ANAHEIM, Calif. (July 17, 2015) – Sixty years ago today, Walt Disney dedicated his dream project: Disneyland – a land beyond the boundaries of the motion pictures with which he’d made his reputation, a park where families and guests of all ages could be immersed in worlds of fantasy and adventure.
Today, as part of its Diamond Celebration, the Disneyland Resort honored 60 years of that dream by announcing “Million Dollar Dazzle” at a ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Each month during the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, the Million Dollar Dazzle Crew will surprise one or more local nonprofits that exemplify Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ Better Together philosophy with a $60,000 gift, totaling more than $1 million. Girl Scouts of Orange County was surprised with the first gift earlier today. The funds will support the organization’s Comadres outreach program that helps the Girl Scout experience transcend language and cultural barriers for girls in low-income neighborhoods.
“What makes our Diamond Celebration so special is the opportunity to share even more Disney magic with our guests in the parks, and our neighbors in the community,” said Michael Colglazier, president of the Disneyland Resort. “Our ‘Million Dollar Dazzle’ program proudly supports local organizations that enrich the lives of children and families.”
The ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle also included the tradition of playing the recording of Walt Disney’s July 17, 1955 welcome to the first Disneyland guests. Mickey Mouse and all his friends were in attendance, and Disney Legend and Academy Award-winning composer Richard M. Sherman (“Mary Poppins”) was joined by actress and singer Ashley Brown (star of “Mary Poppins” on Broadway) singing “Feed the Birds” and leading Disneyland park guests in singing “Happy Birthday.”
Later in the day, a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., featured current Disneyland Resort cast members along with those who worked at Disneyland in 1955. Guests were invited to show their 1955 Disney side by dressing up ‘50s-style in the elegant manner of the guests on Disneyland opening day, and to enjoy special anniversary photo locations and ‘50s-inspired entertainment. Large video screens in Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks and the Downtown Disney District displayed anniversary moments of the day. In addition, all guests were treated to special Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration cupcakes. More than 100,000 were prepared for the occasion.
For six decades, Disneyland Resort has explored the frontiers of interactive storytelling and entertainment technology, bringing exciting attractions and inventive entertainment to life for guests from around the world. The Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration is highlighted by three new nighttime spectaculars that, once again, raise the bar on creativity and entertainment technology to keep the resort and its guests forever young.