ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

Whether you've gone to California, Florida, Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong, or Shanghai, there's no denying that the Disney Parks are absolutely magical. I have a hard time picturing another place that can so quickly transport me back to my childhood.

The first time I went to Disneyland was probably in the early '90s when I was just a toddler. In my mind, the parks look pretty different today, especially given the number of rides that have been added or remodeled in my day. So, you can imagine my surprise when looking through the pictures on the Then and Now section of Imagineering Disney.

Other than the different style choices of the patrons and a few paint jobs here and there, Disneyland and Disney World look pretty much the same as they did when these attractions first opened. Check out these photos that show how time flies, but that the magic of Disney is everlasting:

1. Walt Disney at the Disneyland Entrance

This picture is likely from when the park first opened in back in 1955. In the last 60 years the historic entrance has barely changed at all, except it is missing the presence of the park's founder and namesake, Walt Disney.

2. Main Street

It looks like the Dapper Dans have been riding their bicycle built for four since 1959, a tradition that still exists today.

3. Tomorrowland

Some parts of the Tomorrowland of yesterday still look exactly like the Tomorrowland of today.

4. Adventureland Bazaar

Adventureland highlights the 1950s interest in foreign lands and travel. While traipsing around the world is much easier these days, taking a trip down to Anaheim, California is probably even easier.

5. Prince Charming Regal Carousel

Other than some normal upkeep and paint jobs, I could hardly tell the difference between the picture from 1971 and the image from today.

6. Swiss Family Treehouse

Well, when the theme is an overgrown tropical forest, the maintenance is probably pretty minimal.

7. Disney Jungle Cruise

Since the 1930s themed Jungle Cruise opened, the only thing that appears to have changed for this hippo is the water level and maybe a bit of dental work.

8. Rose & Crown Pub

For years, weary Disney World travelers have been able to stop at the Rose & Crown Pub to fill up on some fish and chips or bangers and mash.

9. Buzzy Cranium Command

Buzzy joined the Disney World family back in 1989 and sadly closed down in 2007. But for the 18 years that the attraction was open it seems to have not changed that much. Not going to lie though, he kind of creeps me out a bit.

10. Epcot

The iconic Epcot looks almost exactly the same as when it opened in 1982.


One of the places where it seems like time has changed Disneyland's tastes is this portion of Tomorrowland. Back in 1955, this is what people thought the future would look like back then compared to how we see the future today.

Like I said, there are tons of attractions and rides that have been added or renovated to keep up with the times. But it just goes to show that some things are classic and timeless for a reason. In Disney's case, I'm forced to believe that some form of magic is involved.

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

When was the last time you went to one of the Disney Parks and which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments section!

(Via: Imagineering Disney)


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