Disneyland’s 60th Diamond Celebration
“If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?”Two years ago, I got to have one of the most fun and magical two days at the Disneyland resort (outside of mine and my husband’s wedding day, which was also super super fun and can’t be beat, but something to share another day). So…clearly, this is coming quite a bit late, but I have really wanted to share my experience of Disneyland’s 60th since, well…since I came back from our trip.
Two years later…Here I go!
This is a long retelling, so I hope you’re ready! There were so many pictures I took over the two days, it made the post too long to narrate all of them. So I selected my 60 favorite shots and compiled them in the slideshow above. The rest of the post has a handful of photos integrated for visual interest. 😉
We stayed at the Marriott off the strip and the walk really wasn’t bad. Once checked in, we started off our first day making a bee-line to Trader Sam’s (The volcano gods had no signal that day…), then went around to scope out the crowds in the parks. We got talked into going into the Bug’s life theater where we got an AMAZING preview of the (at the time) new Antman movie. The first day was quite laid back. We arrived later than originally planned, but still earlier than one could home. Thanks to the heat, we retired early that evening to get my hair in hot curlers so I wouldn’t have to stress over doing my hair the next day and went to sleep.
We started off our morning really early. About 5am, if I remember correctly. Around 6am, we started making our way to the gates where I suspected large crowds and long lines already. They were handing out these beautiful newspapers of all sorts of news regarding Disneyland’s history. A gem I very much valued and still have in my keepsakes today.
Then my first dose of magic happened! I got to meet a Disneyland Ambassador and meet a new lady. It was so exciting to be recognized for my excitement for the day and to share that magic with fellow Disneyland goers. What a fun start to the day!
— Adrienne Bankert (@ABonTV) July 17, 2015
They shuffled the small crowd down to the end of Main Street U.S.A., I think in preparation for the lines outside to start growing. Or they were just being generous and let us in early. 😉 Oscar was out on Main Street while we waited and many many cast members were around with these “I was there” signs all over the park with whom you could take a picture with. They were also giving these out in button form to all guests to take home as a souvenir. We then bee-lined for an Adventureland pit stop!
Our own personal photo ops galore and NO people! What was going on? We hopped on the Jungle cruise with still no people. I also got a Jungle Cruise map! Woo-hoo! There were still no crowds. We ended up walking right on to Pirates as well as onto the Haunted Mansion. Still no people! And found another photo op booth as the singing busts from the graveyard. 🙂 We then headed to Tomorrowland and walked on to Space Mountain. We also walked on to Submarine Voyage. (Our ship was named “Voyager” too. :3)
Then we decided it was time for the birthday cupcakes! Yummy.
We found the “B” ticket by Dumbo, the Flying Elephant. 🙂 Then another photo op place near Thunder Mountain. 😉 After that, we stumbled across the “mud wagon” stagecoach. :3 So, of course, took a photo. I kind of wish I could have kept one of those pennants they had at a lot of these locations. We then meandered from Frontierland to the Mark Twain and found the “C” ticket, with the line just starting up.
Next we moved back to Main Street because the Dapper Dans caught my ear. And I saw everyone wanting to take pictures with them. It was so fun and they were waving people in to come join them, how could I not join in? Below is a video to show off them having fun with the guests and singing away.
Then, of course, I found the “A” ticket at King Arthur’s Carousel. It was not a bad wait and probably the longest line we ended up waiting in the whole day. Passing back through Frontierland, heading towards our lunch reservations, we came across this mariachi band! To be honest though, I can’t remember why we were jumping around at this point. I think I was trying to catch all the letter tickets to get photos with them.
Then we stopped for our lunch reservation at the Cafe Orleans. The food was soooooo yummy. I know there was a ticket outside of Jungle Cruise, but for some reason, I could not find the photo we took from that.
