On this day in 1955, Walt Disney hosted a Fourth of July picnic for a select group of Disney Studios employees and their families at Disneyland, just days before its grand opening on July 17, 1955. Those lucky enough to attend would be among the very first to ride some of the attractions and see Walt’s highly anticipated project.
While visiting Walt Disney World this week I was able to steam on over to the Carolwood Pacific Railway Room inside the Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. Located on the ground floor just off of the lobby, the room is dedicated to Walt Disney’s first railroad which was located in the backyard of his home on Carolwood Drive
On this date in 1955 the Man in Space episode of the Disneyland television show premiered on ABC. An estimated 42 million Americans tuned in to watch the first of three “science factual” programs Disney would air on the future of space exploration. The show, which is currently available to stream on Disney+, would influence the development of Tomorrowland as well as launch the public’s interest in space into a new orbit.
Ward Kimball, a legendary animator, Academy Award winning director, Imagineering consultant, trombonist, and train enthusiast, was born on this day in 1914. As Walt Disney put it “Ward Kimball is one person that I can truly call a genius.”