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Disneyland's 60th "Diamond" Anniversary Announcement


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The Disneyland Resort will be celebrating its 60th “Diamond” Anniversary this year, and they’re going all out with several exciting new additions to both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. We were invited to the resort on Wednesday to check out the newly opened Frozen Fun area at DCA, and to attend an announcement on Main Street at Disneyland introducing the new 60th anniversary offerings. Check out our report below to learn all about what’s in store for this important Disney milestone!

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First up, Frozen Fun at DCA! This newly opened Frozen themed area replaces the Mad T Party with shows, entertainment, and photo ops that Frozen fans are sure to love.

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The first thing you see upon entering is “Freeze The Night,” a family-friendly dance party with live entertainment.

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A DJ, dancers, singers, and performers make the area fun and lively.

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Here are two of the dancers showing off their moves.

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There’s live singing in-between the DJ sets and dancing.

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Overall, Freeze the Night seems more aimed at families and children than the Mad T Party, Electronica, and Glow Fest dances were. It’s still fun, but the energy is a little different. Some people will like that, some won’t.

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We enjoyed it though!

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Next up is “For the First Time in Forever, A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” in the Crown Jewel Theatre.

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A historian and historian apprentice, along with special guests from the movie, tell the story of Frozen. All of the major songs from Frozen are played with lyrics on screen, and the audience is encouraged to sing along.

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So prepare to get songs stuck in your head!

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Kids especially will enjoy singing along with the show and re-living their favorite moments from Frozen.

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It also snows in the theater!

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There are special effects all around.

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And everyone becomes an honorary citizen of Arendelle! Yay!

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Now lets check out some of the merchandise.

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There’s something for everyone.

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There are lots of plush characters at Oaken’s Trading Post.

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My favorite item would have to be this beach towel with a picture of Olaf enjoying the summer sun.

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Speaking of Olaf, there’s an entire area dedicated to him called “Olaf’s Snow Fest.”

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Inside Stage 17, Olaf’s Snow Fest has entertainers...

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A snow play area with “real” snow.

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Snow (of the not-so-real variety) falls from the sky as well!

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There’s sledding...

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And you get to meet Olaf! We became best bro friends. I now call him Brolaf!

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Back outside, there’s still lots more to see and do! You can watch several ice sculptures get hand carved throughout the night.

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More photo ops!

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And of course Anna and Elsa are waiting to meet guests! (Photo credit: Disney)

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So that’s Frozen Fun! Fans of the movie (and who isn’t?) will almost certainly enjoy it!

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Now over to Disneyland to find out what’s new for the 60th!

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The park was closed, and a stage was set up on Main Street. Invited guests and media gathered in front of the stage, eagerly awaiting the presentation.

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I spy light from a projector in the window! Perhaps it’s a sign of what’s to come?

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Shhh! The presentation is starting!

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Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, came on stage and greeted the crowd.

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Staggs talked about the legacy Walt Disney created. He talked about how much Disney Parks and Resorts have influenced the lives of people around the world, and how it all started with Disneyland in Anaheim. Staggs then introduced Steve Davison, Lead Creative Executive of Parades and Spectaculars, to reveal what’s in store for the Diamond Celebration.

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First Davison introduced World of Color - Celebrate! This new overlay for World of Color will celebrate the wonderful world of Walt Disney.

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According to Davison, the show will use all new animation to “bring Walt’s dreams to life.”

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Next it was announced that the icons of each park, Carthay Circle Theater at DCA and Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, will both get a new diamond transformation for the 60th.

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Here’s the concept artwork for the “diamond-ized” Carthay Circle Theater.

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And here’s the concept artwork for Sleeping Beauty Castle with diamonds sparkling in the sunlight.

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They pointed out that right behind us the castle was currently undergoing its transformation.

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Next Davison introduced a new parade inspired by The Main Street Electrical Parade, which debuted on Main Street at Disneyland over 40 years ago. The new parade will capture the spirit of the Electrical Parade but bring it up to date with modern technology.

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The new parade is called “Paint the Night.”

