On July 17, 1955, Walt Disney welcomed the first guests to “The Happiest Place on Earth”: Disneyland. In honor of this week marking the 60th anniversary of that event, today’s photo not only spotlights a reference to an animated character at Walt Disney World, but also references Walt’s original park. Located on a trunk at the Disney Vacation Club booth at Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Sunset Boulevard, this sticker featuring Dumbo can be seen alongside other stickers that represent all the various locations around the world that are home to DVC properties.
Dumbo, the title character of Walt Disney’s 1941 animated feature, has long been associated with Disneyland. The iconic “Dumbo the Flying Elephant” ride was part of the original lineup of Fantasyland attraction with the “Casey Jr. Circus Train,” inspired by the plucky engine from the film, opening later in the park’s first year. In fact, during the 1970’s, Imagineer Tony Baxter even developed a concept to expand this presence into an entire “Dumbo’s Circusland.” While that project never got off the drawing board, it did help inspire the “Storybook Circus” mini-land at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
The lessons Walt Disney and his Imagineers learned at Disneyland had and continue to have a profound effect on the design of Walt Disney World and, like Disney Animation, its influence can be seen all over the Resort. Happy 60th, Disneyland!
Have you ever been to Disneyland? Let me know what your favorite Disneyland Resort attraction is in the comments section!