Disneyland Celebrates 60 YearsCategory: Travel
On July 17, 1955 Walt Disney opened Disneyland by saying, “To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here, age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” When introducing the new nighttime spectacular shows for the Diamond Celebration on May 21, 2015, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger amended those comments by saying, “To all who HAVE come to this happy place, Thank You, and to all who will come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is TRULY your land.”
Over the past 60 years, Disneyland and its sister theme parks have been a constant vacation destination for millions of people, young and old. While it was originally an idea by Walt Disney as a place where families could come and enjoy their time together, Disneyland is not only for the young, but also for all the young at heart. It is a place where children, parents, families, grandparents, singles, seniors, boomers, and everyone can come to enjoy a little magic and fun.
The Benjamins from Modesto, California are empty nesters and have annual passes to the park. They enjoy coming for visits throughout the year to eat, shop, and revel in the Disney magic, proving that you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy this special place. “We enjoy spending time here.” Walking around the park guests of all ages enjoy the magic of Disney.
To commemorate the Diamond Celebration, the folks in the Disney merchandising department have created hundreds of new products for all age groups that are sure to become collectables. We are all familiar with the popular Mouse Ear Hats that have evolved over the years. Now there are Mouse Ear hats in many forms, however Minnie’s rhinestone headband is projected to be one of the most popular products to come out of this anniversary. “Headbands have superseded the ear hats,” claimed Michelle Harker, Manager of Merchandise Marketing and Communications. However don’t be concerned that the mouse ear hats are going away. There is a new 60th anniversary blue hat with silver ears.
And for true Disney followers, a special diamond necklace worth $4200.00 has been created to mark the 60th anniversary. If you don’t want to spend that much money, Harker showed off a new mug with the letter “D” for a handle, a new rolling duffle bag, a sparkling light-up cell phone case, and a new plush Pinocchio. Disney will be rolling out special editions of plush Pinocchio, Mr. Toad, Maleficent, and Genie during this Diamond Celebration.
Another new product is a magic limited edition paintbrush that lights up. It joins the already-popular “Glow with the Show” Mickey ears. The paintbrush and new sippers in specific “Made with Magic” drinks, as well as the ear hat and wands, will all work along with the nighttime shows. The colors interact with the shows in a way that amazes everyone.
The new specially designed Cinderella Coach keepsake popcorn bucket, along with more than 500 new items make up the Diamond Celebration merchandise collection.
Besides the new products and three new nighttime shows, Disneyland has updated several of their popular attractions. They are “adding new technology to Peter Pan’s Flight. It will keep the same track. Everyone loves that track and likes to fly,” said Larry Nikolai, Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment. “There is magic and fantasy in the Peter Pan ride.” They are concentrating on new technology in the old attraction, making the visuals more updated and picturesque. Peter Pan is currently closed but is scheduled to reopen with the new modernizations on July 1.
The Imagineers have reorganized another popular attraction – The Haunted Mansion. They brought back the hatbox ghost. This is a ghost that holds his hatbox. Sometimes his head appears in the box and sometimes it is on his shoulders. And the audio in the attraction is much better. The entirety of the Haunted Mansion has been updated, but the ghostly encounters are still there.
“We added new magic to enhance the story in the Matterhorn,” explained Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz, Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering. The yeti is scarier than ever and adds a little change the classic experience on the bobsleds that guests have enjoyed for decades.
For the special anniversary, guests to Disneyland will see Sleeping Beauty’s Castle transformed with “diamonds” so it sparkles in the day and at night it twinkles with plenty of glittering lights while taking a starring role in the dazzling new Disneyland Forever Fireworks spectacular.
The new products, updates to several attractions, and three amazing new night shows make the Diamond Celebration a tribute to the ingenuity, technology, inspiration, and creativity of all the people who have been a part of this park for 60 years. The Disneyland Resort is a place that far exceeds the original dream of Walt Disney.
About the Author
Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.
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