Disneyland - Walt's Park
It is crazy to think that there are kids who are very familiar with the word "Disney" but have no idea that Walt Disney was a real person. For our first Thursday Three, we're going to take a look at three very special "Walt" remembrances in Disneyland park in California. Honestly, the park itself should probably be our first item and one of the things that makes Disneyland so special is that it is the only theme park that was built with Walt Disney's involvement at every level, from original inspiration to attraction design to opening day and beyond. The park was a labor of love right up to the end of Walt's life; in fact, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland was the last theme park attraction that Walt Disney personally oversaw and developed. Walt passed away in December 15, 1966 and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride opened to the public in March 18, 1967
#1: Walt's Bench: One of the hidden gems you'll find tucked away in an exhibit near the front of the park is the bench where the first thought of a theme park came to Walt Disney. He first had the idea as he sat on a park bench watching his daughters ride the merry-go-round at an amusement park and he had the thought that there should be a place where parents and children could enjoy doing things together. It was an idea that stuck with him and one that took a lot of time to develop but Disneyland opened 15 years later.
#2: Walt's Lamp: Did you know that Walt Disney had a small but fully functional apartment built into the second floor of the Disneyland Fire Station? This apartment isn't open to the public though you can sometimes peek into it in the "Walk in Walt's Disneyland Footsteps Guided Tour" (extra cost). The story goes that Walt would put a lit lamp in the window of the firehouse window to let people know he was in residence. They now keep a lit lamp in the window to symbolize the idea of Walt's influence or spirit always being present at Disneyland.
#3: Disney Brothers Golden Initials: Look for Walt & Roy Disneys' golden initials in the railing above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the New Orleans Square area of Disneyland...really, it is maybe a little closer to the Gumbo stand.
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