Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary – 25 Hours of Disneyland

For a few years between 2012 and 2015 Disney
would hold annual 24-hour-long events at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. They were a fun way for hardcore fans to spend
an entire full day at the parks. But did you know there was time Disneyland
was open for twenty-five hours? 1980 was a special year for Disneyland as
that July would mark the 25th anniversary of the iconic park. Now this was before the Eisner era, so Disney
wasn’t yet in the habit of making big celebrations out of every little anniversary. However Disneyland’s silver anniversary
was anything but little. Disneyland 25 was a year long celebration
of the park’s birthday, and while it wasn’t as prize-heavy as later anniversaries would
be, it certainly was packed with events. Singer: It’s a land of happy memories, that’s 25 years new. So come on and bring your family cause you’re our family too! Announcer: Everyone’s joining the 25th birthday family reunion at Disneyland this holiday including Papa Doo Run Run, Buddy Rich and the Buddy Rich Band, March 29th through April 5th, 9am till midnight. Song: Join hands in Disneyland and join the jubilee and we’ll be one big happy family! Kicked off in January, Disney began by dedicating
7 full weekends to celebrating each of the seven different lands of the park, which included
Main Street USA and at the time Bear Country. The main draw of these celebrations was that
all of the attractions in that weekend’s specific land were free for all guests. Today it might seem odd to make specific rides
free, but this was 1980. Disneyland was still two years away from phasing
out the famous ticket book system that was in place since the park opened. Disney featured a special 25th anniversary
parade that had tributes to some of the park’s lands, including a streetcar for Main Street,
a stagecoach for Frontierland, and a surrey for New Orleans
Square. It was all capped off with an authentic 1907
calliope. In March the park offered weekend festivals
that honored different nations, with special performances and shows during “Festival
Canada” and “Festival Japan”. There was also a “Festival Mexico” planned
for later in the year. Canada and Mexico were obviously the US’s
neighboring nations, and Japan was about to become the home of Disney’s first international
theme park just a few years later. Festival Canada proved to be especially appreciative
that year. You see, just a little over a month before
the festival, a team of Canadians, who we would later learn were working with the CIA,
were successful in rescuing six Americans from Iran during the Iranian Revolution. It was the basis for the film Argo and that
year America was particularly fond of its northern neighbor. In May Disney introduced Encore Nights, wherein
musical acts who had performed at one time or another at Disneyland over those previous
25 years were invited to return and perform once more. But the real show stealer would be July, the
month in which Disneyland opened. A one hour television special was recorded
and aired on CBS that month, featuring Danny Kaye as host as well as musical performances
from the Osmonds and Michael Jackson. For the big day itself, Disney decided to
hold a 25 hour long birthday party. Starting at midnight on July 16 and running
until 1am on the 18th, Disneyland would remain open to guests. Tickets were $12.50 per person and in addition
to admission, guests also received free birthday cake and free family photos. Disney also offered hats and noisemakers for
the birthday countdown. It was reported that between midnight and
6am over 17,000 guests showed up for the party, and while many were tired the next day, there
was a special celebration at the castle to honor the opening of Disneyland back in 1955. Later that evening a special show was performed
to highlight various different dance styles from the previous 25 years. Now while a 25 hour event does top the annual
24 hour “One More Disney Day” events that Disney held just a few years ago, it wouldn’t
be the longest event at Disneyland. Just seven years after the silver anniversary,
in 1987, Disney would promote the opening of Star Tours by keeping the park open for
a consecutive SIXTY hours long. Guests attending received a free watch and were able to come and go from the park as they pleased. Disneyland’s 25th Anniversary celebration
was a successful and wholesome honoring of a historic and beloved theme park. It wasn’t as flashy as giving away hundreds
of cars, but it did pay tribute to the crucial elements of what made Disneyland such a treasure:
the people, the lands themselves, and that all-to-familiar feeling of never wanting to
go home.

