Archive for the ‘The Happiest Celebration on Earth’ Category

Theme Park Headlines – Wrapping It Up

October 13, 2006

The conclusion on Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary Bash

by Blake

Originally posted October 13, 2006.

The Happiest Celebration on Earth, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the original Disney park, Disneyland, kicked off May 5, 2005 at Disney theme parks worldwide. The celebration officially ended on September 30, 2006 and there are hints of its conclusion in the parks already. Gold trimmings, exclusive merchandise, and select attractions added for celebration are slowly disappearing from the parks’ menus (like the Cinderellabration show at Magic Kingdom). Even the festive decorations on both coasts’ Castles have been removed.

Star Central

There was a plethora of celebrities to kick off the celebration in both California and Florida in May 2005. At Disneyland, there was Michael Eisner, Bob Iger, Julie Andrews, Art Linkletter, Jim Belushi, Tyra Banks, Jon Voigt, Kelsey Grammar, Christina Aguilara, Robin Roberts, John Lasseter, John Goodman, Dylan & Cole Sprouse, Ashley Tisdale, Brenda Song, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy. Meanwhile at the same time at Walt Disney World, on hand were Wayne Brady, Meredith Vierra, Ashanti, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Ty Pennington, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip, and Dale. Lastly on board one of the Disney Cruise Line ships were Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Celebrities were also featured in new theme park attractions that debuted for the celebration, including Steve Martin in Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years at Disneyland, Julie Andrews in the Remember: Dreams Come True fireworks show at Disneyland, Tim Allen as Buzz in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland, Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, and Patrick Warburton (aka Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove) in Soarin‘ at Epcot.

Farewells

I personally didn’t visit any of the Disney parks during the Happiest Celebration on Earth and didn’t experience any of the festivities, save for a very distant view of part of Cinderellabration from the Contemporary Resort during one of the show’s soft opening months. Some will miss the celebration and its festivities while others are ready for change by now. And change is what’s currently happening. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World have taken down their gold trimmings and placed up banners for Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams along with its “Where Drams Come True” tag line. Many of the Year of a Million Dreams’ new attractions have already debut at Walt Disney World, such as Dream Along with Mickey, Woody’s Cowboy Camp*, It’s a Ball**, the Main Street Family Fun Day Parade*, the Disney Dreams Come True Parade, and the High School Musical Pep Rally***.

The Happiest Celebration on Earth was certainly one birthday bash that will not be forgotten, and a year in the world of Disney that will go down in history.

*Woody’s Cowboy Camp and the Main Street Family Fun Day Parade were both discontinued exactly two years after their debut, on September 27, 2008.

**It’s A Ball had its final run in February of 2006, just four months after its initial debut.

***The original High School Musical Pep Rally premiered at Magic Kingdom in October 2006 before heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in January 2007. It changed to the “High School Musical 2: School’s Out!” show in November 2007, which subsequently closed in September 2008. It is set to reopen once again to coincide with the new High School Musical 3: Senior Year‘s release on October 24, 2008 with songs from the new sequel.
by Blake; originally posted October 13, 2006. All images (C) Disney.
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