Disneyland was always a totally magical place beyond my wildest imagining when I watched pictures of it as a kid, whenever the Mickey Mouse Show aired on television. Adventureland! Frontierland! Tomorrowland! And my favourite, Fantasyland!
Today I explored them all, with the most patient and indulging companion in the world, my dear husband Val. “What would you like to do next?” was his encouraging refrain, as we consulted the map and the day’s schedule of events.
Crowds? Lineups? Not a problem. We encountered a bit of both, but we were in no rush and we had no one to take care of or worry about, so it hardly mattered. Having been to Disney World in Orlando, Florida last year, we had a bit of an idea of what it would be like.
Last year we made the mistake of going on the Presidents’ Day weekend, along with the entire population of the eastern seaboard, but this year we were past that holiday. When we arrived in the morning, there were lots of spaces left to fill in the parking garage, but we still had to share the tram in to the theme park with a lot of other people.
That, however, was part of the charm. It was lovely to see families with little kids, grandparents and everyone in between enjoying the day. So many people of all ages came to the park all decked out in Mickey Mouse ears, Donald Duck t-shirts, fairy princess tiaras, Goofy hats, sparkly shoes, wookie backpacks and every other type of gear you could imagine. The people-watching was so entertaining!
Speaking of entertainment, we were serenaded by a honky-tonk piano player while we ate our lunch, and enjoyed New Orleans jazz later in the afternoon, followed by a quartet of pirates singing sea shanties, and a mechanical tune machine in the Candy Shoppe as we watched cast members dip apples in caramel. Everywhere we went, sound systems played cheerful melodies.
The grounds were beautiful, with blossoming fruit trees, cactus gardens, and colourful flowerbeds everywhere. Ground staff scooped up trash the moment it appeared, and the different sets were so colourful and imaginative. It was such fun to see the looks of enchantment on children’s faces as a Disney character came by with a wave and a hug.
Yes, I would say a dream came true for this Mousketeer today. That’s what happens when you wish upon a star.