No Movie, No Chinese Food

stef-before-and-after

No one was surprised as we when our Irvine cousins gave us all Disneyland annual passes! Before they could change their minds, we joined them yesterday at the happiest place on Earth.

If you think Disneyland is crowded on Christmas Day when the sun is shining and the temperature is in the low 80s (record high), you’re right. And when I say crowded, I mean Tokyo subway crowded. Sardine can crowded!

We dropped Doppler off at the sitter, left Roxie to her own devices (good doggie) and headed north to Anaheim. It’s under 25 minutes from here.

“This is where they want you to get off,” said Michael, as we passed the official Disney exit on the “5.” Local knowledge is good.

Garage, tram, in! That was easy. We took a curbside spot on Main Street for the afternoon Christmas parade.

Disneyland is nearly sixty years old, but everything is bright, shiny and incredibly well maintained. And, obviously, they’ve learned a lot about organization over that time.

The parade was colorful. Perfectly picturesque. The human participants even lip synced to the music through their permasmiles.

Unfortunately for Stef, the parade was reinforcement of her biggest Disney disappointment. Piglet, her favorite character, is an in-person persona non grata. When asked, no Disney castmember we asked had ever even seen Piglet.

Contract dispute? Payback for some perceived slight? We’ll never know.

We stayed a full day, but only rode four rides. Wait times were nuts.

It’s A Small World (which I originally saw at the New York World’s Fair in 1964) had been closed in preparation for its Christmas changeover. It was worth it. The ride, which was feeling old and faded, has been refreshed. The Haunted Mansion has also been overhauled for the holidays, though not as thoroughly. Paul Frees iconic voice no longer does the narration. That’s the kind of thing I notice.

We also hit a Winnie the Pooh ride and Cars Land in Radiator Springs. We entered the ‘singles’ line for that one, meaning we were used as extras to fill rows, cutting the advertised wait by more than half.

We’ve got passes. We’ll be back. And it’s oh so close.

13 Responses to “No Movie, No Chinese Food”

  1. Carole says:

    I went to Disneyland back in Nov 1956, 2 months after it opened. The lines for every ride were a mile long. I seriously doubt it was as crowded when you went as it was 55 years ago. Thanks for including pictures, they bring back old memories.

    • JB says:

      Carole – I think you might have your dates a bit mixed up. Disneyland opened July 17, 1955. Approximately 4 million people visited Disneyland in 1956, almost 16 million visited in 2012. I am going to put my money that it is busier now during the holidays, especially Christmas Day, than it was back in the 1950s.

      • Bob says:

        I would venture the park has grown more than 4 fold over 58 years… ??? More attractions, rides and real estate???

      • Carole says:

        JD, you are correct, Disneyland was opened in 1955. I just tracked down the original booklet I received. The cost was $2.00 for juniors and it covered the entrance fee & 10 rides. Disneyland was a lot smaller when it first opened, plus a second park was added to the complex. Of course a lot more people can attend today. If you compared the park today and when it first opened, I would imagine there would be lot more people per square foot back in 1955. If you wanted to go on a ride in the 50′s, you could stand in line up to one hour.

  2. Evi says:

    What fun to see these pix!! Loved Small World at 64 Fair!! Thanks so much for sharing these!!!!

  3. Lou Lange says:

    Glad you had a great time, Geoff. I have only been there once (back in the 1970s) but enjoyed it thoroughly.
    Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Neil S says:

    Even after all these years and still being faithful to Walt Disney’s vision, “the magic Kingdom truly is the happiest place on Earth!” What an attraction. Disneyland brings out the inner child that still resides within all of us.

  5. Robert~West Haven says:

    We also saw “It’s a Small World” at the 64 worlds fair. We also saw it in FL. It got stuck and we didn’t move for 45 minutes but the song kept on going. Don’t think i want to hear that song again.
    You didn’t get a pic of my favorite “Goofy”.

  6. Sharon G. says:

    How festive and colorful Disneyland is this time of year. Season passes..what a great gift! Thanks for sharing Geoff.

  7. Vinnya says:

    I see stef had a good opinion afterwards in the photo, Disney was number 1

  8. Lisa says:

    We went years ago on Christmas Day to Disney World it was
    so crowded they had to shut the park for a little bit . We used to see
    Piglet at the Crystal Palace character buffet .

  9. Kevin Lagasse says:

    I’d agree with Steph on that second picture! Disney sure helped ruin both ABC and ESPN. You couldn’t pay me to visit Disneyland, even if it was part of a week’s visit in California.

  10. KE4GNK says:

    Spent 3 days at Disneyworld in Floraida a few weeks ago. Interesing thing is that the parades are not as spectacular as in Anaheim, but the parks are better. Will be heading to the Anaheim park in the spring, hopefully.

    Always enjoy the visit–don’t really care about ESPN or ABC programming, so can’t identify with Kevin’s issues with the Disney company…

Leave a reply

Current day month ye@r *