On July 17th, 2015, Disneyland turned 60. The park’s 60th anniversary, or Diamond Jubilee, was a celebration of the resort’s past, present, and future. Though the park’s official birthday is in mid-summer, the 24-Hour Kickoff on May 22nd officially launched the Diamond Jubilee at the resort.
In addition to launching a variety of commemorative merchandise, souvenirs, and food items, the resort also opened several different shows, photo spots, and increased character presence in both parks.
To commemorate the park’s 60th anniversary, the Disneyland Resort launched three brand new shows on kickoff day. The shows each celebrated the history of the resort, with brand new high-tech special effects that moved the park into the future. The following is a brief overview of each show:
- Paint the Night Parade – Disney’s newest parade is bigger, brighter, and more exciting than ever before. At the start of the parade, Mickey and Tinkerbell decide to sprinkle some magic pixie dust on their friends, and the park suddenly comes alive with more than one million LED lights. Tinkerbell and Peter Pan usher in a lively group of friends, including: Lightning McQueen, Mike & Sulley, Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Anna & Elsa, and Buzz & Woody, each with their own glowing float and accompanying music. This massive parade is unlike any other, and will amaze even the most frequent of park visitors.
- Disneyland Forever – This firework show over the castle shares the exciting firework displays of the previous show, with a brand new twist. During the show, Main Street USA and Frontierland become living canvases, displaying amazing projections in sync with the fireworks. Disneyland Forever features two original songs, and the show completely transforms the Disney fireworks experience.
- World of Color’s “Celebrate!” – Unlike the traditional World of Color show, which celebrates the best of Disney animation, the Celebrate show focuses on the man behind the magic, Walt Disney. Celebrate tells the story of Walt’s Dream becoming reality, and how the park has grown into the resort it is today. Like the regular World of Color shows, Celebrate includes lasers, shooting fountains, pyrotechnics, and an original score, and this special edition of World of Color will play throughout the Diamond Jubilee festivities.
Neil Patrick Harris, Mickey, and Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek at the premiere of Celebrate:
DIAMOND PHOTO SPOTS
In addition to three new shows, the resort also offered three temporary photo spots, each with a funny twist on a traditional photo. In Fantasyland, Matterhorn riders could take a tilted photo, so it looked like they were scaling the mountain. Next to The Little Mermaid in California Adventure, guests could take a photo from the top of Grizzly Peak. And on the other side of Paradise Pier, guests could pose upside down as they braved California Screamin’s harrowing turns. All of the photo spots had Disney photographers, but guests could take photos with their own cameras as well.
JOINING IN THE CELEBRATION
Every shop, food cart, and restaurant in the park was fully stocked with diamond souvenirs, from popcorn buckets to candy to sparkling ear hats. Park visitors could find brand new commemorative merchandise in every shop on Main Street and Buena Vista Street, and Downtown Disney had an even larger selection.
The Diamond Jubilee ran through the new year, with different shows and merchandise lasting through the spring. You can find FAQ, details about specific Diamond Jubilee events and shows, and other information on the official anniversary site here.