Disneyland marks 50th anniversary

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Sunday, May 8, 2005

Sleeping Beauty Castle decorated for the celebration

The American theme park Disneyland celebrated its golden anniversary on Thursday, in Anaheim, California.

The theme park, created and opened by Walt Disney in 1955, hosted a special gala opening at 1pm in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, the world-famous icon of Disneyland.

CEO of the Walt Disney Company Michael Eisner, COO Bob Iger, honorary Disneyland Ambassador Julie Andrews and a host of stars opened the celebration, which is scheduled to run for eighteen months.

Singers Christina Aguilera and LeAnn Rimes sang Disney classics, while actors Tim Allen and Steve Martin opened new attractions. Martin had worked at Disneyland as a teenager, and Aguilera was part of the Mickey Mouse Club in the 1980s.

Within California, Disney is calling it the Happiest Homecoming on Earth, and worldwide it is known as the Happiest Celebration on Earth. Several attractions have been swapped between parks, and the four main Disney theme parks (the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland) gave a salute to Disneyland via live satellite feed.

The ceremony was hit with deep purple stormclouds but no rain.

The park celebrates its actual birthday on July 17, 2005. There are no clear details on how Disney will mark the occasion.