HOLLYWOOD — Disneyland kicked off an 18-month celebration marking the park’s 50th anniversary Wednesday, and the Mouse didn’t skimp on the gold.
The Midas touch was applied to some of the original attractions throughout the park, from Autopia and the Jungle Cruise to King Arthur’s Carousel, the latter unveiled by honorary homecoming ambassador Julie Andrews.
All 11 Disney theme parks will celebrate the anniversary of the original Disneyland.
Festivities got under way with Walt Disney’s Parade of Dreams, followed by a brief speech from Michael Eisner and a presentation by Steve Martin, who unveiled the exhibit “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years.” Exhibit, housed in the Opera House, features models, artwork, maps and a 17-minute video narrated by Martin and Donald Duck, detailing how Walt Disney and his team designed and built Disneyland.
As a teenager, Martin worked at the Magic Shop on Main Street.
Later in the day, Tim Allen joined the festivities to announce the official opening of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, an interactive ride in Tomorrowland.
Evening capped off with the park’s most elaborate fireworks display to date.
Additional attractions at Disneyland include the relaunch of Space Mountain (bowing mid-July), a fresh look for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle — where corners of the palace are adorned with golden jeweled tiaras — and a Block Party Bash parade, an event that features 26 Disney/Pixar characters who interact with the crowd.