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A Look at the 55th Anniversary Festivities

Betsy Sanchez

by , Manager of Media Relations, Disneyland Resort

Your Guide to Disneyland Park

It’s been 55 years since our gates opened. Fifty-five years of being a place of “joy and inspiration to all the world” – and we couldn’t be happier to share it with all of you. Here’s what’s in store for the week leading up to our anniversary on July 17.

  • Special edition park maps will be available all week, and the image above is a sneek peek at what they’ll look like.
  • Now through July 17, select Disneyland dining locations offer commemorative 55th Anniversary cakes.
  • Select merchandise locations will offer 55th Anniversary candy packaging and cupcakes with the 55th Anniversary logo.
  • On July 17 …
    • At noon the dedication ceremony will take place in Town Square.
    • At 4:15 pm join the cast in singing Happy Birthday to our beloved Disneyland.
    • Check out the 55th Anniversary Art & Collectible merchandise event with artists Dave Avanzino, Jody Daily, Kevin Kidney and Noah will be held at The Disney Gallery from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    • Have you heard the buzz? It’s all in the bag … or that’s what I hear. Look for a special event taking place at Disney Vault 28 from 2 – 4 pm.
    • Wear a smile from “ear to ear” with a special Mickey Mouse Ear Hat featuring premium embroidery that reads “D 55th,” July 17, 2010, available exclusively on July 17.

For more information on those last two items, look for special posts from Michelle Harker next week.

We hope you join us as we look back on more than half a century of achievements, and look forward to the next 55 years!


  • We were there for the 55th just like every other year,i was fun as always but I don’t understand why Disneyland can’t give out a special button celebrating the Birthday it would probably only cost Disney 10 cents. Why can’t they do something for guests on July 17th every year

  • I’ll start by saying that Disneyland is never really disappointing. However, I was very surprised at the lack of anything special for the 55th anniversary. Somehow I thought that since the park opened in 1955, and this is the 55th anniversary, it would be a big deal. The 50th celebration was amazing, so maybe they just figured it would be tough to top that one…so they didn’t even try. I sure did not get that “thank you for being our guests for 55 years” feeling that I got at the 50th anniversary celebration. If I’m lucky enough to make it to the 75th, it had better be GREAT!

  • Will the Mickey Ears only be available AT DIsneyland or will they also be available at California Adventure?

  • Man, I work til 3 p.m. in Lancaster on saturday. I can’t make it to the festivities. Hopefully, there will be maps left on Sunday morning 🙁


  • I will be there this weekend as well. Wearing my birthday button and all. I will be 55 as well. Glad to celebrate with the Land.

  • I will be there as well (so excited) Question regarding the Special edition park maps, will there be more that one image durning the week?

  • I’ll be there! I go on the 17th each year, regardless of what Disney puts on. Though, the 40th and 50th were the best! I guess we have to wait for the real fun stuff for the 60th in 2015. By then DCA will be in full swing as well!

  • great info, thanks Betsy…I agree with Lora…I can not wait to sing Happy Birthday ! And thanks for the “free” embroidery for the annual passholders on the “ears”…those maps are sooo cute, so is the ceramic popcorn bag ! Can’t Wait !

  • I can’t wait…..

  • Will there be any 55th anniversary events happening or merchandise available after the 17th, or is it just a celebration for this week only?

  • Is there any way to send these out if we can’t make it to the park? I would really love these because I share my birthday with Disneyland. July 17th!!!

  • Is there any way to obtain one of these maps if you live too far away to visit the park? I would LOVE to have one of them!

  • I wanna take part in it too!! Awww I am going to try my hardest to go! =( i have the premium pass buut I work most of the week=/ …. maybe just maybe if I play hookie =P buut aww I am definently going to try to get some ears and and a cake =D oooh and the maps! I hope u guys do the remember firwork show.. or something cool. Maybe they will suprise us! Darn if only the celebrations lasted the rest of this yr! =(

  • I will be celebrating with a bunch of friends in the infamous penthouse known as the Wrather Suite in the Disneyland Hotel (Marina Tower)! We start the party this Friday night and on until Sunday!

  • Thanks for the info Betsy! I was planning on visiting the park on the 17th, thinking it might be a fun thing to celebrate. But now I know that it is not going to be low-key at all! New maps, new Ears, the dedication ceremony and singing “Happy Birthday” are all something special that I’m really exited to take part in.

  • Does anyone know which restaurants will have the 55th anniversary cakes? I called to make reservations/order a cake today and the guest serviceman had no idea what I was talking about.

  • It sounds so amazing. I wish I was there to celebrate with my family. We had a holiday there last year and it was the happiest time of my life 🙂

  • I agree with Charles! We need a bigger celebration than just a week!

  • My daughter will be 5 on July 17th and she thinks its so cool that Disneyland will be 5 too. She is still learning her numbers hehe. Its really cute though when she tells people she is “5,5 like Disneyland” yeah we have to explain that one a lot 🙂

  • On Wednesday 7/7/2010 I heard that there will be a reunion of the 4o years of the college band on July 17th. Are there any details on where and at what time this is taking place?

