Yesterland Disneyland Park Entrance
asphalt, concrete, and chain link

Disneyland entrance

Detail from the 1964 Disneyland Souvenir Map by Sam McKim © 1964 Disney

Park entrance

This visit to Yesterland takes you back to the 1950s and 1960s. Perhaps you consider the early decades of the park to be its Golden Age, when everything at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Anaheim was perfect.

Let’s look around the park entrance.

Disneyland entrance

Photo by Roger J. Runck, 1964, courtesy of Robin Runck.

Chain link fence

Even before you enter the park, you can take a snapshot of Main Street Station and one of the trains that stops there. As an added bonus, your photo will include the industrial chain link fence (topped with barbed wire) that separates the paid admission area from where you are now.

Disneyland entrance

photo by Charles R. Lympany, circa 1956, courtesy of Chris Taylor

Asphalt pavement

When your family poses for a photo near the west exit, the Passenger Train in the background looks great. And nobody will notice the stained asphalt and unedged lawn, right?

Disneyland entrance

photo by Charles R. Lympany, circa 1956, courtesy of Chris Taylor

Chain link backdrop

Or pose your family right in front of a chain link fence.

Disneyland entrance

Photo by Roger J. Runck, 1960, courtesy of Robin Runck.

Basic concrete planter wall

Once you pass through the entrance turnstiles, the floral Mickey Mouse head is always a pleasure to see. It makes a great photo background. The flowerbed is retained by a bare concrete wall.

Disneyland entrance

photo by Charles R. Lympany, circa 1956, courtesy of Chris Taylor

Posing in front of the Mickey flowerbed

Here’s a photo tip for you: When you’re snapping a shot in front of the station, frame your shot so that it cuts off the bare concrete wall and the asphalt pavement.

And try not to let a man with a hat walk into your shot.

When Disneyland opened in 1955, the park entrance already had the iconic features that it still has today—the Mickey Mouse flowerbed, the handsome train depot with a clock tower, and the two tunnels on either side leading to the Town Square at Main Street, U.S.A. On the inside, the sidewalks were painted red concrete. But outside the park, the pavement was simply asphalt.

The photos above show that some things at Disneyland look better today than in the 1950s and 1960s.

Before we look at recent photos, let’s look at three photos from 1998.

Guest Information at Disneyland, 1998

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1998

Red painted concrete pavement

By 1998, the asphalt entrance was long-gone. In early 1980, Disneyland put in concrete pavement, including a tree-lined “mall” extending into the parking lot. The concrete was painted brownish red.

Floral Mickey at Disneyland, 1998

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1998

Floral Mickey

In 1998, the retaining wall on the flowerbed planter in front of Main Street Station was still gray concrete.

Ticket Booths at Disneyland, 1998

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1998

Ticket booths

The 16 two-window ticket booths in front of Disneyland’s entrance gates were getting close to the end of their lives in 1998.

Disneyland entrance from the Monorail, 2013

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

From the Monorail in 2013

The current appearance of the Disneyland entrance is the result of work done in 1999. Here’s how the Los Angeles Times (“Disneyland Overhaul Set for Fall” by E. Scott Reckard, August 11, 1999) reported on the project.

Disneyland officials have their sights set on some major refurbishments immediately after Labor Day. “There will be construction all over the place,” says an employee who was briefed on the plans. “Pirates [of the Caribbean] will be down. The Autopia will be down. And they’re going to really rip up the main entrance for some major, major work.”

The major work on the main entrance included the construction of four entirely new ticket booths to serve the existing park and the second theme park, then under construction. Put into service in 2000, the new booths had a combined total of 32 ticket windows for the two parks—the same as what the old booths had for one park.

Disneyland entrance

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Entrance gates

The major work also included the entrance enhancements—pavers, bricks, new entrance gates with Victorian details, and other embellishments—that we now enjoy (and take for granted) at Disneyland Park.

Disneyland entrance

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Similar, but better than before

The long tradition of the floral Mickey Mouse continues, only now the planter wall is red brick. Red pavers have replaced the red painted concrete which replaced the asphalt. The attraction posters that once blocked the flowerbed along part of the wall are long-gone—but fortunately such posters are still displayed in the entrance tunnels and elsewhere.

Disneyland entrance

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Fancy iron fence

A fence can be beautiful and functional. And that’s what the fences at the Disneyland entrance are now.

People miss many things from the Disneyland of long ago—but it’s doubtful anyone misses the chain link fencing.

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Passenger Train

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Updated May 28, 2021