The press event to open Disney’s California Adventure lasted for four days. Starting on February 5, 2001, media members from around the world were at the park for parties, a red carpet, press conferences, interviews and dedication ceremonies. The park itself was dedicated in a huge ceremony the morning of February 8th hosted by the late Roy Disney and then-CEO Michael Eisner. And the days prior, there were 8 other dedications in the park and one for the Grand Californian Hotel.

LaughingPlace.com was present for all of these. In the pages that follow are the originals stories we posted in 2001 including complete videos and transcripts and dozens of pictures.

Enjoy this trip down memory lane as we celebrate #DCA15.

Ceremonies:

  • Disney’s California Adventure (entire park): Roy Disney and Michael Eisner
  • Golden Dreams: Bob Iger and Whoopi Goldberg
  • Muppet*Vision 3D: Cynthia Harriss, Beaker and Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
  • Soarin’ Over California: Paul Pressler, Jeana Yeager and Richard Rutan
  • ABC Soap Opera Bistro: Linda Dano
  • Grand Californian Hotel: Tony Bruno, Cynthia Harriss, Sharon Davis and Peter Dominick
  • Golden Vine Winery, Bountiful Valley Farm, Boudin Bakery and Karl Strauss Beer Truck

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Disney’s California Adventure

On the morning of Thursday, February 8th, at around 7:30 a.m., a ceremony was held in front of Disney’s California Adventure to officially dedicate the new park. Presiding over the ceremony were Roy Disney, Michael Eisner and Mickey Mouse. Many VIPs were in attendance, some of whom were introduced and brought on stage. In this article, through transcripts, interviews, video and lots of pictures, we bring you the opening day of Disney’s California Adventure.

The entire ceremony took place in the esplanade in front of Disney’s California Adventure. The ceremony began with a performance celebrating California.

Roy Disney

Next Roy Disney, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Board of Directors was introduced. A transcript of Roy Disney’s speech is shown here.

Good Morning and welcome to the dawn of a new golden dream. For countless years the world has come to California in search of golden dreams and for the chance to explore new frontiers.

Some came to find freedom, others to seek prosperity but one pair of brothers, my uncle Walt and my father Roy had a dream like no other. Their dream was to bring happiness hope and beauty to the world. That dream stirred over 75 years ago when they opened the door to Walt Disney Studios.

Walt and Roy were always drawn to the endless possibilities that lay just beyond the horizon. On July 17, 1955 another new dimension was added to their golden dream. It was called Disneyland, a daring departure in entertainment that has become an enduring part of the American fabric, an icon of happiness to the world, and a place where young and old can be kids at heart. We gather here to continue the dream and to build again upon its endless possibilities. As Walt Disney said over 45 years ago “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there’s imagination left in the world. I’m confident that Walt and Dad would be proud that we are holding true today to that adventurous spirit. We stand at the dawn here of yet another new darem and we ivnite the world to discover Disney’s California Adventure.

As we gather to open this newest addition to the dream right here next door to the happiest place on earth, I’m privileged to be joined by my friend and colleague, the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner and of course even more importantly the one who started it all Mickey Mouse.

Michael Eisner
The transcript of Michael Eisner’s speech is shown here:

Good morning. Today marks the dawn of new era in the Walt Disney Company. We are about to unveil a new gateway, a gateway to the Golden dream of California, a new state of mind where spirits are free to discover everything under the sun at Disney’s California Adventure. It is now my honor to read the official dedication:

To all who believe in the power of dreams…Welcome! Disney’s California Adventure opens its golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past…the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow…from the silver screen to the computer screen…from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. Disney’s California Adventure celebrates the richness and the diversity of California…its land, its people, its spirit and above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire.

And now and now right this moment together let us unveil to the world a golden dream that will continue to shine in the hearts of generations to come, Disney’s California Adventure.

Fireworks

After Eisner’s speech, the performers returned to the stage to “unveil” Disney’s California Adventure.

VIP Introductions

After the park was unveiled, special invited guests were introduced and asked to come forward (in order of introduction).

  • Art Linkletter: Along with Ronald Reagan and Bob Cummings, emceed Disneyland’s opening in 1955.
  • Actor Buddy Ebsen: On hand for opening of Disneyland in 1955
  • Sharon Baird, Tommy Cole, Bobby Burgess: Mouseketeers
  • Marty Sklar: Opening day Cast Member and currently the chief creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Dick Nunis: Opening day Cast Member and retired head of Walt Disney Attractions.
  • Roy Disney’s Family
  • Kristina Graef and Michael Schwartnerr: The first two official guests into Disneyland
  • Nicci Klepper and family: The first official guests into Disney’s California Adventure. Nicci is a Special Olympian and is featured in Golden Dreams. When asked, the family said their first stop would be Golden Dreams to see it for the first time. The Klepper family are long time Disney fans and Annual Passholders.
 

Doobie is the co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a “hardcore” Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he’s visited them literally thousands of times.

 

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