Monday, September 28, 2015

Join Disneyland's 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration #Disneyland60

Disneyland has held a very special place in the hearts of people everywhere for 60 years and since this year is the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration, the park has enhanced the magic for all of us dreamers in a big way. 


I was able to experience all of the Disney magic recently as I was invited to California with an amazing group of bloggers from all over the country. We had the best time at Disneyland , learned so much about the happiest place on earth and I honestly felt just like a kid again ~ but isn't that what Disneyland is all about?


From the moment we arrived at the park, I was in awe. I had visited Disneyworld in Florida several times but this trip to Disneyland was a first for me and something I can now cross off of my bucket-list (although I do plan to go back!) Disneyland is decorated not only for the Halloween season but also the 60th Anniversary as well. On every corner, light post, fence and building there is evidence of this amazing milestone in Disney history. The entire park looks spectacular, there isn't one spot in all of Disneyland that is lacking in colorful and festive decorations. 



Our group of bloggers and publicists along with a collection of other journalists were treated to a very special lunch prepared by an actual Disney Chef. Yum! It was set inside of a black diamond and the tables were elegantly decorated with flowers and diamonds too. Not only were we served a delicious meal but we were treated to a surprise visit from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse! Awesome!




After lunch we were led by two Disneyland Ambassadors, Jessica Bernard and Allie Kawamoto, for a tour of some cool spots throughout the park featuring Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney! The Disneyland Ambassadors filled us in on a bit of history about Tomorrowland and allowed us a photo opportunity in the actual boat that was featured in the movie. This was really cool! Just knowing that the stars of Tomorrowland sat in this same boat was exhilarating!





Next was a ride through It's a Small World! This adorable ride is over 50 years old and still plays the original theme song, wrote by Richard and Robert Sherman. Featuring more than 200 animatronic dolls, all dressed in traditional clothing from around the world, this famous and nostalgic ride is still one of the most popular rides in the park. In addition to the children from numerous countries, there are even some popular Disney characters on display. It wasn't until after I returned home from my trip and researched It's a Small World a bit more that I discovered the lead designer for the ride, Mary Blair, actually appears as a blond doll with glasses, flying from a balloon over the Eiffel Tower. I'll be sure to get a picture of that on my next visit! 





Next, we were off to explore the rest of the park and have some fun! The rides were amazing and we were on a mission to ride as many as possible before our magical day came to an end ~ "walk with a purpose" was the motto that day! 







As the sun went down Disneyland dreamers congregated along the path of the parade, all hoping to get the best seat in the house. Our group was given a special designated spot so that we had full view of each and every float during the Paint the Night Parade. I've seen many parades over the years, but this parade was incredible! The theme, Paint the Night, didn't quite prepare me for what was to come...luminescent floats, exciting performers and numerous Disney and Pixar Characters including Tinker Bell, Peter Pan, Lightning McQueen, Buzz and Woody, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Mike and Sulley, and the Disney Princesses, all surrounded by over a million glowing and shimmering lights. This mind-blowing parade was beyond anything I had ever seen before. There were tons of special effects and music that had so much energy! Simply magical!

Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
The finale was a spectacular all new fireworks show that is unlike any other in Disney history. Colorful firework exploded above Sleeping Beauty's  Castle while a dazzling light show and Tinker Bell told the stories of Disney. In true Walt Disney fashion, the end of the day festivities were filled with magic that only Disney can create!

Photo courtesy of Shelby Barone, used with permission
Photo courtesy of Joyce Duboise, used with permission
Thanks to Disney and those who coordinated this fantastic trip I left with a few souvenirs to remember this special time, including a commemorative 60th Anniversary mug and Coca-Cola bottle, in addition to a few other Disney trinkets. I can't wait to go back someday soon!


Have you been to Disneyland? If so, what is your favorite memory? If not, do you have plans to go?

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Disclosure: I was invited to an all-expense paid trip on behalf of Disney to facilitate this post, however, all opinions are entirely my own.

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