Christmas in Disneyland is a bucket-list blast for our anniversary

Christmas in Disneyland is a bucket-list blast for our anniversary

So, another anniversary arrived unexpectedly.

The wedding kind. As in “anni” – Latin for “another year,” and “versary” – “has flown by faster than you can turn around and spit.”

And this one was a pretty big one, in that I almost broke my calculator figuring out how many years the Better Half and I have shared matrimonial bliss. Also how many years we’ve been married (har, har).

So it being a special anniversary (aren’t they all?), we decided to take a special trip back to where we went on our honeymoon during the Mesozoic Era. Yes, we went to Disneyland for our honeymoon, that’s how lucky we were.

For a wedding present, a bunch of our wonderful friends surprised us with a large and generous travel gift certificate and we chose Disneyland – that’s what big kids we were.

And so we chose it again – that’s what old big kids we still are.

We just got back on Monday after five days in the California rainshine. It was a bit cloudy and soggy; still, our spirits were anything but. We figure a rainy day at the Happiest Place on Earth is still better than a cold and icy day anywhere else. (Like here, for example.)

We logged more than eight hours a day in both Disney parks, buffered by afternoon naps and acetaminophen for supper. We kept a tally, and we managed to hit almost every ride and every special Disney parade, musical extravaganza and special presentation.

And if you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you’ll know that’s more than a drop in the bucket.

And speaking of buckets, experiencing Disneyland at Christmas was on our bucket list. What could be better than a combo of two of our favourite things? Couple the spirit of Christmas with the magic of Disneyland, and, well, it just about makes a person’s head explode with joy.

Now I know not everyone sees Disneyland that way. Too many people, they say. The lineups are brutal, the crowds are insane. The Disney corporation just wants to sell you hats with mouse ears on them, and T-shirts with Mickey on them, and expensive princess-themed trinkets and baubles.

It’s crass commercialism, they say. How can you wear out your Visa card clamouring to go to a facade like Disneyland? Didn’t you just go there?

All I can say is I’m sorry that you feel that way, and, also, bah-humbug!

We rode the super-cool Radiator Springs car race ride with two middle-aged couples from Washington. Their teenage kids were in the car in front of us. They too, are Disney nuts.

They come every year, and their kids always come with them. They take the guided tours, sign up for all the special events at the park and ride everything that moves.

“Some people just don’t get it,” the one fellow said.

“And that’s OK,” said his wife, adjusting her Minnie Mouse ears. “We get it, and obviously, so do you!”

And we do. This trip was our seventh (including one to Disneyworld in Florida). Four of the trips were with our kids as they grew into fantastic Disney-loving adults. Just two years ago, we all went to celebrate the Rotten Kid’s graduation from university.

One thing I did notice on this trip, however, was that both the Better Half and I seem to be getting a bit older. At our age, we spent more on Tylenol than merchandise. We were hurtin’ Albertans.

But Christmas at Disneyland was a bucket-list blast. Next in the bucket? We hear Halloween at Disneyland is absolutely awesome.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer author and filmmaker.


Courtesy, Harley Hay                                Harley Hay and his wife Nina have just returned from Disneyland, where they celebrated their anniversary.

Courtesy, Harley Hay Harley Hay and his wife Nina have just returned from Disneyland, where they celebrated their anniversary.

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