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The First-Ever Customer at Disneyland Has Gone Back Every Year Since It Opened in 1955

Photo Credit: ABC News/thisdayindisneyhistory

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Going to Disneyland is a feat that requires months of pre-planning and budgeting. But one man gets to go every single year for free, and he has been since 1955.

Dave MacPherson has a lifetime pass to Disneyland for a very special reason: he was the park’s first-ever customer.

On July 17, 1955, Dave was a 22-year-old college student in Long Beach, California. He was at home watching Disneyland’s opening festivities on television when he got the idea to be the first person to enter the park on opening day. He switched off the T.V. and traveled 10 miles by motorbike to get to the park. He arrived at 2 a.m., and sure enough, he was first in line. Over the course of the night, 6000 other people joined the line behind him.

Photo Credit: Thisdayindisneyhistory

After Disney’s family members and celebrities entered, Dave became the first actual customer to buy a ticket and set foot inside the park.

Image taken from a newscast in 2005 celebrating Disneyland’s 50th anniversary. This is color footage from 1955 of Dave MacPherson and his original ticket
Photo Credit: Thisdayindisneyhistory

Dave doesn’t know what happened to his historic admission ticket. He did, however, keep a copy of the complimentary card that came with it. The complimentary card allowed Dave to enter the park for free on July 18, 1955. He didn’t get to use that card because he had to ride his motorbike back home to Long Beach.

Image taken from the same newscast, showing Dave MacPherson at Disneyland in 2005.
Photo Credit: Thisdayindisneyhistory

But thankfully, he was also awarded with a lifetime pass to the legendary amusement park, which he has taken advantage of every single year since—and Dave’s still going strong!

MacPherson says about his luck, “”You might say that 1955 was a very good year for a youthful Scotsman!”