ANAHEIM, CA - Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney dedicated his dream project: Disneyland – a land beyond the boundaries of the motion pictures with which he'd made his reputation, a park where families and guests of all ages could be immersed in worlds of fantasy and adventure.
Today, as part of its Diamond Celebration, the Disneyland Resort honored 60 years of that dream by announcing "Million Dollar Dazzle" at a ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Each month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Million Dollar Dazzle Crew will surprise one or more local nonprofits that exemplify Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' Better Together philosophy with a $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million. Girl Scouts of Orange County was surprised with the first gift earlier today. The funds will support the organization's Comadres outreach program that helps the Girl Scout experience transcend language and cultural barriers for girls in low-income neighborhoods.
"What makes our Diamond Celebration so special is the opportunity to share even more Disney magic with our guests in the parks, and our neighbors in the community," said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. "Our 'Million Dollar Dazzle' program proudly supports local organizations that enrich the lives of children and families."
The ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle also included the tradition of playing the recording of Walt Disney's July 17, 1955 welcome to the first Disneyland guests. Mickey Mouse and all his friends were in attendance, and Disney Legend and Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman ("Mary Poppins") was joined by actress and singer Ashley Brown (star of "Mary Poppins" on Broadway) singing "Feed the Birds" and leading Disneyland park guests in singing "Happy Birthday."
Later in the day, a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., featured current Disneyland Resort cast members along with those who worked at Disneyland in 1955. Guests were invited to show their 1955 Disney side by dressing up '50s-style in the elegant manner of the guests on Disneyland opening day, and to enjoy special anniversary photo locations and '50s-inspired entertainment. Large video screens in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the Downtown Disney District displayed anniversary moments of the day. In addition, all guests were treated to special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration cupcakes. More than 100,000 were prepared for the occasion.
For six decades, Disneyland Resort has explored the frontiers of interactive storytelling and entertainment technology, bringing exciting attractions and inventive entertainment to life for guests from around the world. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is highlighted by three new nighttime spectaculars that, once again, raise the bar on creativity and entertainment technology to keep the resort and its guests forever young.
Disneyland Lights Up the Night for Diamond Celebration
• "Paint the Night – All-New Electrical Parade" – When the lights go down in Disneyland, the Diamond Celebration illuminates the park with a brilliant, new parade. The luminescent parade creates a river of color flowing down Main Street, U.S.A., with an array of Disney characters and more than 1.5 million brilliant LED lights that flash and glow as Mickey Mouse uses his vivid imagination to "Paint the Night." With dazzling special effects, unforgettable music, energetic performances, fun surprises and spectacular floats, "Paint the Night" is more vibrant than any parade in 60 years at the Disneyland Resort.
• "Disneyland Forever," presented by Honda – The dazzling new fireworks spectacular "Disneyland Forever" is a street-to-sky, immersive experience like nothing seen before at the Disneyland Resort. Guests are surrounded by the worlds of timeless Disney tales, from the tips of their toes to the sky high above, thanks to the largest installation of projection mapping technology in a Disney park and surprising special effects. The "stage" for "Disneyland Forever" fireworks will extend from the sky above to the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A., the façade of "it's a small world," the Matterhorn and mist screens along the Rivers of America, with specially designed digital projections offering guests new experiences at each location.
• "World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney" – Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris joins Mickey Mouse on a magical water canvas to entertain guests in this fun-filled new presentation of the popular, nighttime "World of Color" spectacular in Disney California Adventure. Both epic and intimate in scope, "World of Color – Celebrate!" brings to life the remarkable story of Walt and The Happiest Place on Earth with animated imagery, live-action film, fountains, lasers, special effects and a stirring musical score.
All three of these electrifying new shows are presented nightly, making Disneyland Resort sparkle as never before during its Diamond Celebration.