Disneyland Kodachrome c.1956 | A Continuous Lean.

Disneyland Kodachrome c.1956

Oct 7th, 2009 | Categories: Americana, Los Angeles | by Michael Williams

I went to Disneyland long before my family ever made it to Florida’s Disneyworld. In fact, for some reason I have more memories of going to Knotts Berry Farm as a kid than either of the massive Disney parks. No matter where you went as a kid, nothing is better than going to a theme park. My friend Sean sent me these beautiful 16mm Kodachrome home movies shot at Disneyland soon after the opening in 1956 and I couldn’t miss the opportunity to share them here. It is amazing to see the clarity and the color of the footage — a cinematic quality that disappeared into the 1970s and 1980s. Take a moment and escape into the good clean fun of Disney in the 1950s.

Comments: 28

28 Comments to “Disneyland Kodachrome c.1956”

  1. DisneyNutter
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 10:02 AM

    Wow, talk about branding… even the camera in the first video at 00:15 had a Mickey Mouse themed shape!

  2. cuffsonrawdenim
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 10:03 AM


    Music Credit?
    Artist/ Song(s)?

  3. Mark C.
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 10:18 AM

    I miss being a little kid more than anything…which is weird, because now that I’m all grown up I can’t stand them! Go figure…

  4. rollergirl
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 10:33 AM

    Wow, beautiful. The mens outsfits in the film are so elegant and…I’m not being fattist but there were hardly any obese people in those days.

  5. Daniel
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 11:37 AM


  6. Colin
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 12:21 PM

    The first song is Dream Wanderer’s Tune by Deerhoof and the second song is a cover of 1979 by the Smashing Pumpkins. Anyone know the artist? It’s beautiful.

  7. sam
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 12:56 PM

    i saw that camera and thought the same thing, disneynutter.

  8. Matt
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 1:43 PM

    Good, clean, anti-semitic, FUN!

  9. Michael Williams
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 1:49 PM

    Knew that was coming.

  10. David
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 2:20 PM

    There was some video posted on Google Video a few months ago about a family in 55 or 56 that won a trip to Disney. It was around 20 minutes long and showed their whole trip from the East Coast to Disneyland (they don’t get to Disneyland until minute 13 of the video). It’s a pretty cool timecapsule of 50s fashion.

    Also check out Yesterland.com for pics and stories on old rides that aren’t there anymore. There’s some gems.

  11. singingwater
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 7:18 PM

    always a creepiness from disney. some brainwashing mixed with entertainment.

  12. andrew
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 7:46 PM

    is it still nostalgia if i wasn’t born yet? whatever – that was excellent

  13. Len Crockett
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 8:01 PM

    Second video music is 1979 (Smashing Pumpkins cover) by Rockabye Baby!

  14. Kurt B. Reighley
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 8:14 PM

    Mesmerizing. Although for selfish, ACL-related reasons, I wish the footage of Frontierland (the first half of clip #2) included a visit to the Disney Pendleton (and more) store.

  15. Truffauc
    on Oct 7th, 2009
    @ 8:47 PM

    i always thought the colours of kodachrome looked rosey and dreamy because they had faded over time (like 70′s photographs going purple) – but I just realised, that is how they wanted to see the world – a beautiful dream

  16. dave from london
    on Oct 8th, 2009
    @ 7:09 AM

    really lovely…! we in England had it told to us that our friends over the pond (you American’s) had practiced mass genocide on the indigenous population…….anyone looking at the second clip would now know that that was clearly propaganda…!!!

  17. Jay
    on Oct 8th, 2009
    @ 9:56 AM

    I wish I had the opportunity to meet Walt Disney and listen to his ideas and thoughts about the Florida Project. I suspect He would be quite surprised at what He would see. I have been to Disneyland only once in 1997, but have frequented Walt Disney World a cazillion times since 1971. Born and raised in Northeast Florida allows me and my family the luxury of visting several times a year. Every time I walk through the turnstiles of the Magic Kingdom or Epcot, I see something I had not seen before. Not necessarily due to changes, but something I missed previously. the MAGIC KINGDOM is truly “The Happiest Place On Earth”.

