Dave McPherson was just 22 years when he became Disneyland's first customer in 1955.
Dave MacPherson probably had no clue back in July 1955 that he was going to be entering the 'happiest place on Earth' every year for the rest of his life. The Scotsman who was studying at Long Beach State College at the time was the first customer to set foot in the legendary amusement park. The young man started the line at the park's ticket window at 2 a.m. and ended up getting his hands on the first admission ticket on the morning of July 18 (the day Disneyland first opened to the general public). A clever move, indeed!
When Disneyland announced it would invite guests and viewers of the broadcast announcement across the country, Dave decided he should go. He said, "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." So he drove on his motorbike for 10 miles to anaheim from Long Beach. Despite starting a line at 2 a.m., when he finally got the ticket it was all worth it. "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. " With his ticket, he also got a complimentary card but didn’t actually get to use it because of the long ride back to Long Beach, according to Bored Panda. But fortunately the Scotsman received a lifetime pass for being the first 'regular guy' ever to enter the park and he's been enjoying the perks annually ever since.
[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) October 3, 2019
According to This Day In Disney History, Dave later received lifetime passes to the famous park which he says he gets in installments every year. He was quoted as saying "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."
In later years, Dave would go to the theme park with his wife Wanda and good friends Martha & Joe Ortiz. He carries photocopies of a page in his scrapbook containing "first-day" clippings from papers in L.A. and Long Beach proving that he indeed 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!"
Check out Scottish Daily Mail for more on Dave Macpherson's story.