A collection of the “Happiest Posts on Earth.” That’s what our series 60 Days to 60 Years had aspirations to be. But what made our retrospective so much more than dates and attraction openings and happy happenings were the devoted authors and the vein of deep-rooted passion that coursed each post. So, too, it is with the ongoing Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
Much more than bunting and pyrotechnics and blue buttercream cupcakes, it is the underlying 60 years of transformation and heart that makes it so cherished. It is this “One Man’s Dream” that brings a tear to the eye of any visitor that, like our 60 authors, truly understands. Walt Disney knew the impact of weaving “fond memories of the past” (his first human Audio-Animatronic was Abe Lincoln in Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln) with the “promise of the future” (Walt dedicated Tomorrowland in 1955 with the words “… a step into the future with predictions of constructive things to come.”) And no trip to Disneyland Resort during this 60th anniversary is complete without appreciating its past and recognizing that NOTHING in its future is impossible; by now we well know that if you can dream it, a Disney Park can do it!
Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration
Each of the following photos has a story, an Imagineer, a Cast Member, and a kindred spirit underlying the obvious. This magical photo essay is lovingly dedicated to them.
Disneyland in the 1950s. The Happiest Beginning On Earth.
1955 Series co-host (and herself a Disney original) Disney Gals remembers Disneyland’s opening year with its “weenie” beckoning the mass of new visitors towards Sleeping Beauty Castle. Today, that same castle beckons and bedazzles us with Disney diamonds.
1956 Guru Donna Kay writes about Disneyland’s very first and hand-lit fireworks displays! In 2016, the Disneyland Forever pyrotechnics are accompanied by their own soundtrack and multiple point-of-view projection shows. WOW.
1957 Disney Running Mama reminds us that the long-loved Baby Care Centers opened this year as the Gerber Baby Center. Over the course of these 60 years, we can only imagine how many millions of families have found sanctuary here!
1958 Focused on the Magic reminds us to look up; the lamp in Walt’s apartment above the Main Street Fire Station is still on and is now framed lovingly with a sparkling blue”D.”
1959 I Am a Mommy Nerd reminds us that Monorail Red took its maiden voyage with Vice President Richard Nixon looking on. Today, it rides above the street modeled after the one Walt may have seen as he stepped off the train in 1923’s Los Angeles.
|1960- best view of Dixieland Bandstand|
Disneyland in the 1960s
1960 Disney historian Tim O’Day transported us to Disneyland’s 5th anniversary and the debut of Dixieland at Disneyland. This show was just the first that would employ the Mark Twain Riverboat and utilize the Rivers of America as its backdrop.
1961 Did you know? (Love Our Crazy Life does!!) “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” weekly television show debuted on NBC this year. In the 1960’s, it was my absolute favorite thing to watch on TV! I am thrilled that it would inspire one of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration highlights almost 54 years later. “World of Color – Celebrate!” The Wonderful World of Walt Disney is a nostalgic standout!
1962 I agree with Inspired by Dis; the Swiss Family Tree House, though now called Tarzan’s Tree House, still has the best views of Adventureland and the Rivers of America!
1963 Tiki-lover Flowers Croon shares that upon its opening this year, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room was the first three-dimensional show to feature Audio-Animatronics. Rush to the Adventureland Bazaar and pick up your own facsimile of these iconic parrots who started it all!!
|1964 then and now|
1964 According to Fans of Mickey Mouse’s House, this was the year that Disneyland went to the New York World’s Fair. And so did we! In fact, it would take 51 years for my mom and me to be reunited in front of our all-time family favorite, “it’s a small world.” This time, it was a world of tears all around!!
Disneyland 10 Year Anniversary!
1965 Maker Mother Marathon Runner takes us not to the Disneyland Diamond Celebration but to Disneyland’s Tencennial, when the Main Street Opera House got its own Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Doesn’t it look grand today?
1966 The Delightful Life poignantly prepares us for a Disneyland without Walt. Thank goodness Roy, D 23 and others have preserved his memory so prominently in the parks. Sniff.
1967 Though opening three months after his death, Pirates of the Caribbean has Walt’s genius all over it. Thankfully, Frontierland Station brings us video of the master discussing the Imagineering of this Disneyland classic.
