Counting Down the Days to the 55th Anniversary

Heather Hust Rivera

by , Vice President, Consumer Products

In the weeks leading up to the 55th anniversary of Disneyland park – July 17, 1955 – we’ll be sharing a post every week to remember 55 years of magic, dreams and imagination. We’ll start with the most recent half a decade and work our way backwards.
Premiere of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' at Disneyland Park
Each week, I’ll pick one particularly memorable event in those five years to highlight. For the years 2010 to 2006, I chose the premiere of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” at Disneyland park on June 29, 2006. The red carpet was amazing, and it was a really fun event to work. Pirates of the Carribbean is also one of my favorite attractions, so I was thrilled when the attraction celebrated 40 years of swashbuckling, pillaging and singing with a movie premiere at Disneyland park AND by adding new magic to the classic attraction. In case you’ve forgotten, Captain Jack Sparrow, Captain Barbosa and Davy Jones joined the attraction, and a revamped sound system and other special effects made Pirates of the Caribbean better than ever.
Premiere of 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' at Disneyland Park
You may certainly disagree with my choice. It’s really difficult to choose just one event, so please feel free to share your opinions on your favorite event or favorite memory that took place in the years mentioned in each post.

A lot happened in the past five years. Here’s a snapshot to refresh your memory:

2010Captain EO returned almost two decades after it first debuted. Opening day was quite a scene as fans came out in complete EO garb to see the show.

2009 – New magic was added to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers visited the Disneyland Resort to celebrate his fourth NBA championship.

2008Toy Story Mania! inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” films debuted at Disney’s California Adventure park. In Adventureland, the Enchanted Tiki Room celebrated 45 years of singing birds, plants and totem poles. The year 2008 also saw the return of a re-imagined Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough attraction.

2007 – Two major re-imagined adventures on the high seas came to Disneyland park: the return of the submarines and the debut of Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The debut of Pirate’s Lair occurred in the same year as the premiere at Disneyland park of the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “At World’s End.” Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened to rave reviews as the subs had been missing from Tomorrowland for nine years.

2006 – In addition to the changes to Pirates of the Caribbean, this year was also a year of firsts as Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort debuted. Disney’s Princess Fantasy Faire and the Jedi Training Academy also debuted this year, allowing guests the opportunity to meet with Disney royalty or battle Darth Vader and Darth Maul.

It’s your turn. What do you think is the most memorable event between 2006 and 2010 at the Disneyland Resort?


  • My vote is for Toy Story Midway Mania. I love that attraction.

  • unintentionally sitting next to johnny depp on the Tower of Terror, dancing in the christmas parade that was on TV. i also have a memory of riding on the Haunted Mansion so many times is a row that the employees knew me there by name =D

  • My favorite memory is far more personal than a big event at the Resort. May 10, 2007 my husband proposed to me on the seashell in Ariel’s Grotto meet and greet area, which is now (sadly) Pixie Hollow. It was an awesome experience, The Little Mermaid is my favorite movie. When I noticed them doing construction to turn that area into Pixie Hollow I broke down in tears and went to City Hall, begging them to tell me what was going to happen to that sea shell. I even tried to offer up my credit card to buy it, I was that desperate. Unfortunately, nobody could tell me of its fate and I certainly couldn’t purchase it. So all I have are the memories of that day. Which are still pretty awesome.

  • I think this is focusing more on Disneyland Park and not DCA, but for DCA, definitely World of Color! I can’t wait to see it!

  • Is Disneyland doing anything to celebrate its 55th anniversary? I sure hope so, I love Disneyland, it deserves a new parade or something to mark the anniversary!

  • Don’t forget the new monorails debuted in 2008.

  • Two words: Tinker Bell. Two more words: Pixie Hollow. <3 And I also like the recent changes to the Electrical Parade, one of course being the pixie who now leads it!

  • In Disneyland Park, there was the re-opening of The Disney Gallery at the Bank of Main Street location in 2009.

    Over at DCA, there was the re-opening of the Sun Wheel as Mickey’s Fun Wheel in 2009.

    The new Games of the Boardwalk also opened in 2009.

    There have been some new cool store openings from Disney in Downtown Disney such as Vault 28 in 2006 and D-Street in 2009.

  • …sorry I mean “enhancements to Pirates of the Caribbean”

    The Jedi Training Academy is also a great addition!

  • I really love the fact that the Submarine Voyage, castle walk-through, and Lincoln have all come back with new technology, and of course its really cool to have Captain EO back for a while.

    I also love the Pixar Play Parade, and the new additions to Tom Sawyer Island are pretty cool, I also enjoyed the enchantments to Pirates of the Caribbean. I felt that it really gave the attraction a breath of fresh air.

    I was also lucky enough to attend the red carpet event for At World’s End. It was exhausting, but fun!

    It has certainly been an eventful few years for the Disneyland Resort.

  • Food and Wine Festival! Did it start in 2006? I forget

    • Yep. That’s a great one.

  • Love love LOVE. pixar play parade! Never miss a chance to play with it! And I am a child of 60 years!

  • I thought Toy Story Mania debuted in 2008, not 2009. My vote is for the return of the Submarines at Disneyland in 2007.

    • Yes, you’re right. I’ll fix this now

  • Ummm! Toy Story MIDWAY Mania opened in 2008 not 2009.

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