The Disneyland Resort knows how to celebrate special moments, and 2015 marks a special moment in history for The Disneyland Resort: 60 years of magic since Walt Disney opened the park July 17, 1955. To commemorate this milestone, Disneyland is holding an extended party dubbed the Diamond Celebration.

The excitement of this special year in Disneyland’s history is palatable. From the sparkling blue crystals shimmering on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to the diamond tiara adorning the Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney’s California Adventure Park, now is a dazzling time to visit the Disneyland Resort. Here are three new experiences you won’t want to miss on your next visit to Disneyland during the 60th anniversary extravaganza.

Paint the Night, all new electrical parade

One of my favorite Disneyland memories as a child was watching the Main Street Electrical Parade march its way down Main Street U.S.A. Paint the Night, a new parade inspired by the original Main Street Electrical Parade launched in time for the Disneyland Diamond anniversary,and it  brings back the Electrical Parade tradition in more vibrant color.

The new evening parade down Main Street U.S.A. lights up the park with favorite Disney characters all decked out in an impressive 1.5 million brilliant LED lights. Disney Cars fans will love seeing Lightning McQueen and Mack Truck make their way down the parade route in bright red and yellow lights, and Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” float by in a blue and white sparkling ice castle.

Paint the Night illuminates Main Street U.S.A. at Disneyland Resort

World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney

Walt Disney fans will love the new World of Color – Celebrate!, a spectacular water and lights display event shown each evening in Disney’s California Adventure. This year, to mark the 60th anniversary, World of Color – Celebrate! showcases Mickey Mouse. Actor Neil Patrick Harris narrates the story of Walt Disney, his extraordinary legacy in animation, and his dream of creating Disneyland.

The show features movie clips throughout the years. My husband and I especially loved seeing clips from the park opening in 1955, and animated films from our youth. The kids loved watching all of their favorite Disney characters come to life, and we all left inspired by the message the show conveys: If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Viewfinder Tip: Park yourself mid-way down Main Street U.S.A., for the best Disneyland Forever viewing.

Disneyland Forever fireworks

On our last visit to Disneyland, I learned all about the special details that go into creating the Disneyland experience. In particular, I learned about the significance of the nightly Disneyland fireworks show. Walt Disney loved to say “goodnight” to guests with a special send-off moment and the fireworks serve as what Disneyland calls its “goodnight kiss.” It’s a tradition that has withstood the test of time.

The all new Disneyland Forever fireworks show experience celebrates the 60th anniversary of the park with one of the most impressive fireworks shows I’ve seen to date. The show starts with inspiring words from Walt Disney, then illuminates the sky and buildings on Main Street U.S.A. with animation and music from Disney movies ranging from classics such as “Mary Poppins” and “Jungle Book” to modern favorites such as “Tangled” and “Frozen.” The fireworks show concludes with the final song, appropriately named “Goodnight Kiss,” which was composed by Richard Sherman, a legendary Disney composer who also wrote the scores for “Winnie the Pooh” and “The Jungle Book.”

This year’s 60th anniversary is a special time to visit the Disneyland Resort. Not only will you share wonderful Disneyland memories, but you also will leave with a new appreciation of the history of the “Happiest Place on Earth.” 

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