Tuesday, July 17, 2018, marks 63 years of peerless Disneyland Park operation. The original family theme park (don’t @ me) is commemorating the occasion in typical Disney fashion. That is, with a surfeit of fanfare and sentiment. Truly, the celebration is rather understated. Sixty-three years is not a widely regarded anniversary. Indeed, Hallmark has yet to conceive an artificial milestone surrounding the number 63, and they would if they could. What Disney has decided to do is celebrate the moment for and with those who wish to, and does so with signature authenticity.
Two specific and original parade-style events, Disney is calling them “Celebration moments,” are occurring at predetermined locations, along Disneyland’s primary artery, at 2:50 and 5:25 pm. In Town Square (opposite the Main Street Railroad Station), on Main Street itself, in the Hub, and “Small World Mall,” guests may observe and participate in the turning of another historic and notable Disney page.
The Dapper Dans, select Disney Ambassadors, and sixty-three “of your Disney Friends” participate in what almost comes across as an impromptu Birthday recognition. Not unlike surprising a pensive uncle with an unexpected lava cake and horde of servers and reluctant kitchen staff, the ambassadors and sixty-three friends let loose with what may be the most harmonious rendition of “Happy Birthday” you will ever hear (from Disney, would you expect anything less?).
The “Friends” are a who’s who of classic and contemporary Disney characters. Goofy, Woody, Mary Poppins, Tigger, Br’er everyone, The Incredibles, Donald, Captain Hook, Chip, Dale, Jiminy Cricket, and, of course Mickey and Minnie, greet and delight guests throughout. Then, one particularly emotional and influential creative Disney force had the mind to play Walt Disney’s opening remarks from that fateful day in 1955, which started it all.
So, yeah, Disney isn’t rededicating part of one of the lands in honor of the occasion. There isn’t a specif cupcake or poster. And we were unable to locate a single commemorative 63rd-Birthday pin. Still, those in attendance when the confetti flew, and seriously, a Dapper Dans recording of “Happy Birthday” ought to be archived in the Smithsonian, will remember where they were on Disneyland’s 63rd Birthday, and most of us will pretend it was a much bigger deal.