On the 59th birthday of Disneyland first opening in Anaheim, California, the theme park that started it all has held a sneak peek at its plans for next year’s big 60th anniversary celebration.
A special ceremony took place in Town Square featuring characters and a performance by the Dapper Dans.
Video: Disneyland 59th anniversary / birthday celebration with Dapper Dans, 59 characters
Right on time at 10 a.m. the “mayor” of Disneyland stepped up to the podium set up for him on the steps leading up to the railroad station in Town Square to start the celebration of Disneyland’s 59th birthday.
First up, were the Dapper Dans to lead the media and park guests in a medley of songs representing the various lands of Disneyland including “The Tiki Room” for Adventureland, the theme song “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a Pirate’s Life for Me” from the Pirates of the Caribbean for the west side, “it’s a small world” for Fantasyland and for Tomorrowland, “Miracles from Molecules.” Finally the entire crowd helped sing “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.”
After the medley, a large cast of Disneyland characters, reported to be 59 in number, danced onto Main Street to lead all park visitors in singing “Happy Birthday” to Disneyland.
“It’s an incredible time at the Disneyland Resort as we prepare for next year’s Diamond Celebration,” said Michael Colglazier, president, Disneyland Resort. “We’re excited to honor our rich history, to celebrate the incredible magic that fills our resort today, and to create unforgettable memories with our guests for many years to come.”
After the singing of the birthday song, the “mayor” announced a photo contest set to start today in honor of Disneyland’s upcoming 60th birthday. He also announced that the park’s celebration of its Diamond Celebration would start in the Spring of 2015.
For the contest, Disneyland is inviting generations of families and friends to the park to submit photos taken at the Disneyland Resort down through the years. The photos are supposed to represent memories from the various Disneyland Decades, starting with the 1950s through to the present decade. The deadline for the contest is August 27, 2014. Photos may be shared via Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag #Disneyland60Contest. All the rules can be found at disneyparksblog.com.
A panel will narrow all the entries down to 5 from each decade. After the deadline, fans will vote on each decade and the overall winner.
At a reception after the celebration, park officials said there would be more details about other events geared towards the park’s 60th anniversary later in the year.
Take a look back at the original opening ceremony and excitement from July 17, 1955 when Disneyland first debuted to the public: