Today isn’t just a holiday, it also marks the official end of Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration. Decorations will come down this week and Halloween will replace it. By this time next week the 60th will be completely gone and pumpkins will be everywhere. Let’s say our farewells to some amazing nighttime spectaculars, Diamonds, and the extended 60th anniversary of the Happiest Place on Earth. We have lots of news and photos to share.

Disappearing Diamonds

60 Years Of Magic. It was a classy campaign rooted deeply in nostalgia. But nothing lasts forever, not even a diamond marketing blitz. Record crowds, profits and media attention were the hallmarks of the 60th Anniversary Celebration. But it’s time to move on to the next big thing. These photos were taken Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week. Your last chance to catch the 60th spectaculars is today, then they glow away . . . well . . . mostly.

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These banners will soon be part of Disneyland history.
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Diamond shields are going too.

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The bunting and banners are starting to show their age, but any minute now, they’ll be replaced with orange and black.

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And while some of the decorations were a little bit over the top, they were much classier than previous campaigns. Those jeweled rooftops and cross your heart straps will all be gone in the blink of an eye.

 

A lot of merchandise was created for the 60th campaign. Please let us know if you see any of this show up at discount locations.

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They made a gold train set for the 50th, this one was silver and blue.

 

There were Diamond Anniversary treats and desserts all over the parks. Will you miss any of these?

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Both Disneyland and California Adventure offered special photo opportunities.

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This one was sideways. But that’s all part of an illusion.
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From the side, you can see that there was a piece in the front which mimicked the frame, a piece in the center where you’d line up on the rope.

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Take the photo and then turn it on its end to make it look like you are scaling the Matterhorn. Fun!

The 60th had quite a few highlights. Disney Imagineering Legends Bob Gurr and Marty Sklar helped kick off the celebration.

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MiceChat favorite, Bob Gurr, kicking off the 60th with high energy. If they could bottle Bob’s energy we could fuel Los Angeles without fossil fuels.
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Disney Legend and former head of Imagineering, Marty Sklar got in on the gig as well.
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And there were thousands of cupcakes.
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There was even a 60th Anniversary float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. Though, the float really didn’t have anything to do with Disneyland’s history.
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Love it or hate it, the Disneyland 60th Anniversary TV Special was an all star affair.

But the real highlight of the celebration were the nighttime spectaculars.

Paint the Night goes into refurbishment after tonight. According to the latest MiceAge Update, the show will receive some emergency repairs and costume fixes. While it will reappear for a brief holiday run, it will again depart at the first of the year. The original Electrical Parade will fill in for Paint the Night while the major refurbishment work is conducted. Then, if everything goes as planned, we could see Paint the Night return for next summer.

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The Parade has suffered from lots of technical issues. On the Friday night showing, the entire Monster’s Inc section was missing from the parade.

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Here’s a great photo of the Monster’s Inc. unit from our good friend Stephen Russo.

 

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Anna was missing from Friday’s parade as well.

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Disneyland is famous for its fireworks. The 60th Anniversary show, titled Disneyland Forever, took things up a notch by adding digital projections along Main Street, Small World, and the Rivers of America. While the show didn’t really have anything to do with Disneyland as the name would suggest, it was an impressive display with some great visual effects.

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It was hard to decide if you should look to the sky or watch the buildings around you.

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During the Frozen number it even snowed on Main Street.
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So clever. Inflatable kelp rise from the tops of the building for the undersea portion of the show.

  The show really looked good from all over.

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From the Esplanade.
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Rivers of America
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And, of course, the castle.

 

Less popular with guests was World of Color Celebrate.  By the end of its run it was rare for the 2nd showing of the night to sell out (or even give out any fastpasses at all). While the original version of World of Color had its share of problems, it was a superior show in most ways to Celebrate. Our hope is that an entirely new version of the show, one with more heart and less corporate synergy. The technology is great, they’ve just yet to unlock the sort of magic combination that Fantasmic, Believe or Remember enjoyed.

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Things will slow down a bit beginning tomorrow, with the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show being launched only on weekends, Fantasmic down for refurb, and Paint the Night on hiatus. Plan your trip accordingly.

Season Change

The Diamond Celebration isn’t the only thing ending today. Star Wars Season of the Force will also wrap up today. However, many of its offerings will remain. Launch Bay will remain for now. Season of the Force is not listed as closing; however, it really needs an update (perhaps to a Rogue One Trailer). The big change will be the loss of the Season of the Force decorations, the change of Hyperspace Mountain to Ghost Galaxy, and likely the conversion of the Galactic Grill back to Tomorrowland Terrace.

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It’s time for an update.

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Disneyland

Spooky Season Is Upon Us

For the next two months it will be all about Halloween. Then things will shift to Christmas for the last two months of the year. Hard to believe that we are already talking about the end of the year, but things will move fast and December will be here before you know it. But there’s news at Disneyland as well. Not all of it big news, but significant to some of you none the less.

