Disneyland, otherwise known as the ‘happiest place on earth’, has been a tourist attraction and a love for many people. With so many attractions, rides, Disney character experiences, food and entertainment, Disneyland is a must-see place for everybody. According to an article posted by History, in the year 1955, Walt Disney created Disneyland, a $17 million dollar theme park on 160 acres in Anaheim California. Annually, people from all over the world come to visit this main attraction, but there is one fan who stands out from all the rest.
A man by the name of Dave MacPherson. Macpherson visited the park on its opening day to the public on July 18, 1955, and has been back every year since with his lifetime Disneyland pass. He came into this lifetime pass by being the first-ever customer to enter the park. How he made that happen is remarkable.
According to Inside The Magic, MacPherson was only 22 years-old when he decided that he wanted to be the first attendee after viewing the opening celebration on TV the day before. MacPherson stated, “I decided I wanted to be the first in line. The first person to go into the park who wasn’t a relative of Walt’s or some celebrity. The first regular guy to go in through the front door.” With that decision, he planned out his trip.
On his attempt to carry out his plan, MacPherson hopped on his motorcycles and traveled from Long Beach, California to Anaheim, California. Upon arrival, he found the first ticket booth and stood in line among 6,000 other people. It took a lot of time and planning, but MacPherson made it to the front and got his first admission ticket.
Soon came the opening day of Disneyland and MacPherson’s goal was still to be the first public person to step foot inside the park. He secured his spot in line at 2am, and he is still reaping the rewards today.
After a long wait in line for the doors to open, MacPherson entered the park and surprisingly received his lifetime Disneyland pass and a complimentary ticket for all rides and amusements. Much like fairs today, Disneyland started out by the requirement of individual tickets for each attraction. “Back then, folks would pay for admission and then buy books of tickets for various attractions. I don’t know what happened to the admission ticket for which I paid a dollar,” MacPherson stated.
Although MacPherson has since lost his admission ticket, he still holds on to the complimentary card given to him. Luckily, each year he is sent a new version of the ticket. “Each January I eagerly await the arrival of the next installment of the pass which is then good for another year at any Disney park, and I have received these annual passes since 1955. At the beginning it was just a paper or cardboard pass and for years it was silver. In recent years it has been red in color and is made like a credit card and says on the front “VIP MAIN ENTRANCE PASS.” The reverse side has my name and says: Admit Passholder and 3 Guests,” MacPherson stated to Inside The Magic.