Disneyland ride enhancements to arrive for 60th anniversary celebration

Disneyland's 60th anniversary celebration begins May 22

Disneyland has already unveiled plans for a new fireworks show, a parade and "sparkling" features on two of its iconic buildings as part of the park's 60th anniversary celebration this summer.

Now Southern California's most popular theme park plans to add enhancements to several attractions, including the Matterhorn, Peter Pan's Flight and the Haunted Mansion.

The park's 60th anniversary celebration is set to begin May 22, with a new nighttime parade, dubbed "Paint the Night," that will feature more than 1.5 million LED lights. Also, the nighttime fireworks show will be upgraded to include "projection mapping technology" that will project characters and scenes from popular Disney and Pixar films on buildings and walls throughout the park.

To highlight the Diamond Celebration, Disney officials said they would add a diamond effect to the outside of Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland and the Carthay Circle Theatre in Disney's California Adventure park.

The latest upgrades, announced this week on the Disney Parks blog, involve new special effects added to the nursery scene in Peter Pan's Flight and a new, scarier look for the Abominable Snowman in the Matterhorn.

In the Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost character, who appeared briefly when the attraction opened in 1969, will be added back.

Disneyland officials say the ride enhancements are not part of the 60th anniversary celebration but will be launched in time for the event.

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by Disney fans on the blog, but several wondered whether the park was going to make the Matterhorn ride smoother. Many guests have complained that the ride is much rougher after the old vehicles with cushioned seats were replaced by vehicles with hard plastic seats.

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