19 Sept 65 : Theme park thrills : Disneyland, California

Sunday 19th September 1965

Dear Family,

Had a great day yesterday. We went to Disneyland which I’m sure you have heard of. It certainly lived up to its reputation and was terrific value for money. We went in at about noon and didn’t leave until gone midnight, and every moment was interesting.

The highlight of the place is the monorail which was the first in America, and travels from the grounds to the Disney Hotel, about two miles away. We went on this and it was a very memorable ride.


p43 fantasy in the sky disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: FANTASY IN THE SKY Brilliant “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks burst over the Disneyland Castle every summer evening as a part of the show in “Disneyland After Dark.”


p42 matterhorn mountain disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: MATTERHORN MOUNTAIN A Disneyland landmark, the “snow-capped” Matterhorn mountain towers majestically over all of the Magic Kingdom. High-speed bobsled runs carry guests down its slopes and through a Glacier Grotto inside the mountain.


p40 sleeping beauty_s castle – fantasyland disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: SLEEPING BEAUTY’S CASTLE – FANTASYLAND. Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle welcomes guests to the wonderful land of Fantasy… a land where dreams can actually come true for the young at heart.


Disneyland is like a huge fun fair, but very futuristic and deluxe and different. For instance you can go for a ride in a submarine (just like real ones), go on a rocket to the moon (very effective), ride on a hovercraft (disguised as a flying saucer).

One of the highlights is a jungle ride in a boat. We boarded a boat at a very authentic village pier and set off up the Amazon. It was an almost exact copy of the jungle, and all the animals were electronically controlled, and all through the trip we were snapped at, and chased, by crocs (while the guide fired wildly at them with a gun).

We were drenched when elephants squirted water over us, and charged by a rhino. It was all so authentic you would swear it was all real.


p45 tom sawyer_s island disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: TOM SAWYER’S ISLAND Log rafts transport fun-seeking youngsters of all ages to Tom Sawyer’s Island in Frontierland where fishing, climbing and exploring can be enjoyed.


p41 frontierland indian village disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: FRONTIERLAND INDIAN VILLAGE In Frontierland’s Indian Village along the banks of the Rivers of America, hearty braves in their colourful native costumes entertain Disneyland’s guests with authentic dances to the throbbing beats of Indian drums.
p46 town square main street disneyland california
Tony’s postcard, captioned: TOWN SQUARE, MAIN STREET, Main Street’s Town Square represents the typical small town in the early 1900’s where the gas lamp is gradually being replaced by electricity: the plodding horse-drawn streetcar is giving way to the chugging “horseless carriage.”


Disney has really mastered the art of animated objects. I think I told you of a show at the World’s Fair where we thought the actors were human – but they turned out to be electronic models.

We saw all the usual shootings and gun fights and, as a plug for a new TV series, saw Zorro on the rooftops fighting ‘bandits’. It’s all great fun and the kids loved it.




The night time was great with loads of free shows and dances. We spent a long time in the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ listening to one of America’s best jazz bands. The atmosphere was terrific.

To be continued – in the next letter, Tony receives massive news from home… 

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3 thoughts on “19 Sept 65 : Theme park thrills : Disneyland, California

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