Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955. I was born in 1957 and grew up watching Disney shows, such as the original Mickey Mouse Club. I remember sitting around the television with my family on Sunday evenings watching the Wonderful World of Color. My favorite episodes were those that featured an inside look at Disneyland. I wanted to go there, to walk in that magical place that Walt Disney had built. Every time I asked my parents when we would get to go to Disneyland, they would always give me the same answer, “some day.” Well, some day came during the summer of 1970 when my family finally made the trek to California to visit family and, of course, explore Disneyland (Chapter 1).
The Mature MouseTM was very fortunate to be able to take the Marceline to Magic Tour during my recent trip to Walt Disney World. This tour explains the various inspirations in Walt Disney’s life that lead him to imagine and build Disneyland. This experience served as a link with the past of Walt Disney to the development of the parks. In honor of Disneyland’s 60th birthday, I wanted to share my experience on the Marceline to Magic Tour.
The tour began at 8 a.m., an hour prior to park opening. I was looking forward to seeing the park void of any crowds. I arrived at the Magic Kingdom entrance around 7:40. There were already a significant number of people standing at the security gates. They would not be allowed to enter for at least an hour or more.
There was a long line forming to the left of the entrance for those guests with breakfast and tour reservations. My MagicBand was scanned as confirmation my reservation, which would allow me early access to the park. This group was allowed in the park approximately 10 minutes before 8, giving me time to check in at City Hall for the tour. The tour group consisted of 13 guests and our tour guide. We wore a receiver and earpieces, so the guide could talk to the group in a conversational tone.
We began our journey on Main Street. It was Walt’s memories of his childhood in Marceline, Missouri, that led to the creation of the iconic Main Street in Disneyland. There are a number of Victorian-styled storefronts throughout this section of the park, which is intended to reflect the quintessential, turn-of-the-century American town. Our tour guide, Mary Elizabeth, told the group about Walt’s optimistic view of progress through the advances in electricity, evident by the transition of gaslights to electric lights as you walk toward the hub.
Our tour crossed the bridge from the hub into Liberty Square. Walt’s patriotism is clearly evident in this section of the park. Mary Elizabeth compared Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World, and discussed Walt’s involvement in the 1964 World’s Fair.
I have mentioned numerous times that the Haunted Mansion is the favorite attraction of The Mature MouseTM. Imagine my excitement when our tour included a unique opportunity to gain a look backstage at this attraction. Mary Elizabeth gave us the inside scoop on the numerous elements of the interactive queue. As we rode our doom buggies through the attraction, Mary Elizabeth spoke to us through our earpieces describing the props, special effects and juxtaposition of storylines within the attraction. Haunted Mansion reflects both a not-too-scary and humorous look at the 999 grinning ghosts that haunt the attractions.
After exiting the attraction we took a backstage look at some of the special effects found in many attractions. The Mature MouseTM will not spoil the magic, but this part of the tour is well worth the price of admission.
The tour made a stop at the castle to discuss the design of the Cinderella Mosaic, which is one of the few things signed by Imagineers.
The tour moved on to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Mary Elizabeth told us of Walt’s enjoyment in reading to his daughters, which inspired his efforts to bring these stories to life. We looked for evidence on this attraction of some of the same magic Imagineers used in the Haunted Mansion.
Our tour continued into Tomorrowland for a look at the Carousel of Progress. The group was granted a private theatre from which to experience the attraction. Throughout the tour, Mary Elizabeth spoke to us about Walt’s involvement in the 1964-65 World’s Fair and the development of attractions that could then be placed in Disneyland. The Carousel of Progress now graces Walt Disney World as a tribute to Walt Disney and his Imagineers. Mary Elizabeth discussed the various props, hidden Mickeys, and various scenes as we enjoyed the attraction.
The Mature MouseTM highly recommends the Marceline to Magic Tour. This experience gives every Disney fan an insight of Walt Disney and the elements of his life that led him to build Disneyland. Walt did not live to witness the completion of the Walt Disney World, but his spirit is alive within the Magic Kingdom.
The Mature MouseTM would like to wish a very Happy 60th Birthday to Disneyland, and a sincere thank you to Walt Disney for the many years of magic.
Follow this link to learn 15 fun facts about Disneyland.
A travel agent who specializes in booking Disney Vacations is a valuable free resource when planning your next trip. I started planning my recent Disney World Vacation by calling Jennie Nowers. When Cool Summer Savings was released, Jennie was up early applying these savings to my trip, which saved me 15% on the price of my resort stay. I did not have to do a thing. Tell Jennie that The Mature Mouse™ sent you and receive a special gift with your next booking
Please visit The Mature Mouse™ store for merchandise. Many of the items would make outstanding additions to your vacation gear and attire. This baseball hat is just one of the featured items available through the store. If you are a mature fan of Disney, consider getting an item. I am a Mature Mouse™, are you?