1968 Plus the Magic shows us some pictorial souvenir and guide books from 1968. I’ve included some of the 2015 variety.
1969 My Adventures in Disneyland takes us to the opening of most “swinging wake.” Thankfully, those 999 happy haunts are still at it! Join their ranks and become a grinning ghost during the Diamond Celebration!!
Disneyland in the 1970s
1970 Lynette Nobel shares wonderful family memories of Disneyland 1970. I did some virtual shopping for you girl!
1971 Disneyland welcomes its 100 MILLIONTH visitor in this year, but Mostly Mommyhood reminds us that the really big “news” was being made in Orlando!
1972 Superheroes and Teacups trumpets the arrival of the first Main Street Electrical Parade. Paint the Night is billed as the “biggest, brightest and most vibrant parade in the 60-year history of the Disneyland Resort.” Believe it.
1973 50 years for The Walt Disney Company! Ellen Cusack reminds us that a “Big Adventure Book” of all “E” Tickets costs $3.00 in 1973. Today, you can get admission and all the “E” Tickets your heart desires in a Disneyland 1-Day Ticket for $99. Stay tuned!
1974 Recreating Saving Up for Disney‘s family memories! Great idea!!
1975 Thankfully, to celebrate Disneyland’s 20th anniversary, Krystina Whitten reminds us that The Walt Disney Story is preserved; to this day, Walt’s dream remains front and center. Never more paramount than during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
1976 Disneyland Entertainment Guide, then and now, thanks to Funk Squared.
1977 Disneyland takes Walt Disney World’s lead and launches its own Space Mountain this year. “Pilot” and former Cast Member from What’s the Point? takes us on a personal, out-of-this world tour of this beloved classic.
1978 As Reporting From Disney World well knows, having “Mansion servant” in your midst is other-worldly!
1979 Jane’s World has it right – “let Disney enchant you.” Though Splash Mountain opened in Disneyland in 1979, my 85-year-old mom wasn’t enchanted until last month!
Disneyland in the 1980s
1980 Just Me & My Running Shoes includes a view of Disneyland’s Silver Anniversary park. Here’s the Diamond version!
1981 Minnesota Girl in the World describes the internal park happenings to highlight the opening of the film The Fox and the Hound. In 2015, Disney California Adventure Park does the same for Ant-Man.
1982 The Disney Kids remember the Disneyland Hotel of the past. Today’s is bedazzled for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
1983 The medieval fair vibe of the original Fantasyland is replaced this year by the whimsical architecture of Walt’s Storybook Land Canal Boats miniatures. Trips with Tykes describes the complete transformation of this first New Fantasyland.
1984 4 Well Rules describes how Disneyland rolls out the welcome mat for the 1984 Olympic Games. In 2015, they do the same for the Special Olympics World Games!
1985 Can Do It Mom brings us Disneyland’s 35th Anniversary Celebration and the television show of the same name with Julie Andrews. The 60th showcases Mary Poppins, Bert, and friends.
1986 Disney Gals tells us that in this year, you could often see one of Disneyland’s draft horses taking a break at Big Thunder Ranch. Look how these regal animals are dripping in diamonds today!
1987 The Mousekatools Mom’s Mickey Mouse still knows how to be the star of the show.
1988 The “friendly Mickey Mouse face made of flowers” that welcomed The Real Up House this year continue to smile at Guests today.
1989 The Sparks of Magic family favorite opened this year and, as evidenced above, Splash Mountain is still the “laughinest and splashiest” place on earth.
Disneyland in the 1990s
1990 The Disneyland 35th Anniversary Dream Machine contest included prizes such as Delta air and a GEO car. Run All the Races asks us: “Haven’t you always wanted a GEO?” I’ll confess that I sure did want that Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Disneyland Dream Suite stay Unfortunately, I missed the ‘Word of the Day’ while snapping the above photo…
1991 Dawn’s Dorky Diary reminds us that the Celebration U.S.A. Parade debuted and ended in 1991. We sure are hoping that Paint the Night sticks around for quite some time!
1992 Tiny Bits of Magic introduces us to the spectacular Fantasmic! For the sixtieth, the show features Disneyland Forever projections and fireworks on the Rivers of America.
