Disney first day

Disneyland’s opening day in 1955, an invitation-only crowd of 15,000 was expected, but thanks to counterfeit tickets, 28,154 entered the gates. A few more even scaled a fence, using a ladder erected by an entrepreneur who charged $5 a head. On the Santa Ana Freeway, there was a 7-mile backup.

Bankers and even Disney’s brother Roy, who was the financial director of his movie studio, thought the ambitious project would lead to ruin, but the animation mogul borrowed against his life insurance and sold vacation property to build what some in Hollywood dubbed “Walt’s folly.” With his reputation and finances at stake, Disney had pushed a frenzied schedule to open Disneyland only one year and one day after construction began.