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“When you wish upon a star” - sometimes you dream of a magical land for kids of all ages. That’s the dream Walt Disney had – a world of fantasy all inspired by a little mouse he sketched as a cartoonist.

Working out of a small studio in Los Angeles, Disney produced animated cartoons. But one of them – Steamboat Willy starring Mickey Mouse - became a national sensation because it was the first animated film with sound. From then on, Disney cartoons were in high demand.

Disney's first full-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, took three years to make but it was a huge success. He followed it with Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, Bambi and others. In the early 1950’s, Disney drew up plans for a huge amusement park and 160 acres of former orange groves were bought in Anaheim, CA. Work began in 1954 and just 365 days later the park opened on this date in 1955 – simply called Disneyland.

When Disneyland opened Anaheim, it had five hotels and two motels with a total of less than 100 rooms and only 34 restaurants. Today, Anaheim has 150 hotels with 18,000 rooms and more than 450 restaurants.

Disneyland was such a huge success that 10 years later, work began on an even bigger theme park in Orlando, FL.

Fourteen million people visit Disneyland each year – about 17-million go to DisneyWorld.

Walt Disney attended only one year of high school – but he won 32 Oscars – more than anyone in history.

SOURCE: disneydestinations.msn.com

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