Having felt pretty content with all we had discovered, I asked that we return to the hotel room to change. I’d spent all of the early morning to the mid afternoon trotting around in heels and a tight dress. I wanted to slip into comfy clothes for the rest of the festivities.
We adventured back to the park and I wanted to try to find the 60th jugs to bring back as a souvenir for my dad. Which we did at the Village Haus. We also got a light snack and some refreshments. We spent the rest of the time jumping on the rides that still didn’t have lines, I think our last ride ended up being Indie.
As we were walking out of Adventureland, we discovered that the Paint the Night parade was just starting and we slipped right in to the crowd to watch. Below are some video snippets I took from some of my favorite parts.
The timing was perfect for as soon as Paint the Night was finished, the fireworks show started. Now, this was pretty good and it was really fun to see Tinkerbell and Nemo and the shadows dancing on the Matterhorn. I have to say, it didn’t beat the Christmas firework show. Fun and left me wanting to dance and watch all the Disney movies.
Fireworks done, we did a night ride on the Jungle Cruise and then returned to our hotel room to enjoy a bottle of chilled Magicale in our newly bought Mickey flutes. 😉 It was really fun and the perfect way to wrap up the evening. I’m glad I had planned to bring that bottle.
The next day, we got a later start and dedicated it to California Adventure. Of course, our first stop was to catch some pics with Walt and Mickey on Buena Vista Boulevard. Then one picture I had been envisioning in front of Carthay Circle for a while.
We still got to enjoy the low crowds on this day because it was off and on again raining…in July…in Anaheim. And then we just wandered around to enjoy the sights before our lunch reservations at Carthay Circle. Definitely one of my favorite places to dine in California Adventure. Just because you feel so classy when you walk inside.
To ensure good seating for my secondary goal of the trip (watching World of Color, Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Disney), we did the Carthay Circle World of Color menu. Late lunch done, we were greeted by a good rainfall. We quite enjoyed it. Then decided to do something we had been motivated to do since we saw the preview in the Bug’s Life Theater…and watched Ant-man. To kill time for our later showing of World of Color. 😉 It was awesome and automatically made Ant-man, by far, my FAVORITE Marvel superhero in the Cinematic universe by far. <3
What followed was something that I have to share. These sunglasses brought about my awesome Disney Magic moment of the entire trip. On the actual day of the anniversary, I decided I had really wanted to buy myself a pair of Disney-themed sunglasses from the parks. I looked all day on Friday at all the different shops I could think of that sold sunglasses and I finally found the pair I wanted. so proud and happy with my purchase, I wore them throughout our romps around California Adventure.
Upon which, I took them off at Carthay Circle for lunch and forgot about them (because it was raining so we didn’t need them) until about an hour after we finished dinning. We, of course, went back to Carthay to ask if anyone had turned them in. No luck. But we were told to keep checking back as they are not always able to bring the found items from upstairs down to the hostess desk. So we did. We checked back every hour. Until I decided to take a break and watch Ant-man feeling a little defeated and bummed that I had lost my new purchase within a twenty-four hour period. Then, we tried checking in one last time at Carthay before going to our check-in area. At this point, nearly all the cast members were recognizing me from my constant checking and were just letting me walk right up to the hostess desk with no questions. Upon which, the cast member there presented my sunglasses to me, beaming with excitement that I didn’t give up and came back to check one last time. Disney magic for sure! It was a completely awesome way to wrap up the end of our trip before the last festivity of the night.
Then, it was showtime! The World of Color, Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Disney. It took my breathe away, made my heart soar and brought me to tears in every flashing moment.
“If you could do it all over again, would you do anything differently?”
And that was that. The show ended. The lights were going out. Cast members ushered guests towards the exit. However, we were not about to end the party just yet. We had one more stop before we could say our trip was through. We made one final trip to Trader Sam’s. Each of us tried something new on the menu and then had our own personal fireworks show with an Uh Oa! Ending our evening and our trip with smiles, full bellies and fond memories.