Map of DisneylandAt 2pm on July 17, 1955 Disneyland's main gates were thrown open to eleven thousand 'invitation only' visitors...which somehow turned out to be just over 28,000 visitors invited and uninvited.They all showed up and they all got in.
And frankly, it apparently turns into a bit of a fiasco. They ran out of food and in a park which at the time only contained twenty attractions, the place got pretty much overrun.Then came a fuss over Pepsi sponsorship of the event. And the sections of the park which had to get shut down.
In general, it was one of those days most corporate executives would absolutely shudder at.
But not Disney! In a truly magical display of PR and showmanship, park officials decided that the visitor overrun was something to celebrate. To them it was proof of how much the world needed Disneyland - how wonderful everyone though Disneyland was...and how Disneyland was going to be totally dedicated to doing everything to make the dreams of guests truly come true.
That was the beginning of a tone and trend which has carried Disneyland through five decades and more. So enormous is the public love for this park that it's profits have even at times carried the studio through periods of red ink. And then of course, came all those 'other' Disneylands: Disney World in Orlando, Disney Paris and Disney Tokyo.
But to some, nothing equals the first and original as is proved by Disneyland's ever-increasing attendance. The park which saw a million visitors in 1955 saw some 15.9 million visitors caper in through its gates during 2009. That's a whole lotta cheese to feed one big (and very famous) mouse...Mickey Mouse, of course!
Astrologically, all businesses have two basic and important charts: the date of founding (or incorporation) and the chart for the day that business opens its doors. Those which go public (as Disney did on November 12, 1957) have a third chart worth perusal.
But who cares about that right now? It's Disneyland's birthday! So let's just have us a peek at the grand opening chart - what does it say?
A few things jump out right away, the most prominent of which is the giant group of planets in the 9th house of adventure, exploration and fantasy. There are so many of them that I'd have to skew the chart drawing to get them all stuffed in there (and that just wouldn't look pretty.
Just take it from me - no less than seven important celestial objects inhabit this house. And four of them are in the sign of family (Cancer). So are we surprised this works as a family destination? Heck no! Certainly not with four being in family prone Cancer and the other three in Leo, sign of kids, fun, entertainment and (yes!) theme parks!
Put it together and this makes Disneyland a great place for families, kids and (my favorite part!)...the kid in each one of us.
And back to that great PR thing...the 9th is also about teaching and advertising. So with all that power there it's no wonder Disneyland turned a stumble into a cupcake on that very first day - AND why it's gone on to be one of the great marketing giants of all time.
There's another side of this 'kid in all of us' thing of course - that's Disney's legendary G-rated attitude. Disneyland (and all films issued under the Disney banner) are supposed to be squeaky clean wholesome. Yet when we just look at the chart, it has Scorpio on the Ascendant. How could that work, you say? Isn't Scorpio simply all about sex?
Well, yes and no. Scorpio isn't about sex. What Scorpio is about anything which we choose to do which forces us to risk our personal values or self worth. And the secret here in the Disneyland chart is two-fold.
Part one is that the Disneyland chart has a Scorpio Saturn (in an emotional degree) sitting in the 'what am I?' themed first house of the chart. Saturn being notoriously a 'fear' or 'stoppage' in the first, when we see it in Scorpio we know Disneyland refuses to risk anyone's values.
Nothing cheesy for Mickey! No sirree...Disneyland doesn't want to leave us with anything of a bad taste in our mouths - that we know because Polyhymnia (the muse of happiness) is exactly conjunct Lachesis (duration) right inside the Ascendant - funnel for action. The simple message is that Disneyland wants to do everything it can to keep us in our (Polyhymnia) 'happy' for however long (Lachesis) we're inside those park gates. It's Disneyland's mission!
Yet people will be people. With Lust at 5 Taurus exactly conjunct the Descendant there's bound to be the occasional breaking of the rules - especially when we stop to think how many hot summer dates take place at the park all through Anaheim's hot summer season.
But remember, the astrological meaning of lust is "fixation." And since 5 Taurus brings in all sorts of excitement and enthusiasm, that fits what most people feel once they arrive at the park and abandon all the stuffiness of society in the pursuit of fun, rids and fireworks.
With Pluto (the power of persuasion) in the house of the world, a Libra Neptune in the 12th (fantasies for the masses), an Aries Sedna in the 6th (care for children, young and old) all in aspect to the societal Nodes, this chart is the very picture of the magical place we know and love which charms and entertains folks of all ages.
So with that all said....what's up for Disneyland now that it's turning 55?
Here's the chart...
According to this, our iconic Anaheim theme park is in for some updates.The Cancer Sun (will) conjunct Juno (leadership) in a 6th house of necessity colored by expansion (giving us 'expanding necessity') right at that degree we just talked about representing squeaky-cleanness and the security thing argues both for tightening of the reins and the necessity to let up now and again.
