Monday Matters: How Disneyland Started

Monday Matters is dedicated to all things that matter.

Once upon a time, there was an artistic cheerful boy named Walter Elias “Walt” Disney.  Walt was born to a humble family of Irish-Canadian and German-English descent.  In his early years, he was already drawn to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures by his school mate who came from a family of theater aficionados.  During his teens, he knew what to do and that is to begin his artistic career.  But the road was not easy for him when he decided to become an animator.

Although obstacles and rejections came Walt Disney’s way, he victoriously created his very first film, Alice’s Wonderland in 1923.  However, he only made a few hundred dollars for Oswald the Lucky Rabbitsince it was distributed by another company and not by him.  So in 1928, he came up with the idea of a mouse character named Mortimer to recover from the loss of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.  Later on, the mouse was renamed Mickey Mouse which paved the way to The Walt Disney Company!

Then the lucky star shone on Walt Disney.  In 1934, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered and became the highest-grossing film of that time.  From the profits of Snow White, Walt constructed a studio complex which became the home of other animated shorts and features namely, Pinocchio(1940), Fantasia(1940),Dumbo(1941), and Bambi(1942).

Eventually, more and more films were produced as well as the Disneyland series.  With this, Walt conceived the idea of creating a real Disneyland wherein both parents and children could play and have fun.  So in 1955, Walt opened the very first Disneyland to the public in Anaheim, California.


Photo from Web
Walt Disney Opens Disneyland, 1955

So the magical world of Disney started with more and more animated features as Lady and the Tramp(1955),Sleeping Beauty(1959), and One Hundred and One Dalmatians(1961).     And though Walt died in 1966, the magic lives on with family-friendly films like Escape to Witch Mountain(1975), Freaky Friday(1976), and Robin Hood(1973).

Moreover, The Walt Disney Company soared greater heights with the releases of The Little Mermaid(1989),Beauty and the Beast(1991), Aladdin(1992), The Lion King(1994), Pocahontas(1995), and Mulan(1998) which I call as my very own Disney years!  I was at the tender range of ages 7-16 at that time when I had the luxury of time to watch the movies again and again.  The movies also came up with theme songs which I solemnly swear that I’d memorized by heart!  Even the lines of the characters, I also know by heart!  And with this, the fantasy of fairy tales and happy endings of the Disney princesses I truly believe by heart!

And so, entering Hongkong Disneyland last week was more than a dream come true to me!  There I saw all the characters I had been watching my whole childhood through came to life!  It was just soooo overwhelming to come up close and personal with them (though I know by this age that they are just mascots).  It was still magical to me, so fantastic, and oh so wonderful!  Even until now, I’m still in cloud nine just thinking of my small childhood fantasy which already became a big reality!

disneyland history

So keep dreaming and keep wishing on a star!  For “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy”…..

More blog entries to come on our HK-Macau family vacation! 🙂


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