Disney historian Todd James Pierce of the Disney History Institute has made “Disneyland Voce,” a compilation video using footage from a dozen home movies shot in the first five months of Disneyland’s opening in 1955. Pierce says the video “contextualizes Disneyland within the political and cultural events of the early 1950s.” Be sure to check out the Disney History Institute to see some interesting things you may have overlooked in the video (like the lack of costumed characters).
Here’s one reason I love home movies: they reveal the vacation experience as taken by the average guest. Disney has produced reels of film documenting the park during its early years (most notably “Disneyland U.S.A.” in 1956 and “Gala Day at Disneyland” in 1959), but professional footage presents the park under ideal conditions. Home movies lay down the scenery as a typical guest would have experienced it. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to visit Disneyland when it first opened, buckle into your DeLorean and hit the play button on YouTube.