The First Disneyland Admission Ticket Ever Sold


Photo: Christina House/LA Times

That's the first Disneyland admission ticket ever sold. It was purchased by Roy O. Disney (Walt Disney's older brother) for $1 in 1955.

Geoff Boucher of the Los Angeles Times has a fascinating story about the Disney Archives:

After Walt Disney died in 1966, his grieving staff sealed his office suite in Burbank, and even as work proceeded on "The Jungle Book" there was anxiety that the company's past might be brighter than its future.

Four years later, those worries deepened as key executives approached retirement, including Walt's older brother, Roy O. Disney. That's why, in 1970, the company handed the key to Walt's still-sealed office to a former UCLA research librarian named Dave Smith, who was sent into the chamber to learn its history.

"I didn't expect this to become my life's work, but it did," Smith, 69, said on a recent afternoon as he gave a tour of the Disney Archives, a massive collection spread across several in-house libraries and high-security warehouse space filled with Disney movie props, costumes, toys, art, animation, vintage theme-park gear and company publications.

It all began with the items that Smith found in Walt's desk all those years ago.

"It was an eerie thing to sit … in his chair and count the paper clips in the drawer," Smith recalled with a nervous chuckle. On the bookshelves, he discovered books and letters given to Walt by Upton Sinclair, Winston Churchill and C. S. Lewis, who inscribed one of his books of poetry with the words: "From one visionary to another."

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