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Friday, September 18, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- The Happiest Homecoming on Earth

For a long time, plans were being made on how to celebrate Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. It was a huge milestone. 50 Years ago, most people thought the venture would fail. But, persistence and Disney's general popularity kept the park from failing. And now this would be commemerated as well as 50 years of Disneyland History.

Though Disneyland would officially turn 50 on July 17, 1955, they began to celebrate this milestone event months before hand. And, in Space Mountain's case, years. Space Mountain went down in 2003, undergoing extensive track replacing and the addition of new effects. New music would also be featured on the new cars. This was ghe only thing that premiered on Disneyland's actual anniversary. Later, Space Mountain would be turned into Rock It Mountain with special equipment added in during the refurbishment. In just a few weeks, this same equipment will be used in Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, which will be a Halloween version of the ride.

But back to the 50th Anniversary- the actual anniversary began on May 5. The day before that, Disneyland was closed the entire day (the first planned closure in decades) for a media event. The next day, the actual celebration was held. And it was big. (And I searched the internet for a long time and could not find any videos of the celebration. Pics will have to do!).

All the Disney Parks around the world took part in the celebration, with new shows, parades, attractions, and decorations galore. In fact, it was during this year that Hong Kong Disneyland opened. And this was only the beginning. The true celebration was going on in Disneyland itself.

Besides Space Mountain, there were new rides and shows added throughout the Disneyland Resort. All attractions that were at Disneyland at opening day recieved a gold vehicle (Gold dumbo, Gold Jungle Cruise Boat, Gold Snow White Car, etc.).

Happiest Faces on Earth- Disney encouraged guests to send in pictures of thier family at Disneyland and these pictures (over 200,000!) were used to make collages around Disneyland.

Also sprung around the park were 50 Hidden Mickeys with the 50th Symbol on them.

The castle was also decorated extravagently.

Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years- This was an entertaining film showcasing Disneyland History, with stars Steve Martin and Donald Duck. The film continued to play until this spring. It took up the Lincon theater and was ousted by the return of Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. However, the movie will play outside the theater when the new Disney Gallery opens on Main Street in the former bank.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters- The ride from WDW was put here, although new and improved.

Block Party Bash- Opened in DCA, was a huge party set to music featuring Pixar Characters.

Parade Of Dreams- This lavish parade featured massive floats with dozens of characters that performed at various stops along the parade route. It is considered one of the best Disney parades ever.

Remember...Dreams Come True- This was the crowning glory of the entire celebration. This massive fireworks spectacular celebrated Disneyland's History through wonderful fireworks and effects set to a stunning score. It is Disney's best fireworks show, and my personal favorite.

On July 17, Disneyland was officially 50 years old. The following video was filmed at the big celebration Disneyland had that day. On this date, much like most of the others during the 50th Anniversary, saw record high attendance.

The celebration was so big it lasted over 18 months. It finally ended in September 2006 and was replaced by the Year of A Million Dreams. The following show is Remember... Dreams Come True. I think it's a suiting way to end this post. Enjoy!

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