Commonwealth Network

Disneyland's 40th Birthday Party

This page recounts my experience at Disneyland's 40th birthday party, on July 17th, 1995. All the pictures and sounds occurring here were taken by me, except where noted.

I got there before opening and the lines went well back along the walkway between Bambi and the Handicapped parking The whole walkway was terribly congested, as they had set up stands with lots of merchandise along both sides. Between this and the lines to get in the gates, it was densely packed with people. Unfortunately, I'm now preconditioned to only buy stuff on my way out of Disneyland so I won't have to carry it around all day. Later in the day, when I thought to buy one of the 40th birthday party pins, they were all sold out. I was pretty bummed, considering I had the buttons from the 25th Birthday Party and 30th Birthday Party, having attended those as well.

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They didn't do as much nifty stuff for this party as for the 25th or 30th (e.g. nifty signed and numbered lithos), but they did have some special things going on. First to come was the party hats. They handed them out at the gate. They also handed out birthday cake at stands all over the park.

small jpg of the hat (71 KB JPG) small jpg of th cake (28 KB JPG)

They had Main Street thoroughly decorated, with big ballons of Mickey and his buddies. They also had a corridor of balloons over the top of Main Street.

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By the time my sister Marilyn and my niece Leslie got there (about 15 minutes after opening), the line for Indi was already over an hour long, so we decided to go on some rides with shorter lines. We started off by going on Splash Mountain. After we got off that we saw one of the cake stands, so we decided to have a piece of cake.

picture from Splash Mountain (650 KB MPEG)

Next we went on Big Thunder Railroad, and then stopped to have another piece of cake. After that we went over to the Partners statue to meet up with my brother Dave and his girlfriend Margaret. Then we all went and got some cake.

We only had about half an hour until we were meeting my sister Judy, so we rode on the Peoplemover to kill some time. On our way back to the hub, I noticed this picture spot. I didn't think it was all that scenic, but I took a picture of it anyway, just to be thorough. After the Peoplemover, we found another cake stand. We got back to the hub just in time to meet Judy and watch the festivities they had planned.

a picture of the time castle This is the Time Castle they buried.

First they had a ceremony where they buried the Time Castle. Then they shot off some fireworks, which was kind of unusual for a daytime event but went over pretty well anyway. Next they had some guy dressed up like Indiana Jones rappel from the top of the Matterhorn to the castle. Finally, they had Randy Travis come out on top of the Matterhorn and sing The Mickey Mouse Club March (a 71 KB WAV file, and yes that's my out of tune voice joining in for "M O U S EEEEEE") and a particularly uninspiring sing-along version of Happy Birthday.

By this time, the crowd had grown quite dense, so we decided to avoid the longer lines of the thrill rides and go on some of the attractions with shorter lines. Thus it was that we went on Alice In Wonderland. Afer that we went and had some more cake. Then we decided to go on Pirates of the Carribean, so we headed for New Orleans Square. Several times along the way, I stopped for some cake.

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Next we had lunch at the Plaza Pavillion, and then came out just in time to catch the Lion King Parade. At this point the park was extremely crowded, and it was about 85 out. Marilyn was taking Leslie out to go swimming until it cooled off, and Dave was going to meet some more friends, so I decided to do a little more filming and then split.

I filmed the first of a set of short MPEGs I want to do, which I plan to call Disneyland zooms. Unfortunately, I'm not satisfied with the quality of this one, so I'll have to bring my tripod and go when the park is less crowded and do a better job. Anyway, here's the first Disneyland zoom, Main Street Zoom. Watch my pages in the near future for the rest of this series.

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As I left, I decided to get one last piece of cake.

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