Disneyland Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event – May 22, 2015 – Security Checkpoint

Disneyland Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event – May 22, 2015 – Security Checkpoint

Disneyland Diamond Celebration 24-Hour Event – May 22, 2015 – Security Checkpoint

Security checkpoint entering the DLR central plaza from Downtown Disney.

I went with a fellow Disney collector to the 24-Event that kicked off the official Disneyland Resort 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. It started on May 22, 2015 at 6 am and ended on May 23, 2015. However, we were only in DLR on May 22 until about 10 pm, being in the Parks for about 16 of the 24 hours.

We left the Hilton Anaheim Hotel at about 2:15 am, walked through Downtown Disney District and arrived at the security checkpoint for DLR at 2:30. The line was relatively short and quick, so we felt pretty good that were there early enough to get in near the head of the line. However, this was quickly dispelled when we saw how many people were in the entrance plaza between Disneyland Park and Disney California Park (also called the Esplanade). Rather than being allowed to line up in front of Disneyland Park, we were escorted to the other side of the plaza, to the shuttle bus area. There were many thousands of people there, in multiple long lines that stretched the length of the shuttle parking area. It reminded me of the lines outside the Anaheim Convention Center for the D23 event that I attended in August 2013. There was a Japanese TV crew roaming the lines broadcasting images of the crowd. At about 4 am, the lines started moving, and we finally entered the park at exactly 5 am.

We entered Main Street, waiting for the start of the celebrations at 6 am. Some stores were already open. In particular, there were very long lines formed to enter the Main Street Emporium. Only the south doors were open, trying to make the entry more orderly. It turned out that the people in line were trying to get the 24-hr exclusive merchandise, especially the LE pin of Dopey. We decided to wait by the flag pole at the center of the Main Street south plaza, which afforded us a good view of the Castle. The US and California flags were raised at sunrise, about 5:30 am.

They kicked off the celebrations at 5:55 am with a short burst of fireworks, followed by Disney movie music. The first song was A Dream is Wish Your Heart Makes, from Cinderella. The crowd on Main Street was then allowed entry into the other Park attractions, and we slowly started moving down Main Street. An overhead camera on a long boom recorded the crowd as it passed by. We passed close to the Castle, and turned into Tomorrowland. Our first stop was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. My friend got more than 750,000. I got more than a million, but my score wasn’t recorded, so I didn’t get on the leader board. We wanted to get something to eat next, but every place that served real food had very, very long lines. So we settled on getting pretzels and slurpees. There was a piano player playing ragtime music as we ate. Later he left and a piano tuner came and started tuning the piano, which I’ve never seen before at Disneyland.

We visited some of the shops on Main Street, and noticed that many of the items that were available exclusively at the Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event (May 20-21 at the Disneyland Hotel) were now being sold to the general public. At the Crystal Arts shop, we saw the same diamond shaped glass paperweight that we got at the event. Except that there was no dates etched on the surface. We were surprised that they also had two larger sizes of the diamond, one about twice as large (6 inches) and another about twice that again (12 inches). The small 3 inch diamond was $40, the medium $250 and the large was $2150. They are all very impressive in person, and the large one is massive. It is also limited edition. The one displayed in the front window of the store was labeled 1/60, which I didn’t notice until I looked at the photos that I took.

We then did several more rides, including Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Haunted Mansion. Above the entrance to the Pirates ride is a sign for the Dream Suite, which used to be the Disney Gallery, before it was moved to Main Street, next to Disneyana. One of the prizes in a sweepstakes being run during the Diamond Celebration is a stay at the Dream Suite.

We then split up. I did some more rides, including a second go at Buzz Lightyear. This time my score was recorded, and I got the #5 high score of the day. My favorite place to eat at Disneyland, Plaza Inn, had a very, very long line waiting outside. So instead I ate lunch at the Pizza Port, which had a short and quickly moving line. They had an Avengers inspired menu of desserts. Next store, there was an exhibit for the currently running Tomorrowland movie. I also did some rides in Fantasyland that I have not done in a long time. Snow White’s Scary Adventures was great fun. I touched the golden apple at the entrance to the ride, which generated cackling and evil words from the Old Hag. Next was Alice in Wonderland, which has new very nice animated sequences that integrated nicely with the animatronics. The ride wait time was posted as 60 minutes, but it only took me 30 minutes to get on the ride.

I started browsing the 60th Anniversary merchandise in various shops on Main Street. The Showcase shop was entirely devoted to 60th merchandise. Since some fellow collectors were asking about the rotating castle diamond shaped globe, I took a good look at it and took photos. Unfortunately, none of them had working batteries, so I couldn’t see the castle rotating or lit up. Next I went to Disneyana, where they had many of the items that were offered during the Diamond Celebration Merchandise Event that I attended on May 20, including most of the limited edition items. They also had the $28,000 crystal slipper that was the grand prize of the Diamond Celebration Sweepstakes. It didn’t look as impressive as I was expecting. It didn’t help that it was all alone in a large glass case, without any identifying or promo placards. In the Ink & Paint booth there was a framed copy of the Diamond Celebration Tink Cel, with signed postcard and pin. I had preordered a copy of this exact same item, but the pin wasn’t ready in time, so it will be shipped to me later. It is called "The Happiest Place on Earth", is limited to 1000 copies, and has a hand drawn Cel of Tinker Bell floating above a stylized map of Disneyland. The Tinker Bell pin is LE 750.

Next I entered Disney California Adventure Park (DCA), to meet up with my friend for dinner at 5:30 pm. I passed Carthay Circle Restaurant, which is extensively decorated for the Diamond Celebration, as the DCA counterpart to Disneyland Park’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. The dessert for dinner consisted of four different small individual desserts.

Then at 7:30 we lined up to get a good spot for the World of Color show. It started at 9 pm, and lasted about 22 minutes. It was entirely redone, with Neal Patrick Harris and Mickey Mouse as the hosts. It was funny seeing the giant Mickey face on the ferris wheel being replaced by a screen, then the same image Mickey being projected onto it. The show was really entertaining. I liked the selection of movies that were presented. Snow White and Frozen had the most time allotted. They played almost the entire "Let It Go" scene, which looked and sounded great. The crowd cheered loudly when a brief glimpse of BH6 appeared. They also showed brief clips of Wreck-It Ralph, and had an image of the live action Cinderella in her ball gown that flashed on the water screen for a second or two. Then they had brief images from some popular DL attractions. Finally they had Walt Disney speaking a final message, which was very touching. I would say that this version is much better than the previous version. Neal Patrick Harris was a great choice as the host.

We then viewed the DL fireworks from just inside the entrance to DCA. We then split up again. I was disappointed that DL was at capacity, so they wouldn’t allow me back inside. I had wanted to see the new Paint the Night, which is an updated version of the old Electrical Light Parade, which was one of my favorites when it was still being performed in DL and DCA. I am looking forward to seeing it in the near future. So I went back to my hotel room, and rested up. I only did 16 hours of the 24 hour event, but I felt very good about what I did experience.

Posted by drj1828 on 2015-06-17 02:38:37

Tagged: , US , Disneyland , Anaheim , 24 , Hour , Event , Diamond Anniversary , 60th , DLR

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