1959 was an E Ticket Year for Disneyland – #Disneyland60

This blog post is part of a series by 60 talented bloggers who are counting down to the 60th Anniversary of Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth, on July 17, 2015. In this blog post I am going tackle one of my favorite years in Disneyland history, 1959.

June 14, 1959 was a fantastic day for Walt’s original Magic Kingdom. On this day the first major expansion was completed since the park opened just four years earlier. The expansion introduced guests to three exciting attractions:

  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System
  • Submarine Voyage.

In addition to new attractions this day also marked the introduction of the E ticket.

The E Ticket

Up until this point the Disneyland ticket books only included tickets A-D, but with the introduction of new attractions, a new level of ticket was offered to guests. These attractions were considered the most exciting attractions at the park and this sparked a new term “E ticket ride.”

Disneyland E Ticket

E ticket books (not from 1959)

Disneyland E Ticket from the Late 1970's

Disneyland E Ticket from the Late 1970’s

The cost for the ticket books in 1959 were $2.50 for children, $3.00 for juniors and $3.50 for adults.  The book included three E tickets and if you paid a dollar more you could get a ticket book that included four E tickets.

The E ticket attractions in 1959 were:

  • Tomorrowland
    • TWA Rocket to the Moon
    • Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System
    • Space Mountain
    • Submarine Voyage
    • Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad
  • Fantasyland
    • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Frontierland
    • Rainbow Ridge Pack Mule
    • Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches
    • Mark Twain Steamboat
    • Sailing Ship Columbia
    • Tom Sawyer Island Rafts
    • Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad
  • Adventureland
    • Jungle Cruise

Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System

The monorail was certainly an advancement in transportation and a crowning jewel in Walt’s career. Not only was Walt excited about his new attraction but Vice President Nixon and his family were on hand for opening of the Monorial had the honors of cutting the ribbon.

Monorial Ribbon Cutting - VP Nixon Photo Credit Disney Parks

Monorial Ribbon Cutting – VP Nixon and Family – Photo Credit Disney Parks

Monorail Red was the first train to grace the new “highway in the sky” and it soon proved to be a very popular attraction. At the time, there was only one stop and that was in Tomorrowland.  Monorail Red took guests on an elevated eight-tenths of a mile tour around Tomrrowland.

Monorial Red - Yesterland and Photo by Fred M. Nelson, Sr., 1959

Monorial Red – Yesterland and Photo by Fred M. Nelson, Sr., 1959

Just three weeks later Monorial Blue was put into service to help alleviate the time guests had to wait for their Tomorrowland tour.

Disneyland Alweg Monorail System - Blue - 1964 - Photo Credit - William Winston, Sr

Disneyland Alweg Monorail System – Blue – Photo Credit – William Winston, Sr

Disneyland Alweg Monorail System - Over Lagoon - Photo Credit - William Winston, Sr

Disneyland Alweg Monorail System – Over Lagoon – Photo Credit – William Winston, Sr

Submarine Voyage

The Submarine Voyage attraction was inspired by the 1954 Disney feature 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  Initially the attraction vehicles were to be a glass bottom boat style, but Walt wanted to kick things up a notch.

Instead Walt had gave us a journey into liquid space with the special Submarine vehicles we know today. Walt wanted to create an adventure for guest where they could feel like they were taking a real submarine ride.

Submarie Voyage - Submarie Voyage - Patrick Henry -1964 Photo Credit - William Winston, Sr

Submarine Voyage – the Patrick Henry -1964 Photo Credit – William Winston, Sr

The original Submarine Voyage took place in nine-million gallons (now only five-million) of water with most of the attraction taking place under the Autopia attraction.  There were even mermaids swimming in the lagoon on opening day until 1967.

The upper portion of the submarine always stays above water, but as a kid, I was pretty sure we were diving deep down under water and I loved it.

Submarie Voyage - 1964 Photo Credit - William Winston, Sr

Submarine Voyage – 1964 Photo Credit – William Winston, Sr

In 2014 I was at Disneyland park when they were refurbishing the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and the lagoon was drained.  Here are some unique pictures of the lagoon with no water.

