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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Disneyland Resort Marks 59 Years of Fun and Innovation and Looks Ahead to Yearlong Diamond Celebration in 2015


Diamond Celebration Logo Unveiled and Contest Announced for Guests to Share Favorite Memories from Six Decades 

ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 17, 2014) – When Walt Disney opened Disneyland on July 17, 1955, it had 18 attractions, no Disney hotels and little but orange groves surrounding it. Today, as the Disneyland Resort celebrates its 59th anniversary, the original theme park has expanded to become a world-class family resort destination with two renowned Disney parks, nearly 100 attractions, three hotels and the shopping, dining and entertainment district known as Downtown Disney. And in the spring of 2015, the resort will launch a dazzling yearlong Diamond Celebration that salutes 60 years of magic.

“It’s an incredible time at the Disneyland Resort as we prepare for next year’s Diamond Celebration,” said Michael Colglazier, president, Disneyland Resort. “We’re excited to honor our rich history, to celebrate the incredible magic that fills our resort today, and to create unforgettable memories with our guests for many years to come.”

As part of today’s festivities, Disney invited the generations of families and friends who have visited the resort to share their favorite memories through photos taken at the Disneyland Resort. Readers of the DisneyParksBlog will vote for the top photos and one lucky guest will have a chance to win a trip to the Disneyland Resort for the start of the 60th anniversary celebration in Spring 2015.* Starting today, guests are invited to submit photos that represent their memories from the Disneyland Decades – 1950s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000 to the present. Using hashtag #Disneyland60Contest, guests may share their photos via Twitter or Instagram by August 27, 2014. For complete rules, go to DisneyParksBlog.com.

Also today, the Diamond Celebration logo was unveiled as part of the annual July 17 anniversary celebration at Disneyland Park. Guests joined 59 Disney characters on Main Street, U.S.A., to hear a recording of Walt Disney’s opening day “welcome” speech and sing “Happy Birthday” in a festive marking of the 59th anniversary.

The popularity of Disneyland through the past 59 years celebrates Walt Disney’s dream of a place where family members of all ages can have fun together in a safe, clean atmosphere that emphasizes imagination and extraordinary guest service. Since 1955, dignitaries, heads of state, celebrities and more than 700 million guests have passed through the gates of a place that Walt imagined as “a source of joy and inspiration to the world.”

Disneyland transformed the amusement industry with an entirely new concept in family entertainment: a “theme park” where rides, shows and characters become part of a total storytelling environment. In the nearly six decades since it opened, the Disneyland Resort has continued to use creativity, technology and innovation to bring stories to life, while fulfilling Walt’s promise that “Disneyland will never be completed … as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

The success of Disneyland Resort also has resulted in immense growth for the city of Anaheim, Calif. The resort’s workforce of 26,000 cast members makes it the largest single-site employer in Orange County. The Disney resort entertainment experience has expanded worldwide and is enjoyed by guests at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland. The Shanghai Disney Resort is set to open in mainland China in 2015.

Additional information about the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration will be shared in the coming months at www.Disneyland.com and www.DisneyParksBlog.com.





Obviously the above article from Disneyland concerns last week's 59th Anniversary celebration which took place at the Disneyland Resort. I'm still a little bit behind in my posting as I'm ironing out little things all over the blog, but I still wanted to post it since the information there is still pertinent and, let's be honest, still way up there with the cool factor!

Unfortunately, since I've recently had to drop my Annual Pass to lower than a Premium or Deluxe yearly thing (which I hope to be able to rectify eventually), I was blacked out for the 59th and wasn't able to attend myself. But I'm sure you can guess I was avidly watching Twitter and Facebook and the Disneyland websites and blogs just like everyone for pictures and information since we knew they were going to be "previewing" the 60th celebration taking place at Disneyland next year.

