June 1957 – September 1961
From the beginning, Walt and his Imagineers knew Disneyland would grow. They envisioned a resort, rather than a single park, much like we have today. So within two years of the park’s opening, Disneyland debuted an adjacent “land” outside of the park gates: Holidayland. This open outdoor space would serve as a relaxed counterpart to the cramped park, perfect for families in need of an afternoon break from attractions.
Visitors to Holidayland had a variety of activities to choose from. Families played horseshoes, baseball, volleyball, and badminton, and children also had access to several play structures. A huge circus tent housed food and, most notably, alcohol (unavailable inside the park). When guests were ready to head back into Disneyland, they used a Holidayland gate, bypassing lines for external crowds.
RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
- open play areas, fields for baseball & courts for volleyball
- Circus tent concessions
Holidayland didn’t close for one particular reason; it was a gradual culmination of problems that just became unfixable over time. These included:
- Not enough bathrooms for the land, which had a 7,000 guest capacity
- Light crowds during the week
- Severe lack of shade aside from the circus tent
- No nighttime lighting inside the grounds
- Light theming/décor compared to Disneyland
After a few years, it became clear that Disneyland was underutilizing the massive space. Once plans for New Orleans Square started development in the 1960s, Holidayland closed to make way for Disneyland’s growing interior.
Originally, Holidayland was supposed to be a town park inside Disneyland, located where the Matterhorn stands now. But ideas for new attractions and shows quickly used up any free space, so the park moved outside of Disneyland’s border.