    • Fred: You’re right! The 40th Anniversary of the Disney All-American College Band is on July 17 as well. They will be performing at Disneyland park at 1:30 p.m. in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and at 2:30 p.m. along the parade route.

  • We plan on being at the park on Saturday July 17th. Even though our deluxe annual passes are blacked out that day, we are still going. I can’t wait to be there. Even though we were there only a week ago.

  • I wish that special events like this could be shared with those of us around the country who can’t be there by broadcasting it on one of the Disney channels.

  • July 17th is my birthday too!! I was REALLY hoping to be able to go this year, I’m turning 25! I’ve never gone on my birthday. I’ve always wanted to see the special events going on 🙁

  • My family is going to Disneyland on the 23rd of July. Does that mean that all the 55th merchandise and celebration will be over??? I would love to get some of those maps for my children to remember their first trip to Disneyland.

  • Happy Birthday Disneyland! Walt put it best when He said that it’s “the happiest place on earth”! And Disneyland really is!
    Here’s to many more years of wonderful visits.

  • I love the maps and definately am going to pick one up to keep. I figured there’d be something more for the 55th anniversary – I guess it’s just the number – 55 – that sounds so special, it should be treated special.

    I think my favorite idea is the singing of Happy Birthday at 4:15 – it’s the magic hour!!!!! ask Walt! 🙂

  • I agree with other comments above – the anniversary park maps should be available all year!

  • Will the Mickey ears mentioned be given away like the 50th? I’ll be there like I was at that anniversary! Hope it won’t be as hot though! 😉

    • The Mickey Ears will not be given away this year. You can purchase them at various locations throughout the Resort. If you would like the 55th Anniversary message embroidered on it, visit Disney Showcase or the Main Street Mad Hatter. Embroidery fees apply.

  • My husband’s birthday is 5/5/55 and we both turned 55 this year! I wish we could be there to celebrate Disneyland’s 55th birthday, along with our own. It looks like it will be a lot of fun.

  • Sounds very cool!

  • Let’s here a Wooo Hooo!!!! I’ll be there on the 15th meeting with my cousins from Washington who I haven’t seen in 2 years and I will be back on the 17th to be a part of the celebration along with my best friend and her husband and also my daughter!!!! Can’t wait for all the fun and surprises!

  • so sad there is no parade

  • i can hardly wait…we’ll be there with ears on!

  • how long will the commemorative maps be available for? Only for a week?


    • Melanie: Thanks for reading our blog. Yes, the special edition park maps will only be available through Saturday, July 17 and only here at the Resort.

  • aw, i thought Disneyland did something small for people that have the same birthday on July 17. but i guess the birthday song would do, even if it’s for Disneyland mainly. 😀

  • This is very sad to me… Everything you listed lasts for either a week or one day.

    The 50th celebration lasted TWO WHOLE YEARS (and was absolutely WONDERFUL).

    Couldn’t we celebrate the 55th an entire year???

    The same goes for the recognition of Animal Kingdom’s 10th, Epcot’s 25th, and Hollywood Studio’s 20th–there was practically NO recognition for these anniversaries, and I just have to ask, why not?

    I am hoping that there will be more recognition for Disney World’s Magic Kingdom’s 40th than just a week of events.

  • Woohoo! My mom and daughter BOTH of July 17th birthdays and this year we’ll be celebrating their special days with Disneyland’s special day! So excited that there are going to be some ‘official’ activities on the 17th!

  • wow im so excited to attend this

  • I really like the new maps!! I’ll just have to get one of those to add to my special collection of park maps! My favorite park map has to be the one given to Cast Members when I was working the Pirates premiere in May 2007. I had a full week of guest control shifts and it was a blast, I still have that map given to us, along with the Disneyland Line from that time too.

    Enough being off topic, I’m kind of surprised that isn’t a special firework show or parade planned. Something more show based, less merchendise based. Out of all you listed above, we have the noon ceremony in Town Square and at 4:15 the cast singing Happy Birthday. Everything else is buy, food, ear hats, etc. I guess what I’m trying to say is there really isn’t too much to set this day apart from just simply being another day at Disneyland.

    Just like how the 50th was a huge milestone, I think 55 is too. This seems better planning for a 53 or 57 year anniversary, not as much for a 55th. Maybe we’ll get a little something better for the 60th?

    But, in the end, don’t get me wrong. I love Disneyland, I wish I could still work there! I still go at least once a week, and I truly love everything going on in California Adventure (Not glow fest though, but it’ll go away sometime. WoC is GREAT!)

  • Love it! We’re there as part of a group celebrating the 55th anyway, so I’m very excited to have some official events alongside our unofficial celebration.

  • Any chance of Remember…. Dreams Come True performing a one night deal on Saturday the 17th? Can’t wait 🙂

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