The happiest place on earth just became even happier, with a huge Diamond Jubilee celebration to mark 60 years of operation. Walt Disney opened the iconic Anaheim property back in 1955 and since then more than 700 million guests have visited its parks.
Unlike previous anniversaries, the Disneyland Diamond Jubilee won’t be benchmarked with the launch of a new ride or attraction. Instead, Disney has committed all its imagination and budget to the staging of three extraordinary night shows. With everything from digital projection, water robotics, music, theatre and pyrotechnics, the new spectaculars put a technicolour highlighter pen through the unique magic of Disneyland.
Sixty years on, you can still feel specialness of this place. Perhaps it’s the innocence, perhaps it’s the imagination but either way, Walt Disney’s spirit is at the heart of the Jubilee creations. Unless you have coal in your soul, all three of these shows will bring tears to your eyes.
Book. Go. Enjoy.
1. Paint the Night
Forget everything you know about parades. Instead imagine being inside a giant, 4-D Pixar movie and you’re getting close to the experience of Paint The Night. Disneyland is famous for its nightly character-themed parade that winds from Small World through Beauty Castle and down Main Street but this new production is the most elaborate and special in the park’s history. Paint The Night is an astonishing spectacle where light, music and performance combine to create an imaginary world. The parade features more than 1.5 million LED lights, 76 performers and electronic “light-up” costumes. There are special effects, automation and stunning floats from Cars, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Beauty and the Beast and my personal favourite The Little Mermaid. Ariel’s float, complete with a giant King Trident, is so swoon worthy it looks like a set from an old Esther Williams movie. Paint The Night will move you like a Broadway musical and make you laugh like a Disney cartoon. It’s a once in a lifetime thing.