By Jennifer Stuart
The official word from Disney is that the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration will come to an end this September 5, 2016. Here is a list of experiences you should do while you have the chance.
While we have no idea which Diamond Anniversary events will stay and which will go, it makes sense to do them all now in case some end after the summer.
UPDATE: Disney has made an official announcement that ALL 60th Anniversary events will be officially ending as of Sept 5, 2016. his includes Paint the Night Parade. They have said that they will bring Paint the Night back for selected nights during the holidays but have not made any dates available. See all of these while you have the chance!
Paint the Night Parade
This is the most likely special attraction to stay, as it has been wildly popular. This is a great show that debuted for the 60th Anniversary. It is a nod to the old Main Street Electrical Parade (that I loved as a kid) and based on a similar parade from Hong Kong Disneyland. We have really enjoyed this parade every time we have seen it and it typically draws large crowds. People will often start reserving their spots hours in advance for locations on Main Street.
Typically there are 2 parades a night. Click here to check the entertainment schedule for when you are visiting. Since the Parade is housed near It’s a Small World, the first parade will start at Small World and end in Town Square. The second Parade will start in Town Square and end at It’s a Small World. (If there is only one parade it will follow the first parade route).
Insider Tip: If you can stay up later the second parade is MUCH less crowded as many people exit the park after the fireworks.
I used to think fireworks were just fireworks before I became a Disneyland addict. Hard core Disney fans have very strong opinions about their favourite fireworks show. The 60th Anniversary version is called “Disneyland Forever.” This is a great show and as you would expect from an anniversary show, very nostalgic. Best views are in front of the castle, from the hub and along Main Street. Many people will stake out their spot for the first Paint the Night Parade and then just stay for the fireworks. This is a commitment of MANY hours. If you choose to do this, watch for when people start to step into the middle of Main Street to fill in the middle for the best views. This is a tough spot for little kids to get the best views of the castle without being on your shoulders. But there are great projections onto the Main Street shops. I am just not willing to give up that much of my vacation time so I usually choose to watch both from near It’s a Small World. You are seeing the “back view” of the fireworks but as they are actually launched form near Toontown they will still be behind you. The soundtrack is piped in and they do the Main Street projections onto the façade of It’s a Small world as well. It is a worthwhile trade off in my opinion as it is much easier to get a good spot in this area, although you will often want to get there a good hour in advance. It looks like this fireworks show will be ending for the end of the summer and “Fantasy in the Sky” will be the fireworks show offered on non-Halloween Party nights in the fall.
World of Colour
“World of Colour Celebrate” is the 60th Anniversary version of World of Colour at Disney California Adventure. As with the fireworks, expect a nostalgic show with some definite crowd pleasing moments. This one is narrated by Neil Patrick Harris. It is a good show with significant fire elements but I personally prefer the original version.
Insider tip: Fastpasses are distributed for World of Colour from the machines at Grizzly River Run. You will be assigned to a coloured section that will be standing room. You can ask a cast member what colour they are distributing before you get you pass if you have a preference for section.
60th Anniversary Photo Spots
These are so much fun! Look for special photospots at 5 remaining locations:
You can have photos taken by the photographers and pay per photo if you like them. or get a PhotoPass. Or simply ask the photographers to use your own camera to take photos.
The Castle decorations are the centerpiece of the Diamond Anniversary celebrations. It has been blinged out with diamonds on some of the towers, sparkly roof panels and blue and silver bunting. Expect these to be taken down as the celebrations wrap up in September. There are other decorations on lamp standards and on the Carthay Circle Restaurant in Disney California adventure.
60th Anniversary Food Items
Several special celebration food items were made specifically for the 60th Anniversary. I am a big fan of specialty food items. I love trying new foods. Honestly I was underwhelmed by most of the offerings. I found that many of them just had too many different flavours going on. For example this is the description of the 60th Anniversary Cake from the Disneyland website, “a rich layered Chocolate Cake with Caramel Ganache, Chocolate Crunchy Pearls, Fleur de Sel, Apricot Compote, Pabana Mousse and Chocolate Truffle Mousse topped with Chocolate Ganache and a glitter silver Chocolate Diamond.” But that is just my opinion. I did really enjoy the some of the special cocktails though.
Merchandise and Souvenirs
Photos by Jennifer Stuart and Kim Stuart
Thoughts? Questions? Have you been to Disneyland for the 60th?
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