Continues 60th Anniversary Celebration
by Jules E. Beuck
Photos by Jules E
Beuck and Jeanne Flores
On July 17, 1955, Walt
Disney opened Disneyland. Since that time it has
grown, expanded to different states and countries
and added a new park across from the original.
Starting with a 24-hour opening of Disneyland on
May 22, 2015, Disneyland Resorts started the
Disneyland Diamond Celebration to celebrate the 60
years Disneyland has been around.
To continue with that
celebration "Soaring" has been updated and a stage
play based on "Frozen" replaces the long-running
the above paragraph indicates the celebration is
not limited to Disneyland. "World of Color" in
Disney California Adventure has been updated to
celebrate the Diamond Anniversary. It celebrates
the life of Walt Disney and his ideas that led to
Disneyland. The presentation is hosted by Mickey
Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris. Sayre Wiseman, an
executive for parades and spectaculars, told us
that when Harris was approached for the project he
immediately responded “Absolutely, I'm there.”
The show not only projects
images on water it has videos on a screen attached
to the Ferris wheel, there are dry ice canons and
flame throwers. This year not only do Mickey ears
and surrounding light globes interact with the
show, but there are special Minnie ears and a
magic paint brush that interacts as well.
The ride, "Soaring," is
now covering the world instead of just California.
Patrons now soar over Egypt, Switzerland, France
and South America to name a few. Five-year-old
Dexter Flores made his first ever visit to the
Disneyland Resorts and loved "Soaring" so much he
insisted on going on it again. He would lean
forward in his seat staring in wide-eyed wonder.
"Frozen" takes the story
of Anna and Elsa to the stage. The effects are
marvelous and the singing is top notch. There are
comedic moments too. Olaf and Sven are represented
in puppet contraptions that were no doubt inspired
by the technology that was used to bring the Lion
King to live theater. The audience that we saw it
with received it very well.
To recap from an earlier
article there are two new prominent presentations
in Disneyland itself. There is the “Paint The
Night” parade and the “Disneyland Forever”
“Paint The Night” is a
re-imagining of the old “Main Street Electrical
Parade.” A live Tinkerbell starts off the parade
carrying a wand that has a rosette from the
original electrical parade. “Paint The Night” has
85 performers and represents classic Disney and
Disney-Pixar stories. Every float controls all the
costuming for that float.
The theme song of the
parade is “When Can We Do This Again,” written by
Owl City for the animated film, "Wreck-It Ralph,"
and incorporates some of the original electrical
For “Cars” in addition to
Lightning McQueen they have Mack the truck. The
sides of the truck are huge led screens that flash
pictures. "Lion King," "Toy Story," "Monsters
Inc," Rapunzel, and other Disney Princesses, are
In addition to floats
there are larger than life representations of
characters such as Tigger that are surrounded by
led lights and are moved along by puppetmasters
within the character. This allows the characters
to interact with the crowd as the puppetmasters
can make them turn and wave.
To end the parade Goofy,
Minnie and Donald have individual vehicles while
sorcerer Mickey brings up the rear conducting the
finale in his own huge float.
“Disneyland Forever” fireworks show brings
multimedia to new levels. There are 100
searchlights that at one point converge over the
parks to form a diamond. Peter Pan appears and
calls Tinker Bell (who flies in from way out of
nowhere) to sprinkle pixie dust to awaken the
magic of the Magic Kingdom.
There are times the
fireworks are actually incidental to the show.
As mentioned earlier
visitors to the park can have their own props as
mouse ears and the aforementioned paintbrush
change colors in response to what is going on in
the show. Dexter was equally impressed with the
fireworks as he was with "Soaring."
There are also changes to
some of the rides. The "Haunted Mansion" sees the
return of the Hat Box Ghost after 45 years. There
is also a wedding scene where the groom's head
keeps disappearing and appearing and a shadow
plays the bridal march on piano. The soundtrack is
much clearer as well. Made for a more fun
The "Matterhorn Bobsleds"
have more opportunities to view the abominable
snowman. He appears to chase you throughout the
ride. One also passes a pile of broken bobsleds
that the snowman has managed to snatch and a
glimpse of the treasure he is guarding (although
if you blink you will miss the treasure).
continues to pull out all the stops to celebrate
the 60th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland.
We would guess they might not be done.
Jeanne Flores and Dexter
Flores contributed to this article