Home movie of Disneyland in 1956

Home Movies At DisneyLand - 1956 from Jeff Altman on Vimeo.

Here's some recently unearthed home movie footage of Disneyland in 1956, the year after it opened. The footage was shot by Jeff Altman's grandfather using a Bell & Howell Filmo and 16mm Kodachrome film stock and includes a scene of his grandmother meeting Walt Disney. John Frost of The Disney Blog calls it "One the best videos of early Disneyland I've seen."

Home Movies At DisneyLand - 1956 (via The Disney Blog)



  1. So this is some other guy who happens to be named Jeff Altman, and not the most underrated performer in town.

  2. I realize it probably looks a little technicolor and cheesy, but I dislike Disneyworld more and more as they replace the slower, fun, imaginative cart-dark-rides with the faster ‘shake the s*&t out of you’ rides.

  3. Exquisite. The color comes through beautifully. Is it my imagination (or age) that the fifties look a lot like the seventies?

  4. Actually, it does NOT look, “little technicolor and cheesy.” It was great to see those ’50s colors exactly as I remember them at the park in 1958-59.

  5. That music did suit this nicely. Reminded me of the peculiar Mickey Mouse head camera I got as a child on a Disneyworld summer trip in the late 70s. I seem to recall we stopped at Colonial Williamsburg on the drive back north. So picture this; a small round bespectacled child in corduroy with a tricorne hat and the head of Mickey Mouse hanging from his neck like one of Flavor Flav’s clocks. Ah, I was glorious in my youth…

  6. I miss the Starkist Tuna pirate ship.

    That music was totally un-idiomatic and arbitrary. It’s like the trend to smear Cirque du Solei Enya crap all over everything to make it seem hip.

  7. This is particularly surreal after JUST finishing Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. Thanks Cory!

    (P.S. YAY Deerhoof!)

  8. First went to Disneyland in 1972. I felt really odd all day. I enjoyed it but something was really out of kilter. It wasn’t until I got back to San Francisco where I lived on Army street when street gang fights happened every night.

    I could not recall seeing one single minority in the whole two days that I spent there.

    It was probably my third visit, when I saw some Japanese people.

    The fifth or the sixth time, I was approaching large families and offering my driver’s license and passport if I could borrow two or three kids and meet up with them at a restaurant on Main Street. When you are burned out going by yourself and you get handed a screaming two year old and have a 13 or 14 year old who is determined to be bored, it is a kick in the ass to find out what they want to do and do it. If I never see those damn spinning teacups again or that damned tropical bird house, I’ll be happy.

    My last visit, a woman was chatting with the person at the ticket gate and after I had had two or three families run off from me like I was a monster, she asked what I was doing, I told her, she said that sounds like fun, now I will show you Disneyland.

    She had worked there in high school and college and knew everyone. She showed me how they remove the dead people without other tourists knowing. How the garbage disappears, how the stores and restaurants are restocked constantly. The part that shook me was when she took me to central control where they had every square millimeter of Disneyland on live video. I thought of every time I had fired up and all on candid camera. Never went back.

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