests from all over the world, cast members of all ranks, and a menagerie of Disney characters the park paid tribute to Walt’s dream & to the fanfare of the opening day 55 years earlier. A ceremony with a chorus of children, white doves, and a speech given by George Kalogridis, President of the Disneyland Resort, highlighted the day.
In an address to readers on the “Disney Parks Blog,” Kalogridis spoke about the importance of guest and cast member loyalty to the success of Disneyland over the past 55 years:
“I want to take a moment today to thank all of you – our guests and fans – for the support and loyalty you’ve shown Disneyland Park for the last 55 years. I also want to thank and recognize the 20,000 cast members who work hard every day to make the Disneyland Resort a place of “joy and inspiration for all the world.” You truly create happiness, and I am proud of the work you do.” (-Disney Parks Blog)
Joining George Kalogridis during the ceremony on July 17th was Robb Fischle, one of the children who ran across Sleeping Beauty Castle’s drawbridge on the opening day of Disneyland in 1955. Fifty-five years later Mr. Fischle still remains in Disneyland, as a security guard. He was present to give a speech about his first experience at the park during a rededication ceremony on Disneyland’s 55th birthday. A prestigious group of cast members, dubbed “Club 55,” were also included in the ceremony. They are some of the few remaining cast members who were employed in the park on opening day in 1955.
The Orange County Register spoke with Los Angeles resident Loren Javier, age 41, who has gone to Disneyland for every anniversary since he was 5. Along with some fellow Disney-adoring friends he grabbed a spot in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at 8 a.m. for the noon ceremony. Another excited guest explained:
“The neat thing is 1955 is the year it opened. It’s a little more unique than the 50th,” said Joseph Powers of Modesto, California. (-OC Register)
For guests, cast members, and all those touched by Walt’s original park here’s wishing Disneyland another magical & successful 55 years to come!