The “Happiest Place on Earth” turned 59 years old on July 17th this year and celebrated the day in true (and spectacular) Disney fashion. The annual birthday party included a recording of Walt Disney’s speech from opening day in 1955, and a festive rendition of “Happy Birthday” sung by guests and 59 popular Disney characters lined up all along the park’s Main Street, U.S.A.
Over the course of the day’s events, Magic Kingdom officials also made announcements of preparations for next year’s exciting, year-long 60th anniversary celebrations. They revealed next year’s “Diamond Celebration” logo, a clever arrangement of sparkly diamonds in the form of the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. They also promoted a contest during the month of August in which previous guests of the park are invited to submit their favorite photos from their time at Disneyland throughout the decades. They can use hashtag #Disneyland60Contest to enter pictures through Twitter or Instagram– and maybe even win a trip to Disneyland next spring!
Disneyland was the very first of Walt Disney’s theme parks, and a genuine innovation among amusement parks at the time. Back in 1955 when it opened, it had just 18 attractions. Over the years, the park has grown into a massive, world-class family destination with almost 100 attractions, as well as resort-style hotels, fantastic restaurants, and 26,000 employees devoted to making guests’ visits so much fun. One of the most recent additions to the park is Fantasy Faire, featuring the popular Disney Princesses.
In the nearly six decades since opening, Disneyland’s cutting-edge rides and shows have entertained nearly 700 million guests, who took home more than 84 million “mouse ears” hats! Aside from the countless happy families sporting their ears, visitors have included thousands of famous athletes, artists, celebrities, and politicians. Of course, that number will only grow in coming years, starting with next year’s anticipated festivities.
Happy Birthday, Disneyland!