1956: A walk in the park for Disney

Theme park bows 'Tom Sawyer's Island'

June 18, 1956

GOOD MORNING: Walt Disney looked mucho tired Saturday ayem after spending the night at Disneyland readying his new attraction, “Tom Sawyer’s Island.” It’s another part of Americana come to life, made with the charm and accuracy that bear the Disney trademark. This and the ski ride “will be enough for now,” said Walt about future plans. “All that glitters,” he added, “is not gold and it takes a lot to run this place.”… (2008 Update: … Disneyland was a year old when Walt, above, was declaring the Tom Sawyer Island expansion as “enough for now.” Walt died on Dec. 15, 1966. On July 17, Disneyland will celebrate its 53rd anniversary in a year tabbed as “The Year of a Million Dreams.” The Disneyland flag also flies in Florida, Paris, Japan and Hong Kong — faraway lands from ‘Tom Sawyer Island.”… The revolutionary “Tomorrowland” section in the original Disneyand, which bowed the Monsanto House of the Future in 1957, shuttered 10 years later. Today Disneyland’s “Innoventions Dream House” boasts a five-year agreement with Microsoft, Hewlett/Packard, Life/Ware and Taylor Morrison “to showcase integrated digital technologies for the home with the unique Disney storytelling experiences” via a fictional “Elias” family. Showbiz, of course is the byword in the parks. Pixar characters star in “Toy Story Mania” where generations can compete in “4-D” games. “Indiana Jones” continues as a favorite attraction — in surprise “live” appearances as well. Pixar, creating its new box office horizons with “Wall-E” currently on the nation’s screens, is also very much alive in Adventureland’s “Pixar Play Parade” with characters from “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Monsters,” “Finding Nemo” and, of course, “Cars”… Walt designed a private apartment for himself above New Orleans Square where he could rest after a night like the above in 1956. Now, the apartment is a surprise “dream” for a chosen, unsuspecting guest. Whatta way to remember Disneyland — and Walt.

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