More Disneyland opening day photos found

1955-07-18- Disneyland 11In an earlier post about my father and his family getting to see Disneyland on the day it opened to the public (July 18, 1955), I shared three photos I had just found that my grandparents took on that landmark visit. These photos may not seem like much (and, granted, they have their fair share of technical shortcomings), but they’re a rare treasure to those interested in the history of Disneyland. In what is certainly the biggest online collection of Disneyland photos (, the photos I found merited their own special section of the website.

In the nine months since I wrote that post, I’ve kept my eyes open for more photos from that historic day. I felt confident that they didn’t go to the opening day of Disneyland and just take three photos. Last week, while visiting with my father in Washington state, he gave me several small stashes of black-and-white negatives. When I looked through them, I found the negative to one of the prints I had already seen. It was mixed in with photos of a circa 1953 trip to Kansas to visit relatives. The more I looked through the negatives, the more I realized that at some point, they had all been mixed up and then later incorrectly grouped with other negatives.

I realized that I’d have to go through and scan every negative to see if I could find additional photos from their visit to Disneyland. After a weekend of scanning, I’m more than half done with this process, and I think I’ve found all of the Disneyland images that are to be found in the negatives my father gave me on this last trip. The number of Disneyland images from their visit now stands at 12, and I still feel confident that there were once more (and thus it’s still possible that more will be found).

Without further ado, here is the full set of images:

A previously published (although not the full frame of the negative, as below) view of my father, Keith (left); his cousin, Jude; his foster brother, Richard; and my uncle, Gary, in front of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 1A previously published (although not the full frame of the negative, as below) view of the stockades and the entrance to Frontierland (with my family posing on the bridge):
1955-07-18- Disneyland 2My father’s foster brother, Richard, realizing too late that he’s in my grandmother’s shot of the entrance to Frontierland:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 3The departure of the Mark Twain Steamboat to an adventure on the Rivers of America:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 4The Mark Twain Steamboat on the Rivers of America:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 5A previously published (although not the full frame of the negative, as below) view of (from left to right) my grandfather (holding the rolled papers); my father’s foster brother, Richard; my uncle, Gary; my father, Keith; and my father’s cousin, Jude, on the upper deck of the Mark Twain Steamboat:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 6The Golden Horse Shoe Revue, taken from aboard the Mark Twain Steamboat:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 7The half-completed entrance to Adventureland:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 8What a great shot this could have been… This is a view from a Jungle Cruise boat, back when the ride was intended to be a serious adventure:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 9The TWA Moonliner and the Avenue of Flags in Tomorrowland:
1955-07-18- Disneyland 10Another shot of the TWA Moonliner, this one surprisingly well executed (although the negative has gotten crinkled from rough handling):
1955-07-18- Disneyland 11And last, but by no means least, the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. It’s an odd vantage point; did they go “off trail” to get this shot?
1955-07-18- Disneyland 12

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