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A fond look back at Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration: Part I

A fond look back at Disneyland's 50th Anniversary celebration: Part I

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Okay. I know. The Walt Disney Company wants to keep this "Happiest Homecoming on Earth" thing going through September of 2006. But let's be honest here, folks. For even the most diehard of Disney fan, the unofficial end of Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration is this coming weekend. AKA Labor Day.

For after that comes the Fall. And the annual installation of the "Haunted Mansion Holiday" overlay at the Anaheim theme park. Plus DCA's first ever "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Treat." Then -- beyond that -- comes Christmas. With Small World's holiday overlay as well as Disneyland turning itself into "The Merriest Place on Earth."

So it's easy to see how the whole "Happiest Homecoming" thing is going to quickly fall by the wayside. Become upstaged. Particularly as the Disneyland Resort gears up to make its two theme parks as appealing as possible to Southern Californians. Those people that Disneyland has come to rely on to keep those turnstiles turning during the off-season.

So this week at JimHillMedia, in honor of this event's unofficial close, we're going to take a fond look at Disneyland's 50th anniversary. Revisit some of the high points of the celebration.

Me personally? I know that this is an event that I'll never forget. But -- then again (Thanks to my gig here at JHM) -- I was lucky enough to be able to attend both the official kick-off of the "Happiest Homecoming" on May 5th ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... as well as Disneyland's really-for-real 50th birthday on July 17th.


Photo by Jeff Lange

And I have to say -- having suffered through those 18 months back in 1996 where WDW's Cinderella Castle looked like it had been hosed down with Pepto Bismol -- I really liked what was done with Sleeping Beauty Castle. Whether it was by day ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

... or by night ... 


Photo by Jeff Lange

... From whatever angle you look at this Disneyland icon from ...


Photo by Jeff Lange

The castle always looked spectacular.

In fact, to be honest, the whole park looked great. From the 50th floral display out in front of  the train station ...


Photo by Jeff Lange


... all the way back to the Mark Twain, Disneyland just sparkled.


Photo by Jeff Lange

So all those months back in late 2004 and early 2005 when it seemed like the entire Anaheim theme park was being roped off and painted really paid off.

Oh, sure. I know. It wasn't all good times. I know from experience how crowded Disneyland got this past summer. How tough it was to get around sometimes, particularly just after the "Remember ... Dreams Come True" fireworks display.


Photo by Jeff Lange

But even so, in spite of those temporary inconveniences, I thought that -- overall -- the Walt Disney Company did a fine job of celebrating Disneyland's 50th anniversary.

So -- if you'd like to take one last fond* look back at "The Happiest Homecoming on Earth" -- be sure and drop by JHM for the next four days. Where I'll be sharing some of my favorite images from Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebration.

* You understand -- of course -- that just in a few weeks, all of the Southern Californians who go to Disneyland on a weekly basis are going to start to become jaded. And they'll then begin complaining about how lame it is that the Anaheim theme park has to keep all of its 50th anniversary decorations up from another 13 months. And what a shame it is that so many ride vehicles in the park had to be slathered with that awful gold paint. And won't it be so much nicer when everything at Disneyland can finally go back to its original color, etc.

Isn't it amazing what some people will find to complain about?

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  • I am also attend this Disneyland anniversary celebration and this is awesome event in my life. All the pictures are upload in aussiessay review websites and also upload some video clips of this event now waiting for next event.

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