Last updated: 10:56 AM ET, Tue April 21 2015

Disneyland Diamond Celebration Preview: Part I

Hotel & Resort | Ryan Rudnansky | April 15, 2015

Disneyland Diamond Celebration Preview: Part I

Photo by Ryan Rudnansky

The Disneyland Resort revealed more about the 60th anniversary Disneyland Diamond Celebration event on Tuesday in Anaheim, giving a glimpse of the magic that lies ahead.

During the media preview event, some of the major creative minds of the anniversary event spoke about what’s in store, including Steve Davison, executive, parades and spectaculars, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment; Sayre Wiseman, executive producer, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment; John Addis, show director, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment; and Tracy Halas, show director and choreographer, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment. 

The show will kick off on May 22. It will run through at least early 2016, according to Addis. There will be three new shows introduced: The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular, the “Paint the Night” parade and “World of Color-Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Disney.”

The “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular will include an opening sequence, several themed sequences and a finale, according to Davison. Here’s a look at each chapter of the fireworks spectacular.

Note: This is Part I of TravelPulse’s two-part series on the celebration. It summarizes Davison’s depiction to media of the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular. Part II will detail the “Paint the Night” parade and the “World of Color” water show.

Video from preview event in January. Courtesy Inside the Magic YouTube account.


The opening will be set in orange groves, which will be “painted” on the sides of buildings using projection technology.

A new song, “Live the Magic,” will also be introduced.

The orange groves resemble what Disneyland sprang from many years ago, and begin a story that will be expressed during the celebration.

“I thought it was a really cool place to start,” Davison told media.

Those attending the celebration will first see trees on the sides of buildings, then observe while oranges “grow” on the trees. The oranges will eventually turn into pixie dust, setting the stage for the next sequence.


Fans of “Mary Poppins” will be thrilled to hear that the one and only Dick Van Dyke has agreed to appear in this year’s celebration.

After pixie dust swirls around and creates a London scene, Van Dyke will once again sing the famous “Mary Poppins” song “Step in Time” as the rooftop scene from the movie is recreated using projection technology.

As kites fly around, their tails will eventually turn into pixie dust, recreating another scene.


There will be a scene devoted to the 2010 Disney movie “Tangled,” as well.

Gold fireworks will explode in the sky above the Disneyland/Sleeping Beauty’s Castle before lanterns surrounding the audience rise up into the sky, creating a magical spectacle.

Enchanted Places

Featuring Winnie the Pooh, the Enchanted Places-themed scene will feature a “playful, childlike zone,” according to Davison.

Heffalumps and Woozles from the Winnie the Pooh story will make an appearance, displayed on the sides of buildings using, you guessed it, that magical projection technology.

The peaceful, settling finale to the scene precedes an explosion of the senses in the next scene.


There will also be a jungle-themed scene that features “The Lion King” and “The Jungle Book” movies.

The tranquil, endearing Enchanted Places scene paves the way for a titillating, explosive depiction of “The Lion King,” complete with the classic “Circle of Life” song. The scene opens up with a sunrise accentuated by pyrotechnics, while African scenery and running animals stretch across the buildings.

Audience members are then transported to Angkor Wat, where the classic “I Wanna Be Like You” song from “The Jungle Book” opens the tribute to the Disney film.

A “wild jazz number” will follow, according to Davison, before the scene is hit with rainstorm effects and “waterfalls” flow down the sides of the buildings.


Of course, no Disney celebration would be complete without “The Little Mermaid” and “Finding Nemo.”

“The Little Mermaid” scene will include—among other things—blue lasers, inflatables and Sebastian (complete with Sebastian’s song “Under the Sea”).

From there, Disneyland’s Matterhorn attraction will morph into the fiery Mt. Wannahockaloogie from “Finding Nemo,” where Nemo will have to swim through a ring of fire.


The ashes from the Mt. Wannahockaloogie volcano will eventually turn into snow.

The snow scene will depict Disney’s popular 2013 movie “Frozen,” featuring Queen Elsa. The Matterhorn will morph into Elsa’s Snow Palace.


Disney has been known to create some incredible finales throughout the years.

The finale to the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular could be another great one.

The orange groves will be reintroduced in the finale. Also included: Tinker Bell, the timeless “When You Wish Upon a Star” song from “Pinocchio,” diamonds in the sky above the castle and—perhaps a depiction of Disney’s willingness to look toward the future—alien ships (yes, alien ships).

A dramatic scene will feature searchlights spotlighting the sky as the castle, Main Street U.S.A., and the Matterhorn and It’s a Small World attractions are painted with projection technology.

After a flurry of music, the music will stop suddenly at one point, paving the way for a special Peter Pan monologue…before an explosion of light, color and sounds to end it.

The finale will also feature another original song, “Kiss Goodnight,” written by major Disney figure Richard M. Sherman and sung by Ashley Brown, star of the Broadway production “Mary Poppins.”

Davison said the “Disneyland Forever” spectacular is “about how we tell stories in a more wild way” and is driven by Walt Disney’s famous quote, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

Safe to say, the “Disneyland Forever” spectacular is plenty imaginative.

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