About the author


  1. Hey everyone! I just wanted to drop in and mention that I haven't forgotten about following-up on the Dolphin Light mystery. However following the few leads I have is taking some time, so the video isn't quite ready. So in the meantime, here's a look back at some Disneyland history!

  2. I live in Orlando, and as stupid as it sounds, I still love Disney. I'm actually going this weekend with some friends for my birthday, and I'm really looking forward to it.

  3. I miss those 24 hr days/events I wish they could hold them more often (I didn't get to go the first couple of years, just the last one and it was great).

  4. I miss the 24 hours, I love late nights. I’m pretty disappointed that my trip in March only has 2 days out of 6 with night magic hours, of those two neither go later than 11 pm

  5. Rob your videos are always so good! Thank you!
    I’d love to see an all night at Disney world party take place at all four parks. Maybe even water parks. It could be a good celebration!

  6. With the logistical masterminds at Disney, they could theoretically be open constantly. It just wouldn't make them as much money

  7. 3:36–3:40 That's the Royal Cavaliers Youth Band from Van Nuys, California. I marched in that band from 1976-1977. Unfortunately, I was not in the band when it marched at Disneyland in the video.

  8. Rob as always you do such a wonderful job with your Vlog ,it is incredibly well done and the quality is so superlative. I truly respect amount of work and research you do👍👍👍👍👍👏👏👏 Best wishes always !

  9. You’re right Rob, even though I’ve been to Disneyland and Disneyworld countless times, I’ve always cried before I leave and not wanting to go home.

    1987 was very memorable for me at Disneyland not only for the opening of Star Tours, but it was my first NYE at Disneyland, my 18th Birthday and high school graduation which all took place at Disneyland! Thank you for reminding me of these wonderful events!

  10. Video Suggestion: Disney took over Goderich Ontario for a parade years ago in the late 90's. Something to look into and i find interesting.

  11. The movie "Argo" took a big steaming shit on the Canadian contribution to saving the American hostages in Iran. Affleck systematically took all the Canadian aspects out of that movie and reworked it into a 100% American and only American operation, which is a LIE!

  12. I think overnight/24 hour events are on the way with all of these special ticket events, and after-hours events.  I don't think it would work in Animal Kingdom or Epcot, as much (they would shut down too much overnight), but Hollywood Studios with Galaxy's Edge and Toy Story Land, and the Magic Kingdom would be worth it for a large upcharge.

  13. Huh. And here I thought it was gonna be about a day where Disneyland was open all day and all night while transitioning away from daylight savings time.

  14. I went the first Disney World 24 hour thing and it was the best thing ever, we stayed in Port Orleans which was the only nice hotel at Disney I had stayed in aside from contemporary. Disney at night is honestly the best… Hope these events will come back in the future.

  15. I made it to the last 24-hour event in 2015 at MK. It was a blast but longer than 24 hours because you wait for the train show, then once the 24 hours was up you still had to do the customary browse through the main street gift shops because you forgot to go earlier.  I hope they bring it back, I would love to do 24 hours in DL because you can save a lot of time before and after because you don't have all the travel distance and ride on the transportation to get to & from the park.

  16. 3:25 – The pre-Thriller era… Oh look! it's Mr. No Name… rerun on Disney Vault Oh look! it's THE KING OF POP BEFORE STARDOM!!!

  17. I visited Disneyland for their 25th and 30th, but don't remember anything special about it. Did buy an anniversary button each of those years, but don't know what ever happen to them.

  18. WDW would then pretty much more or less copy Disneyland's 25th Parade and Theme for its Tencennial a year later (with different lyrics and a few different units to reflect the different lands the Park had). Oh and Tokyo Disneyland liked it so much they adapted it for their opening for their daily parade with Japanese lyrics for several years

  19. I’ve never been to any Disney park but I have, (ever since watching the video on defunctland) always wanted to ride the nautilus but I’ll never get to

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