Meet Disneyland’s First-Ever Customer—He’s Been Using His Lifetime Ticket Every Year Since 1955
Published in Apr 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
Dave McPherson was only 22 years old when he became the first Disneyland customer in 1955.
MacPherson probably had no idea back in July 1955 that he would be entering the ‘happiest place on Earth’ every year for the rest of his life.
The Scotsman, who was studying at Long Beach State College at the time, was the first customer to set foot in the legendary amusement park.
He started the line at the park’s ticket window at around 2 a.m. and ended up getting his hands on the first admission ticket on the morning of July 18—the day Disneyland first opened to the general public.
He figured out he wanted to be first in line!
But don’t be mistaken, this wasn’t a lucky coincidence. The young Scotsman watched Disneyland’s opening festivities on television on July 17, 1955.
He marveled at the celebrities enjoying the park, and the thought struck him – “why not be the first of all the commoners to enter the park.”
“I decided I wanted to be the first in line. The first person to go into the park who wasn’t a relative of Walt’s or some celebrity. The first regular guy to go in through the front door.”
He drove on his motorbike for 10 miles to Anaheim from Long Beach
Despite starting the line at 2 a.m., when he finally got the ticket, it was all worth it.
“Back then, folks would pay for admission and then buy books of tickets for various attractions. I don’t know what happened to the admission ticket for which I paid a dollar.”
He also got a complementary card with his ticket but didn’t get to use it because of the long ride back to Long Beach.
But fortunately, MacPherson received a lifetime pass for being the first ‘regular guy’ ever to enter the park. He has been visiting the park annually ever since.
He told a media outlet:
“Each January, I eagerly await the arrival of the next installment of the pass. It is then good for another year at any Disney park, and I have received these annual passes since 1955.”
“In the beginning, it was just a paper or cardboard pass and for years it was silver. In recent years it has been red in color and is made like a credit card and says on the front ‘VIP MAIN ENTRANCE PASS.'”
“The reverse side has my name and says: Admit Passholder and 3 Guests.”