Looking Back at the Last Five Years of Disneyland Birthday Celebrations

Yesterday, Disneyland celebrated its 67th birthday. As is often the case, Disney fans descended on the Disneyland resort just to be in the spot where Walt Disney once said “To all who come to this happy place, welcome.” Friends that often are only seen once or twice a year were seen in the parks as people returned to celebrate this special day for this special place.

This year was different in that it was the first relatively “normal” day to celebrate Disneyland’s birthday. A lot has happened in the last five years and as the world and Disney have changed, so have the celebrations. Or in some cases, the lack of celebration. Walking around the park yesterday it was interesting to think about how much has changed since that beautiful morning in 2005 when Disneyland was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Backing off that thought a little bit, even in the last five years, a lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t, for the birthday celebration at Disneyland. Below is a brief look at the birthday celebrations at Disneyland in the last five years.

Disneyland’s 63rd Birthday – July 17, 2018

Disneyland’s 63rd birthday was celebrated with a cavalcade that was offered twice during the day. It ran the entire length of the parade route. It included 63 characters for the 63rd birthday. The focal point of the cavalcade was the Omnibus. The director of the Disneyland Band was joined by the Dapper Dans and Disneyland Ambassadors as a rendition of Happy Birthday was sung. Walt Disney’s opening day dedication speech was played. Confetti exploded into the air. Characters danced around. This was all done multiple times along the parade route each time.

Disneyland’s 64th Birthday – July 17, 2019

Disneyland’s 64th birthday was celebrated in a similar fashion to the year before. This year, the cavalcade was offered basically as a pre-parade. The fire engine was the focal point of this year’s cavalcade. It entered and exited to the music from Mickey’s Mix Magic. It made its way through the park on the parade route about 35 minutes before the two presentations of Mickey’s Soundsational Parade. Again, there were dozens of characters. A brief speech was given by the Disneyland Ambassadors, and Walt Disney’s dedication speech was played. This was followed by the Disneyland Band director leading the singing of Happy Birthday. Confetti burst into the air as a part of the celebration.

Disneyland’s 65th Birthday – July 17, 2020

The celebration for Disneyland’s 65th birthday had been expected to be something bigger than in previous years. In 2019, there was lots of speculation about what would be done to celebrate what seemed to be a bigger birthday. However, the world would have different plans. Because of this, there was no cavalcade or celebrations in the parks. Disney offered a virtual celebration. A few dedicated fans made their way to Esplanade between the two parks. Socially distanced selfies were taken, and the dedication moment was honored. What would come by the next year at that point was completely unknown as it had already been hoped that the parks would be reopening… but they weren’t.

Disneyland’s 66th Birthday – July 17, 2021

The birthday celebration for Disneyland’s 66th birthday was a step back towards normalcy. The parks were finally reopened again at the Disneyland Resort. However, things were still quite different from how they were before. The birthday moment, however, seemed a little more familiar. This year, the moment was again a cavalcade. It included Mickey Mouse in the firetruck, the Disneyland Band, and other characters on and around the Omnibus. The cavalcade included stops along the parade route for the playing of Walt Disney’s dedication speech and the singing of Happy Birthday before moving on. The atmosphere was electric as guests and Cast Members alike were excited to once again celebrate this special day.

Mickey and friends were also found in Town Square wearing their celebration confetti outfits. This also was the day that The World Famous Jungle Cruise reopened after receiving some changes to its storyline. At the end of the day, guests waited on Main Street until the last possible moment that they had to leave, savoring every moment of the magic.

Disneyland’s 67th Birthday – July 17, 2022

For Disneyland’s 67th birthday, guests saw the return of the Sleeping Beauty Castle march moment with the Disneyland Band, Mickey Mouse, and his friends. On this special day, the Dapper Dans also joined at the castle for the march down Main Street, USA (normally, they would join on Main Street) and also entertainment Cast Members with balloons. The Disneyland Band performed at Sleeping Beauty Castle before being joined by Mickey and the gang, just like used to be normal. They were then joined by the Dapper Dans to sing Happy Birthday before marching down Main Street, USA, and singing Happy Birthday again on the street itself, and also in front of Main Street Station. At the Main Street Station stop, the group also performed Live the Magic, the anthem from Disneyland’s 60th birthday that currently could also be heard in the Disneyland Forever fireworks spectacular.

Looking back at the last five years it is amazing to see how much has remained the same, yet how much has changed for Disneyland’s birthday celebrations. In just three years, Disneyland will be celebrating its 70th birthday! Five years after that, the 75th. It will be interesting and fun to see how things go and change during the upcoming birthday celebrations for the Happiest Place on Earth! One thing that will undoubtedly be true is that there will be plenty of magical memories made along the way.

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