Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Walt Disney's long-running ABC anthology Disneyland was launched on October 17, 1954, with what amounted to a 60-minute informercial--albeit a very, very entertaining one. The first half of the program was devoted to a special feature, "What is Disneyland?", depicting the construction of the soon-to-be-opened theme park in Anaheim, California. Along the way, host Walt Disney manages to put in a plug for his upcoming theatrical release, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The program concludes with "A Tribute to Mickey Mouse", tracing the development of the world's most popular rodent from his debut appearance in 1928's Steamboat Willie to his predominance as Disneyland's unofficial mascot. This last segment would be seen again in Disneyland's July 13, 1955 episode, "A Pre-Opening Report From Disneyland."