In 1928, animator Walt Disney created his now famous character Mickey Mouse and throughout the late 1930s and 1940s, he rose to prominence through technicolor feature length films such as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937), "Pinocchio," (1940) and "Bambi" (1941). After WWII, Disney continued to expand his empire through successful animated and live action films, as well as his first amusement park, Disneyland.
Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California in 1955 and it's the only park that was built and designed under the direct supervision of Disney himself. Disney got the idea for Disneyland after visiting other amusement parks with his daughters, Diane and Sharon Mae Disney, during the 1930s and 1940s. He hired the Stanford Research Institute to help him find the proper location and in 1953 he purchased a 160-acre site. Construction of the park began in 1954 and Disneyland made its grand debut on July 17th, 1955.
Disneyland has expanded rapidly over the last six decades, adding New Orleans Square in 1966 (which includes attractions The Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean) and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge in 2019. Disneyland has the highest cumulative attendance of any theme park in the world, with over 726 million visitors as of December 2018.
Disneyland inspired the construction of several other Disney parks, notably Walt Disney World, which opened on October 1st, 1971 in Orlando, Florida. Walt Disney World was created after Disney's death in 1966 and features the most visited theme park in the world—the Magic Kingdom. Other international locations include Tokyo Disneyland (opened April 15th, 1983), Disneyland Paris (opened April 12th, 1992), Hong Kong Disneyland (opened September 12th, 2005) and Shanghai Disneyland (opened June 16th, 2016).
In honor of the ever expanding legacy of Disneyland, take a look at 75 magical tattoos of the happiest place on Earth. Then let us know your favorite Disney attraction in the comments section on social media.