Take Me Your Your Leader

Alexa Garcia and Mikey Trujillo were introduced last week as the 2017-2018 Disneyland Resort Ambassadors. They will represent Disneyland throughout the local community as well as at events and functions all over the world. We spoke to several Disneyland Resort employees about the selection of the 2017 Resort Ambassadors and nearly everyone had praise for Alexa and Mikey. Congratulations to both of them.

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Alexa Garcia & Mikey Trujillo 2017-2018 Disneyland Resort Ambassadors.

Disneyland Half Marathon

Disney has found another way to mint money . . . runDisney. Folks are paying top dollar for the opportunity to run through the parks. But Disney may have reached the limit on what runners are willing to pay ($205 for the half marathon). This year’s Disneyland Half Marathon, held this past weekend, did not sell out. However, it did look like a lot of fun. MiceChat reader, Daniel Simaan, shares his photos from the event.

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Daniel ran three races over the weekend, a 5K, 10k and half marathon. However, he got 5 medals. One for running all three races, and another for doing both a WDW and a DL half marathon.

Did you run the Disneyland races this past weekend? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Oh, and one more thing. . . while running backstage, Daniel ran across a very important pumpkin soon to make its way to Disneyland’s Town Square.

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Gaston Popular With The Ladies

Disneyland is swarming with princesses, so it’s always interesting when a new male character shows up in the parks. Gaston has been making the rounds in Fantasyland, and he appears to be very popular with the guests (especially the ladies). The moment he was spotted in the park people came running.

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Two Great Tastes That Taste Great Together

Peanut Butter and Pretzel treats have popped up for a limited time at various locations throughout the Disneyland Resort. We found several of the peanut butter, chocolate, and pretzel treats.  They look delicious.

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Two Favorites Appearing at Disneyland on the 10th of September

Rebecca Cline & Steven Clark will be signing their new book, “The Walt Disney Studios: A Lot To Remember” this coming weekend at Disneyana from 9am until 11am. I had a chance to see a proof of this book and it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Huge photos, most of which you haven’t seen before, great history of the studio which launched an empire, and tons of information Disney fans will devour. You can order the book now on Amazon (it launches tomorrow), or pick up a copy at Disneyana on the 10th.


A Lot To Remember

PINsational

Spotted these new pins and thought they were worth a share. Fun to see the Star Wars characters used this way. However, I’ve got to wonder how Star Wars diehard fans feel about the characters being taken out of context like this.

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Other new pins:

 

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Mansion Makeover

Halloween Time arrives on September 9th this year and the Haunted Mansion is well into the final stretch of its transition to Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m crazy about Haunted Mansion Holiday. However, I really wish they’d wait until after Halloween to launch it.

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And, of course, Mansion fans are very excited about the graveyard returning to the hillside.

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Mickey’s Halloween Party

Something new is coming to Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland. Not only will the Headless Horseman return to the park this season, but there’s also a brand new Halloween Parade inspired by the popular parade at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando.

(David Roark, photographer)
(David Roark, photographer)

We are really excited to see the “Frightfully Fun Parade” for ourselves, which is why MiceChat is holding a Mickey’s Halloween Party meet-up on October 10th this year.

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Just by an event ticket from Disney for October 10th and then sign up for the MiceChat info list HERE so we can email you meet up times and locations.

Star Wars Rising

It’s always fun to watch a major project get built. But it’s also a bit like waiting for water to boil. But in less than a year, the river will be rerouted, the train will reopen and most of our views into Star Wars land will be blocked by major show building construction.

Here are the latest Star Wars images from Darth Daver.

The lagging between the I-beams increased as well.
The lagging between the I-beams increased as well.

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It looks like this archway will be the entrance from Fantasyland and Frontierland, with the DLRR going over the top.
It looks like this archway will be the entrance from Fantasyland and Frontierland, with the DLRR going over the top.

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From BTM, the walls are clearly visible as you exit the ride.
From BTM, the walls are clearly visible as you exit the ride.
This maze will house the Fantasmic backstage.
This maze will house the Fantasmic backstage.
Through a knot hole, we see where Big Thunder Ranch used to be.
This is where Big Thunder Ranch used to be.
And also from BTM, the walls are stretching toward Critter Country.
And also from BTM, the walls are stretching toward Critter Country.

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Even more Star Wars construction photos and news in our latest Star Wars column HERE

More from Disneyland

I’ve always enjoyed the naturalistic decorations in Frontierland. Pioneer Mercantile was the first to decorate this year. It’s just a touch right now, but it looks great. While we were there, we took a quick look at some of the current merchandise on display.

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The flavored popcorn I was looking for a few weeks ago is now in the Candy Palace. Some interesting flavors.

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Disney California Adventure

Tower Celebration

Disney is launching a special celebration of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror leading up to its closure on January 2, 2017. The salute kicks off during Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort, September 9 through October 31. The spookiest time of the year is the perfect time to experience this attraction before it checks out of Disney California Adventure park.

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Each night, beginning September 9, after twilight Disney California Adventure park guests will be treated to “Late Check-Out.” Ride the tower in complete darkness.

DCA Today

There’s really not much going on at DCA right now. We’ve got a few photos for you and a perplexing question. . .

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There isn’t nearly as much 60th swag for Disney to remove from DCA. Most of it is on Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle.

