Holidayland was a 9 acre grassy picnic ground located along the western edge of Disneyland, near the area that is now New Orleans Square. It is often referred to as the "lost" land of Disneyland. Opening on June 16, 1957, Holidayland had its own admission gate into Disneyland and could hold up to 7,000 guests for large events. It also had playgrounds, horseshoes, baseball field, volleyball, "the world's largest candy-striped circus tent" (previously used by the short-lived Mickey Mouse Club Circus and Keller's Jungle Killers attractions) and other activities. Food and concessions were available for purchase including beer, which was not sold on the neighboring premises of Disneyland.
Holidayland closed in September 1961 due to its lack of shade, no nighttime lighting or restrooms, and alleged lack of Disney "flavor". According to Disney Legend Milt Albright, Holidayland's manager, "It wasn't any one thing that killed Holidayland. It was just the combined effect of a whole lot of things."
The original concept for Holidayland was that of a turn-of-the-century town park called "Recreationland" in early pitch documents, with picnic areas, horseshoe pits, a baseball diamond, and perhaps an open field where a circus could come to perform. This original version would be located where the Matterhorn sits today. The name itself came from another early land concept that would be a space for seasonal activities located in roughly the same spot where the land ended up. As Disneyland came together in 1954, it became apparent that there wasn't enough space within the park for Holidayland to become a reality, and the land became a picnic and recreation area, with minor seasonal holiday decorations.
In November of 1955, the Mickey Mouse Club Circus came to Disneyland, in the Fantasyland section of the park. This event only lasted until January of 1956, and was themed to the celebration of Christmas, with promotional material referring to the circus as "Holidayland," including a November 25, 1955 Los Angeles Times article declaring "Holidayland was a roaring success. The kids consumed great amounts of popcorn, and [Walt] Disney enjoyed himself as much as anybody.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Strodder, Chris (2008). The Disneyland Encyclopedia. Santa Monica, California: Santa Monica Press LLC, page 209. ISBN 978-1-59580-033-6.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Holidayland: The Least Photographed Land in the Park - Disney History Institute" (in en-US), Disney History Institute (2012-04-02).
- ↑ "A Look Back: November 24, 1955, Mickey Mouse Club Circus Debuts" (in en-us), Disney Parks Blog.
- Tim O'Day, Bruce Gordon (2005). Disneyland: Then, Now, and Forever. Disney Editions. ISBN 0-7868-5446-4.
- David Mumford, Bruce Gordon (2000). Disneyland: The Nickel Tour. Camphor Tree Publishers. ISBN 0-9646059-1-0.
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