On a balmy summer day in 1955, exactly 58 years ago, a regular old dad sat on a bench in a theme park with nothing to do, watching his two daughters play and observing their reactions to rides. Bored out of his mind, he imagined a place where both kids and adults could spend an afternoon of enjoyment together. Soon after, that guy on a bench -- Walt Disney -- opened a theme park of his own that was advertised as the happiest place on earth.
Who doesn’t love exploring Minnie Mouses’s house in the heart of Toon Town? Or taking pictures with Jasmine, Ariel and Belle? What's better than eating multiple churros a day? But concessions and characters aside, what would Disneyland be without its revolutionary and breathtaking rides?
On the day the park opened, Walt Disney said:
To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.
It is now 58 years later and Disneyland remains the amusement park with the largest cumulative attendance in the entire world.
To honor our favorite place on earth, HuffPost has compiled a list of the 10 best Disneyland rides ever. Click through the slideshow below and remember, always keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside the ride vehicle at all times!
On a warm summer day in the middle of July, 1989, Splash Mountain opened to the public. The log-flume style ride cost a whopping $75 million to build and was named "Splash" Mountain in an effort to advertise the movie "Splash," with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. It's one of Disney's most beloved rides, and kids everywhere are at once excited and scared out of their minds to face the imminent drop.
Opened for the first time in 1977, Space Mountain has become a cornerstone Disneyland attraction. Though the project was initially shelved due to spacial limitations, Bill Watkins, a designer/imagineer, brought back Walt Disney's far-fetched indoor thrill idea after his death. The ride included the world's very first tubular steel track design, which Watkins patented.
The Matterhorn, opened in 1959, is composed of two intertwining steel coasters. The ride is named after a mountain in the Swiss Alps, and is an ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) landmark because of its unique tubular steel continuous track. It's known for quick speeds and crazy twists, complete with the Abominable Snowman and favorite Disney characters such as Mickey and Goofy scaling the peak.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Opened in 1967, Pirates of the Caribbean was the final attraction Walt Disney oversaw before his death three months before the ride debuted. The slow-moving water coaster originally told the story of a band of pirates and is known for making the song "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" famous. In 2003, the ride was the inspiration for Johnny Depp's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.
Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye is an enhanced motion vehicle attraction inspired by the "Indiana Jones" films. Riders follow archeologist Dr. Indiana Jones on a daring expedition through a daunting lost temple. The ride premiered in March 1995 and is now one of Disney's most adored destinations.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
In the heart of Frontierland lies Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, an indoor/outdoor mine train roller coaster. The attraction opened in 1979 and was designed by Bill Watkins and Tony Baxter in an attempt to add to the Western River Expedition -- a western-themed pavilion at Disney parks.
Built in 1969, the Haunted Mansion was one of Walt Disney's first attraction ideas. Riders enter the mansion through a set of creepy gates which lead to a cemetery. Cast who work on the ride are told not to smile in order to further emphasize the spooky atmosphere of the ride.
It's A Small World
It's a Small World was created in 1964 by Disney to test concepts for ride systems. It was then later moved and re-built at Disneyland after the World's Fair closed in 1966. WED productions was given only 11 months time to create and build the ride. It's A Small World is known for its hauntingly beautiful song, "Children of the World." Patrons typically have the song stuck in their head for days after visiting Disneyland.
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride has been operational since day one of Disneyland's opening in 1955, securing its place as one of Disney's most famed attractions. The ride's story is based on Disney's adaptation of "The Wind In The Willows," a 1949 film. Fun fact: Corey Burton plays the voice of every single character in the whole attraction.
The name Autopia merges the words "automobile utopia," which was popularized in academic circles by British architecture critic Reyner Banham to describe LA in his 1971 book "Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies." Autopia, along with Mr. Toads Wild Ride, opened with the park in 1955. Cars were originally tested without bumpers or guide rails, which lead to disastrous results. Eventually, after many developments, the cars were deemed fit for passenger use and the ride opened to the public. Now even little kids get the chance to control the road ... watch out!
CORRECTION: A previous version of this slideshow misidentified the Abominable Snowman on the Matterhorn ride as a polar bear and misidentified the year Space Mountain opened. It was opened in 1977, not 1975. Also, the book "The Wind In The Willows," not the film, appeared in 1908.