It’s hard to believe that 2015 has come to an end, but what an incredible year it was! Between the excitement of the D23 Expo, the magic of the 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebration at Disneyland, and the culmination of years of anticipation about a little Star Wars movie that came out a couple weeks ago, it was one very special stretch of 365 days. While we could go on all day about all of the fantastic Disney things that happened this year, we picked 15 of the best Disney things that happened in 2015 to reminisce:
1. The release date and cast of the live-action Beauty and the Beast were revealed.
The epic live-action re-telling of the film will be released on March 17, 2017 and will star Emma Watson as Belle. In addition, eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken (who won two Academy Awards for the 1991 animated classic) will score the film, which includes three brand new songs.
2. Oh My Disney hosted a live #DisneyThrowback week-long event at the famous El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.
Our #DisneyThrowback week culminated in a screening of The Emperor’s New Groove, with a ton of fun extras, like a DIY ear decorating station, trivia, and a filmmaker reunion to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the movie with the audience.
3. Your Facebook chats scored a little Frozen Magic.
The new Frozen sticker pack on Facebook lets you send a warm hug, a silly Anna laugh, or even some cheerful snowgie greetings to any of your friends!
4. We learned more details about the Tangled animated series coming to Disney Channel.
This new series will feature Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their roles of Rapunzel and Flynn Rider (née Eugene) from the movie. Additional characters from the feature that will make the leap to episodic television include Rapunzel’s chameleon sidekick Pascal, the uppity horse Maximus, the thugs from the Snuggly Duckling Pub and a brand new character: Cassandra, described as “a tough-as-nails handmaiden, who becomes Rapunzel’s confidant.”
5. After seeing Cinderella, we decided that Richard Madden is a real life prince.
He has so many princely qualities, and Lily James is pretty royal too. We also found many opportunities to use our trusty collection of GIFs from the Cinderella trailer.
6. We ate around the world at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World.
Highlights included the cheddar cheese soup from Canada and the waffle with berry compote and whipped cream from Belgium. You can get our full rundown on food and desserts, but be warned that you’ll definitely be hungry afterwards.
7. Pixar released Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur this year.
And what fantastic films they were! Let’s not forget the superb shorts that premiered before each film: “LAVA’s” sweet song is one to remember, and “Sanjay’s Super Team” was equal parts visually stunning and heartwarming.
8. Everyone became their favorite wise mandrill and “Rafiki-ed a Pet.”
We made the call for entries, and you answered with some of the most epic (and silly) photos we’ve ever seen. Endless congrats and high fives to our contest winner Peter Armado for this treasure.
9. Danny Elfman became a Disney Legend and brought The Nightmare Before Christmas to the Hollywood Bowl.
After taking his spot as a Disney Legend at D23 Expo, Danny Elfman brought the magic of The Nightmare Before Christmas to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for two sold-out nights. A live orchestra performed the score while the film showed on a screen, and many of the voice actors came out to sing their respective songs, including Catherine O’Hara as Sally.
10. Dick Van Dyke celebrated his 90th birthday at Disneyland.
For his birthday, dozens of his fans surprised him with a Mary Poppins flash mob at The Grove in Los Angeles. He visited Disneyland the following day, where he rode in a special cavalcade down Main Street as fans lined the route and sang “Happy Birthday.”
11. Johnny Depp surprised everyone at the D23 Expo.
The renowned actor who plays a favorite pirate and the wacky Mad Hatter surprised everyone, and became a Disney Legend in the process.
12. We got a first look at Finding Dory.
It’s been 12 years since we first saw our favorite royal blue tang in the big blue with Finding Nemo, so we welcomed this first teaser with open fins. And now we’re counting down the days until it premieres in 2016!
13. The “Paint the Night” Parade came to Disneyland and blew us away.
“Paint the Night” is an amazing new parade that’s part of Disneyland Resort’s Diamond Celebration, and features mesmerizing new floats covered in lights. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can get a taste of it from these GIFs.
14. Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered and our minds were blown.
The premiere was a huge, star-studded event, and the film was breathtakingly awesome. We had a chance to talk with some of the actors from the film on the red carpet, and asked them how they would use the force.
15. We fell in love with a cute little droid named BB-8.
Beep boop. We’re obsessed with him and we bet you are too.
Tell us which Disney thing you loved most in the comments!