The curious part here is that it's all ruled by a Libra Moon in the 8th. Conjunct Panacea (making peace) this suggests Disneyland is suffering from internal conflicts. It wants to provide families with a place to get away from an increasingly R (and X)-rated world.
But they also know that the times, they are a'changin'.
With the 8th house cusp twisted in tightly with Typhon's primal urges and this matter of 'what to do...oh what to do?' defined by Mercury (thought), Sphinx (patience) and Bali (good times) all positioned at the 'what we offer to the world' Descendant, it's an easy bet that Disneyland feels it has to keep up the shiny image.
But they're probably also 'waiting' for something - or waiting something out. That Libra Moon looks a whole lot like some sort of business deal. Or maybe a law. We'll just have to see.
And there's also a Saturn at a critical degree of Virgo - the 'I need to get it done but I'm not sure what I have to do' thing. Conjunct asteroid Lilith (the thing I really don't want to know) in a fiscally interactive house, we can bet that internal memos and balance sheets are flying.
Like as not, things can't going as they have been - something's got to give. Since I happen to have an ancient book of Disneyland tickets (yes, I actually have some "E" tickets!) I did the inflation math and the park isn't really any more expensive than it was in 1964 (hard to believe, isn't it?). But what with public tastes changing and public belts tightening, that critical Saturn/Lilith plus the Libra Moon conjunct Panacea (placation) suggests some hard decision. Given the Moon's specific position (8 Libra) there is the indication of a loss - 8 Libra is known as the "widow's degree" and indicates living on after something dear is gone.
Gosh...is something wrong with Mickey and they haven't told us?
More realistically, what may be up for grabs are some of the 'old ways.' Like all other such attractions (and entertainment in general), you're only as good as your latest hit. Disneyland has to keep evolving. Changing. Growing. So...what to do? And what not to do?
Uranus/Jupiter in a 2nd house seems to say that Disney is still devoted to its idea of wholesomeness but having problems with the limitation. At the film studio the solution was pretty simple: R and NC-17 films are made by divisions which don't use the actual "Disney" name. But what to do about a park? How can the park change and yet hold true to form? What should Disney to do continue its to-date highly profitable efforts to tie films to park rides (like the Pirates' series) in this ever more factionalized and rowdy modern day and age?
This chart poses questions. And given how certain astrological cycles are common to all charts we can assume some new 'thrusts' will arise in a year or so, but not really come to fruition for maybe five or six years.
In the meantime, we have Goofy and Cinderella and Space Mountain and Mickey, Donald and all the rest.
Personally, one of my favorite Disneyland moments was when I went to the park with some friends one fine (hot) summer's day. We had been there for going on twelve hours (hence my personal term "Disneyland feet." when at about closing minus forty that night we split up, each wanting to hit one more ride before heading home.
I can't tell you why, but I headed off to "Small World." Yes, the ride with that maniacal song you can't get out of your head for days and days and days after you hear it.
So I'm pelting towards the back of the park and I arrive at the rows of rails through which lines file politely only to find the place deserted. A boat's just leaving the dock, heading into the exhibit.
Darn! I thought I had absolutely lost my last ride.
But no! Glancing down, the ride operator beckons. I'm not supposed to, but...she glances at her watch. What the heck....she motions me to a boat and tells me to climb in.
Then I wait. And...wait.
Some minutes later the boat I'd seen go in exits on schedule. It's all yours! The operator grins, pulling back on the lever. I'm going to slow it way down...have a great time!
Away my boat went. And somehow knowing I was all alone made me bold. No sooner was I inside that I started signing along. Then I started playing grand conductor. I talked to various figures and even did the great no-no of momentarily standing up in the boat (to take a bow, I seem to remember - I'm not sure for what).
Yes, I knew they were watching me, but I just didn't care. I was having such a good time and aside from that three-count of being on my feet I mostly just enjoyed the grand feeling that the whole place - the entire multi-million dollar intricacy which is Small World...it was singing just for me.
It was my Small World. And that was magic.
When I got back to the dock the operator steadied the boat as I happily clambered out, thanking her effusively.
You have a good evening, she sent me on my way, laughing at my glee.
I'll guess that what she did for me she had done for many others, but in my life that's a very special gift which I have smiled at ever since. For those few minutes she gave me the space and opportunity to simply abandon myself to play.
It was awesome. It was freeing.
And that's my Disneyland story...at least one of them. How about sharing one of yours? I hope you will - just click on the 'comment' link below and type your heart out.
And who knows...maybe if we all get together and open ourselves to sharing our tales the joy of the Magic Kingdom will in all that sharing, become each of ours yet again.
Happy birthday, Disneyland!