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Got enough diamonds there buddy? This Buena Vista Street window display will likely be altered soon as well.

 

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The photo spots will likely go.

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Grizzly River Rapids looks like a refreshing treat (which is why it has been running very long lines).

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However, the geysers have not been working this summer.

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Disney California Adventure Fun Pass at Costco

This little news bit has us scratching our heads. Disney has begun selling a $329 “Fun Pass” for DCA only. The pass, which is sold only at Costco, is loaded with blackout dates and doesn’t include parking. However, it does come with a pin and a 10% food and merchandise discount.

Blockout Dates for 2016 include: 9/3, 9/4, 11/11, 11/24-11/26, 12/17, 12/19-12/31/16

Blockout Dates for 2017 include: 1/1-1/2, 2/18-2/19, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8-4/9, 4/14-4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13, 5/20, 5/26-5/28, 6/3, 6/10, 6/17, 6/24, 7/1-7/4, 7/8, 7/15, 7/22, 7/29, 8/5, 8/12, 8/19, 9/2-9/3, 11/10-11/11, 11/23-11/25/17

Who is this pass for? Disney is valuing this park at $329 with lots of days blacked out.  That seems extreme to us. Perhaps this is just a test to see what the real value of DCA is. Or, perhaps it’s some sort of admission that DCA attendance is soft compared to Disneyland.  We’d really like your thoughts on this. Would you pay $329 for a DCA pass which blocks you out of Disneyland?  And if you were interested in a DCA only pass, what’s the max you’d be willing to pay.

Refurbishment Round Up

Disneyland continues to grow and change, now more than ever. Here is a brief list of some upcoming projects:

Disneyland:

  • Haunted Mansion is closed through Sep. 9 to transform into Haunted Mansion Holiday.

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  • Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is closed until mid-September.
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The decorative elements and sign on the Opera House balcony have been removed for refurbishment.
  • Hyperspace Mountain closes Tuesday Sept. 6 to become Ghost Galaxy on Friday, Sep. 9
  • Diamond Celebration ends on Sep. 6. And with it goes the extensive décor which will switch to Halloween Time as well as:
    • Paint The Night, which goes dark after Sep. 5 and is coming back for select dates during the holidays before changing to the Main Street Electrical Parade early next year.
    • World of Color – Celebrate! Which will change to the original World of Color show.
    • Disneyland Forever will be replaced by Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks, which will run mostly on a weekend only schedule.

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  • A remodeled Rivers of America with the Sailing Ship Columbia, Mark Twain Riverboat, Tom Sawyer’s Island, Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes and Disneyland Railroad will reopen next summer (2017) as well.

Disney California Adventure:

  • Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror will close in January to become “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT” next summer.
  • Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is closing for a lengthy refurbishment September 6 through 28th
Upcoming MiceChat Events

Looking for a bit of fun? We have a series of great events coming right up. Parties, Halloween,

October 1st – MiceChat Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt Event

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Join us in the fog for a night of spooky treats and VIP experiences. For one low price, you’ll get an all you can eat BOO-ffet dinner, early entry into the event, tours, meet and greets with Knott’s creatives, front of line for the mazes, VIP seating for shows, Skeleton Key access and a night of fun with your mice pals at the haunt which started it all. We have a VERY limited number of tickets available this year, SIGN UP NOW – HERE

October 10th – Mickey’s Halloween Party @ Disneyland

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Join the MiceChatters for a not so scary Halloween event on Monday October 10th. Please buy your own tickets directly from Disney for the October 10th Halloween Party. Then sign up for MiceChat’s event list HERE to be notified about event meeting times and locations. It promises to be a night filled with candy, friendship, headless horsemen, scary parades and fireworks!

November 3rd and 4th – New York Meet-ups and events

The MiceChatters invade NYC in November before their New York to Puerto Rico cruise. We’ll be seeing Aladdin and Cirque Du Soleil Paramour as well as taking a city tour. If you are interested in any or all of these activities, please contact [email protected] for more information.

Get Disneyland Wait Times with Mouseaddict

 

Mouseaddict

 

Get Mouseaddict Here You can keep track of the wait times and even where in the park people are congregating by downloading the app (iPhone only at this time).

Thank You!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day everyone! Thank you for reading the MiceChat Disneyland photo update. If you enjoyed it, please consider leaving a comment below and share with your friends and family. Today’s column was shot and assembled by Dusty Sage with additional photo contributions from the awesome Stephen Russo (60th Anniversary Spectaculars), Darth Daver (Star Wars Land), and Daniel Simaan (runDisney). My deepest thanks to our contributors and all of our fantastic readers! 

Are you a member of the MiceChat Sunday Meet-up Facebook group? If you are interested in meeting up with fellow theme park lovers in the parks, please be sure to follow this group: MiceChat Sundays in the Park. And please follow the MiceChat Facebook Page for news and updates from the Disneyland Resort and beyond:

MiceChat.com | The Happiest Place in Cyberspace…

That’s it for this week’s Update.

Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]  (If you responded to this request in previous weeks and did not hear back, please try again, Dusty’s email was on the fritz).