Yesterland
 
“C” Ticket
Fantasyland Theater
 
formerly the Mickey Mouse Club Theater

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Dennis Caswell, 1972

Fantasyland Theater in 1972

There’s a traditional movie theater in Yesterland. It’s not a 3-D theater—although it used to be one when it had a different name. It’s an opportunity to see Disney animation projected onto a real movie screen—films you might otherwise only see on your fuzzy television, after waiting years until they’re broadcast again.


Sit down in a comfortable theater seat at the Fantasyland Theater and enjoy continuous showings in air conditioned comfort. If it’s a hot summer day, it might be worth using a “C” ticket just to cool off.

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1964

Fantasyland Theater in 1964

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 1974

Now showing: “Cartoon Festival”

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

©1935 Walt Disney Productions

The Band Concert (1935)

What’s showing at the Fantasyland Theater? It depends on when you arrive. Each show lasts for years, but eventually changes.

Perhaps, you’ll see Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1969).

Next time, you might enjoy Mickey Mouse in three of the best animated shorts ever, Mickey’s Trailer (1938), Through the Mirror (1936), and The Band Concert (1935).

On another visit, you might be lucky enough to see Disney’s It’s Tough to Be a Bird (1969), an Academy Award-winning featurette by the legendary Ward Kimball.

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Charles R. Lympany, circa 1967, courtesy of Chris Taylor

Welch’s Grape Juice Bar

After you exit from the Fantasyland Theater, stop by Welch’s Grape Juice Bar at the corner of the building. Admire the mural by Eyvind Earle as you decide between a cold cup of Welch’s concord grape juice or a frozen grape juice bar.


The Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland opened in 1955 as the Mickey Mouse Club Theater.

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

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

Mickey Mouse Club Theater behind Dumbo Flying Elephants

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

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

“Air Conditioned”

Take a look at the poster below the “Air Conditioned” sign. It’s for the first 3-D movie at a Disney theme park. (The second 3-D movie, Magic Journeys, opened at EPCOT Center in 1982 and Disneyland in 1984.)

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

© 1956 Walt Disney Productions

3-D Disney film exclusively shown at Disneyland

One of the early shows at the Mickey Mouse Club Theater was 3D Jamboree, which opened June 16, 1956. The film attraction included 3-D footage of the Mouseketeers and two 3-D animated films, Working for Peanuts (1953) and Adventures in Music: Melody (1953).

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by David Breneman, 1958

Mickey Mouse Club Theater in 1958

In 1964, the theater’s name changed to Fantasyland Theater. It was about time. After all, the Mickey Mouse Club TV series had ended its run on the ABC network on September 25, 1959.

Even after the theater stopped showing its 3-D program, the animated shorts and featurettes provided an experience worthy of Disneyland. In the era before DVDs, Blue-rays, and streaming—even before pre-recorded VHS tapes—it was the only place to see these films after their runs in movie theaters. And if such a film was broadcast on television, the quality of the picture and sound was awful by today’s standards.

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2017

Former location of the Fantasyland Theater

The Fantasyland Theater closed permanently in December 1981 for the New Fantasyland project. On May 25, 1983, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey opened in the space that had previously been the theater.

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Allen Huffman, 2017

Fantasyland Theatre, not Fantasyland Theater

Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland

Photo by Werner Weiss, 2013

Mickey and the Magical Map at the Fantasyland Theatre

After an absence during most of the 1980s and half the 1990s, the name Fantasyland Theater returned to Disneyland when the former Videopolis was renamed on June 23, 1995. This time, theater was spelled with British re, not the American er, as the final two letters.

 

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Updated July 30, 2021