  18. Colby
    on Oct 9th, 2009
    @ 12:43 AM

    Anything vintage-Disney I’m obsessed with.
    Words can’t express how much I want to be there in the beginning.
    … also, I don’t believe that crap about Disney being anti-semitic or racist… it was a different time then. If you dig into any American institution or any Hollywood legend from the 30′s-60′s you’re always bound to find SOMETHING or other that we’d see as racist…

  19. Ken
    on Oct 9th, 2009
    @ 4:01 PM

    It’s really disappointing reading some of the comments here. People have been so brainwashed at the “public option” schools and the halls of higher learning (college) that they take every chance to bash America or deconstruct something as fun and wholesome as Disneyland from the 1950s. Instead of tearing down Walt’s dream, reflect a moment on how many people’s lives he touched or how many jobs he created.

  20. Leah
    on Oct 9th, 2009
    @ 7:27 PM

    The feel of filmstock, the beauty and richness of the color, the relaxed rhythm is what I enjoy about this post! Thank you!

  21. Rafael T
    on Oct 11th, 2009
    @ 12:35 PM

    Beautiful, just awesome. I also noticed the lack of obese people. Also the lack of shorts and T-shirts. I always remember my early youth in Kodachrome. Disney was a fascinating man.

  22. MIna
    on Oct 11th, 2009
    @ 8:51 PM

    Knott’s was what you remember because it was more fun and easier to achieve.
    We were able to go there as young adolescents because our parents could actually afford the tix, I still have fond memories of the Dinosaur Ride…

  23. Teri
    on Oct 17th, 2009
    @ 8:23 AM

    Entrance into Knott’s Berry Farm was actually free for many years.

  24. Classics Patriot
    on Oct 19th, 2009
    @ 1:32 PM


    You’re an idiot.


    You, too.

    dave from london,

    Didn’t the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes also practice “mass genocide on the indigenous population”? Your “education” has, as Ken ably points out, both brainwashed you and deprived you of the ability to think critically. Human history is full of stories of Group A invading Group B’s land; the victor was the one who was able to exercise control over that land and whoever remained on it.

    Colby, Ken,

    Thank you for the breath of fresh air. I’d just add that the word “racism” is, like the idea itself, a 20th-century construct, and not a very useful one at that.

    Ken, right on the nose: in today’s topsy-turvy world, it is not allowed to look at the past and see the good about it. The past must be denigrated for all its faults and shortcomings, almost all of which are due to the modern liberal ideology that requires the past to be “bad” because it was “divisive” or “non-inclusive” or “racist” or “sexist” or otherwise incompatible with that ideology. Poppycock!

    Finally, to my comments on the post: love the images. Love the feel of Kodachrome. Love what Disneyland represents. Hate that we’ve lost so much of what is clearly visible in this footage. Hope that we can fight to take our country back from the ideology that’s destroying it.

  25. Hollywood Phony
    on Oct 19th, 2009
    @ 7:33 PM

    hey classics patriot,
    who’s the bigger idiot? the idiot who throws out some glib, off-the-cuff remark that takes a cheap shot over something completely irrelevant to the interesting bit of history we’re all enjoying or the idiot who feels the need to spend his time attacking the previous idiots for their point of view while attempting to indoctrinate the rest of us in his equally stupid and simplistic demagogy? If this is how you’re ‘fighting’ to ‘take back your country’, good luck with that. and yes, I understand that the biggest idiot of all is the one wasting his own time bothering to point out to people like yourself how pointless and stupid your little girl whining is, but that’s the internet for ya.

  26. Classics Patriot
    on Oct 20th, 2009
    @ 1:25 PM

    It’s “glib” to call Disney’s wholesome entertainment creepy brainwashing? Nice world you live in there, Phony.

  27. La Brea
    on Oct 30th, 2009
    @ 8:09 PM

    Whoa, it doesn’t even look like the same place today. Hardly any trees back then. I always
    thought the jungle cruse was lame but I guess it was probably fun in 1956.

  28. JR
    on Jan 12th, 2010
    @ 9:55 PM

    I do believe that all cinema cameras from that time period were shaped like that. But yeah, it does look like Mickey’s ears :)