Hard to believe a week ago I was in California celebrating Disneyland’s 60th anniversary. We took part in an Adventures by Disney Backstage Magic, a VIP tour with a focus on the 60th celebration. This meant VIP viewing for the new parades, fireworks and of course the rededication ceremony on the morning of July 17th.
But let me rewind just a bit to park opening… we were asked to meet at reception in the hotel at 5.45am. Our adventure guides met us with donuts and we headed into Disneyland. The park was due to open at 7am and were lead down Main Street just after 6am.
There were cast members lining the street waving to us and welcoming us in. We later found out that this was especially for our group. We were also warned as we neared the castle that under no circumstances could we take any photos, as not to spoilt the Disney magic – some setup for the rededication ceremony was still occurring near the castle.
We were taken to get some official photos to the side of the castle. Then through to Fantasyland, where we waited by Alice in Wonderland and the teacups for a few minutes where I got some fab photos of the empy teacups which I’ll likely share in another post. Then onto It’s a Small World for a private ride.
By this time the park had just opened. So back to the Matterhorn where we met with the Imagineer who was the show producer of the new effects in the Matterhorn. He explained the new effects and why they did them. They then took us to the front of the line where we boarded our bobsled(s) to see the new effects. Wow! Some really nice features and a working Yeti!
Then to breakfast as the Plaza Inn, a character breakfast. Not sure about you, but early in the morning, I’m not the most perky of people. I can do without Disney characters trying to hug me while I’m trying to get caffeinated and eat. Eeyore was having a very bad day… The food was actually pretty awful, if I’d paid out-of-pocket for this, I’d be sorely disappointed.
Then they took us behind the scenes to the vehicle workshop at Indiana Jones – again no photos (and no spoilers). Once done there, straight to the front of the line to ride.
And time to start the 10am rededication ceremony, so back to the hub where our small group were led into a roped off area immediately behind the seated VIPs – celebrities, Disney legends, opening day cast members and original Mickey Mouse Club members.
This was a fantastic viewing location. The regular day guests were right behind us and this pissed some of them off as they had been waiting hours to get a “front row” view and we got to stand right in front of them. To be fair, they were told that a group would be coming into this area – but that didn’t stop some of them being very vocal in their displeasure.
But then the tour we took was open to the public and for the $$$ they could have joined us … so kiss my front-row-arse rude lady. <mwah>
So now for some photos & video of the 60th ceremony.
First up, a selfie of me and my chins before the ceremony started.
Then the celebrities and VIPs took their respective seats – the man in the centre of the photo with the white hair is Dick van Dyke, Disney Legend and actor.
To start the ceremony Disneyland President Michael Colglazier welcomed the VIPs (not us 🙂 ) and said a few words including announcing some large donations to the local community over the next few months, including the Girl Scouts who were seated in the VIP area in front of us.
Disney Legend Richard Sherman and Ashley Brown, the actress who portrayed Mary Poppins on Broadway came on stage and performed “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins – Walt Disney’s personal favourite song.
Part way through the ceremony, these ducks wandered through 😉
Towards the end of the ceremony, the Disney characters came on stage and the crowd sang Happy Birthday.
And a final selfie at the end of the ceremony.Follow @paula_from_nz