Fifty-Five, A WDWCelebrations Commemorative Event
Honoring the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland®
July 15th - 17th, 2010
WDWCelebrations headed west for our Commemorative Event for 2010, celebrating the historic 55th anniversary of Disneyland® Park in Anaheim, California. Dubbed “Fifty-Five”, this Commemorative Event took place Thursday through Saturday, July 15th to July 17th, 2010, and was produced in association with our partner, WindowtotheMagic.
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A downloadable version of the full-color commemorative souvenir schedule that was distributed to event attendees is available for download as a PDF.
The complete Tomorrowland History Walk script is available for download as a PDF.
The "Fifty-Five" Disneyland® Scavenger Hunt is available for download as a PDF. (Answer Key PDF available separately.)
Continuing in the tradition set by our previous events Celebration 25, A Wild Decade, World Wide Weekend, and Studio 20, WDWCelebrations presented its longest and largest Commemorative Event yet. Encompassing the entire Disneyland® Resort, "Fifty-Five" offered fans a taste of the West Coast Disney with an East Coast twist. Guests enjoyed four days filled with opportunities to meet and spend time with other like-minded fans while celebrating the place where it all began. The Disneyland® Resort joined in the celebration with several commemorations and a surprise or two during this truly unique event. Going back to where it all began, WDWCelebrations celebrated the fifty-five years of magic since 1955.
Wednesday, July 14th: Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour and More
This day was scheduled as an add-on to the regular event, and included a group-exclusive Walk in Walt’s Footsteps tour at a special price for our event attendees. Exploring the intricacies of the original Main Street USA, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the Disney Gallery and more, guests were able to see much of Disneyland® as its creator did during his daily strolls through the park. More uniquely, participants were able to meet and control one of the Tiki Room’s animatronics, and visited the lobby of the legendary Club 33.
Later that evening, event guests gathered for the fan-favorite Dole Whip, enjoyed while viewing Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. The evening concluded with a group viewing of the fireworks spectacular, Magical, seen from the entrance of it’s a small world.
Thursday, July 15th: Disneyland® Park group rides and Tomorrowland History Walk
The second day of the event began with an early morning submarine voyage through liquid space, as guests met for a group ride on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, a recently resurrected favorite at Disneyland®.
Next, Tomorrowland played host to the latest WDWCelebrations History Walk. Hidden tributes, covered murals and changed attractions were the focus of this exciting tour. The tour culminated at a renewed piece of Disneyland® history, Captain EO.
After a quick group photo, the group proceeded into the theater to view the new Captain EO Tribute, some of whom were seeing the show for the first time ever. Michael Jackson’s universal appeal was evident as the meet became one of the most heavily attended of the entire event!
One Tomorrowland attraction, Star Tours, held a special place at the event, as it was soon to be closed for refurbishment. In true WDWCelebrations fashion, we honored this groundbreaking attraction with a fitting farewell. Waiting in a lengthy line, guests were able to experience portions of the ride’s rarely-seen extended queue, soaking in the extra detail of this outgoing classic. Just a week after our event, the attraction shut down for good to undergo a major refurbishment, paving the way for the debut of Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.
After some free time, guests returned for group rides on the classic Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion attractions before grabbing a prime front-row viewing location for Fantasmic!
In keeping with WDWCelebrations tradition, our “Last Ride of the Night Meet” was held on the uniquely thrilling Space Mountain.
Friday, July 16th: Disneyland® Park and Disney California Adventure Meets
In an adventurous start to the event’s third day, guests had the opportunity to “Shake and Wake with Dr. Jones” on Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. After this unique wake up call, attendees met in the esplanade to take a group photo before entering Disney California Adventure, where a member of the core team secured a Fastpass for each attendee for the night’s showing of World of Color.
As the park opened, a quartet of group rides followed, including “A Swinging Wake” on the newly re-imagined Mickey’s Fun Wheel and Silly Symphony Swings, and rides on the California-exclusive Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train and Monster’s Inc.: Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! Guests then enjoyed some free time to explore the park.
In the afternoon, a fun and informative stop at the Blue Sky Cellar gave guests an in-depth look at the future of the park as it undergoes its $1 billion makeover, serving as the start to the second half of this exciting day.
Attendees were surprised by a special gift from Disney management in the form of a reserved viewing area for the Pixar Play Parade. The location offered a perfect view of the floats, also serving as a fantastic target zone for the water cannons featured in the parade.
Following the parade, a group meal at the Pacific Wharf eateries gave guests the chance to choose from Chinese, Mexican or California-inspired cuisines, including the much-loved bread bowls from the Pacific Wharf Café.
The evening ended with a front-row boardwalk viewing of Disney’s newest nighttime spectacular, World of Color. This incredible show dazzled, shocked, soaked and even pushed some in the group to tears!
Saturday, July 17: Disneyland Park's 55th Anniversary
In the busiest day of the event, guests immediately scattered to purchase commemorative merchandise and food items and to watch the “newly discovered” opening day footage of Disneyland® Park shown at the Main Street Cinema. While some indulged in the red velvet, cream cheese-topped anniversary cupcakes, others waited in line for an anniversary pin release, merchandise signings, and the anniversary-exclusive commemorative ear hat. A group viewing of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln as well as distribution of the event’s Scavenger Hunt rounded off the morning’s busy schedule.
At noon, the park held a unique ceremony honoring the park’s fifty-five years of operation. Resort president George Kalogridis led the ceremony, and introduced Robb Fischle, a current cast member, who ran through Sleeping Beauty Castle as a child on the park’s opening day. A choir of students from around the world sang “When you wish upon a star” to the hypnotized crowd, and a flock of Doves marked the end of the beautiful ceremony.
Later in the afternoon, the group convened once more upon the Town Square to participate in the Birthday Sing-Along. Unlike previous years, this event concluded with a Disney-inspired flashmob featuring several hundred cast members and fifty-five Disney characters, dancing in synchronization to a pop version of “A dream is a wish your heart makes.” Shocked and enthralled, guests could not help but to marvel at this unique surprise.
Event guests met in the Court des Anges in New Orleans Square for the event’s Scavenger Hunt Prize Presentation, Charity Donation Presentation, and one last group photo. The top five scavenger hunt teams walked away with unique Disney prizes, and everyone came away with a greater knowledge of Walt’s original park and many of the hidden details it holds. We were proud to announce that thanks to our event guests, a total of $250 was raised to be donated to two charities; half for the Disney World Trivia Dream Team Project and half for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.