1993 Cast Member and Tour Guide Babes in Disneyland welcomes the Partners Statue this year celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 65th birthday. Today Walt and his pal have a sparkling backdrop.
1994 Disney Parks Moms Panelist Courtney Bautista shares Disneyland family traditional photo ops of her youth. DO NOT miss the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Photo Spots!!
1995 Lottie Ferguson describes the Disneyland 40th anniversary festivities. The above is this year’s line-up!
1996 Debbie’s runDisney Challenge describes the additions to windows on Main Street, U.S.A. in 1996. These same windows are now draped in blue bunting.
1997 Disney California Adventure park construction continues and Party of Five shares some fabulous photos of the process. It sure looks mighty fine today!
1998 It’s a great, big beautiful New Tomorrowland according to Disney Day By Day! It looks pretty out-of-this-world today too!
1999 Nancy Sinclair Brook introduces us to Disney’s FASTPASS and during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, it’s still the most coveted ticket in the park!
Disneyland in the New Century
2000 As The Joys of Boys outlines, Disneyland begins its pin trading program in April of this year. The Diamond Celebration pins are sparkly must-haves!
2001 My No-Guilt Life gives us a tour of the newly-opened Disney California Adventure park. The Sun Icon of that year is now the bejeweled Carthay Circle Theatre.
2002 As Cork, Fork, Passport describes, It’s Tough to Be a Bug! debuts in A Bugs Land in a park expansion. This summer, the exclusive sneak peek of Ant-Man temporarily evicted Flik and his multi-legged friends…
2003 Johnny Depp walked the “world’s longest red carpet” for his Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in-park movie premiere in Idahome‘s 2003. Thank goodness he decided to stay!
2004 Hey Entertainment Media Network! This one’s in honor of your Disney honeymoon!
2005 Park Talk Podcast celebrated Disneyland’s 50th birthday; this cake in the lobby of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is ready for 60 candles!
2006 Disneyland (and Plugged In Family) welcomes Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue! this year. Sully gets his own float (and doors) in Paint the Night.
2007 Vy Spear reminds us that “before the Mad T Party, there was only Mickey and Monsters, Inc.”
2008 Toy Story Mania! may be the first Disney Parks attraction to debut in the same year in two different parks, but Kendra Kuske points out that Mr. Potato Head only got a West Coast gig.
2009 Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze toasts Fantasmic’s introduction of the evil fire-breathing dragon; she makes a perfect introduction for the Disneyland Forever fireworks!
Disneyland in the 2010s
2010 The Diaper Bag Confessions remembers the original version of “World of Color”; “World of Color – Celebrate!” celebrates other originals.
2011 This Roller Coaster Called Life pays homage to “classic” Cast Members. We tried to do the same with Chef Oscar this summer!
2012 Home is Where the Mouse is shares the Cars Land Opening Ceremony; I videoed the must-see nightly “Sh-Boom” Lighting Ceremony.
2013 Rolling With the Magic captured the year of Limited Time Magic, with one of the highlights being Long Lost Friends Week. Since capturing unique character autographs was my son’s biggest quest when he was younger, he was almost beside himself when Max and Rafiki came to visit during “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park” at the Plaza Inn!
2014 Vintage Disneyland photography pro (and all-around generous guy) Daveland reviews the many park refurbishments, including Club 33. The new entrance was as far as we got!!!
2015 Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration! Finally and most eloquently, My Dreams of Disney sums up this 60-blogger strong tribute to Walt Disney’s legacy. For me, the only thing that approaches to this lump-in-the-throat sentiment is the New Orleans Square Train Station Cable Office. I am ashamed to say that it was not until recently that I learned that the constant tap, tap, tap that you hear while waiting there for the Disneyland Railroad is actually a version of Walt Disney’s July 17, 1955, speech in Morse code.
The Past is Prologue?
To all who come to Disneyland, welcome. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.
I believe these 60 authors have proven that Walt surpassed that promise. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration did full justice to his handiwork. For all of you who continue to wish upon his star, may your dreams always come true!
(And to my partner and Disney Gal Gayle, may you stay forever young.)