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Astute Disney fans will know that this parade debuted recently at Hong Kong Disneyland. It will be created in the same style at Disneyland Anaheim, but it won't be entirely identical to the Hong Kong version. (Photo credit: Disney)

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These photos from the Hong Kong version show how insanely cool this parade is. It’s sure to be a huge hit at Disneyland! (Photo credit: Disney)

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And finally, one last surprise was announced: a new fireworks show called, “Disneyland Forever.”

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In addition to the fireworks in the sky, the show will use projectors throughout the park to immerse guests in the story.

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This concept photo gives you an idea of what it’ll look like watching the show on Main Street. There will be great locations to watch throughout the park though, as there will be projections on Main Street, It’s a Small World, Rivers of America, and The Matterhorn. All of the projection locations will be surface mapped so that the projections can interact with the physical surfaces they’re being projected onto.

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As a special surprise, they showed the crowd a sample of what the projections will look like! As we found out in the Q&A later, these are very early animations that just give a taste of what’s to come. Work has only just begun on the show.

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But even these early samples looked great! This will likely be a “can’t miss” show.

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And with that, the presentation was over!

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A small dessert reception followed.

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Mmmm, desserts!

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There was also a short Q&A with the creative minds behind the 60th additions. One neat thing we learned is that the projections during the fireworks will be customized for each area. For example, you may see characters pop up in the windows on Main Street, but see something different if you’re watching by the Matterhorn. This will encourage people to watch in different locations and to return again and again to see everything.

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Aww, it’s time to leave. Between Frozen Fun and the wonderful Diamond Celebration presentation it was an amazing night filled with fun and surprises!

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60 years is an incredible milestone, and we congratulate Disneyland on their continued success. With the new anniversary offerings that push the boundaries of technology and immersion, it’s easy to see that even at 60, Disneyland is just getting started. The Disneyland Diamond Celebration begins Friday, May 22 - don’t miss it! Thanks to Disney for inviting us to this event, and thanks to you for checking out our report!

Edited by ILoveRides
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I remember the fireworks from their 50th anniversary celebration--they'll have to go a long way to top those. Customizing the projections for each viewing ares is a very nice touch.

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The projection mapping in particular is quite impressive. Also appreciate the original music. They mentioned that other parts of DL will also be using the effect. Any word on where the mapping will take place? Looks like Main Street is the ideal location to take it all in. Looks quite nice.

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The projection mapping in particular is quite impressive. Also appreciate the original music. They mentioned that other parts of DL will also be using the effect. Any word on where the mapping will take place? Looks like Main Street is the ideal location to take it all in. Looks quite nice.

 

This concept photo gives you an idea of what it’ll look like watching the show on Main Street. There will be great locations to watch throughout the park though, as there will be projections on Main Street, It’s a Small World, Rivers of America, and The Matterhorn. All of the projection locations will be surface mapped so that the projections can interact with the physical surfaces they’re being projected onto.

 

Main Street and It's a Small World would probably be the best locations for the mapping effects. I'm curious to see what they do for the Matterhorn and the Rivers of America, which would be a bit more of a challenge (particularly the latter).

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This looks good overall. I am not sure if spreading the (different) projections around the park is brilliant or diabolical when it comes to crowds.

 

Its much better. Because everyone wont crowd Main St as much.

 

Also, this isn't the end of the announcements! Steve said in the Q&A that theres more surprises to come!

 

I am so excited for all the things happening for the 60th celebration.

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Can't wait to visit Disneyland. We are going as a family next February so I wonder if most of the "60th" stuff will still be around and if the Frozen stuff will come back next year too. I'm really liking the projections and also the parade floats look awesome!

 

Jimmy "Too bad some of that food isn't free all the time" Bo

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Projection mapping is becoming so common, I kind of hoped Disney would do something unique. It's still cool, but it's not jaw dropping awesome anymore.

 

The cool thing about the 50th fireworks was that the focus wasn't all over the place. It told a story and the focus was still the castle/matterhorn and the sky. I hope the use of projection mapping all over the place doesn't end up seeming like it was produced by someone with ADD and there's TOO much going on.

 

I know there are rumors of ride plussing to come as well, but to be totally honest, this part of the announcement is underwhelming. The park already needed a new fireworks show and their other parade was coming up on 4 years old. Disneyland is probably now the most neglected park when it comes to ride additions and desperately needs more things to get people OFF of the crowded walkways (since the park was clearly not designed for the crowds it now gets).

