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Kids are delighted with Disneyland

35,000 guests preview cartoonist's fabulous park.

By
Aline Mosby
Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif, on July 17, 1955. File Photo courtesy USC Regional Historical Photo Collection
Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif, on July 17, 1955. File Photo courtesy USC Regional Historical Photo Collection

HOLLYWOOD (U.P.) -- Disneyland opened for a preview Sunday, and the excitement of the 35,000 invited guests indicated the 17-million-dollar project was as fabulous as creator Walt Disney claimed.

Press members from all over the country, television executives and scores of celebrities, including Debbie Reynolds, Eddie Fisher, Lana Turner and Lex Barker, were there.

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The park opens to the public Monday.

At the entrance of the park is an 1890 main street featuring a city hall, an old-fashioned drugstore, a silent movie theater and gift shop -- all five-eighths scale for children's eyes.

A gaily painted horse-drawn streetcar hauled customers around the town square.

But the most popular feature was a boat ride in the "Adventureland" section through a series of man-made rivers around man-made islands and waterfalls.

Mechanical rubber alligators, giraffes, lions and savages bobbed from the water or from behind trees to thrill the small fry.

Children crowded with delight around the amusement rides behind a 70-foot castle in "Fantasyland."

Walt Disney, wearing a comical hat on the back of his head, stood watching the crowd and decided "this is quite a moment in my life."

The project can best be described as a combination of an amusement park and a miniature world fair.

Commercial firms have leased space in the various Disneyland sections to sell everything from South Sea island shirts in "Adventureland" to Davy Crockett clothes on the main street.

Park workers in each section dress according to the theme of the realm.

A feature of the preview day was a 90-minute telecast of the dedication event.

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