This morning, Disneyland celebrated the 59th anniversary of its opening on July 17, 1955.  Guests joined the Dapper Dans and 59 Disney characters in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A. to hear a recording of Walt Disney’s opening day “welcome” speech and sing “Happy Birthday” to Disneyland.

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The popularity of Disneyland through the past 59 years celebrates Walt Disney’s dream of a place where family members of all ages can have fun together in a safe, clean atmosphere that emphasizes imagination and extraordinary guest service. Since 1955, dignitaries, heads of state, celebrities and more than 700 million guests have passed through the gates of a place that Walt imagined as “a source of joy and inspiration to the world.”

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As part of this morning’s festivities, Disney announced that in the spring of 2015, the Disneyland Resort will launch a dazzling yearlong Diamond Celebration that salutes 60 years of magic.  Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration logo was also unveiled.

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When Walt Disney opened Disneyland on July 17, 1955, it only had 18 attractions, no Disney hotels and little but orange groves surrounding it. Today, the original theme park has expanded to become a world-class family resort destination with two renowned Disney parks, nearly 100 attractions, three hotels and the shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney.