Disney Parks Celebrates Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary With Some New Magic


By Shannon Fox


If you’re a ginormous Disnerd like me (seriously, I know more about Disney than I ever have about, like… math), you’ve been flooded with news of updates and new additions to their parks here in the U.S. of A.  Or, you know, maybe you’re NORMAL person that doesn’t follow Disney Parks news like it’s your job and you’re just curious about what’s going on in both the Happiest Place (Disneyland) and the Most Magical Place (Walt Disney World) on Earth.  Either way, I am here for you, my little Mousekenerds.


On May 22nd, during a 24-hour party at both the California and Florida parks, Disneyland kicked off its 60th Anniversary “Diamond Celebration “ with three new night-time shows, an exciting in-park giveaway, and lots of new updates to its current attractions.  Oh, and Sleeping Beauty Castle got all decked out for the occasion, too!




Let’s talk about those updates to your favorite Disneyland attractions.  For those of you who can’t wait for your next Doom-Buggy trip, a new resident has been added to the Haunted Mansion: the infamous Hatbox Ghost!  He was part of the attraction when it first opened, but removed shortly thereafter due to technical difficulties.  Thanks in part to Disney fanatics (he’s been popular despite his demise, even appearing on Haunted Mansion merchandise through the years), he’s back where he belongs.  In addition, the Matterhorn has inherited a brand-new Abominable Snowman and new scene featuring the monster’s treasure, and Peter Pan’s Flight has been updated with new special effects.


Although “World of Color” has been giving all of the Disney feels to audiences at California Adventure for five years now, the show has been re-imagined for the celebration to pay tribute to man behind it all: Walt Disney.  Neil Patrick Harris now acts as host of the night-time spectacular, and for the first time, many popular Disneyland attractions will be featured in the show.  Oh, and for those of you who went nuts over the new Star Wars:The Force Awakens trailer? You MAY want to check this show out.  Hint, hint. Nudge, nudge. (SPOILER WARNING: I also feel I should warn everyone that “Let It Go” from Frozen is also featured,  almost in its entirety, so if you, like me, are Frozen-ed out, you may want to find your happy place and try your best to zone out during that part of the show.)




If you’re planning on visiting Disneyland during the celebration, make sure you check out the new fireworks show, “Disneyland Forever”.  Using fireworks and projections, the show will be viewable around the entire park and actually offer a different experience in each location!  The show will feature scenes and music from many beloved Disney and Pixar films, like Finding Nemo and Peter Pan.  Oh, and did I mention “I See the Light” from Tangled will be featured, as well? I mean, not like we know of anyone in particular who did a voice in Tangled or anything.


There’s also a brand new parade called “Paint the Night”, which will glow with over 1.5 million LED lights during its nightly performances.  Led by Tinker Bell and her sparkly pixie dust, the floats will glow brightly as they make their way through the park to end your day at the “Happiest Place on Earth”.


But if all of that wasn’t enough, Disney has also revealed some new additions to its Florida resort, as well.




Guys.   GUYS.  There is going to be an INDIANA JONES THEMED BAR IN WALT DISNEY WORLD.  Hold my hand for a second over the awesomeness of that.  The bar, called “Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar”, will open this fall in a newly expanded and renovated area called Disney Springs (formerly Pleasure Island and part of Downtown Disney’s West Side).  For those of who don’t know, Jock Lindsey was Indy’s hired pilot in The Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Therefore, you can expect an aviation setting in the bar, and lots of nods and props to the movie and Indy himself.  However, there’s no word on whether or not Jock’s pet snake, Reggie, will make an appearance.




Every fall, Walt Disney World celebrates the best holiday of the year (yeah, I said it) with their annual “Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party” at the Magic Kingdom in September and October.  If you haven’t had the chance to attend the party, it is AWESOME (and not only because adults finally get to go trick-or-treating again without fear of judgment).  But it’s about to get even MORE awesome with the addition of a new show to this year’s party- “The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”.  That’s right, fellow 90’s kids, Disney is FINALLY bringing the Sanderson Sisters from the film Hocus Pocus to its Halloween festivities!  Winifred, Sarah, and Mary are coming down from Salem, Massachusetts to party with some other Disney villains, including Oogie Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog, and many more!  This year’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will be on select nights from September 15th to November 1st.


More updates to the parks will surely be announced soon, with Disney’s D23 Expo (it’s kind of like Comic-Con for Disney fanatics) coming up in mid-August.  Will Epcot in Walt Disney World finally add a new country to its World Showcase? Will Disneyland be upgrading its Fantasyland section like it’s sister park did, a few years back?  Guess we’ll have to wait and see!


In the meantime, Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland! I think it’s safe to say that Walt himself would be thrilled to know that, 60 years later, his park is still bringing happiness and fun to people of all ages.  Here’s to many, many more years to come!

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