Disneyland's 60th: Dress Like It's 1955

Break out the suits, Brylcreem, and dresses, Mouseketeers.

Of all the famous, oft-repeated tales regarding the opening day of Disneyland -- Ronald Reagan serving as a co-host, the extreme heat, the technical malfunctions, the unexpected crowds -- the one that sticks with fans is pretty darn sticky: Women's high heels were said to have been caught in the still-soft, recently laid asphalt.

It isn't the soft ground that intrigues modern tale-tellers so much as the fact that on July 17, 1955 people wore dressy clothes inside the world's most famous theme park.

Sure, Prince Charming and Mary Poppins still gussy up nowadays, but park goers, as a rule, keep it highly casual; t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers rule. But that'll all change, for a day at least, on July 17, 2015, when the park officially and truly marks its big 60th anniversary.

So Disneyland has a request for you, attendees: If you make for Disneyland on July 17, you should don the sort of outfit one might have worn back on opening day in 1955.

What? You're absolutely right, Mouseketeers: This does share some sartorial similarities with Dapper Day, a twice-a-year event where thousands of guests put on fedoras and pinafores and heels before making for the Orange County landmark.

The difference is Dapper Day is an independently organized event, and attendees dress from several eras, including the stylish '70s and exuberant '80s, and not just 1955.

The July 17 event is very much about that year and, specifically, that summer. Do you remember 1955? If you hadn't arrived on earth yet, might your dad or grandmother have something for you to wear? Something that they perhaps wore to opening day?

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Consider that many SoCalers can describe that 60-year-old memory, of running to Sleeping Beauty's Castle, in colorful, happy detail, as if they were just there an hour ago. Disney devotees in their 60s and 70s are suddenly 8 years old again when asked what it was like to be in Anaheim on that fabled, and toasty, and celebrity-packed opening day.

Best break out the Brylcreem and cardigans and updos and petticoats and stockings. Photo opportunities await around Disneyland, and you'll want to look your 1955iest.

The long-range forecast says the temperature will hit the mid-80s, which is a far cooler cry than the 100+ afternoon first-time park goers experienced 60 years ago.

So maybe a gray jacket and skinny tie, the kind Uncle Walt favored, will be just the (E) ticket.

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