Elizabeth Taylor arrived in the Magic Kingdom in a horse-drawn white carriage for her 60th birthday Thursday, celebrating with a blow-out bash with hundreds of friends at Disneyland.
Accompanied by her husband, Larry Fortensky, and Disney chief Michael Eisner, Miss Taylor declared: "This is going to be the best party of my life."
Wearing black jeans and boots and a black rhinestone and glitter jacket, the actress explained why she chose Disneyland to celebrate.
"It's to bring out the kid in me. ... It's for the child in me," she said.
The actress received a kiss on the hand from the Beast of "Beauty and the Beast" fame, and entered through Sleeping Beauty Castle into Fantasyland.
The guest list rivaled anything Hollywood has offered in recent memory: Melissa Manchester, Jon Voight, Henry Winkler, David Bowie and his fiancee, model Iman, model Cheryl Tiegs and husband Tony Peck and his father, Gregory Peck.
Also among those seen arriving was a very blonde Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney, Shirley Maclaine accompanied by Carl Bernstein, Stevie Wonder, Dionne Warwick, Joni Mitchell, Richard Gere and wife Cindy Crawford, Geena Davis and Eva Marie Saint.
Guests were handed a program that read, "Welcome to the Happiest Birthday on Earth." The message included: "Here, no one is Grumpy, and everyone is Happy. We 're celebrating Elizabeth's 60th birthday."
Partygoers were carried by vintage automobiles decorated with orchids to Fantasyland. Trumpeters atop Sleeping Beauty Castle welcomed the guests inside the castle, which was filled with folk dancers, jugglers, a band and columns of balloons.
Columns of violet and yellow balloons and a violet carpet adorned the castle entrance on a balmy night. Atop a stage sat a giant birthday card. It included her color portrait surrounded by Disney characters Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Goofy, Mickey Mouse and other costumed characters milled about.
The park was closed to the public Thursday evening.
"It doesn't excite me. It's sort of juvenile," Alicia Bealer, 35, said as she left the park.
Tight security precautions included a careful check at the park entrance of media representatives accredited to cover the event. Each was escorted to the castle.
Arriving guests had their invitations screened by an electronic device to assure their authenticity.
Airspace was to be restricted until midnight, the Federal Aviation Administration announced, saying the action was "in the interest of public safety."
"We do it for special events," FAA spokeswoman Elly Brekke said.
The party's nighttime setting also was expected to discourage the swarms of media helicopters that hovered over Miss Taylor's outdoor wedding.
Companies or groups routinely rent the park for private gatherings, but Miss Taylor is the first individual to do so, said Disneyland spokeswoman Barbara Warren.
She declined to discuss the cost. The park's "Enchanted Evening" packages reportedly start at about $8,000.
Guests, who received invitations bearing likenesses of Miss Taylor and Mickey Mouse, were advised to follow the casual route by wearing "blue jeans, shorts, whatever is comfortable," said Lisa Del Favero, a spokeswoman for the actress.
She said the evening was intended to be a relaxed, open counterpoint to Miss Taylor's more intimate October wedding to Larry Fortensky at a Santa Barbara ranch owned by singer Michael Jackson.
The guest list was confidential. The hosts were Fortensky and friends of Miss Taylor, including songwriter Carole Bayer Sager and music industry executive David Geffen.
Partygoers were to feast on catered cuisine served on china and crystal atop tables decorated with deep purple cloths and bouquets of exotic flowers.
Two hours after their scheduled arrival, guests were to gather in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle for the cake-cutting and a fireworks display.
Miss Taylor, who helped plan the party, was to be treated to "surprises," including a special guest who would handle the honor of singing "Happy Birthday, " Ms. Del Favero said.
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