The Inspiration for Disneyland

Ever walk around Disneyland and wonder to yourself, how did he do it? How did Walt and his wonderful team of Imagineers dream up this perfect place? Disneyland was imagined by Walt Disney as he sat on a park bench at Griffith Park in California.


He watched his kids play on the merry-go-round, and realized that there weren’t any theme parks that encouraged parents to hang out with their kids. Everything was geared for children, but there was no place for a family to play together. The merry-go-round became an inspiration for the creation of Disneyland.


In fact, the merry-go-round at Disneyland (King Arthur’s Carousel), is one of the original attractions at Disneyland from opening day in 1955.


But what about the rest of Disneyland? If Disneyland was the first of its kind, how does one know what to fill the park with? There were a lot of theme parks, carnivals and attractions all around the world before Disneyland. Some of them are still operating today, while many of them may be closed. Walt had visited amusement parks as a kid and had later visited some of them while designing original plans for Disneyland. A lot of the following theme parks served as inspiration for Walt Disney and are still operating today!

If you visit Storybook Land in Fantasyland, you travel via boat through the mouth of Monstro the whale from Pinocchio.


At Children’s Fairyland in California, there’s a lot of great rides for kids. Does this whale look familiar?


If you continue through Storybook Land, you’ll notice lots of miniature versions of various kingdoms featured in Disney fairy tales.


If you travel to the Netherlands, you can also see an entire theme park dedicated to miniature villages over at Madurodam.


Rivers America is known for it’s sailing boats like the Mark Twain and Columbia.


In Copenhagen, a popular theme park called Tivoli Gardens also features their breath-taking sailing ships.


What would Disneyland be without Mainstreet USA? While Mainstreet was inspired by Walt’s childhood town, the functionality of vintage vehicles in a theme park setting originated at Greenfield Village in Michigan.


There’s nothing like seeing this vision come to life at Disneyland. Every trip to Disneyland should include a ride on the street cars.


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