Although relatively little was given out in regards to that other than the logo (which you see above) and the contest which we strongly recommend you enter (and we may just do it ourselves!), it's just made us that much more excited for what's coming next Spring. Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration is when I really first started falling in love with Disneyland (can you say diamond Mickey ears, anyone?!), but back then I wasn't nearly as into it and I wasn't blogging and now... well, you can probably see why I'm so excited! I can't wait for it to get here so I can start going out, experiencing it, and writing all about it all year long. It's going to be a fantastic time to be a Disneyland blogger!

So if you're looking for a blog to follow as this exciting time comes rushing ahead, we invite you to stay with us a while! We'll be sure to post new information over the coming months as it becomes available, and you can bet your bottom dollar when the time comes next year for the real celebrating to begin, we'll be there with bells and whistles (translated Mickey ears) on.

We can't wait!

Monday, July 21, 2014

'Mickey's Halloween Party' Grows to 14 Nights for Halloween Time 2014 at the Disneyland Resort!


Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort transforms Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks into cheerfully spooky, family-friendly Halloween environments beginning Friday, Sept. 12. Highlights include the seasonal re-theming of Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, Mickey Mouse and his friends in Halloween costumes, and a special focus on Disney Villains. 

The after-hours, separate-ticket* Mickey’s Halloween Party, a popular Halloween Time highlight for many Disneyland Park guests, will expand to 14 special nights this year. Mickey’s Halloween Party invites adults and children to dress up in costume and trick-or-treat at Disneyland Park, enjoying candy and healthy treats. Party guests get the extra benefit of being able to arrive early and play in Disneyland for three hours prior to the start of Mickey’s private bash. 

The 2014 dates for Mickey’s Halloween Party are: Friday, Sept. 26; Tuesday, Sept. 30; Friday, Oct. 3; Monday, Oct. 6, Wednesday, Oct. 8; Friday, Oct. 10; Tuesday, Oct. 14; Friday, Oct. 17; Monday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 22; Friday, Oct. 24; Monday, Oct. 27; Wednesday, Oct. 29; and Friday, Oct. 31. 

Highlights of Mickey’s Halloween Party include: 
  • The “Halloween Screams” Fireworks spectacular, hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington (presented exclusively for guests of Mickey’s Halloween Party) 
  • “Monsters U Dance Party” at Tomorrowland Terrace, where guests can join Mike & Sulley and their fellow students of Monsters University in a fun and family-friendly frat party. 
  • “Mickey’s Costume Party” cavalcade featuring some favorite characters, performed twice nightly Disney villains arriving amid thunder and lightning to transform Town Square into Villains Square, on Main Street, U.S.A. 
  • The Cadaver Dans ghoul quartet, performing Halloween-themed tunes aboard a drifting graveyard-themed raft on the Rivers of America 
  • An opportunity for everyone in the family to attend the park in costume. 
  • Photo locations with popular Disney and Pixar Pals, and Disney Villains 
  • Nearly all the Disneyland rides and attractions, plus Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy 
  • Parking for one standard-size vehicle is included with the purchase of Mickey’s Halloween Party tickets. 
Tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party go on sale for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa Card members on Wednesday, July 16, and for the general public on Wednesday, July 30. They may be purchased online and, for the first time, on mobile devices at Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4400. Online purchase is not available on the day of the event. 

Tickets purchased in advance are available at a discount on select nights. Tickets purchased on the day of the event are $70 each. All tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party on Halloween Night, Friday, Oct. 31, are $77 each. Mickey’s Halloween Party is a non-smoking event. Smoking will be permitted only in the Esplanade outside the Disneyland Main Entrance. 

Along with the special Mickey’s Halloween Party, the daily Halloween Time celebration at Disneyland Resort, Sept. 12 through Oct. 31, offers frightful fun for guests of all ages. Guests will enjoy Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, which launches guests into a haunted section of the universe where ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and the exhilarating drops are punctuated by piercing screams and haunting music. 

Jack Skellington returns to take over the Haunted Mansion and bring Haunted Mansion Holiday back to New Orleans Square in Disneyland. Transformed with a mix of Halloween spookiness and Christmas tradition, Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by the classic animated film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Each year brings a new design and new surprises to the traditional Halloween/Christmas gingerbread house in the Mansion Ballroom. 

