The Lone Ranger and Disneyland
by Todd James Pierce
As I bopped around the web this morning, I noticed a half-dozen Disney sites all exploring the same question: with the new Lone Ranger movie schlepping its way into multiplexes, should a costumed Lone Ranger Hi-Ho his way into Frontierland?  You see–regardless what you think of the new movie–that’s entirely the wrong question to ask.  The correct question: should a costumed Lone Ranger RETURN to Frontierland?  As you might have already guessed from the banner photo, back in 1955, Disneyland hosted multiple visits from the Lone Ranger.  And yes, not only is that the Lone Ranger, it’s actually Clayton Moore, the actor who played the Lone Ranger on both the TV series and the big screen.  You see, in 1954 Jack Wrather and his producing partner bought the rights to the Lone Ranger and took over production of the TV show.  The following year, through an agreement with Walt, Wrather built the Disneyland Hotel, as Disneyland, Inc. was too cash poor to undertake construction itself.  The Lone Ranger appearing at Disneyland was simply a bonus.  I don’t have exact dates for his appearances, but from photos, I can tell you that he made occasional appearances at Disneyland at least during the summer and fall of 1955, always down by the steamboat landing or the loading area for the stagecoach and wagons.  The photo above is marked Sept 13, 1955.  The photo below is a press photo, exact date unknown.  But the real reason I’m posting up this photo is to remind DHI readers that to support the new video, over the next couple months, I’ll be posting old Disneyland photos–photos taken during Disneyland’s first year–to our Facebook Group Page.  I’m starting today with the Lone Ranger and will post others in the days to come.  Come join the discussion.  The Facebook Group Page is, of course, free.  
See you there,

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