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DISNEYLAND- Anaheim, California

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WALT DISNEY was born on 5 December 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to Hollywood at the age of 21 and began working as an animator and cartoonist. His first major success was a short film created in 1928 called Steamboat Willie which introduced the lively character, Mickey Mouse. This was followed by acclaimed full length animation films which included Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1939) and Bambi (1942).

Later, Disney produced live-action features such as Treasure Island (1951). A move into television led to the Wonderful World of Disney series which captivated a worldwide audience from 1954 to the mid 1980's.

One day Walt Disney was sitting in an amusement park watching his daughters play. He saw how dismal and dirty the park was and how the parents, having nothing to do, would be anxious to go home even while their children were still having fun. His observations on that occasion later led to the planning and development of a new form of amusement park that would have attractions for both parents and children and within a clean and safe environment.
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On 17 July 1955, at the opening (pictured right) of his Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, Disney said, 'To all who come to this happy place, welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savour 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.'

The park was an immediate success. Soon after Disneyland opened, Disney said, 'We're going to kick ourselves for not buying everything within a radius of ten miles around here' - he could visualize the growth around Disneyland and and also beyond. An aerial view of Disneyland in 1955 is shown below (with acknowledgement to the Walt Disney organisation).

Other Disney theme parks have since opened in Florida (Disneyworld), Tokyo and France, and another is scheduled to open in Hong Kong in 2003. The original site has recently been extended to incorporate a large adventure park, Disney's Californian Adventure.

Unfortunately, Disney did not live to see his later projects come to fruition. He died of lung cancer on 15 December 1966. However, his legacy, which has brought pleasure to millions, lives on into the twenty-first century.

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Disneyland
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