The Haunted Mansion FINALLY Opens- August 9, 1969.

When the DISNEYLAND river front extended just around the river bend, the wrought iron antebellum mansion sprang up mysteriously. The house itself was vacant, but curious guests would find this sign placed at the mansion’s gates:

For almost ten years, the gates remained closed. Guests could only imagine what awaited them within its walls. That day would finally arrive- on August 9, 1969.

Would guests show up to see what was inside that house at the river bend? They definitely would! August 9th was on a Saturday that year and thousands of guests descended on the park. It would be the very first time that the park would have to shut its gates.

Where does the line begin? Way back in Adventureland, it seems!

That sign would be one of the most successful viral promotions- long before the term even existed!

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Theme Park Thursdays: Reassuring Fun

When Walt Disney sat down with his Imagineers, he knew exactly how he wanted DISNEYLAND to look and feel. It would later be called “the architecture of reassurance” by people who studied such things, but Mr. Disney would simply say that he wanted his guests to instantly feel comfortable when they entered the park’s front gates.

The idea was to design comfortable, welcoming spaces that seemed familiar even to guests who had never visited the park before. This design strategy was extended to the world outside the parks too.

Downtown Disney was built with the same thought behind it. Build an exciting, vibrant area that would make people of all types feel like they belonged in it. The kinetic energy and surroundings make for an exciting location where everyone wants to be; where everyone feels like they belong.

Amazingly just steps away from the exciting Downtown Disney District is the calming, awe inspiring Grand Hall at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. A respite from the hustle and bustle of the parks, the Grand Hall provides a similar welcoming, though much more calming environment than that of Downtown Disney. Of course, the first Disney environment ever created is still one of the best…

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