"It is good to be children sometimes,
and never better than at Christmas,
when its mighty Founder was a child himself."
~ A Christmas Carol
I am an exception, of
this I am sure, but I'm glad that Disneyland held a low-key, no-fuss
observation of Mr. Disney's birthday. I'm not one for frou-frou and
over-blown lavish celebrations. Forget the hoopla.
Forget the crowds.
Small and intimate is my
cup of tea, and DH and I had our own heartfelt intimate celebration,
undistracted by the frenzy for "stuff." We passed on
the free pins for Annual Passholders and the limited edition buttons
for $6.99 with a free cake thrown in. Thanks, but no thanks.
We have the
memories. Memories, beyond price. And yesterday, we
added to that growing stash of memories:
We arrived after work,
and having heard the rave reviews of Blast! at Disney California
Park (DCA)'s Hyperion Theatre, headed there first. We missed the
show by five minutes, but no matter, we'll catch it another
day. The beauty of the Annual Pass, which by the way is now
$100 less than when we purchased it. $199 instead of
We'd both skipped lunch,
and a shared bread bowl of hot and hearty clam chowder under sunny,
breezy skies on the Monterey Wharf appealed greatly.
Again, I am more the
exception than the rule, but I like the uncrowdedness of DCA.
Unharried and unhassled, the folks -- the cast members and the
guests -- are very friendly and home-townish there.
People look at each other with acknowledging smiles. Almost
having it all to ourselves, we especially enjoy the peace and quiet
of the waterfront nooks and crannies.
We did not miss the
On the stroll over to
Disneyland, like two little kids, we photo-opped with Wilderness
Santa, alongside his bag of hand-crafted toys and a wood-carved
Mickey. Note the rustic backdrop of Christmas trees ornamented
with real pine cones and plaid ribbons that matched Santa's plaid
Main Street, U.S.A. is
absolutely gorgeous! Disneyland goes bonkers at Christmas, and
the Christmas spirit is everywhere. We admired the towering 60 foot
tall Christmas tree decked with 8,000 lights and ornaments at the
town square, and stopped by the plaque at the base of the flagpole
to remember Mr. Disney by reading his immortal and cordial words of
To read the words,
click on the plaque for an enlargement
I think Mr. Disney quite
liked it that we were observing his birthday and paying tribute to
him by reliving our fond memories of his Kingdom. We
remembered him by remembering when we were first touched by his
magic as a newlywed couple, back in 1975, when the weather was as
cool and crisp as today's.
We proceeded up Main
Street, enjoying the delights of Christmas along the way. We headed
for the Hub, to the Partners statue of Mickey and Walt Disney,
hand-in-hand. I love sculptures, and the Partner's statue of by Blaine
Gibson ranks among my all-time favorites:
The Partners statue
touches my heart.
Dusk was fast
approaching, and the lights began twinkling. We wandered over
to Fantasyland to Storybook Land's Canal Boat Ride, our favorite
ride from our first visit and ever since. The tiny lands are decked
out in Christmas with teensey wreaths, and even teensier
We thought of our
friend, Bu, who has fallen in love with bonsai trees. We must
persuade them to come down and join us on the ride. The trees are
barely knee-high, but over a 100 years old!
a fabulous site on this ride by Stuart Kuramoto
We then went over to
Tomorrowland's to board the Monorail and get a bird's eye view of
Disneyland, DCA, and Downtown Disney. By then, the sun had
completely set, and the lights were brightly spectacular. It's
A Small World is amazingly lit up, glittery and breathtaking in its
I had heard about the
Chicken Fusilli from the
friendly MousePad folks, and that seemed to be the perfect
second course to our extended supper. Their raves were no
exaggerations, as with a fresh, green salad, the fusilli was indeed
perfect. Simply delicious, it will lure us back to the Red
Rockett Restaurant again.
We took a brisk,
after-dinner walk around the park. Exercise in the park is
painless and never boring. We ended up back on Main Street in
time for the parade, which is so wonderful, it is beyond
words. You must see it for yourself. It was far beyond
my expectation of Christmas wonder.
After the parade, we
parked ourselves on a comfortable park bench in the hub, in the
forecourt across Sleeping Beauty's Castle. I love the winter
weather, when the air is cold, crisp and clear. I fussed
with DH's scarf, arranging it around his neck just-so, making sure
he was nice, snug and warm, and then snuggled into the crook of his
arm. Perfect snuggle conditions.
We shared the bench with
a friendly couple from La Mirada, soon to be moving out to a
retirement home in Bull Head City, Arizona. She's a Disney
Wizardess, and he is a Disney
Muggle, albeit a very good-natured one.
And then the holiday
fireworks over the castle began...Disneyland really outdoes
itself. Streaking comets, shimmering cascades, and flurries of
sparkles filled the night sky, and we oohed and ahhhed throughout
the whole extravaganza.
a website by Julie Zison & Scott Leonard on Disney's
"Believe...there's magic in the stars" fireworks
to give you an idea of the holiday display
The finale was the
snowfall. Yes, a snowfall. A beautiful snowfall. A
wondrous snow fall. In the flatlands. In Southern
California. The gently falling flakes brought all four of us
to our feet, and we spontaneously hugged each other. No, not just me
and DH, hugging each other, but our bench partners hugging us as
well. Now that is the magic of Disney, when
perfect strangers can meet at a park bench, chat like neighbors, and
hug each other like bosom buddies at the end of a holiday fireworks
I think Mr. Disney
smiled alot to see us happy, hugging and smiling. Mission
As we walked out of the
Kingdom, arm in arm, DH and I sang "Happy Birthday" to Mr.
Disney. I think he liked that, too.
Bless you, Mr.
Disney. You are remembered with much love and affection. And
thank you. Thank you for the memories, new and old.
Planet - Mouse
Place's Full Account of the Day
with transcripts, video and photos
It's Christmastime in Disneyland
Place: Disney Christmas
Thank you, lisap, for
the Charles Dicken's quote.
"Life is a Gift."
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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