Forgot Your Password Or Login?

Having trouble logging In?
Try clearing your cookie:

Disneyland Article
This Is How Disneyland Changed From 1956 To 1959

Tomorrowland Autopia
Orange County Register
Mark Eades
July 14, 2016
July 24, 2016
Increase Font Size
The day after Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, many newspapers had a field day with the myriad of problems the park had, such as gas leaks, failing plumbing and a lack of drinking fountains. Some called it Walt's Folly and more.

But that didn't seem to matter to the public because when the park opened its gates the next day, there was a long line of people waiting to get in - and the lines never got shorter.

By October, the park had entertained one million visitors, putting it on a path to financial success.

This helped Walt Disney stay true to his word, that Disneyland would constantly change as long as there was imagination left in the world - and he had plenty of it.


Changes started happening right away in 1956, with the addition of horseless carriages and the Omnibus on Main Street U.S.A.

But many of the changes happened in Frontierland in 1956 with the opening of Tom Sawyer Island, which was personally designed by Disney, who made getting there part of the attraction, on rafts across the Rivers of America.

He also added a new train ride, the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, that same year. That forced a change in the route and created new names: The Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules and the Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches.

Before 1956 was done, he moved the popular Indian Village to a larger area, and added a visitor-propelled ride, the Indian War Canoes.

Fantasyland got a new ride in 1956, or rather a changed one, with the opening in December of the Storybook Land Canal Boats, replacing the Canal Boats of the World, which closed less than three months after the park opened.

The same land got a brand new ride in 1956, with the addition of the Skyway. It had a station in Fantasyland and a station in Tomorrowland, giving visitors to Disneyland an aerial view of the park as they rode in gondolas above the two lands.

The Tomorrowland Autopia was so popular that another one was paved into the landscape - the Junior Autopia opened in Fantasyland in 1956. It was renamed the Fantasyland Autopia in 1959.

Fantasyland got a station on the tracks of the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad in 1956, too.

The next year, an Autopia for the really young was added: Midget Autopia. It was located next to Storybook Land Canal Boats. The Motorboat Cruise took to the waterways too.

In Tomorrowland, there were changes happening too. First was the landing of the Astro-Jets in March 1956, where riders could control the height of their jet on the spinning ride. Another exhibit was installed in the form of the Bathroom of Tomorrow, sponsored by the Crane Company that same year.


Disneyland got its first new land in 1957: Holidayland. It was designed as a space that could be rented by corporations or outside groups. It had playgrounds, ball fields and picnic areas, along with a stage for entertainment. It also had a separate entrance into Disneyland. But it only lasted four years, as people didn't want to go to what looked like a regular city park, when Disneyland was right next door. That area is now occupied by New Orleans Square, and the show buildings for the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean.

In 1957, visitors could finally tour the Sleeping Beauty Castle when a walk-through attraction opened, and the Alice in Wonderland dark ride appeared in 1958.

The Monsanto House of the Future appeared in 1957, with its unique shape of boxy wings made of plastic. That year a futuristic train called the Viewliner appeared on its own train tracks, but by late 1958, it rode off into oblivion as more new things were coming.

More additions came in the rest of the 1950s, with the addition of the Frontierland Shooting Gallery in 1957, and the Columbia Sailing Ship in 1958.


Folks in Tomorrowland could finally board the Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad in Tomorrowland in 1958 and then they could get a view of the Grand Canyon Diorama as they began their complete trip around the Magic Kingdom.

But before the 1950s would ring out, Walt Disney decided to make even more additions to the Disneyland landscape with new things that are still present to this day - the Submarine Voyage, the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail and the Matterhorn with its boblseds.
Attractions Referenced

Alice In Wonderland


Bathroom Of Tomorrow

Canal Boats Of The World

Disneyland Monorail

Fantasyland Autopia

Frontierland Shooting Gallery

Haunted Mansion


Horse-Drawn Street Cars

House Of The Future

Indian Village (Adventureland)

Indian Village (Frontierland)

Indian War Canoes

Junior Autopia

Main Street Omnibus

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Midget Autopia

Motor Boat Cruise

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Rainbow Caverns Mine Train

Rainbow Mountain Stage Coach

Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules

Sailing Ship Columbia

Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad


Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Submarine Voyage

Tom Sawyers Island

Tomorrowland Autopia

Lands Referenced



Main Street U.S.A.

New Orleans Square


Top Of Page
Solution  Graphics Western Union Money Gram   Contact Us   Privacy   Payment Options   Disclaimer   Email Policy   Site Map   Clear Cookie  

Copyright: (c) 1997-2019 by ThrillMountain Software is not associated in any official way with the Walt Disney Company,
its subsidiaries, or its affiliates. The official Disney site is available at
Troubleshooting Info:

BrowserBrand: IE
LocalHost: NO
BrowserAgent:CCBot/2.0 (
BrowserCurrentPage: /disneyland-article.aspx
Login: 0
FilterBy: 0
SortBy: 0