On July 13th Walt placed a “Thank You” letter in local newspapers to show his appreciation for the three million visitors that had been to Disneyland in its first year and wanted to inform them in his own words that “Because of your support, Disneyland is continuing to grow…adding new attractions and entertainment. Within a few days we will open the first of our new major developments…Tom Sawyer’s Island and Storybook Land.” He goes on to describe, “In Storybook Land, canal boats will take you through the great open mouth of Monstro the Whale and on past miniature realms of some of your favorite storybook characters.”
And so, sixty years ago today, the infamous muddy bank ride known as the Canal Boats of the World reopened as the Storybook Land Canal Boats on the Saturday just before Father’s Day. It wasn’t until two days later, on Monday, the 18th, that the opening ceremony took place which was attended by Mouseketeers Darlene, Lonnie, Sharon, and Bobby as well as the The American Dairy Princess who christened the boats with a bottle of milk.
As progress continues on the restoration of the only surviving piece of Walt’s original Storybook Land, its nice to know that the attraction itself has finally reached its Diamond Anniversary along with the rest of the park. Happy Birthday Storybook Land!