Disneyland's 60th Anniversary is almost here (July 17th), but the party has already begun! Every ten years Disneyland does an overhaul on their shows, decorations, and merchandise to celebrate another decade. On top of all that, they select three to five rides to either hide little gems in or completely overhaul. This year they updated Peter Pan's flight, the Haunted Mansion, and The Matterhorn.
My first stop: The Matterhorn! (Officially more nerve wracking than the Haunted Mansion).
Now, I have to be honest, the only thing I truly cared about seeing was the HAT BOX GHOST! (He's back! He's back! He's back!). BUT, the Disneyland resort promised more than just the return of Mr. Hat Box, and I made it my mission on Saturday to check it all out.
The Matterhorn is a special gem; it was the first roller coaster ride in Disneyland and there is only ONE Matterhorn to this day. I went to the Matterhorn expecting a minor change and left with a racing heart and a stunned expression. The Matterhorn is officially the thrill ride it's always claimed to be.
We all know the abominable snowman is lurking inside the great mountain... and we all know he's going to keep plenty of space in-between him and ourselves. Or, that's what we thought. The ride still starts with the slow ascent through the mountain, but you'll quickly notice the walls don't seem to be the same. As your eyes adjust to the darkness you'll discover that you're surrounded by almost transparent ice. That's when you hear a low growl...
More changes have been made inside the Matterhorn... but you'll have to visit yourself to see!
Think twice before entering the Matterhorn...
Various costumes, decorations, and landscaping have been updated for the 60th anniversary. On top of that, little "gems" have been scattered about the park for YOU to find. One such gem is a collectable diamond that can only be found in alcoholic drinks (and maybe a few other alcohol free drinks. Maybe.) My friend and I went on a hunt to find these "diamonds" but were unlucky in our quest.
California Adventure also go a few face lifts! Especially the backside of Grizzly River Run.
The highlight of my day? The HAT BOX GHOST IS BACK IN THE HAUNTED MANSION! The Hat Box ghost has been something of an urban legend in Disneyland (the land of urban legends...). When the Haunted Mansion was first being promoted (before it was under construction) a few images of ghosts were circulated around to create public interest. One of these images was of the Hat Box Ghost and his co-creator Yale Gracey.
Guests were ecstatic.
In August, 1969 the Mansion opened and the Hat Box Ghost resided in the mansion attic with the ghost bride. His "gag" was that his head would disappear from his shoulders and reappear inside of the hatbox he was holding. Unfortunately Mr. Hatbox was removed from the mansion only days after the opening due either to technical malfunctions or his appearance was simply to frightening for guests. His presence has survived through various children's books on the haunted mansion as well as collectable merchandise throughout the years. For the 60th anniversary, Disneyland has brought him back to the Mansion and he is INCREDIBLE! Check out my distorted images of him below and see his updated tricks for yourself on your next visit...
Oh, and don't forget your death certificate.
P.S. For everyone who argues that the Hat Box Ghost is now the 100th happy haunt (leaving no room for "one more"), Cast Members will tell you he's always been in the mansion ... you just haven't been honored with his presence.
I'll need to see the Firework show again because I got stuck in a horrible viewing area. I can tell you that they are using technology similar to the "World of Color" show on the castle. Since my friend and I could barely see, we ducked out early, grabbed some coffee and set up camp for the new parade "Paint the Night". See images from the parade below but also be sure to see it in person sometime soon! The music and live experiences make it much more entertaining!
Have you been to the 60th Anniversary celebrations? What "diamonds" did you find? Comment below!
(Disappointed that there were no Aladdin "diamond in the rough" references)