Diamonds are Minnie's best friend too, and she proved it as Disneyland Resort kicked off its 60th anniversary in style. Just in time for the start of summer, the two Disneyland Resort theme parks debuted three new shows, an all-new nighttime parade, fireworks show, and World of Color water and light spectacular. The recurring theme of the Disneyland Diamond Celebration shows is the integration of the old and the new - classic stories with innovative technology. Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, summed up the Disneyland Diamond Celebration best, "we had the great fortune to be founded with a spirit of creativity and innovation -- one that continues to define this phenomenal company, allowing us to keep moving forward to meet the future without ever losing sight of who we are and where it all started." Continue reading for photos, thoughts, and reviews of all the new additions at Disneyland Resort.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their Diamond Celebration finery, photo by Sarah Woloski
To commemorate her sixth decade, Sleeping Beauty Castle received some extra sparkle with a "diamond" overlay, but the real pizzazz comes at night with the Paint the Night Electrical Parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular. Note, Sleeping Beauty's Castle pizzazz really comes to life at night too.
Sleeping Beauty Castle At Night with Diamond Celebration adornments, photo by Sarah Woloski
Paint The Night Parade
The Paint The Night Parade features eight different floats combining Disney and Pixar characters in a (nearly) 100% LED light show with over 1.5 million sources of light (including video screens). Tracy Halas, Choreographer Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Creative Entertainment, described it as "eight sparkling stories that create a beautiful river of light coming down Main Street, U.S.A." Click here for even more photos and full video of the Paint The Night Parade.
Annual Passholder Chrysty Summers said, "of the three new shows introduced for Disneyland's 60th Anniversary the Paint The Night parade is definitely my favorite. It has a wonderful energy, blending classic Disney storytelling with an impressive, modern twist, and is sure to be a hit for years to come."
Mack's float is really impressive, photo by Sarah Woloski
Disneyland evenings climax with the all-new Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular show-stopper. Combining fireworks, music, and projection mapping on Sleeping Beauty Castle and Main Street, U.S.A. (as well as other park locations), Disneyland Forever immersive families in a show experience like never before. Click here for even more photos and full video of Disneyland Forever.
Continuing to mashup traditional with current, Disneyland Forever brings back legendary Disney Composer Richard Sherman for a new inspiring closing song "A Kiss Goodnight," sung by Ashley Brown, star of the Broadway production of "Mary Poppins." In describing the song, Richard Sherman said he wrote "A Kiss Goodnight" for Walt Disney.
It's for Walt because he's the one who came up with the idea of having fireworks at the end of the night. He wanted to give the folks who were leaving after a day at the park a little extra gift from him, and that was why he called it a little kiss goodnight. So as they leave, and they see fireworks shooting in the sky and they hear music and see Tinker Bell flying across the sky, all these things were Walt Disney's gift to his guests. That story inspired this song, 'A Kiss Goodnight' for the new fireworks show. After all these years, people still get a kiss goodnight, so this is very special for me - Richard M. Sherman, Disney Legend and composer.
Looking down Main Street U.S.A., during Disneyland Forever Fireworks, photo by Chrysty Summers
DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE PARK
Across the esplanade, Disney California Adventure's park icon, the Carthay Circle Theater, also received the Diamond treatment with 60th anniversary banners and a "crystal" cap atop its spire. However, like Disneyland Park, it's the nighttime World of Color show that shines like a jewel.
Carthay Circle Theater with Diamond Celebration Overlay, photo by Sarah Woloski
World Of Color: Celebrate!
The original World of Color spectacular premiered in 2010, and World of Color: Celebrate! is an all new version of the light and water show. Host Neil Patrick Harris looks back at the creation of Mickey Mouse and the history of Walt Disney films via dazzling water, light, fire, and projection effects. The show is certainly not to be missed, and uses state-of-the-art, technology. The narrative focuses on Walt Disney, and how he used his vivid imagination to create timeless animated characters, films, and ultimately Disneyland Park. Of course the show recognizes recent additions to Disney film legacy with segments from Disney's FROZEN and the upcoming STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.
If you think Elsa's "Let It Go" has reached the saturation point, listen to the collective intake of breaths around you as that piano melody starts, and the subsequent impromptu sing-along that occurs as every little kid sings along. Perhaps you think a not yet released film doesn't belong in a 60th Anniversary spectacular? Well, avid Star Wars fan and Disneyland Annual Passholder Sarah Woloski said it was her favorite segment! It includes nods to the Star Tours ride and the tear-jerking park to "The Force Awakens" Teaser Trailer #2: "Chewie, we're home." Click here for even more photos and full video of World of Color: Celebrate!
Disneyland is unique in that it has such a rich history, but does not relegate itself to living in the past. It celebrates its origins, while continuing to innovate and look towards the future. Disneyland's Diamond Celebration and the three new nighttime shows are as much about what's coming to the original Disney Theme Park as it is its 60 year legacy. Happy 60th Birthday Disneyland!