Disneyland Resort is Celebrating 60 Years of Disney Magic with Their Diamond Celebration

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disneyland bannerDisclosure- I went on an all expense paid trip on behalf of Disney to cover the Blu-ray release of Tomorrowland and Aladdin as well as Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.  All opinions are my own.diamond castle

Being a Florida girl I have gone to Walt Disney World MANY times over the years starting at the age of 5 when we moved down from NY. On my trips to WDW I would see all the people with the “1st Visit” buttons and I would be a little secretly jealous because my first time at WDW was so long ago and I never got one of those buttons. That all changed last week when I earned my “1st Visit” button at Disneyland Resort!!!  Yes, in my 41 years and all my trips to California, I had never been to Disneyland. At the park I found out that all you need to do to get one of these awesome buttons FOR FREE is to ask at guest services or any of the shops. They also have ones for those celebrating other things like birthdays and anniversaries and most of the shops have all of the different button types behind the counter so make sure to ask for one if you’re celebrating or if it is your first time at the park.

When you go to Disneyland or Walt Disney World make sure to grab a FREE button if you’re celebrating!

first visit pinGoing to Disneyland Resort right now is the perfect time because they are celebrating their 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration. Can you believe that this magical place has been around for 60 years?!?!  disneyland 60 frameThere are lots of  diamonds all around the park in celebration of the Diamond Anniversary Celebration.  When you first enter the park there is an entire store dedicated to the celebration so you’ll be sure to find something you’ll like. There is truly something for everyone.

Throughout the park there are over 500 special merchandise items that have been created just for the Diamond Celebration including apparel, accessories, art, collectibles, headwear, jewelry, and so much more.

disneyland 60 storeI was excited to grab this shirt for myself.  Isn’t it pretty?
D60 shirtAnd for my girls who collect Disney pins I bought these beauties. I bought one for myself, too, because they were so pretty.
D60 pinDisney sent us home with these beautiful mugs, too, as part of our blogger trip!disneyland mugAs part of our blogger trip we were treated to a lunch and photo opp with the big mouse himself and his first lady, Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse! They were all decked out in their special Diamond Celebration attire.  So cute!

mickey and minnie

It’s Mickey and Minnie!

Leave it to Disney to have everything themed down to the containers for our special lunch. These containers were shaped like, what else, DIAMONDS!  The bottom compartment had our lunch and there was a neatly wrapped cookie on top.  How adorable!!!diamond lunch

There is so much excitement around Disneyland’s Diamond Anniversary celebration including Disneyland Diamond Days including a text-in-for-a-chance-to-win sweepstakes with daily and weekly prizes including a one-carat diamond, a stay in the Disneyland Dream Suite, and lots more!  For more details go to http://Disneyland.com/DiamondDays. In addition Mickey Mouse and some of his friends have dressed up for the celebration in sparkling new Diamond Celebration costumes that you will only see during the celebration. There are also lots of beautiful displays all over the park. In Disney California Adventure there is also an after-dark “Diamond Mad T Party” featuring sparkling new decor, interactive fun, dancing, as well as food and drinks.

Right now at Disneyland there is a new beautiful Paint the Night electrical parade, new Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular show, and an all-new “World of Color” show which all combine creativity, beauty, and technology. The Paint the Night parade is 3 years in the making. It is the first ever almost entirely lit by LED lights.

Including video screens, the Paint the Night Parade contains more than 1.5 mllion sources of light with more than 500 strobes!

Here are just a few pictures from the Paint the Night parade:

20150921_205918Photo credit for parade photos below-
12022354_10207095161804870_5889028763922342275_oHere are just a few pictures of the amazing fireworks show. If you get the chance to see this show make sure to look up in the sky next to the castle to see a special surprise swim around.  (HINT- see if you can FIND this orange and white clownfish.)
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20150921_213031I had an amazing time at Disneyland. A few months ago I went to Walt Disney World with a blogger friend from California. She had never been to WDW and she kept on saying how different but the same it was to what she was used to, Disneyland. She was saying how things felt like they had been moved around from what she was used to. I didn’t totally understand what she meant until last week. Main Street in Disneyland had the same feel as Main Street in WDW but it wasn’t the same. Things were familiar but different. Many of the rides in Disneyland were familiar but different. It was sort of an out of body experience. Here’s just a glimpse of some of the things I saw at Disneyland.

20150921_165041 (1024x576)I went on a submarine to find Nemo!
20150921_165419Marlin and Dory!

20150921_165425I found Nemo and Squirt!!!


