Walt Disney: "Disneyland Is Your Land"

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so the saying goes. In the case of Walt Disney, when Anaheim, California, gave him orange groves, he made Disneyland. So what did he do with 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, California, in 1955? He made dreams come true.
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When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so the saying goes. In the case of Walt Disney, when Anaheim, California, gave him orange groves, he made Disneyland. So what did he do with 160 acres of orange groves in Anaheim, California, in 1955? He made dreams come true.

Walt Disney working with his Imagineers on plans for Disneyland, circa 1954. (Getty)

Walt Disney working with his Imagineers on plans for Disneyland, circa 1954. (Getty)

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, so the saying goes. In the case of Walt Disney, when Anaheim, California, gave him orange groves, he made Disneyland.

The 160-acre plot of land started out as a park for Disney employees. But, as per usual with a Disney-size imagination, the idea grew. It went from a $9 million dollar plan for 45 acres to $17 million at the full 160. Unlike the eight parks that exist today, at the time it consisted of only five parks: Main Street, Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland.

When Disney opened the park on July 17, 1955, he was joined by the likes of Art Linkletter, Governor of California Goodwin Knight, and then-actor Ronald Reagan who introduced Walt Disney to the crowds.

Disney stepped up to the microphone and welcomed the throngs of visitors by saying: "Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."