January 4, 2005
Anaheim, CA -- For the first time ever, the ten Walt Disney Theme Parks around the world will join together for a global celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Disneyland in Southern California.
Disney Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner joined Walt Disney Company President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Iger and Walt Disney Parks & Resorts President Jay Rasulo in a ceremony this morning in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland announcing details of "The Happiest Celebration on Earth."
"The Happiest Celebration on Earth" pays tribute to Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland, the original park that introduced an entirely new genre of family entertainment that now spans the globe and continues to offer the most visited attractions in the world, drawing 100 million visitors on three continents every year -- and still growing.
Beginning May 5, 2005, and extending for 18 months through 2006, the event will take place in all of the Disney theme parks around the world, with the premiere of exciting new shows and attractions at Disneyland Resort, California; Walt Disney World Resort in Florida; Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan; and Disneyland Resort Paris in France and the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.
Eisner noted that Disneyland has grown into a cultural phenomenon. "The dawn of the theme park industry rose from one man's dream as he walked Anaheim orange groves more than 50 years ago, and today, the sun never sets on Disney's global theme park landscape," Eisner said. "Our 'Happiest Celebration on Earth' is another example of our continued commitment to creating innovative entertainment experiences for the entire family, while saluting the nearly two billion guests who have made Disneyland a national treasure and make Disney the undisputed leader in family vacation destinations worldwide."
"Since Disneyland opened its gates nearly 50 years ago, Walt Disney's flagship park has been praised the world over for serving as the foundation for the modern theme park industry, and, moreover, for creating a unique place where the entire family can have fun and enjoy wholesome, quality entertainment together," said Rasulo. "Disney parks are at the heart of a timeless tradition for millions of families that pass down their experiences from generation to generation. In honor of the park that started it all, every Disney resort will join in creating more great memories for our guests with this unprecedented global celebration, which promises to be the biggest event in Disney theme park history."
At Disneyland, the global celebration becomes a unique chance for the generations of guests who have been touched by the magic of Disneyland to return to where the magic began and relive their fondest memories of park visits past and create new memories with family and friends.
DISNEYLAND RESORT (Anaheim, Calif.)
In addition to the recent opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Snow White-An Enchanting New Musical, the Resort will be premiering new and exciting shows throughout the 18-month celebration. "We are celebrating all those guests and cast members who have come to make Disneyland a cherished experience, inviting them to relive memories and create new ones with family and friends," said Disneyland Resort President Matt Ouimet. "The celebration will be the biggest event in the history of the park and will take different forms throughout the Disneyland Resort -- even extending out to sea."
- Sleeping Beauty Castle will be transformed into a breathtaking focal point for "The Happiest Homecoming on Earth" and will glow with Disney enchantment as never before.
- Audiences will be overwhelmed by the fun and spectacle of the new "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams," featuring one of the largest casts of Disney characters ever assembled.
- An all-new fireworks spectacular entitled "Remember . . . Dreams Come True" represents the most elaborate and extravagant in the history of Disneyland.
- In the all-new attraction "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters," guests pilot their very own Star Cruiser through a comical interactive space mission where they will help to protect outer space from the forces of the evil Emperor Zurg!
- Space Mountain will be re-"Imagineered" for the 21st century, featuring all-new "out of this world" effects and surprises.
- Guests will experience "Disneyland-The First 50 Years," a remarkable new exhibit showcasing 50 years of Disneyland and highlighting the amazing evolution of the park from concept to reality.
- "Block Party Bash" -- At Disney's California Adventure guests will suddenly find themselves surrounded by the rollicking music, excitement and fun of one of five instant celebrations.
DISNEY CRUISE LINE (Port of Los Angeles, Calif. / Port Canaveral, Fla.)
Disney Cruise Line will launch its first-ever West Coast itinerary with celebratory cruise vacations out of the port of Los Angeles aboard the Disney Magic to the Mexican Riviera.
The 12 seven-night cruises to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, will introduce an exciting new way to vacation with Disney to a whole new audience. Rasulo said, "The great opportunity we have with the flexibility of our fleet is the ability to expose whole new audiences to a completely new way to vacation with Disney."
The worldwide "Happiest Celebration on Earth" will salute Disneyland by taking different forms at each of Disneyland's sister parks and resorts.
WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.)
Walt Disney World Resort pays tribute to 50 years of Disneyland and Disney theme park magic around the world with its most over-the-top event ever. Each of the four Walt Disney World theme parks will feature an incredible attraction or show imported from Disney's parks around the globe -- plus a unique new attraction will be created just for the Florida resort.
- Guests at Magic Kingdom will see a favorite princess begin her "happily-ever-after" life during the magnificent, musical coronation of "Cinderellabration," direct from Tokyo.
- At Epcot, guests will take flight over the Golden State with the opening of "Soarin'," based on the hit Anaheim attraction.
- The secrets behind Hollywood's most astounding stunts will be revealed in the high-octane "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" at Disney-MGM Studios, direct from Paris.
- At Disney's Animal Kingdom -- from out of the secret labs of Walt Disney Imagineering -- will come Lucky the dinosaur, the first-ever free-roaming Audio-Animatronics figure. Later in the celebration year, Expedition EVEREST will take guests to thrilling new heights in a runaway mountain train.
DISNEYLAND RESORT PARIS (Paris, France)
"Wishes," a dramatic combination of glittering fireworks and Disney music, is set to light up the skies over Sleeping Beauty Castle in the Disneyland park every night from July 9 until Aug. 28, 2005. Inspired by a similar show at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, "Wishes" will be accompanied by a specially arranged musical score, featuring favorite Disney tunes and characters.
Disneyland Resort Paris will also honor Disneyland's 50th anniversary with a very special celebration in the summer of 2005. This special program will salute Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland giving guests a chance to remember the first time they visited a Disney theme park with some golden moments.
TOKYO DISNEY RESORT (Tokyo, Japan)
Tokyo Disneyland Park -- Disney's very first international theme park -- honors its namesake with a very special tribute in the summer of 2005 that pays homage to Walt Disney's dream of Disneyland.
- Lost River Delta Thrill Attraction -- This new attraction at Tokyo DisneySea will be the first at Tokyo Disney Resort to feature a vertical 360-degree loop and will offer guests a thrilling experience on a high-speed ride through special effects employing fire and water when it opens in 2005.
HONG KONG DISNEYLAND (Hong Kong, China)
The legacy of Disneyland continues into the next half century when Hong Kong Disneyland opens its gates in 2005/early 2006. Classic Disney attractions and unique design elements for China will introduce a new generation to the enchantment of Disney, demonstrating how Disney magic can cross geographical and cultural borders, bringing people and families closer together.
"As we celebrate the first 50 years of Disney theme park excellence, we do so with unparalleled E-ticket thrills such as the new Mission: SPACE attraction at Epcot and this week's opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure," said Rasulo. "Our inspiration for the future reflects the innovation and imagination of Walt's vision, and in honor of this great legacy we begin the next 50 years with this unforgettable golden anniversary of his dream come true."
Additionally, DisneyHand, worldwide outreach for The Walt Disney Company, will join in the 50th anniversary of Disneyland by celebrating its role as a magical place where the wishes of children from around the world come true. A series of exciting signature events, in association with Make-A-Wish Foundation®, Starlight Children's Foundation and Toys For Tots, will share many of the ways in which Disney serves children and families in need.
Further outreach programs focused in Anaheim and Orange County will build on Disneyland's commitment to the local non-profit and education communities and leave a legacy for years to come. Disney VoluntEARS will play a central role in outreach activities, continuing to strengthen the relationships between Disneyland cast members and the communities in which they live and work.
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