And churros!!!  20150921_192148I love this time of year!!!
20150921_141443 (576x1024)Yes, the “song” was in my head for days after I got of this iconic ride!
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20150921_175407 (576x1024)I kicked some alien butt on this one!!!

The most different of all was my favorite Disney ride of all time, the Haunted Mansion. Every time I go to WDW I make sure to go to the Haunted Mansion so of course it was one of the first things I did at Disneyland. The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is SOOO different than the one in WDW though. It is a mix of Halloween and Christmas and has a Nightmare Before Christmas theme. I loved every minute of it. It still had some familiar parts to it but I loved all the differences.

My Favorite Disney Ride- The Haunted Mansion

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I can’t wait for the day that I go back to Disneyland and bring my family so they an experience it all, too! I highly recommend going to both parks yourself and seeing how it is so much the same yet so different.

Here are some fun facts we learned during our trip to Disneyland:

  • Disney brought in a NASA astronaut into Space Mountain to consult and help make it feel realistic.
  • There are over 300 animated children in It’s a Small World.
  • The outside of It’s a Small World represents places around the world joining together.
  • There are 10 Disney Ambassadors around the world.
  • Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination.


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10 Things I Learned From the Wilderness Explorers Program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom #MonkeyKingdomEvent

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20150416_091243 (1024x576)Wilderness Explorers is a FREE program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Participants go around from station to station earning badges as they go.  We had the opportunity to learn about the program first hand on our press trip for the Monkey Kingdom movie that is now open in theaters.

20150420_203946 (723x1024)First take the Wilderness Explorer’s Pledge and fill out your membership card.20150420_204046 (670x1024)

Learn the Wilderness Explorer’s Call

20150420_204013 (576x1024)Start Exploring!

Here are some things we learned:20150416_090046 (2) (1024x704)

  • The Wilderness Explorers Program has been around for 15 years but has grown in size from 6 stations to 31 badges to earn.
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  • The target audience for the Wilderness Explorers Program is families with kids from 7-10 years old but families with older or younger children will also enjoy it.  We participated in the program without children and had a blast collecting badges so even if you don’t have children with you, grab a Wilderness Explorer’s Handbook and earn some badges.
    Wilderness Explorer Program
  • The beauty of the Wilderness Explorers Program is that it DOES NOT involve technology.  It uses cast members who present information and engage participants as they explore the park going from station to station.
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  • Participants are given a Wilderness Explorer Handbook at one of 9 Troop Leader Stations.  They are located all over the park so you don’t have to be in the front of the park to get started.
  • Exploring is a life long adventure.  Most participants average about 12 badges a day and come back multiple times with their books to earn all the badges.
  • The Wilderness Explorers Program connects families to nature and each other.  It shows them parts of the park they might not have seen and gets parents involved in the learning, too.
  • There are 3 types of cast members who give out badges- Trooper Leaders (interns who are trained in education or science), Merchandise Cast Members (who share all about various authentic merchandise that is available in the park), and Cultural Cast Members (who share about their native countries).20150416_093425 (576x1024)
  • Troop Leaders and other representatives don’t just give out badges, they engage the participants, ask them questions about what they have learned, and teach them new things, too.
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  • Find cast members with orange satchels or look for signs with W/E on it to find badges to earn.
  • When you earn all the badges you earn a special Senior Wilderness Explorer badge.

Build Your Own Backyard Habitat





Learn About Animal NutritionP1240395


P1240394Meet Rafiki and He Might Just Check Your Head For Bugs!

P1240396Meet Lots of Animals

20150416_101056 (576x1024)The Wilderness Explorers Program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom encourages families and children to experience the park in a whole new way! As Wilderness Explorers, Guests participate in a variety of activities, such as hiking the trails, digging for fossils, studying gorilla behaviors, listening to animal sounds, learning how veterinarians care for animals, and interacting with Cultural Cast Members representing different countries in Africa and Asia. Completing each activity allows you to earn a sticker badge in their very own Wilderness Explorers handbook, which can be picked up from any of the nine Troop Leader locations around the park. Explorers can earn up to 31 badges, but are encouraged to earn these badges in multiple visits, since exploring is a lifelong adventure! Completing all 31 badges gives guests the honorary title of Senior Wilderness Explorer. The program’s goal is to connect guests with animals, conservation and culture while spending time together as a family, during and even after their visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Don’t forget to take your family to see Monkey Kingdom!!!


Disclosure- I was invited on an all expense paid trip to Orlando for the Monkey Kingdom Event.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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