Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle was the creative mind behind the spectacle, which featured a non-stop soundtrack of rock hits from the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who.
Learn about the Olympic torch and view an interactive map of the torch relay
A short film displayed on screens in the in the stadium featured actor Daniel Craig as James Bond arriving at Buckingham Palace to escort Queen Elizabeth II to the games. It's believed by organizers to be the 86-year-old queen's first acting role. The pair flew over London landmarks before cutting to real skydivers parachuting into the stadium.
Beach volleyball in the heart of central London will highlight Olympic competition Saturday, along with the first swimming medals. American rivals Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte will face off in the 400-meter individual medley.
Two-time U.S. defending gold medalist pair Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May-Treanor will be the feature match in the beach volleyball grandstand.
Extensive security measures are being taken at the games to allay fears. Olympic officials said security and contingency plans are in place. Thousands of extra troops have been mobilized to pick up any slack in security. Extra police are also taking to the air and water.
Around 60,000 people attended the opening ceremonies, including U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and First Lady Michelle Obama, who attended a breakfast with U.S. Olympians Friday morning. Seventy-two athletes representing cities in Southern California are competing in the summer games.
See photos of the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 London Olympics