Today in Disney History, 1979: First Disneyland Baby

by | Jul 4, 2023 | Disney History, Disneyland, Disneyland Parks

Have you heard the rumor about Disney babies getting lifetime annual passes? Here’s the real story behind the first Disneyland baby!

This particular 4th of July was celebrated with a bang at Disneyland, and we’re not talking about the fireworks! The first baby was born inside the theme park in 1979. Parents Rosa and Elias Salcedo unexpectedly welcomed their daughter, Teresa, at the Happiest Place on Earth – but she didn’t receive a lifetime park pass!

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The First Baby Born at Disney

Have you heard? Babies born at Disney Parks receive lifetime Annual Passes! Nope, unfortunately, this is not true, but the rumor has only grown since the first birth at a Disney property took place on July 4, 1979Rosa and Elias Salcedo visited Disneyland 44 years ago to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Rosa was expecting but still planned to enjoy the day in the Park with her husband experiencing all that Disneyland has to offer. The couple was riding the Submarine Voyage attraction in Tomorrowland when Rosa began feeling sharp pains. 

By the time the ride was over, her pain had worsened. She moved to a bench nearby the Plaza Inn while Elias called for help. Disney Cast Members, including the Park’s paramedic team and medical staff from First Aid, arrived to evaluate Rosa’s condition, but by this point, it was clear she was in labor. Without time to move, Rosa, the first Disneyland baby, was born in the center of the Park on Main Street, U.S.A.

The couple’s baby girl Teresa Salcedo along with her parents, were brought to a local hospital immediately following her birth, and thankfully mom and baby were both healthy (and left with quite a memorable day in Disneyland!) Mom and baby spent a few days being monitored in the hospital, ensuring that everything was going well after an unusual birth experience before they were able to return home. During their brief hospital stay, several Disney characters paid the family a visit to brighten their day, including Mickey and Goofy. 

A Very Special Birth Certificate

When Teresa was still an infant, the family returned to Disneyland, where they were guests of honor in a ceremony that took place in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and this is where the rumors started. During the event, the baby was given a “birth certificate,” as a simple gesture to given the unusual circumstance of her birth. The certificate read “Disneyland Birth Certificate No. 1,” and it was intended to be just that, a fun magical moment for the family to remember Teresa’s birthday.

For whatever reason, several Disney rumors are started from certificates guests are given during magical moments with Cast Members, and this one was no different. Despite Disney reminding guests in the years following Teresa’s birth that the certificate was indeed not a lifetime pass, the rumor only continued to grow. 

Baby Care Centers

As for the Cast Members who were able to step in and help deliver Teresa, Disney’s first aid team and nurses are the magic makers behind the event. Disneyland opened its first Baby Care Center on Main Street, U.S.A., two years after the Park opened in 1957. 

At the time, guests had commented that space to change, feed, and care for babies would be helpful during their visits to the Park, especially for an experience that was geared for the whole family. As such, Baby Care Centers were created, and today they can be found in all Disney theme parks at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Baby Care Centers at Disney offer changing tables, private rooms with rocking chairs for nursing, extra diapers, baby food, formula, and more, along with what is arguably the best air conditioning in the Parks. 

What Happens If Another Baby Is Born at Disney?

If your curiosity about the lifetime pass rumor is making your mind wonder, “What if…” you are not alone. Several instances have occurred over the years of women at both Disneyland and Disney World going into very early stages of labor in the Parks. With enough time to make it to a hospital and with immediate dismissal of the rumor from Cast Members, the majority of these cases have resulted in births at nearby hospitals. 

Other Disney Babies

Other babies have been born at the theme parks, though, but without the birth certificate side to their story, they have not made as many headlines. One woman in 1984 gave birth to her baby at Disneyland’s first aid station after going into labor while she waited for the rest of her family to ride Space Mountain. 

At Walt Disney World in 1997, a newborn baby was found by a guest in the restrooms near Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland. Another guest, Dr. Kenneth Goodman a physician visiting the Park from Cleveland, OH, heard the baby’s cries and immediately treated the girl, who appeared to be only minutes old. The baby was treated in a nearby hospital for low body temperature, where she made a full recovery. Sadly her mother was never identified, and the baby was placed into foster care and later adopted. 

In 2002, another Disneyland baby was delivered in the Park, this time backstage, when an expectant mother went into early labor outside the main entrance. And in 2012, another baby was born just outside Disneyland entrance after unexpected labor happened in the parking lot. 

Disney Parks may not seem like the first choice of a vacation destination for people who are expecting, given that some rides will not be accessible to them, but there is still plenty to enjoy for the whole family. Just remember that surprises can happen, and you could end up with a Disneyland baby (but its birth will not come with that rumored lifetime pass!)

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Posts by Brittany DiCologero

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Brittany DiCologero is a freelance writer specializing in Walt Disney World history, along with various travel, and lifestyle topics based in New England. She is the author of “Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Realities of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort,” and “Brittany Earns Her Ears”. When she is not writing, you can find her exploring local museums and historic sites, and binging documentaries on Disney+.
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Authored by
Brittany DiCologero

Brittany DiCologero is a freelance writer specializing in Walt Disney World history, along with various travel, and lifestyle topics based in New England. She is the author of “Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Realities of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort,” and “Brittany Earns Her Ears”. When she is not writing, you can find her exploring local museums and historic sites, and binging documentaries on Disney+.
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