- Walt was here.
When you boil it down to basics, in the debate between Disney Parks there is really only one reason that really matters. Disneyland is the park that Walt himself walked through. We can see the window of the apartment he used when he stayed in the park. We can ride in the fire engine that he himself drove around the Park. There are still cast members (though very few of them now) that remember talking to him. No matter how wonderful any other Disney park might be that sense of connection cannot be replaced or replicated.
When I walk through the gates I can hear his voice welcoming me as he welcomed the crowd all those years ago. When I ride the rides I remember watching him talk about them on ‘The Wonderful World of Disney’. When I walk the paths I can see his vision of a clean, family friendly place where people are happy to bring their children. When I watch the cast members at work I am impressed that his work ethic still guides each employee every day. That can be imitated, but never duplicated.
There is sixty years of history: yours, mine, and ours. Our stories blend with the history of the park and create the ongoing narrative of Disneyland. That narrative includes celebrities, Mouseketeers, world leaders, and Walt Disney. It reflects our world in its most perfect state. Where people are friendly, everything is clean and well maintained, and wishes come true. It is the Happiest Place on Earth as generations of us have proved.
Why is Disneyland better than Walt Disney World? It was Walt’s park plain and simple. It always was and will always be.
To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.
— Walter E. Disney, July 17, 1955