This original copy of The Disneyland News (Vol. 1, No. 1), published to commemorate Disneyland’s grand opening was made available to guests in the park’s opening weeks.
The newspaper, which covered the latest goings-on at both the park and studios, was published on a monthly basis for nearly two years, from July 1955 until March 1957. The latest editions could be purchased, at the cost of ten cents, from the park’s main-gate newsstand, newsboys on Main Street, U.S.A., or even through home-subscription. In 1959, after a two-year hiatus, the paper resumed publication—though on a more infrequent basis—through 1968, when it was discontinued, save for special editions commemorating occasions, such as a park anniversary or new attraction opening.
The 24-page July 1955 issue centers almost exclusively on the park’s debut and corresponding festivities, as well as the the occasion’s implications both locally and nationally, with the headline reading, “50,000 ATTEND GALA PARK OPENING.” Though this particular copy is original to Disneyland’s opening month, visitors were later able to purchase a reprint souvenir copy of this issue, as well as others, complete with a personalized headline featuring the name of the guest(s) (e.g., “JOHN SMITH VISITS DISNEYLAND”).
Disney Legend Marty Sklar, eventual President of Walt Disney Imagineering, began his career as editor of The Disneyland News. A month before the park’s opening, Sklar, then a student at UCLA and editor of the school’s Daily Bruin newspaper, was hired to oversee the creation of the park’s first official periodical publication. Upon his graduation, Sklar joined the company on a full-time basis and went on to enjoy a memorable career lasting more than half-a-century.
This premiere copy of The Disneyland News, one of the most sought after publications from the park’s earliest days, celebrates the realization of Walt’s most ambitious undertaking to that point, offering both the parkgoers of July 1955, as well as the modern collector, a unique souvenir to mark the occasion.