Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort
It was on July 17, 1955, that Walt Disney first opened Disneyland, which at the time consisted of one single park with 23 attractions. Today, Disneyland Resort comprises two huge theme parks (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park), three hotels and a shopping and dining district known as Downtown Disney.
The Diamond Celebration, which officially launched on May 22 and will continue well into next year, recognizes the innovations that have taken place over the last six decades while looking forward to the many years of imagination to come.
Here are six things you’ll find if you visit Disneyland Resort during its Diamond Celebration:
Water and Lights
Disney’s World of Color show has been around for years, but this is a whole new version. Taking place every night at Disney California Adventure Park, “World of Color—Celebrate” is a massive water and light spectacle that pays tribute to Walt Disney and his dream of creating Disneyland. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and Mickey Mouse, the show features plenty of music, 1,200 dancing fountains, gigantic fireballs and plenty of footage from classic and contemporary Disney films.
A New Nighttime Parade
A subtle homage to Disney’s original Main Street Electrical Parade, “Paint the Night” illuminates Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A nightly with more than 1.5 million LED lights, fun choreography, and a new soundtrack that will stick in your head long after the parade is over. You’ll be immersed in the worlds of eight classic Disney and Disney Pixar stories, each of which is represented by lit-up floats, lit-up props and performers wearing lit-up costumes.
More than just a fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever” mixes amazing pyrotechnics with special effects, two new original songs, lots of fog and lasers, and digital images that are projected on buildings and rides all around you. The nightly extravaganza celebrates classic and contemporary Disney stories in cool and incredibly imaginative ways—it’s a visual feast, and the best part is, you can enjoy it from many different parts of Disneyland Park.
Updates on the Classics
Disney’s imagineers have “plussed up” three of Disneyland Park’s classic rides by enhancing the storytelling with new special effects. On the Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Abominable Snowman appears in fresh and ferocious ways, inside The Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost (who first appeared in the earliest days of the ride) is back again to spook riders, and Peter Pan’s Flight (which officially reopens July 1) features a re-imagined nursery scene, among other surprises.
For the duration of the Diamond Celebration, you’ll get to see more bling than usual throughout both parks. There are icy blue touches and sparkling additions everywhere, from the special banners that line various streets and walkways, to the rooftop of Sleeping Beauty’s iconic castle, which has been decked out in more than 100,000 blue glass crystals and two massive “diamonds” on the facade.
What would a celebration be without mementos? More than 500 new merchandise items celebrating the diamond anniversary are available at Disneyland Resort including clothing, toys, jewelry, edible treats and more. The Disney folks have even put a spin on their best-selling souvenir: for a limited time, you can get Mickey Mouse ears adorned with crystals. Diamond Celebration, indeed!