Having spent three glorious days as special quests in honor of Disneyland's 60th Anniversary, we're left wondering now how anything we've got in store for these kids this summer could possibly hold a candle to what they just experienced.
A trip out of their wildest dreams. And slight shock to me seeing how emotionally affected I was just being there again after so many years. Standing at the edge of Main Street, or floating along in the dim lit glow of Pirates, it's impossible not to feel a serge of nostalgia swell inside the better parts of your grown being in revisiting such cherished childhood boons. Sadly, I never made it to A Small World, but as sentimental as I was feeling already, it was maybe for the better.
We bunked at the Grand California Hotel, ordered room service, donned Mickey ears, and took a hundred photos too many, like any good tourist would. Sat front and center for the World of Color water show, the Main Street Parade for a firework show in honor of the 60th year celebration spelled out with fierce, vibrant intensities that lit our cheeks with a bright neon flush and beat our hearts like a drum. We were escorted to intimate Meet & Greets that introduced four wide eyed boys to the living likes of Chubacca, and Olaf. In which we had to finally tear poor Hayes from the clutches of a long loving hug he was determined to drag on for as long as it proved possible.
We hung with old friends and met new ones too. Wandered aimlessly around the parks in between the string of scheduled events. Ate fried street food chased down with lemonade. And aside from the sweet perks that came attached to such an incredible opportunity, became plain kids again. Delighted to be immersed in the wild place that Walt build. Drunk with glee. And utterly, painfully, happy to be there.
Late at night on the day that we arrived I met Denise for a late night cocktail in the hotel bar where we were surrounded by a sharp looking crowd dressed in honor of "Dapper Day."
I devoured my first fried corndog
Rex hugged each and every single character he met with an intensity so great it made me forget all about the other rampant mischief he was causing while not chasing stuffed souls to squeeze tight.
Leon rode the Tower of Terror. And lived to tell every single person he's seen since all about it.
Arlo, from what I can tell, strongly believes the Chuy he met was in fact the Real Deal.
I got yelled at and legitimately scared by that tall dark Kylo Ren, whom I accidently called Darth Vador while trying to organize my group shot.
At one point, when we lost Rex (like what happens pretty much every time we visit a place like this) Mike half (or maybe a little less than half) jokingly suggested we just "keep going" seeing that Disneyland is "probably" the safest place to loose a kid he could think of. We found him 25 minutes later, outside of Cars land, totally unaffected by the ordeal, hanging with a balloon artist who was wearing a big puffy white hat who covered him in buttons and was just about to call security before we showed up to claim him.
Pretty sure I saw Leon get more hugs than Mickey in the three days we were there. Sweet, but not surprising.
Below, a visual document of the manic joy I know now to be downright contagious. With many thanks to Disneyland for the gracious gift of such an incredible trip. 60 never looked so good.
Disney's 6oth Celebration from Mrs. Habit on Vimeo.