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Photo Trip Report: Disneyland 1958

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So my mom was going through some old pictures and she found some of when she went to Disneyland in 1958 (she was only 4). The pictures aren't of best quality but it just amazes me to see Disneyland in its early years.


Before all the trees grew, before all the hotels surrounded it, before DCA took over the old parking lot, before Big Thunder, before Tomorrowland, when there was the skyride, Chicken of the Sea, and Fantasyland...back when it was an amusement park where families could have a funfilled day and forget about everything going on outside of the park.


Here you go...


And I leave you with this, the horse and carriage with a fare of 10 cents


Band playing in front of the Golden Horseshoe


The Mark Twain


The Skyride and more of Fantasyland...still very crowded back then


The Skyride and some of Fantasyland


Here's an overview of soon-to-be Tomorrowland. Crazy huh?


Notice that these Autopia cars didn't have the steering line underneath...I guess they had two different types of Autopia's back then


That kid is either screaming his head off cuz he's excited or ready to get off...but he sure is yelling


My uncle getting strapped in


My mom and my uncle driving the autopia cars, notice that this one is for the little kids cuz of the steering line underneath


The autopia, before Chevron took it over


Even Dumbo was there...and where are all the hotels and skyrises?


And even more Storybook Land


More Storybook Land...


Storybook Land...


You thought I was kidding about the name? Look behind my great grandpa


Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship


First off, here's the castle...still looks tiny

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There were actually 3 autopias at one time. The first Autopia didn't have guide bars. They actually left it up to you not to jack-knife the whole ride.


For the little ones they had a "junior" autopia with a guide bar. I believe that's the one you have pictured.


There was yet another even more junior version called the "Midget Autopia" which was little more than an outdoor darkride with an electric bus bar.


Awesome pictures, nice find man. That was the year before the Matterhorn, Monorail, and subs went in. Weird that there didn't seem to be much site prep going on.


I guess you could build a ride much quicker back then without enviromental regulations and such. Hell, they probably used asbestos and chimpanzee's! they were probably built in a week!



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Great pics but you have one mistake. That is a picture of Columbia not Chicken of the Sea. Chicken of the Sea was the name of the restaurant in the pirate ship by skull rock. You have pics of that ship. It is the one with the red and white striped sails. They had a great tuna melt there. One of my favorite places to eat as a kid.

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^ I still have a paper placemat from 'Chicken of The Sea', AND pieces of the plastic 'sword' picks used to hold the tuna sandwich together!


I think I need something else to do, heh heh.


Great Retro-TR Jim. Great to especially see those photos of the various Autopias that Disneyland offered at that time. The 'history' of the guide rail was that Disney actually thought that "the drivers of tomorrow" would be safe and responsible, hence no rails at first.


Hah. Rear-enders aplenty caused major headaches for maintenance crews, so I think the guide rails were added a couple of years after the newest part of Tomorrowland (Matterhorn, Subs, Mono) was added in 1959. I'm pretty sure the rails were in place when my mom and I were there in 1963.


Thanks for sharing the memories.

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Its cool to see these old photo TR's. Amazing how even the surrounding area doesn't look that crowded. I have a map from Disneyland sometime in the 60's and some tickets from the first year of operation somewhere in my house. Its just cool to see how it used to look back then.

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Amazing pics. Thanks you very much.


Question : Through the years Disneyland changed his face several time but I am sure there was one point in which there was a major "face lift" to the park. I just wish to know when it was . When Disneyland changed its face and became a "wow" .

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^ 1959 / The Tomorrowland expansion, with the Matterhorn, Monorail and Submarine Voyage.


1965 - 67 The World's Fair Years...


Lots of stuff coming back from the 1964/1965 New York World's Fair, mainly affecting a totally re-designed Tomorrowland in 1967.


The Mountain Years...


1959 Matterhorn

1977 Space

1979 Big Thunder

1989 Splash


New Orleans Square debuts in 1966 - Pirates in 67 - Mansion in 69


~ ~ ~


But I think the first "WOW" happened when a scale replica of a Swiss mountain started to appear among the (then still in spots) Anaheim orange groves, lol.



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Very cool. My family actually has some old 8mm footage of Disneyland from the 1950s, which has since been transferred to videotape. I used to have a super 8 camera when I was 12, and shot some POV (before it was cool) of the Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland--footage that has been missing (and presumed lost forever) for quite some time.


And, yes, I remember eating a tuna sandwich in the pirate ship. Skull Rock, with its waterfalls and glowing green eyes, looked pretty cool at night.

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I have some pictures of Magic Mountain from the early '70s. One day, I ought to find them, scan them, and post them here.


I regret that I never took pictures at Busch Gardens in Van Nuys. Those would have been nice to put here, too.



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Found some more photos and this time...drum roll...MATTERHORN.


Photos from 1961 and again, sorry for the bad quality but still cool stuff from way before I was born.


Hey old farts...bring back memories?


And there you have it...Disneyland Castle and Matterhorn


Complete with Gay Pride Geysers that squirt out white juices


You travel through the Grand Canyon, boulders fall on you and you die...good family fun


This is the train ride that was in the place where Big Thunder is now


The fort on Tom Sawyer's Island...soon to be themed as a pirate fort, WTF?


Tom Sawyer's Island before there were trees and Fantasmic


Here's the "Bear taking a dump in the water" effect when riding the Mark Twain


Going through zee Matterhorn...where's Yeti Ball?


There it is...MATTERHORN in 1961 complete with snow and stuff


Here's the entrance...like Mickey's tights and big head? And Chip N Dale are there too. And what's with the ladies in Mermaid outfits?

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I think the "bear taking a dump in the water effect" is from the Mine Train (not the Mark Twain). It's interesting to see how the character costumes have changed (or not) over the years. Mickey was pretty freaky looking back then.

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