Thursday, January 29, 2015

Disneyland's 60th Anniversary: Is that all there is?

By Tim Callaway

"You used to be much more...'muchier.' You've lost your muchness." -- The Mad Hatter

Disneyland Diamond Celebration
I'm not sure exactly what I wanted from Wednesday night's announcements about Disneyland's 60th birthday celebration, but they definitely needed to be muchier.

Sure, the details of the new fireworks show, nighttime parade and World of Color update sounded intriguing enough, but the fact that enhancements to these shows were pretty much expected left me feeling underwhelmed.

They were missing, as Steve Jobs used to say, "One more thing."

Another 24-hour party to kick off the celebration would've been nice. I know Anthony, my cohort from Inside The Mouse Castle, was hoping for some kind of a Haunted Mansion hatbox ghost announcement (the rumor is back and gaining traction--what's with the mysterious panel across from the bride in the attic these days?). Nicki, who loyally follows us on Facebook, was jonesing for anything to do with 60th anniversary merchandise.

We expect to hear more between now and May 22nd, when the festivities officially kick off, but for now we'll have to be satisfied with these Disneyland Diamond Celebration announcements. Will the celebration be better than what we experienced during the 50th year? We'll see.

Tinker Bell in Paint the Night

Paint the Night - 1.5 million LED lights will illuminate this Main Street Electrical Parade on steroids. With a clear tie-in to Fantasmic!, Mickey Mouse will use his imagination and some pixie dust from Tinker Bell to bring Disney dreams to life. Among those dreams will be familiar characters from Monsters, Inc., Cars, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story and Frozen.

Disneyland Forever Fireworks

Disneyland Forever Fireworks - I really like that Disney Legend Richard Sherman has penned a new song ("Kiss Goodnight") for Disneyland's latest "dazzling fireworks show." I also like that new projection effects on Main Street, U.S.A., it’s a small world, the Rivers of America and the Matterhorn will create unique viewing experiences throughout the park. But will Disneyland Forever touch my heart like Remember...Dreams Come True did during Disneyland's 50th birthday?

Okay, the new projections do look cool.

World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney - World of Color has always been a great technical show at Disney California Adventure, but it lacks the heart and engagement of Fantasmic! across the esplanade at Disneyland. Will this nostalgic variation paying tribute to the life and accomplishments of Walt Disney finally make World of Color a show worth seeing again and again?

Sleeping Beauty Castle and Carthay Circle Theatre 60th anniversary concepts.
Both parks will of course be adorned with Diamond Celebration decor (the construction walls have already gone up around Sleeping Beauty Castle to prepare for the transformation), but is that all there is? Walt Disney Parks and Resorts chairman Tom Staggs says there will be more. We hope so. If last night was just the start, then surprise us, Tom. The changes are nice, but they still feel routine. In a year when Disneyland won't have any new attractions opening (and is unlikely to announce any until the D23 Expo in August), the 60th anniversary is going to need to be something much more special.

No comments:

Post a Comment