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Disneyland Golden Anniversary Launched

Today (May 5, 2005) launched the 18-month celebration of Disneylands 50th anniversary, dubbed The Happiest Celebration on Earth. At a ceremony beside the newly redecorated and resplendent Sleeping Beautys Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Anaheim, California, honorary ambassador Julie Andrews and Art Linkletter, the original Disneyland host, reminisced about visiting the park for the first time with Walt Disney, who first opened the groundbreaking park on July 17, 1955.

Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Co. also announced plans to celebrate Disneylands 50th by importing attractions from other Disney parks, and the Disney Cruise Line reiterated its plans to temporarily move The Disney Magic to Los Angeles for 12 seven-day cruises beginning May 28.

However, yesterday media and invited guests were treated to a sneak peek of the new attractions and golden touches at Disneyland (wait till you see those golden Mickey Mouse ears and get a better glimpse of the Castle, thanks to the pruning on the hub).

AWN caught up with composer Richard Sherman, who, has been busy with the new MARY POPPINS stage musical in London, and he admitted that he was one of the lucky visitors to Disneyland in 55: I was just out of the Army and this was before I met Walt, he said.

New attractions to Disneyland include:

* Walt Disney Parade of Dreams is the newest and most lavish of Disney characters and performers. While not as dazzling as the Main Street Electric Light Parade, the color and craft on display is unprecedented with floats dedicated to PINOCCHIO, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, THE LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PINOCCHIO, THE LION KING and Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

* Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, the latest addition to Tomorrowland, is a variation of Buzz Lightyears Space Ranger Spin at Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom, as guests get to blast various targets and destroy Emperor Zurgs secret weapon. Beginning in June, viewers at home will be able to interact with park patrons on the ride.

* Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years transforms the Main Street Opera House into a retrospective of the parks illustrious history, including a large model of how Disneyland first appeared. A new short hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck screens in the theater. Former cast member Martin, a native of Garden Grove, California, was on hand to reminisce about handing out newsletters, working on The Jungle Cruise and the Main Street Magic store.

* RememberDreams Come True, an all-new, immersive fireworks extravaganza saluting past and present E-Ticket attractions.

* Gold Attraction Vehicles commemorating original attraction vehicles from 55 will be on display, including an Autopia car, a cup from the Mad Tea Party and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

* Space Mountain reopens July 15 featuring an all-new queue and Space Port, redesigned rockets, a brand new on-board audio soundtrack and new cutting edge effects.

In addition, Disneys California Adventure has begun hosting a Block Party Bash featuring Pixar film pals amid music and dance.

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