In addition to the seasonal Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy: 
  • For spine-tingling fun, drop in at The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. This popular year-round attraction begins with the story of a “supernatural” event that happened on Halloween night, 1939, forever haunting the building. 
  • Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland is transformed for the Pumpkin Festival, with hundreds of pumpkins on display, no two of them the same. 
  • Disney villains will be conjured up in a sideshow tent at the Halloween Carnival at Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland. The Halloween Carnival also features pumpkin carvers, Halloween activities for youngsters and favorite Disney characters in Halloween costumes. 
  • Frontierland pays tribute to Dia de los Muertos, an Hispanic observance, with a traditional skeleton display. 
For more details about Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, see Disneyland.com/Halloween. This site will be updated with frightfully fun details.



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Character Fan Days (January 29, 2011)

When I first heard about that little concept called "Throwback Thursday"s, I'll admit that my first impression of it wasn't a good one. I always considered it kind of "gimmicky" and an easy way out of doing things; shame on me!

The more I've thought about it as time has gone on, I've come to realize that even if it is easy to a degree, it's also a very viable, and enjoyable concept! The entire reason I started blogging about Disneyland was because I loved it so much, and one of the things I love most about my trips into The Parks are the memories it allows me to create. And how, pray tell, can I relive those memories if I don't "throw back" my mind sometimes, either through print, or pictures, or both?! So with that said, I'm breaking one of my earliest beliefs and doing just that; I'm throwing it back to the year 2011 for this one, and for honestly, one of the best days I ever remember spending at Disneyland. Period.

Way back in January of 2011, Disneyland had this wonderful concept (and have had variations of it ever since, albeit with different names, in my opinion) called "Family Fun Days", where they opened up certain areas of The Park and had very special weekend activities meant to draw in families for experiences and things pretty rarely seen inside The Parks. When it was announced, of course, it drew a lot of attention, and one weekend in particular did; this one called "Character Fan Days". If memory serves, Park Guests were invited to go online ahead of time and vote for, out of a bunch of different choices, characters that were rarely seen out and about in The Parks that they'd like an opportunity to meet.

The choices were made, and again, it being something that was only one weekend only, we knew it was something we just had to do. It's sort of funny to think about now  because this was pretty early on in our "Days", and since the blog hadn't been up for very long at the time, it seemed like it would be a great opportunity for some pretty fantastic "blog fodder". Back then, it was myself, Amy (who many of you know), and Mark (who many of you might know) doing most of the work around here, so of course, it was we three who met up that Saturday afternoon and spent the better part of four-five hours going from line to line to meet some of our favorite, never-before-met characters. Really? Going from line to line, waiting for hours, to meet a bunch of costumed Characters? Heck yes!

It's funny when I look back at it for a lot of different reasons, not the least of which are the pictures themselves and what they've come to mean to me on a personal level, but it also marked a pretty big swing in my own character and how I viewed myself in some ways. For the better part of the past 20 years or so, I've been a fairly overweight individual, and like most people who are, I tend to have a complex about some things, and having my picture taken is one of them, even where something like pictures with characters or fun events are involved. Up to this particular point in time, I'd simply never enjoyed having my picture taken, and honestly, I kind of have no idea why I thought it was a great idea then, either. But looking back, I have to say, it was the first time in years, decades maybe, that I felt like I wanted to have my picture taken in some way, and if you've followed my blog at all since I originally posted about these, you'll know there's no shortage of pictures of me on the internet since, whatsoever! Something changed, and call it "Disneyland magic" or whatever, but things have been a lot different since.

Amy, Mark, and "Character Fan Days" may have thought that all they did for me back then was give me an opportunity to meet some pretty cool bears, and Esmerelda (still cool by the way!), but I think that "Day" did so much more for me than that. I owe them all, friends and characters alike, a debt of gratitude, and I can't think of a better "Throwback" to have since I've started blogging again than this one.

Those were the "Days", and I can't wait for more!