Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - A Diamond Celebration

By Daisy Sparks

January usually brings in a flurry of closures and walls around buildings to signify refurbishment time. This year, there are some popular attraction and area closures in order to get ready for Disneyland's 60th birthday. There is even an entire land, Critter Country, that is completely inaccessible until April 2nd. It looks like there has been more thought into how these huge refurbishment walls should look. There are huge printed canvas tarps placed over some of the attraction facades so it looks like a giant photo of the building. The walls are more decorative to blend in with the area and include special posters featuring information about the refurbishment itself. Let's take a look at all these preparations taking place at Disneyland in this week's A Walk in the Park article...

Let's start our walk today by taking a look at all the refurbishments as Disneyland prepares for its 60th Diamond celebration:

"it's a small world"

Last week, these giant tarps went up. This is an example of one of those big photo screens that I was referring to. It covers up work behind the scenes and then you can still take a decent photo without the ugly plain tarps.

Most of the refurbishment is associated with taking down the holiday lights on the exterior and all the holiday fun inside. "it's a small world" is scheduled to reopen on February 5th.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Here is an example of using themed walls around an attraction.

They have these great posters up that have lots of interesting history and trivia about the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

It is a pretty extensive refurbishment as it is not scheduled to re-open until mid-May. Rumor has it that there will be cosmetic upgrades involved.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle is such an iconic part of the Disneyland landscape. It has a place in Disneyland history as "the castle" that Walt Disney was so involved with. One of my favorite photos is Walt walking through the castle in the early morning.

For its big 60th birthday, it's no surprise that Sleeping Beauty Castle is getting a major cleaning that includes draining the moat. Last week, these wooden fences came up barring access through the Castle.

Here is a close up of the informative signs that decorate the wood fences.

Here is a view from the back of the Castle.

You can still walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle but it's pretty narrow in there since the castle is small. The castle walk-through is supposed to re-open in mid-March.

Yesterday I was able to see more progress of the Sleeping Beauty Castle 60th makeover. Looks like they are working on the actual exterior now.

Throughout its birthday history, Sleeping Beauty Castle has had different dressings to celebrate a big milestone. There were 5 different golden tiaras placed on the castle turrets back in 2005 for the 50th birthday. This year is a big deal and by the time you read this post, Disneyland will have revealed their Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration official artwork, special offerings and an artist rendering of what Sleeping Beauty Castle will look like for its 60th birthday.

Wishing you lots of magical wishes from Disneyland!


Daisy Sparks grew up in Southern California and Disneyland was a regular part of her life. While in college, she started working at Disneyland as a Main Street Merchandise Host. Her "college job" led to 12 adventurous years working with Mickey Mouse. She was a trained Magic Demonstrator, Hat Writer and was even signed off as a Disneyland Monorail Ride Operator. Daisy loved every minute of it while she held various management positions in Merchandise, Business Operations and Attractions. 

Daisy is married to her college sweetheart, David (a former Jungle Cruise Skipper). David solicited Daisy's Duck's help in memorable engagement proposal that took place at Disneyland's Club 33. Daisy left Disneyland in May 2001 to raise her two daughters. She continues to visit the Disneyland Resort multiple times a week as a Guest. Daisy particularly loves the Disneyland heritage because of all of the little details and stories that make it "the happiest place on earth."

You can read more about Daisy's Disneyland adventures over on her personal blog at DisneyDaze .

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