David, College Station, Texas
A: Garden Grove was not one of the sites considered for Disneyland. The finalists in the selection, besides the chosen Anaheim one, were in La Mirada and Santa Ana.
Richard, Bend, Oregon
A: Vesey Walker was the first director of the Disneyland Band. Shortly before Walker retired in 1970, James Christensen took over as director. Other directors have included Jim Barngrover, Stanford Freese, and Art Dragon.
Matt, South Pasadena, California
A: In the film, Dreamfinder, played by Ron Schneider, who served as the original walk-around character in the park, runs through WED Enterprises facilities during the period in which EPCOT Center and Tokyo Disneyland were being created. To our knowledge, the film never played to the public, as Magic Journeys was ready by the time Epcot opened. Portions of the film were used in the EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration television special.
Nicole, Yorba Linda, California
A: It was the Willowick Golf Course in Santa Ana, which they claim is the oldest golf course in Orange County.
Brant, Broadway, Virginia
A: The classic Mustangs were indeed given, one each at four Grad Nites in 1964 (June 11, 12, 18, 19) and 1965 (June 11, 16, 17, 18). The winners’ names were not mentioned in Disneyland press releases, nor in the newspaper clippings about the events. One release in 1965 mentioned the prize being a gold and black Mustang. I didn’t find a photograph.
Edward, El Dorado Hills, California
A: Debby Boone performed in “Night of Joy” at Disneyland on April 13, 1984; she also did a two-night “Night of Joy” at Walt Disney World in September of that year. There are no accurate Disneyland performer indexes, so I was unable to find any Boone performances in the 1970s.
Steven, New Jersey
If you haven’t done so, you should check the Imagineering website, which should answer many of your questions: wdi.disneycareers.com
. Walt Disney Imagineering certainly employs mechanical engineers, but I am unaware which colleges have produced most of them. Engineers are also hired by the Disney parks.
Jason, Anaheim Hills, California
A: RCA’s song, “Here’s to the Future and You,” from 1974, had words by X. Atencio and music by Buddy Baker. Atencio and Baker also partnered on songs for other memorable attractions, including Haunted Mansion and World of Motion.
Brian, Fresno, California
A: The very first Abraham Lincoln Audio-Animatronics® head is part of the collection of the Walt Disney Archives.
Michael, Monterey Park, California
A: There was no groundbreaking ceremony for Disneyland. Construction began on July 21, 1954, when the first trees were removed, and progressed right up until the opening of the park on July 17, 1955. So, a few days less than a year.