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Alone on Main Street USA

Ten years ago I experienced an amazing experience when I covered the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Last week I relived some of that amazement and at times exceeded it.

Disneyland is 60 years old this year. I wasn’t alive when it was being built so it has always been part of my world, so to speak. As a family we vacationed there and I have plenty of memories of past visits to the theme park, even before the large parking lot (which used to have a tram running up and down to collect guests and bring them to the gate) was transformed via Disney magic into Disney California Adventure.

Last week I consider myself to be one of the lucky media people to be included in the Diamond Celebration kickoff. Like several times in the past, the parks were cleared of guests so we, the invited guests for this special occasion, could enjoy the Disney hospitality.

The first night DCA was closed and the streets of the park were filled with tables of food and drinks, plus special music filled the air. Then we were treated to the preview of the new “World of Color – Celebrate” with Neil Patrick Harris introducing the show that celebrates the films of Disney.

The second night Disneyland was cleared of guests and Frontierland was filled with food, wine, drinks, and of course desserts, as DCA had been the previous night. We were also able to walk into several attractions. I walked right up to the Haunted Mansion to experience the new ghosts that have taken up residency in the house. My friend was the only person on a boat in Pirates of the Caribbean. It was an amazing night, and that was even before we saw the new light parade, “Paint the Night,” and the SPECTACULAR new fireworks extravaganza “Disneyland Forever.” I have never seen anything more creative, immersive, and memorable as this nighttime show.

Before the festivities, I found myself walking alone, as I had done on a few occasions in the past, along Main Street USA. I was all alone and as I stood there I thought about all the visitors to the park in the past 60 years. Presidents, celebrities, and me. I thought about all the enjoyment people have had there over the past 60 years. It was an interesting moment to be alone with only my thoughts. 

Disneyland definitely knows how to put on a party, and they did a spectacular job kicking off the Diamond Celebration. Thank you, everyone at Disneyland Resort, for making happy memories for not only myself, but for millions of guests over the past 60 years with more to come in the future.

Yay, Mickey Mouse. (And Pooh, Lilo, Tinker Bell, Donald, …)