This is a very special edition of Friday Five. Can you believe that our old friend Disneyland is turning 60? In some ways it seems like it has always been here. We can’t imagine Orange County without it, but in others it seems like the memories are just a short time ago.
Disneyland Resort is naturally ready to celebrate with special shows, enhanced attractions and touches of diamond sparkle throughout the park. The Diamond Celebration officially kicked off on May 22 and will last for about 18 months (through next summer). You will have lots of time to see and do all of the things in my “5 Things You Need To Do During Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration.
1.) “Disneyland Forever!” fireworks show.
Every year it seems that Disneyland Resort amps up the magic to new levels. This all-new show is the the most vibrant and immersive show yet! Projection, pyrotechnics, some of Disney’s favorite music and surprises create a spectacular spectacle from almost any vantage point. I have seen the show three times — from Main Street U.S.A, from the front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle and from near “it’s a Small World” — and from every angle the show is simply stunning.
Some surprises are in store if you watch from Main Street U.S.A so I would recommend that position if you just have one shot in the Diamond Celebration to see the show.
2.) “Paint the Night” all-new electrical parade.
One thing I loved about the entire Diamond Celebration is Disneyland’s mixture of fresh ideas and technologies mixed with sentimental nods to the past. The “Paint the Night” Electrical Parade is reminiscent of the old-school Electrical Parade that we grew up seeing at Disneyland. The new parade has a kinetic creativity that only Disneyland can achieve with over 1.5 million LED lights, vibrant music and lots of activity that happen as the parade makes its way down Main Street U.S.A. Some of my favorite parts were the above reference to the old parade with this drum float. Just like we remember.
This Woody float stole my heart with the Lite – Brites studding the floor. I loved it!
My kids loved this float from the movie “Cars” but the star of the show is, of course, Frozen.
3.) World of Color “Celebrate the Wonderful World of Walt Disney”
I was lucky enough to five years ago to see the premiere of World of Color at the Disneyland Resort (See that video, here). It was like nothing I had ever seen before. The emotion the water show evoked in not just me, but many who saw it was undeniable. It was innovated at the time, but now with the addition of projection and the a couple of hosts — Mickey and Neil Patrick Harris — it feels complete.
When my family and I previewed the new show we found ourselves loudly singing along to the music, dancing in our section and, honestly, soaking wet! But it was fantastic! From top to bottom the show is the best yet. Definitely a must-see this summer.
4.) The new Matterhorn Yeti
The classic Disneyland ride the Matterhorn Bobsleds have a new red-eyed, snarling yeti that is sure to scare the daylights out of your kids — but in a good way. You have to see it the next time you’re in the park. This isn’t something specifically for the Diamond Celebration, but I added it to the list because he showed his angry face at the same time the celebration began.
Also, don’t miss the new photo spot outside the Matterhorn Bobsleds. So much fun.
5.) The Enchanted windows on Main Street U.S.A.
Don’t miss the Enchanted Windows that Disneyland has created for the Diamond Celebration. I got to see the first one when I was there. Watch the video below for more details and to see the first window:
(All photos except for Matterhorn postcard are courtesy of Disneyland Resort