(31/03/2007 - 21:30) As the last firework from the spectacular, "deluxe" Candleabration performance exploded, the press and VIPs were already on their way to the next - and final - stop on their busy day in Disneyland... an exclusive event and dinner in Frontierland.,
Of course, to get into the event, you needed an invite:
As with all press documents, they were lavishly produced with a fold-out red carpet fastened by a magnet, the gates opening to reveal the full collection of new entertainment attractions for the Anniversary. No hope of anyone replicating one to get into the event, then… (they obviously know fans too well).
The event began in Liberty Arcade, with a red carpet stretching up the entire length of the exquisite Victorian interior, before veering off into Frontierland via the hidden “Thunder Mesa Express” passage. Here, it enterted Fort Comstock, which used digital effects to project a red carpet onto a curtain covering the Frontierland entrance, showing a curling red carpet stretching into the distance.
Once inside the exclusive cocktail and dinner event, invited guests could experience Frontierland and Adventureland bathed in special lighting, including the plethora of lanterns seen around the land in earlier days. A fan of blue and yellow lights filled the sky whilst a huge “15” projection turned Big Thunder Mountain into a new icon for the event.
One of the highlights for any Disney fans at the event was to see a series of Disney characters aboard the Mark Twain. Like a scene out of “Fantasmic!”, they danced for the crowds and held the candles previously seen in the Disney Characters’ Express nighttime preview, with the line-up of stars matching somewhat the line-up seen in the resort’s marketing visuals for the anniversary. The loading dock of Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing was transformed into the red carpet photo location with a backdrop for celebrity photoshoots, such as these, and interviews.
Guests could also enjoy dinner at one of the specially-illuminated restaurants – not just The Lucky Nugget Saloon (the VIP restaurant) and Silver Spur Steakhouse, but also Colonal Hathi’s Pizza Outpost, transformed for one night only into a table service restaurant – as it was when first opened in 1992. Meals included a special 15th Anniversary dessert with a 15th Anniversary chocolate.
Though Fantasyland closed at 7pm for the fireworks and Frontierland closed at the same time for event preparations, guests leaving the park after the fireworks likely had no idea of the exclusive event already underway, though come morning it was clear the teenage park had a slight hangover from the night’s partying…
Photos 1-2 by Photos Magiques, photo 3 © Disney.