Disneyland is adding some extra sparkle for the theme park's 60th anniversary "Diamond Celebration." Millions of dollars of modernized light displays and audio-visual upgrades add a renewed pop to landmark attractions and extra scare to thrill ride characters.
Color and light radiate from every angle of the Main Street parade with more than 1.5 million LED lights on moving floats and glowing character costumes. Tinkerbell and other performers change the light colors with the wave of a wand, using wireless infrared technology.
"She's able to tap at the float and cause the floats the come to life in a different fashion with different lighting looks," Mike Layman, technical director of Disney Creative Entertainment told CNET's Brian Tong.
The nightly fireworks will be a "street-to-sky" display with both explosions in the sky and moving light projections on landmarks such as Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
Deeper into Fantasyland, The Matterhorn, which opened in 1959 and the company says was the first tubular steel roller coaster, was revamped in several ways. New set designs and a scarier looking and sounding Abominable Snowman appear in several places along the ride's path for added thrills.
"With the abominable snowman we looked at new ways of motion," Jeff Shaver-Moskowitz, producer for Walt Disney Imagineering told CBS News.
They also amplified the Snowman's roar. "Our audio engineers took some of the original pieces of sound of the roar and plussed it up with other animal, and panther and lion sounds."
One of the original ghosts will reappear in the Haunted Mansion thanks to several new tech tools.
"It's a mixture of using projection, lighting effects and some really cutting edge technology inside the animatronic itself," Shaver-Moskowitz added.
Designers aimed to make the Hatbox Ghost spookier with a smoother hologram illusion, and maybe a little more popular than he was when the attraction launched in 1969 and he didn't perform well.
Disney began its 60th anniversary celebrations in May with an all-night park event that was so popular that the park reached capacity and people had to be turned away at the gates, CBS San Diego reported. The newly upgraded rides and events are currently running.