A Visual History of the Creation of Disneyland

Walt Disney understood one thing better than anyone else—the creative process.

A sketch of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, 1955.

Love it or hate it, Disneyland is an iconic part of American pop culture. Since its creation in the 1950s (under the direct supervision of Walt Disney) the park has hosted over 700 million visitors and is famous around the world.

These fascinating images show how Disney’s ambitious vision was brought to life by his team of “Imagineers”. The quotes are from Disney himself.

Left: Disney reviews a model of Sleeping Beauty Castle with his “Imagineers”. Right: Children race over the drawbridge on opening day, 1955.
Left: Concept art for the Dumbo carousel ride. Right: the modern-day ride in action.

One of the first attractions at Disneyland was Tomorrowland, designed to represent a vision of the future — in the distant year 1986.

Left: Tomorrowland’s futuristic world clock in concept art. Right: the final construction.

By 1966, Tomorrowland was predictably becoming outdated and most of its attractions were mere ads for commercial sponsors like Monsanto. In 1967, the area was completely redesigned to feature new attractions and scenery.

Left: Concept drawing for the second version of Tomorrowland. Right: The completed attraction.
Left: An early sketch for “Steamboat Willie”in which Mickey Mouse made his debut. Right: A frame from the final film.
Walt Disney in 1954 explaining how the layout of the park was based on Paris.

But the iteration of Disneyland had to continue without its creator. Eleven years after the triumphant opening of his theme park, Walt Disney passed away.

This article was originally published on The Work Behind The Work which goes behind the scenes of top creative projects. By the makers of Milanote.

Co-founder & CEO at Milanote http://www.milanote.com. On Twitter @oliebol.

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