Disneyland Turns 50

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is escorted onstage by Mickey Mouse during the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of Disneyland, Sunday, July 17, 2005, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
AP
Thousands of Disney fans donned special gold-colored Mickey ears as they streamed through the entrance to Disneyland on Sunday, 50 years after the landmark opened its gates and gave birth to the modern theme park.

The festivities, which included a fireworks-and-confetti display, were set outside the Sleeping Beauty Castle and began with televised images echoing the fanfare of the park's launch in 1955.

"Dad's vision called for this, for Disneyland, to be something that could grow more beautiful every year, and it has," said Diane Disney Miller, one of founder Walt Disney's two daughters.

Broadcaster Art Linkletter, 93, who hosted the live telecast of the park's opening day along with Ronald Reagan and actor Bob Cummings, also was on hand.

"I'm not only happy to be here, I'm happy to be anywhere," said Linkletter, who also was celebrating his birthday Sunday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who emerged from the castle gates with Mickey Mouse's white-gloved hand on his shoulder, praised the theme park's contributions to the state's economy.

"This is an engine that drives California tourism and our economy," he said. "Thank you for 50 wonderful years."