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Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

It was during this week in 1955 that Disneyland first opened to the public.

Dubbed "Walt's Folly" by the "smart money," Walt Disney gambled his future and the future of his studio on the amusement park in Anaheim, California. Disney sunk every penny he had into the place and still required a substantial investment from ABC-TV to finish it. Today, the Disney company has multiple "theme parks" (a term Walt invented) in Florida, France, Japan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. In addition, the Disney Company now owns ABC-TV.

On the day it opened, the park only had 14 attractions operating. They were:
Fire Engine (Main Street)
Main Street Cinema (Fantasyland)
Jungle Cruise (Adventureland)
Mark Twain Riverboat (Frontierland)
The Golden Horseshoe Revue (Frontierland)
King Arthur Carousel (Fantasyland)
Snow White's Scary Adventure (Fantasyland)
Peter Pan's Flight (Fantasyland)
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (Fantasyland)
Casey Jr. Circus Train (Fantasyland)
Storybookland Canal Boats (Fantasyland)
Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland)
Autopia (Tomorrowland)
Disneyland Railroad (The Entire Park)

BTW - To get ABC to invest, Disney had to promise to make TV shows for the network. In a classic "wn-win," Walt created "The Mickey Mouse Club" for the late afternoons and "Disneyland" for Sunday nights in prime time. Of course, the second show worked like a 60-minute commercial for his theme park and quickly made every Baby Boomer in America want to go there!

Who Wants a Popsicle?

Summer has always been time for Popsicles.

Believe it or not, this popular frozen treat really was invented by a kid. One night in 1905, 11-year old Frank Epperson of California mixed some flavoring powder in water with a fork and left it outside (fork and all) overnight by mistake. It froze, but Frank ate it anyway.

For the next 17 years, Frank made them for himself and eventually, his kids. But in 1922, Epperson sold some at a fireman’s ball in San Francisco. They were a big hit. Frank then started selling them at the Neptune Beach amusement park in Alameda, California.

Read more: Who Wants a Popsicle?

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