Thursday, July 16, 2020

#tbt Celebrating Disneyland’s 62nd Birthday

Today, I thought I'd take another quick stroll down memory lane.  Three years ago, Eliot and I were in California at this time going to the 2017 D23 Expo.  It was my first time at the convention and it was also the first time either of us would celebrate Disneyland's actual birthday at the theme park.  I was very excited to celebrate this milestone.


On Monday July 17th, Disneyland's birthday, Eliot and I decided it would be fun to dress up for the occasion.  We wore our matching pink and lime Disneyland shirts that his mom got us from a few years prior.  I also wore my Disneyland inspired skirt from a shop that I buy a lot of skirts from (she no longer sells them).  Eliot wore Disneyland Sign ears; while I opted for my Make It Pink Make It Blue flower crown ears.


Eliot and I started our day with a monorail ride over to Downtown Disney.  We sat in the front car with the monorail driver since you can still do that at Disneyland.


Of course, our little donkeys had to dress up in mouse ear hats for the occasion too!


We had gotten reservations for Eliot's family to eat at Goofy's Kitchen for brunch.  We were a few minutes early so we went over into the store at the Disneyland Hotel to look at the Disney merchandise.  Eliot and I found this cool Disneyland Sign and we thought it would be fun to take photos with our Disneyland Sign ears, my outfit and the sign.


Then, we headed to brunch.  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast including Mickey waffles and had fun taking pictures with all of the characters at Goofy's Kitchen.


Eliot's Mom ordered a few cupcakes to celebrate Eliot's birthday the month prior.


I also had an ice cream for "dessert" to celebrate Disneyland's 62nd birthday.


Then, we went into Disneyland.  At the Disneyland Resort, both of the theme parks, Downtown Disney and the resorts are all in one area so it's really easy to jump from one to the other fairly quickly.  They're all within walking distance of each other.


Disneyland had a few extras to help celebrate the anniversary.  One of those things was special signs you could use when you took a PhotoPass picture.  We took a few photos in front of the main entrance and the Disneyland Train Station.  (I think they also had some special treats, but we didn't get any of those.)


My favorite of the special Disneyland anniversary additions was the extra special mid-day show.  Every day, the Disneyland Band plays a few songs at the castle right around noon.  They are joined by the Dapper Dans, Mickey and a few of his friends and they all march down Main Street.  When they reach the Train Station, the band plays a song while the Dapper Dans sing and Mickey and his friends all dance to the music.  It's a cute show and something that I always try to see when I'm there.  There's something magical about this experience at Disneyland for me.


Usually, there are only a few people there and I get a front row seat at the train station when I get there early.  (As far as I know, it's not an advertised show.)  This time, we were lucky to get a partial view of the Train Station from the corner at end of Main Street opposite the Emporium.  It was packed.  But I knew the show would be extra special and it was worth standing in the crowds.


The informal parade of characters and the band marched by us and toward the Train Station.  The band and Dapper Dans did their typical presentation, but this time, it was accompanied by a few extras.  First, there were 62 Disney characters who joined the celebration- many of them rare characters you don't often see.  Second, we all joined the Dapper Dans in singing Happy Birthday to Disneyland.  Third, and most special, was the playing of Walt Disney's welcoming address.  And fourth, the show ended with a bunch of white doves and confetti being released at the conclusion of the show.


I wish that I'd gotten there sooner to get a better view, but I'll know for next time.  It was still really special.  My favorite part was how they played Walt's recording.  There was something magical in the air hearing his voice in the actual footsteps that he walked.


Throughout the day, I tried to soak in as much magic as I could.  The park was packed between Disneyland's birthday and the D23 Expo having just concluded the day prior. A lot of people, like us, had flown in for the Disney convention and were staying to visit Disneyland for a few days after.


At one point, we took a break from the attractions to take a few photos at the castle.  I still had my Sleeping Beauty flower crown ears on so I took a few photos with the Sleeping Beauty statue behind the castle and a few photos with the castle.


I also made sure to take a few photos with the Disneyland Happy Birthday button I'd gotten personalized with "Disneyland" to celebrate the park's 62nd birthday.  So many people wished me a Happy Birthday before they saw what it said.  It was kind of funny.


We had a great day with Eliot's family running around to our favorite attractions.  The park was busy, but we still had a good time going on as many things as we could.


It was also the night that Fantasmic was finally debuting their new version after being closed for refurbishments.  We were so excited to get Fastpasses to see it!


We were in line well before we needed to so we'd get good seats.  It was worth it; we had seats right in the front center, only a few feet back from the river.

While waiting for the show, Eliot and I met a few fellow 3D ear makers.  We struck up a conversation and realized that we'd met Becca and Evan of Soulfully Cali.  We ended up taking a few photos for social media of Evan and I switching ears.  Eliot and Evan talked about designing 3D ears, while Becca and I discussed the highs and lows of running a small business.  It was really cool to meet them both in person!


Eventually, the show started.  We were all completely blown away.  It was fun to see the first show after the break, everyone was so excited to see it.  There was a lot of yelling, clapping and cheering, but it was so much fun to experience it will fellow fans.


I loved all of the rainbow colors in the updated lights.  (I really hope they update the Walt Disney World version someday!)  We really did have great seats.  Everything happened right in front of us.  The additions were super cool too!  I absolutely loved it!


After, we decided to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade before calling it a night.


Being at Disneyland on it's actual birthday was a truly magical experience.  It really moved me to walk in Walt's footsteps on the 62nd anniversary of the day he first welcomed people to his magical land.  I hope that someday I'll be able to celebrate Disneyland's birthday in person again.  Happy Birthday Disneyland!!!  °o°

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