On this day in 2001, Disney’s California Adventure invited guests to enter its gates for the first time. Roy Disney and then-CEO Michael Eisner, and of course Mickey Mouse were on hand to lead the celebration. The ceremony took place in the Esplanade in front of Disney California Adventure at 7:30 AM. The original dedication plaque for Disney’s California Adventure was found in the Sunshine Plaza. It said:

Disney’s California Adventure

To all who believe in the power of dreams Welcome! DISNEYS CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE opens its golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow from the silver screen to the computer screen from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. DISNEYS CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE celebrates the richness and the diversity of California its land, its people its spirit and above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire.

Michael D. Eisner
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
The Walt Disney Company
February 8, 2001

Over the course of the last 18 years, a lot has changed at Disney California Adventure. New lands have arrived, old lands have departed. The same goes for attractions, shops, restaurants, and entertainment. The name has even changed subtlely! Disney California Adventure has built a legacy of pursuing new ideas and new dreams as it has undergone changes throughout the years. Walking around the park today is very different than it was when it first opened. In fact, most of the park is completely different. However, a few things still remain from the opening day. Here is a look at some of those lasting original features. The video was taken exactly 18 years to the day of the opening of Disney California Adventure.

What are some of your favorite memories at Disney California Adventure? Share them in the comments below!