This Wednesday (July 17, 2013), the Disneyland Park celebrates its 58th birthday. If you are an Annual Passholder in the Anaheim area, you can mark the occasion on Tuesday at the final of three free presentations detailing the resort’s early years.
Even if you can’t make it out to wish the park a happy birthday in person, you can still honor the occasion at home by watching this recently released compilation of color footage from Disneyland’s opening months, provided courtesy of the Disney History Institute. Check out the rare views of short-lived attractions like the Phantom motorboats, Storybook-less canal boats, and Main Street’s performing monkey.
The footage concludes with a brief look at some original pre-animatronic figures from the Jungle Cruise, one of Disney’s most iconic opening-day attractions. This weekend, word emerged from the Oriental Land Company (OLC) that Tokyo Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise will close in January to undergo a $16 million refurbishment. When the ride reopens to Japanese fans in the fall of next year, it will feature new lighting and effects, a new musical soundtrack, and a special nighttime version in the evenings.
The Tokyo resort’s owner (Disney licenses its designs to OLC) is famous for outspending their American counterparts, but could a similar upgrade for Anaheim’s Jungle Cruise be in the cards? Rumors of a refurbishment (possibly tied to an aborted feature film) have run rampant for years, so stay tuned…