First Disneyland Ticket

Thursday, 19 May 2005 | Disneyland

Recently, I was surprised and honored to receive an email from Dave MacPherson, the first person to buy a ticket to Disneyland on July 18th, 1955. Although the park officially opened on July 17th, it was only open to selected guests and celebrities by invitation. Disneyland opened to the paying public the following day.

Dave MacPherson is now 72 years old and resides in Utah. He was awarded a lifetime VIP pass for him and three guests to Disneyland. That's a dream come true for a Disneyland fan like me! Thank you so much for allowing me to present your story on my web site, Dave!

DISNEYLAND'S GRAND OPENING (some little known facts)

by Dave MacPherson

I was at Disneyland when it opened for the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. Since I have some facts about that event that many websites evidently haven't known, I thought you might like to publish them:

It's true that Roy Disney, Walt's brother, requested the first printed ticket for his grandchildren's memorabilia.

It's also true that the park opened the previous day (Sunday) for a preview for only special guests and the news media, that some counterfeit tickets were printed by someone, and that some party crashers climbed over fences surrounding the attraction.

And it's true that when Disneyland opened for the public on that hot, humid Monday (the 18th), Walt Disney posed with Michael Schwartner and Christine Vess, the first two children in line.

But I had determined to make some history myself.

Since I wasn't Walt's relative, or a special guest or party crasher on the 17th, or a youngster on the 18th (I was then a 22-year-old college student), I had only one option. Employing the hard work and initiative that Walt had admired in persons like Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, I focused on being first in line on the 18th and putt-putted on my Simplex motorbike from my Long Beach home to Disneyland during the wee hours of that unforgettable Monday.

Some time later I was notified that I had won a lifetime pass (good for any three persons and myself) - an annual card that I have received each year since 1955 which, in recent years, has also been good for other Disney parks including the ones in Florida and France.

You might say that 1955 was a very good year for a youthful Scotsman!

Because of my line of work, I've had many opportunities while guesting on worldwide talk shows to plug the various Disney attractions and tell about my purchase of the first Disneyland ticket when that park opened to the public.

I should add that Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck think it's about time for the media to air the facts I'm sharing here. Since I'm now 72, who am I to disagree with them? I enclose some old clippings from my scrapbook along with the two Daves - 50 years apart - the latest pic taken in 2005 near our home in Monticello, Utah.

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