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Disneyland’s First-Ever Customer Has Been Visiting The Park Every Single Year Since 1955 With His Lifetime Pass

Disneyland’s First-Ever Customer Has Been Visiting The Park Every Single Year Since 1955 With His Lifetime Pass

When Dave MacPherson was 22 years old he became the first person to purchase a ticket to Disneyland on the first day of its opening.

Disneyland is a wonderland for everybody. Young or old, this place has never failed to mesmerize and entertain its public. Filled with adventurous rides, cartoon characters, fun activities and attractive parks, it has the ability to bring out the child in every individual. So, who doesn't want to go back to this amazing destination at least once in a year? While many of us surely want to, we may not be able to due to our circumstances. However, one lucky man has been able to get back to the happiest place on earth every year since its opening in 1955.



 

According to the website Insidethemagic.net, 22-year-old Dave MacPherson saw the Disneyland opening celebration on television on July 17, 1955. Having watched the extravagant celebrations enjoyed by celebrities, he felt like going too. In fact, he was so inspired to go, that he decided he wanted to be the first person to enter the park the following day for the public opening. "I decided I wanted to be the first in line. The first person to go into the park who wasn’t a relative of Walt’s or some celebrity. The first regular guy to go in through the front door," said Dave.



 

Young  Dave was set for the mission. To make sure his plan became a reality, Dave left his house on a motorbike from Long Beach, California to Anaheim at midnight. After a 10 mile ride, he walked to the nearest booth and became the first person to start the line at 2 AM. At the sunrise of July 18, he became the first person to purchase the ticket and enter through the gates opened by Walt Disney.



 

Over 6,000 people stood behind him waiting for their turn to see the magical amusement park. According to This Day In Disney History, he also received a complimentary card which he didn’t actually get to use it because of the long ride back home.



 

Fortunately, the lucky man who was the first regular person to enter the park was given a lifetime ticket. Since then, Dave comes back to the venue every year. However, he said that he receives a new version of the ticket every January. “Each January I eagerly await the arrival of the next installment of the pass which is then good for another year at any Disney park, and I have received these annual passes since 1955. At the beginning, it was just a paper or cardboard pass and for years it was silver. In recent years it has been red in color and is made like a credit card and says on the front 'VIP MAIN ENTRANCE PASS.' The reverse side has my name and says: Admit Passholder and 3 Guests,” said Dave.



 

Over the years, he has visited the park with wife Wanda and good friends Martha & Joe Ortiz. Having lost the original admission ticket, he carries photocopies of a page from his scrapbook containing the clippings from papers in L.A. and Long Beach to prove he purchased the first ticket. "Back then, folks would pay for admission and then buy books of tickets for various attractions. I don't know what happened to the admission ticket for which I paid a dollar." He went on to say that he is often treated like a celebrity during these yearly visits.



 

"It isn't unusual, after I give a copy of that scrapbook page to anyone manning the entrance gate, to have that official shout to the crowd 'Folks, this man bought the first ticket to Disneyland when it opened in 1955.' You can't believe how many folks from different parts of the world have then come over and asked for my autograph or shot a picture of my wife Wanda and myself!" said Dave. 

References

http://www.thisdayindisneyhistory.com/MacPherson.html
https://insidethemagic.net/2019/10/disneyland-first-customer-lifetime/
https://www.pressreader.com/uk/scottish-daily-mail/20160116/282162175215741