Home movie of contest-winning family vacation to Disneyland in 1956
Dan “Ride Theory” Howland sends in a link to a stupendous Internet Archive video entitled “Disneyland Dream,” noting: “This would be interesting if it were merely a 1956 home movie of Disneyland, but it becomes great when the skinny, dorky, goofy dad (think Dennis the Menace’s pop) not only documents the actual trip, but shows us how they got there — by winning a Scotch Tape vacation contest. Highlights: the family’s matching 1950’s ‘Wild West’ fringe jackets with their names stitched between the shoulders, and the kids repeated insistence they have to change hats to enter different parts of the park.”
Every second of this footage is pure gold, from the cornball jokes, the lingering shots of the “tickertape parade” the suburban Connecticut neighbors throw as the family gets into their gigantic land-yacht to drive to the airstrip, the runway footage from Idlewild, and the trips around Pasadena, Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios in 1956. The humor is pure “dad” — loving and corny and just right.
In July 1956, the five-member Barstow family of Wethersfield, Connecticut, won a free trip to newly-opened Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in a nationwide contest. This 30-minute amateur documentary film tells the fabulous story of their fun-filled, dream-come-true, family travel adventure, filmed on the scene at Walt Disney’s “Magic Kingdom” by Robbins Barstow.