Submarine Voyage - Finding Nemo Attraction Drained

Submarine Voyage - Finding Nemo Attraction Drained 1

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Traveling down the Santa Ana Freeway on your way to Disneyland is always an exciting journey. But once you see the peek of Matterhorn Mountain you know you had arrived at the Happiest Place on Earth.

This thrilling attraction was born out of Walt’s love for the actual Matterhorn in Switzerland.  Walt was so infatuated with the Matterhorn that he made a documentary in 1955 called Switzerland and in 1958 a feature film called Third Man on the Mountain.  

Matterhorn Model and Walt Disney - Photo credit Disneyland

Matterhorn Model and Walt Disney – Photo credit Disneyland

Walt had the idea for the new toboggan style attraction as early as 1956 and by 1958 the plans had fully developed into what we know today as Matterhorn Bobsleds. Standing 147 feet tall (the tallest attraction in Disneyland Park), the 1/100th reproduction of the Matterhorn took 1 year to complete and was first tubular steel roller coaster in the world.

Vintage Disneyland Footage

Gala Day at Disneyland-A News Special 1959, is a fantastic look into the opening day excitement of the Submarine Voyage, Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System.


Wow, what an exciting time to visit Disneyland, I can only imagine how it must have felt for those guest to get to experience these new attractions for the first time. Sometimes, I wish I owned a time machine.

I hope you enjoyed my look into 1959 at Disneyland Park, which one of these is your favorite attraction?

Read all of the blog posts in this series by following the link-up below.

About Dawn

Dawn is a social influencer and has been writing about her nerdy side since 2004. She enjoys writing about Entertainment, Travel, Disney, Star Wars and life with two little girls. Her advice is to keep on dreaming, do what you love and life will lead you a path to your happiness. Dawn also writes for 5 Minutes for Mom.


  1. Great stuff, Dawn! For me, my favorite is the Monorail, especially since we can sit up front with the pilot, unlike Walt Disney World now. This was a great post, thank you for sharing 1959 with us!

  2. Love the vintage footage and the monorail, look how small it looks with just a single section between the front and back :). Thanks for sharing!

    • Hey Sean – Thank YOU for reading, I am glad you stopped by. The Monorail does look so small, but big on technology. I would have loved to be on board in 1959, so cool.

  3. What a full year Dawn- an E Ticket stand out, for sure! While I realize much of the acreage that Walt initially bought was still barren, the planning, Imagineering and manpower that went into the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Disneyland-Alweg Monorail System and Submarine Voyage construction is astounding. Thank goodness the massive crowds provided the revenue! Your post is so complete, so full of unknown-to-me Walt tidbits (who knew the Matterhorn came from his trip to Switzerland?) that I was sorry to get to the end. Thanks SO much for joining our Disneyland soirée Dawn!!!

  4. What an amazing year this was. So much history shared and the picture without the water is one of my favorites. As a little girl and still as an adult I believe we do go under the water because that’s the magic they bring to this ride.

  5. The monorail looked so futuristic back then! I really wish and hope they bring mermaids into the lagoon again on the actual 60th birthday. That would be such a magical touch! Great post, Dawn.

    • I have thought about what it must be like to swim as a mermaid in that lagoon, for some reason it creeps me out. But I do think it would be cool to see them there again…..but I wouldn’t do it.

  6. What a wonderful look back Dawn. I am amazed by the look of the drained lagoon, there is a lot of Disney History around the parks that we don’t ever see. Love the vintage footage!! Thanks for sharing!

  7. It still amazes me that they opened all three major attractions on the same day. There’s enough chaos today when one new ride opens? I feel like this day is when the Disneyland we know today really came into being. Although the park had been open for four years, it was still a work in progress since it was such a new venture.


  1. […] | An E Ticket Year for Disneyland by I am a Mommy […]

  2. […] 1959 – The Matterhorn was built, the Monorail system started up, and the Submarine Voyage set sail. In June 1959, the “E” ticket was introduced. “E” ticket rides included the three new attractions, the Railroad, and the Jungle Cruise. A ticket book cost $3 for children and $3.50 for adults … less than the price of a churro today. (I am a Mommy Nerd) […]

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