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Disneyland’s First Customer Used His Lifelong Pass Every Year!

By Orgesta Tolaj


5 October 2023

disneyland's first customer standing in line at 2 a.m

© Disneyland

Talk about reliving your childhood dreams! Who would not want to get a chance to feel like their younger selves at least once a year? Well, this man has made that possible. Disneyland’s first customer has taken it up a notch and has used his free lifelong ticket each year since 1995. But, how did he get it to begin with, and how was it possible for him to use the ticket since then? Let’s find out together!

When Did Disneyland Open Its Doors?

Disneyland was established on July 17, 1955. It was the first-ever theme park created by Walt Disney and is often called “The Happiest Place on Earth.” The park was designed and built under the direct supervision of Walt Disney and his team. Additionally, it marked a significant innovation in the field of amusement parks. The park is known for its iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle, which serves as its centerpiece. It offers a variety of themed lands, including Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland, and Main Street, U.S.A., each with its unique attractions and experiences.

disneyland balloons
© Brian McGowan / Unsplash

Who Is Disneyland’s First Customer?

Dave MacPherson, a 22-year-old college student, made a remarkable visit to a beloved theme park on July 17, 1955, when it first opened its doors. Despite facing competition from 6,000 other eager visitors, MacPherson drove 10 miles from Long Beach to Anaheim to secure his place at the front of the line. Remarkably, he arrived at the park’s entrance as early as 2:00 a.m. to claim ticket number two, with the prestigious ticket number one reserved for none other than the park’s visionary, Walt Disney himself.

MacPherson’s motivation for this extraordinary feat was simple yet profound. He expressed a desire to be the very first regular person to enter the park. This was a distinction that set him apart from the relatives of Walt Disney or any celebrities. He wanted to be the first “regular guy” to step through the front door of the magical world that awaited inside.

After a While

Reflecting on that memorable day, MacPherson recalled his experiences on the opening day, including riding the enchanting Jungle Cruise and the captivating Peter Pan attraction, all while navigating the chaos of the event.

As time passed, MacPherson’s life took a different path, leading him to a successful career as an attorney. However, he remained connected to his inner child and the unforgettable memories of that historic day at the theme park.

Does Disneyland’s First Customer Still Have the Ticket?

Unfortunately, MacPherson does not know what happened to his original admission ticket, but he has preserved a complimentary card that came with it. Despite receiving a complimentary card, he couldn’t use it due to the long ride back to Long Beach. Fortunately, he received a lifetime pass for being the first regular visitor to the park. And he has been enjoying its privileges annually ever since. Despite losing his initial ticket, he proudly mentions that he has continued to return to the park every year.

What about you: Are you a Disney fan? Do you think you would have driven for so long to become Disneyland’s first customer? Let us know in the comments below!

Orgesta Tolaj

Your favorite introvert who is buzzing around the Hive like a busy bee!