Now that 2015 is in full swing, Disneyland has shed its holiday persona and is back and busier than ever. In between all the refurbishments and Frozen-themed activities, cast members are working behind the scenes in preparation for this summer’s 60th anniversary celebration: the Diamond Jubilee.
Disneyland’s heavy refurbishment season is always in January and February, but with the impending 60th anniversary celebration this summer, the construction is much more prominent than normal. The castle moat has been drained, and the walls of the castle are starting to be covered, so that a new facade can be unveiled in the spring.
In addition to the ongoing ride refurbishments and upgrades that are standard for the slow season, this year the park is definitely making lots of changes to its appearance. To keep the resort looking its absolute best for its 60th birthday, most of the building exteriors are receiving fresh coats of paint, and some may even receive special birthday detailing closer to the summer.
Though California Adventure is not preparing as intensely for the upcoming celebration as Disneyland, the park is seeing its own share of major construction. Condor Flats has officially closed, and will reopen in the summer as “Grizzly Peak Air Field”. This area will now be a section of Grizzly Peak, and will no longer be its own land. But don’t worry, Soarin’ Over California and the Grill will both reopen in the summer as part of Grizzly Peak, though they will definitely have new exteriors to match the new décor.
On July 17th, Disneyland turns 60, and details of the Diamond Jubilee celebration have just been announced. Though many of the upcoming shows and special events have yet to be unveiled, Disney has shared several major anniversary events coming to the resort.
The anniversary celebration will kick off on May 22nd with the unveiling of the diamond-adorned castle. Sleeping Beauty’s home (and Carthay Circle in California Adventure) will each bear a diamond medallion, and feature tons of sparkling décor that will be visible from all over the park. Here are some concept images from the Disney Parks Blog:
In the evenings, the celebration will really kick off with the exciting Paint the Night parade. In this special parade/show, Mickey and Tinker Bell will team up to bring classic Disney stories to life. Each state-of-the-art float will have massive light displays, include characters and songs from each film, and feature energetic dancers and acrobats.
And finally, the daily celebrations will conclude with a brand new fireworks show: “Disneyland Forever”. This show will incorporate massive projections, have displays in several different areas in the park, and include two original songs. Viewers will see scenes from a wide variety of Disney films, including the Jungle Book, Peter Pan, and The Little Mermaid. The projections and special effects during the fireworks show will be the largest and most complex of any Disney park in the world, and will definitely provide an unforgettable experience for park guests. World of Color in California Adventure will also have a special 60th anniversary show, with some of the projections and scenes from the fireworks show added to the World of Color lineup.
As the summer approaches, Disney will release more details about the Diamond Jubilee and the various shows and features coming to the resort. For the latest information about all of the 60th anniversary festivities, check out the Disney Parks Blog here.
The last of the holiday activities at the resort are finally coming to a close. Olaf’s ice skating rink remains open in Downtown Disney, but is scheduled to end in early February. All of the holiday decorations on the shops, restaurants, and light fixtures are gone, and the holiday music has returned to the standard Disney instrumentals.
And finally, Cars Land suddenly reopened Luigi’s Flying Tires, and the ride has been removed from all refurbishment and closure schedules. No word on whether or not the ride is staying for good, but I suspect it will eventually close in favor of a more exciting attraction.