Edited by Jew
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These all look like great new entertainment options! I can't wait to see them! Disneyland Forever looks very cool and innovative, World Of Color-Celebrate sounds like it will be filled with nostalgia, and Paint The Night looks very awesome! I still hope they do something with the original dark rides. But, still these new shows sound incredible!

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Well, they did a Proof of Concept on Snow White a few years ago, and did an actual upgrade on Alice this past summer. Its rumored that all the classics will be receiving upgrades. And that they will go back in to Snow White and Alice and add even more to those. Also, the Disney Parks Blog is teasing something coming to The Haunted Mansion.

 

Other rumors are a new exhibit in Innoventions, additions coming to Matterhorn, and something for Indy, Pirates, and Small World. I haven't really heard much on the last 3, so I really don't know abut those.

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After taking some time to think about the new additions, I've come to the conclusion that they're good, but not good enough to convince me to make a special trip, especially with the continuing price increases. I'm not much of a fan of parades, but I do enjoy World of Color and the firework show, so next time I visit I'll be sure to watch those. Projection mapping is getting more and more common, but I'm interested to see how it plays into the new show. Hopefully it adds to it and isn't a distraction as the main focus should remain on the fireworks.

 

I do think it would have been nice to announce some additional improvements (ideally more Fantasyland dark ride refurbishments), but what they've revealed so far is okay. While this probably wasn't a good time to announce new rides, the park definitely needs to add some major attractions in the near future, as Cars Land is starting to drop off in appeal and there will be some serious competition up the freeway next year. I'm not an economist, but I have to think the resort is pretty close to their price ceiling based on what the parks currently offer, so hopefully the rumored Marvel and Star Wars Lands are on the horizon. If not, an attendance drop beginning next year wouldn't surprise me much.

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During the announcement, they did mention that more surprises will be revealed leading up to the celebration. That being said, there's no way a new ride is coming in time for the 60th or even Harry Potter at UNI. But I do feel we will get some big reveals at this years D23 EXPO and that construction will most likely start immediately after the 60th ends.

 

Also, like was mentioned earlier, the 50th ran for 2 years. But I don't see the 60th running that long, unless it overlaps with any new things that start construction in 2016-2017. I think that if big things get announced at D23, they wont be waiting too long to get started. Just my opinion though.

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I hope they work out the issues with the paint the night parade, lots of disappointed youngsters in Hong Kong.

 

 

Care to elaborate?

 

What I read was, the "paintbrushes" that could be bought (and act like the Mouse Ears do/did),

apparently weren't working in conjunction with floats passing by, as they were supposed to.

 

Not sure of how the whole thing worked, but it wasn't working, and I suspect they might just

do DL's parade without the brushes. And they might have already figured out the problems,

by now, too.

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I hope they work out the issues with the paint the night parade, lots of disappointed youngsters in Hong Kong.

 

 

Care to elaborate?

 

What I read was, the "paintbrushes" that could be bought (and act like the Mouse Ears do/did),

apparently weren't working in conjunction with floats passing by, as they were supposed to.

 

Not sure of how the whole thing worked, but it wasn't working, and I suspect they might just

do DL's parade without the brushes. And they might have already figured out the problems,

by now, too.

 

They will probably stick with the Glow With the Show ears in DL. So far, I haven't seen anyone in any of the videos of Paint the Night using the brushes. GWTS ears are already in the parks here and probably easier for them to implement vs. the brushes. When they first came out they did mention the ears working with new parades...

 

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I still think that's a cool technology being poorly implemented. Doesn't add anything to the show unless everyone is using them! Though I am sure little kids will just see a shiny light up toy and be impressed, so Disney will still make a killing.

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I still think that's a cool technology being poorly implemented. Doesn't add anything to the show unless everyone is using them! Though I am sure little kids will just see a shiny light up toy and be impressed, so Disney will still make a killing.

Well if the wands work, they are supposed to interact with the lights in the parade and actually turn them different colors, from what I believe.

 

But yeah, the hats and other things do nothing, really, unless everybody has one.

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