Dave McPherson was just 22-years-old when he bought a ticket to enter Disneyland in 1955.
When Dave MacPherson bought his first ticket for Disneyland in 1955, little did he know that he was going to be entering the 'happiest place on Earth' every year for the rest of his life!
The Scotsman studying at Long Beach State College decided to be the first one to enter Disneyland and so he lined up outside the park's ticket window as early as 2 a.m. in the morning and ended up getting his hands on the first admission ticket on the morning of July 18 (the first day Disneyland opened its gates for the general public.)
On 17 July 1955, when Disney first broadcasted its opening festivities on television, Dave, like many viewers, marveled at the celebrities who were enjoying the facilities at the park.
That's when he decided to be the first commoner to enter the theme park. "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 according to This Day In Disney History.
In order to accomplish his plan, the then 22-year-old Dave hoped on his motorbike and rode for 10 miles from Long Beach to Anaheim.
[Zone 42] Dave MacPherson est le premier client de Disneyland et il utilise son billet gratuit à vie tous les ans depuis 1955 ! --> https://t.co/gySLIla3Vf <-- #ChrisTec #Tech #HighTech #Geek #newtech #design #geekerie #innovation #tendances #VeilleTechno pic.twitter.com/KqZkRzn7Sg— Chris™ 💻 (@ChrisGeekWorld) 3 October 2019
After arriving at Disneyland around 2 a.m. the young man stood in front of the ticket counter and waited for the day to begin. Thankfully, when the ticket booth opened for its first business day, they sold their first ticket to Dave who ended up becoming the first guest to enter the park.
"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 said. All the trouble that Dave went through to get the first ticket was definitely worth it!
The first guest to enter Disneyland was a college student named Dave MacPherson. He didn't ride a single attraction because he had to get back to school. He was awarded a lifelong ticket to Disneyland (with up to 3 guests).— A Matter Of Fact (@FACTescence) 8 July 2019
He was given a complimentary card along with the ticket he purchased, which he couldn't use because of the long ride back to Long Beach, says reports. Nevertheless, he received a lifetime pass for being the first "regular guy" to enter Disneyland which allows him to enjoy all the perks of the park annually ever since that day.
According to the website, Dave was awarded passes to Disneyland which he reportedly says he gets in installments every year. "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.
In the following years, Dave started visiting the wonderful park alongside his lovely wife Wanda and their good friends Martha & Joe Ortiz. Just to be on the safer side, he carries photocopies of a page in his scrapbook that contains "first-day" clippings from newspapers in L.A and Long Beach proving that he bought the first ticket.
"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!"
You can read more about Dave Macpherson's story on the Scottish Daily Mail.