Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955! Bands marched on Main Street past cute shops ready for business while Walt Disney and many important guests made speeches. The rides were ready and excitement filled the air. What a special day it was! This old photo of Granny Catherine, my sisters, and me (on the right) was taken one year later in July of 1956. The rides are behind us and we were thrilled to be at Walt Disney’s fabulous amusement park in Anaheim, California.

The kids in my 50s book, Sinister Summer, have a conversation about Opening Day at Disneyland while riding on a tram at the Los Angeles Arboretum. Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 8, The Arboretum.
Pete looked around some more then said, “This is as much fun as going to the new amusement park that Walt Disney is Opening today, July seventeenth, in Anaheim.”
  “This is more fun,” I whispered, “since we weren’t invited to the opening day ceremonies. Mom said it was invitation only. I’m hoping Granny Catherine and ‘The Greats’ will take us there when they get here.”

And they did! My fictional characters in Sinister Summer didn’t go to Disneyland, but you can see in the photo, that my sisters and I really did get to go there with Granny Catherine!


50s kids books - disneyland


Here I am getting ready to get on board Dumbo’s exciting flying ride located in Fantasyland. I loved all the other rides there especially the carousel. Check out the socks, shoes, and cute dress.


books for grandchildren - 1950s

Here’s another old photo of a different trip to Disneyland with my sisters and a bunch of cousins. We were climbing up and down giant rocks on Tom Sawyers Island in Frontierland. We took either a raft or canoe to get over there and once there we spent hours running around, ducking in and out of caves, and climbing rocky hillsides.

children's books set in 1950s

It’s truly a blast to the past to see these old photos from Disneyland and to remember back when this wonderful place opened up in July of 1955 for all the world to experience a day filled with thrilling rides and fun adventures.


About 50s books Author CA Hartnell

CA Hartnell is an award-winning author who specializes in children’s books set in 1950s. Her adventures growing up in El Monte, California in the 1950s inspired her set of children’s books: Scary Spring, Sinister Summer, Ferocious Fall, and Wild Winter. She now resides in Las Vegas, where she continues to adventure and inspire everyone around her. Get her series of 50s nostalgia books for kids here.