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.