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April 17, 2005

Disney Theme Parks Worldwide To Celebrate Disneyland's 50th

Anaheim, CA -- Disney Theme Park guests will be offered a number of new attractions and shows this year to celebrate the anniversary of the park that started it all - Disneyland.

New attractions, large fireworks displays and daily parades will be part of "The Happiest Celebration on Earth," an 18-month event that will begin at Disney Theme Parks worldwide on May 5, 2005.

Disneyland Park opened on July 17, 1955 in Anaheim, California on land once planted with orange groves. Featuring Disney's animated characters in a fantasy designed environment, it was different from all of the other amusement parks at the time.

"The dawn of the theme park industry rose from one man's dream and he walked Anaheim orange groves more than 50 years ago, and today, the sun never sets on Disney's global theme park landscape," said Disney chief executive Michael Eisner.

The 18-month celebration at the Disneyland Resort includes a brand-new parade, the largest fireworks display ever for the park and an exhibit showcasing how Disneyland was built from concept to opening day.

Later this summer Disneyland will reintroduce one of its most popular attractions Space Mountain, which has been closed for refurbishment and replacement of the ride system. When the rockets blast off again on Space Mountain guests will experience all-new special effects.

In Orlando the theme parks will get several new attractions from Disney's theme parks from around the world. The Cinderellebration show from Tokyo Disneyland will begin at Magic Kingdom. The new Soarin' Ride from Disney's California Adventure will open at EPCOT. Lights, Motors, Action, a stunt show from Disneyland Resort Paris will open at Disney-MGM Studios Park.

In early 2006, an exciting new roller coaster attraction, Expedition Everest, will open at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Expedition Everest will be one of the largest attractions ever at Walt Disney World.

Across the Atlantic, Disneyland Paris will present a new fireworks show, Wishes that will be similar to the popular fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Orlando.

Tokyo DisneySea Park will open the Lost River Delta roller coaster, which features a vertical 360-degree loop along with fire and water effects.

In May Disney will also bring the Disney Cruise Line to the West coast for 12 seven-night cruises. Disney may use this as a test for a possible future expansion of the cruise line, which started operating in Florida in 1998.

"It is a great opportunity to bring the magic of the Disney Cruise line to a whole new audience on the West Coast," Jay Rasulo, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, told The Associated Press on Sunday.

The "Disney Magic" will travel from its home port through the Panama Canal next year and offer cruises leaving from the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro and docking in three Mexican ports: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.

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