OT: What Would You Do?

OK...I'm appointing you all honorary Imagineers. How would YOU have handled the anniversary celebration?

I'm not talking "release the Main Street loop on CD". Think big. What would you do to set this over the top? What would you have done to make this the biggest celebration in Disneyland history?


Active Member
Well, I do realize that the current management at DL was hampered by what was left behind by Pressler and Harriss. This didn't leave them with much room to do as much as they could have.

Hypothetically though, if I had an unlimited budget to plan the 50th, I would have done some things differently.

First, I would have gone with the updated of 5 classic attractions that was proposed early on. Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and the Jungle Cruise. Some of those attractions did get spruced up additions, but I would have gone further.

The fireworks show is probably something that I would leave alone, because it seems great.

The parade looks nice, but I think I would have done it differently. I would have had two new parades. One during the day, and a new nightime parade. The daytime parade would be a history of Disneyland, and each float would represent a land at the park instead of characters from Disney films. The nighttime parade would be a light parade, but something new, and NOT a "streetacular". More like MSEP or Fantillusion. Not DreamLights either. I would try to get Bruce Healy to do the score.

Next, although "Snow White and Enchanting New Musical" is new, I would have ditched it to create a show that celebrates Disneyland. Something like "Disneyland is Your land", but updated.

I would also have a big promotion like the 30th and 35th with their giveaways and drawings. Every 50th guest would get a surprise gift. Every single guest going through the gates would get a ticket for a prize too.

The 50th Exhibit at the Opera House would also have been bigger, and I would have put it into the Innoventions building where it was originally proposed.

I wouldn't bring any classic attractions back, but I would go in the direction they are heading with Tomorrowland, and revitalize it.

I like the gold vehicles thing, and the other touches in the park, that would stay.

I would bring out TONS of obscure characters to interact with guests. Ones that have not been seen in a long time, or ones that have never been seen.

The one thing I might also do, although I don't like the idea of bringing old attractions back, I would get old attraction vehicles and put them up around the park for photo ops. Old peoplemover cars, skyway buckets, Autopia cars, and what have you.

I would have rushed to have Buzz Lightyear open, as well as negotiated with George Lucas to create a new Star Tours film before the 50th started. I would have thrown a lot more money at Space Mountain to make it a totally different experience (that would have been part of the classic 5 update).

I would recreate menus from the opening of Disneyland and serve food that was availible at the time...and at cheap prices. Some of the souvenirs too.

I would have really pushed the marketing budget too, so that everyone around the world knew it was Disneyland's birthday, no matter how much WDW advertised. Maybe create another short film to play in theaters much like the "Disneyland U.S.A." short. And NOT overly commercial either! Basically shine the spotlight directly on Disneyland so that everyone knew where it all started.

I'm sure I could think of more, but I've done enough armchair planning...


Active Member
Oh, I did think of something else.

Although I would develop the Big Thunder Ranch area for a future expansion of Frontierland, or an entirely new land; I would use it during the 50th celebration for a Disneyland birthday party area every day. Basically I would set up food locations, party areas and a small stage to recreate some of the past Disneyland shows. This would be in addition to the show in the Fantasyland theater. It would be a constant party all day and night. You could get birthday cake, hats, and other party favors, while the cast celebrated Disneyland's birthday. I would also put a small petting zoo back there again, and maybe look for another "Mickey Moo". The show on the stage could be something like Tokyo Disneyland's "Remember the Dreams", with costumes from all the past Disneyland shows and parades, but very little set pieces (since the space wouldn't allow for that).

The show would perform several times daily, but the party would be going on no matter what time you visited. This would be where I did something similar to what Tokyo Disneyland does with their special event food items. Like souvenir mugs, plates, whatever, but special limited edition food items...new flavors, etc. I would have also done what Tokyo Disneyland does by giving away a small pin, or charm to each guest entering on July 17th, and several other special dates throught the year. All that in addition to the daily prize giveaways.


New Member
Lots of good ideas! I agree the happenings at the park were rather light, but what about the traditional cheesy hour-long TV special?? The 35th had Tony Danza and the Muppets. Surely, the 50th deserved to have a really big blowout TV special celebration at the park. Did I just not pay attention or are they planning to show it later on in the year?


Great ideas, Ben. Wish you had been in charge. :)
I agree with Alxvision360.The thing I missed the most was a big TV special.Guess Disney isn't going to do them anymore.


Premium Member
Playlist Author

I think Disneyland management really goofed with not doing a more elaborate Disneyland history exhibit. I can't imagine it would really cost that much to execute.

Disney has such a vast collection of treasures they could bring out - they have in the past (I'm thinking about the "Architecture of Reassurance" exhibit that traveled the country a few years ago) and they will in the future (I'm thinking about the Ford Museum display - http://www.thehenryford.org/museum/disney/default.asp - why isn't this at Disneyland?).

Ah well, maybe next anniversary.

I can't complain all that much . . . we were so lucky to get Randy's fantastic Disneyland CD set; it's the real merchandise gem of the celebration, in my opinion.


Chris Albers

New Member
Insted of a full Anniversery Special this year they had some segments form Disneyland, Walt Disney World, ect.. durring "The Prences Diaries" on "The Wonderful World of Disney" on ABC this past Saturday.

While not a full special it was pritty nice, it highlighted the new additions and encouraged all of us to come be part of the celebration. They even got in a performance from Lee Anne Rhimes.

It felt more like watching some nice comercials during the movie insted of watching one HOUR LONG

(I apologise for misspellings it's 6:00am and Ive been up all Night)


Caught the end of the Lee Ann Rimes segment on Sat. night.Wish I'd known they were going to do this. :(
This doesn't compare with what was done in the past.I seem to remember the Disney channel showing Disneyland tv shows all day on the day of the 35th anniversary.