On this day 15 years ago, Disney California Adventure park opened its gates for the first time. To celebrate, I’ve highlighted some the most magical moments we captured on video. I have been fortunate enough to participate in of most of these moments, from the Grand Opening in 2001 to the opening of Cars Land in 2012, and more. If I had to pick a favorite, I really enjoyed the opening ceremony for Toy Story Midway Mania! Seeing the Green Army Men parachuting through the sky was really spectacular!
What is your favorite Disney California Adventure park memory?
I hope you all got the chance to see the spectacular float “Disneyland Diamond Celebration – Awaken Your Adventure” on New Year’s Day in the 127th Rose Parade from Pasadena, California. Weeks before the finishing touches were added, we went to the warehouse and captured the 166-foot-long float just as it was taking shape. We included some of the video we taped on New Year’s Day to illustrate the amazing work the float team did. It’s fun to see the before and after side-by-side, don’t you think?
The Disneyland Resort Entertainment team’s elves have been at it again, this time they’ve turned the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland park into the Jingle Cruise. I recently took a tour to capture the team’s latest yuletide tradition of decking the jungle with all things merry and bright.
The new snow men in the African Savanna scene brought back some fun childhood memories for me. What’s your favorite?
Three weeks before Holidays at the Disneyland Resort officially kicked off, we continuously documented the talented elves of Disneyland Resort Entertainment as they decked the walls of “it’s a small world” Holiday.
Here’s some fun facts about what it took to give “it’s a small world” Holiday its festive look:
- Eleven Technical Services cast members worked five nights a week for eight weeks to do decorate the attraction’s façade, topiaries, trees and more.
- The attraction’s façade has 50,000 C7 size lights in seven different colors: red, blue, green, amber, fuchsia, purple, and white. This adds up to almost five miles of light strings on the façade.
- There are an additional 10,000 C7 lights on the “it’s a small world” Toy Shoppe and the three towers along the “it’s a small world” Mall.
- The same crane that installs the Disneyland park Christmas tree is used to install the Santa hat on the clock.
Fall flowers are in full bloom at Disneyland park! For this video, I asked our talented horticulture team to name all of the featured foliage. Here they are, in order of appearance:
Dark Blue Lobelia; White and Purple Alyssum; Orange and Yellow Mums; Yellow, Orange and Magenta Echinacea and Yellow African Marigolds; Purple Ornamental Cabbage and Orange Calendulas; Purple Leaf Ornamental Peppers; Dark Leaf Kale; Striped Ornamental Corn; Purple Ornamental Cabbage and Orange Calendulas; Olive Tree Swan Topiaries; Spreading Blue Angelonia; Tricolor Amaranthus; Dark leaf Dahlias; Yellow, Orange and Magenta Echinacea; Yellow African Marigolds; Rudbeckias; White Alyssum; Orange Petunia and Yellow Calibrachoa.
I really like the way the horticulturists incorporated cabbage and corn into the landscape. What’s your favorite feature?
Around this time last year, I had the opportunity to chat with and follow Imagineers as they checked out various “Paint the Night” parade floats in progress. The warehouse was full of float frames, familiar figures and of course, lights! From the frame of Mack Truck to light testing on Slinky Dog’s tail, I felt like I had an exclusive sneak peek into the minds of this creative team. Now to see these “Paint the Night” parade floats completed and glowing down Main Street, U.S.A., it’s fun to look back and see how far they have come! Of course this stuff is too good not to share – take a look behind the scenes of “Paint the Night” parade.
“Paint the Night” parade performs nightly as part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.
Building a house of cards can be tricky (and sticky), especially if your hands are made of gingerbread! To show you, we created this time-lapse video, taped inside Haunted Mansion Holiday in Disneyland park. Laying all of their cards on the table, bakers, decorators and gingerbread workers construct finishing touches on the nearly 10-foot replica of the Haunted Mansion exterior made out of gingerbread.
If your summer vacation has passed you by without a chance to enjoy the great outdoors, fear not! Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Disney California Adventure park is open year-round to Wilderness Explorers of all ages. I recently camped out in the creek to give you a glimpse of the scenic sites found in this majestic redwood forest. Relax and enjoy!
I am constantly in awe of the documentation I come across in the Walt Disney Company‘s archival footage. If you have seen the live telecast of opening day at Disneyland park, which originally aired on ABC on July, 17 1955, you may have thought – like me – “How did they do that?” This video shows highlights from “Operation Disneyland,” a 14-minute documentary produced for ABC closed-circuit television, which looks at the technical challenges behind broadcasting the opening ceremonies of Disneyland park.
While looking through some historical footage recently, I came across this sweet treat. I can’t help but think that 50 years ago these dancing candles were delighted in the fact they were taking part in history during the 10th anniversary celebration of Disneyland park. Enjoy this calorie-free video!
And keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog tomorrow as we celebrate the official 60th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort! You can also follow along on Twitter and Instagram with @Disneyland and on Facebook.com/Disneyland. Don’t forget the hashtag #Disneyland60!