Just because we circle the sun once more, add a digit to the year and turn the page in our book of life- doesn’t mean our souls grow old. Our bodies may age but our minds can stay young. I am forever a child at heart. This year, I celebrated my twenty-sixth birthday, which internally gave me a small panic attack. Another year has come and gone which always leaves me questioning my path in life. Thankfully, this year, David calmed my anxious soul and surprised me with a day of magic at the happiest place on earth- Disneyland.
To fully take advantage of our Disney day we woke up before the sun at 5:00am and left our apartment around 5:30am. The park opened at 8 and we wanted to be there right away to pack the most in our day. We were staying at The Annabella Hotel so we could be at the park from open to close.
Palm trees line the walk to the park entrance giving off a magical feel before you even arrive on Disney property. Due to recent events, security was tight, which made me both nervous and relieved to see them searching all the patrons so intently. The warm summer sun was already beating down our backs at eight in the morning but I didn’t care, I was happy as a clam.
Every since I was a little girl watching the Disneyland Sing-a-Long, I have adored Main Street U.S.A and all of it’s old fashioned charm. I love seeing all the children running carefree, their faces dripping with ice cream and Mickey Ears barely holding on their tiny heads. I love the older women who sit on the park benches, people watching and drinking their coffee. I love the characters dressed up, getting chased for autographs and photos. I love how everyone seems to be in the best mood simply for being in a place that’s deemed magical.
Since we were there so early, the usual unbearable lines were manageable. Between the short times and the fast passes we were able to actually enjoy the rides and ride whatever we wanted. Summer is prime time for Disney so the characters were out in full swing. It felt like every way we turned there was a character hanging out. We were lucky enough to even find Mickey without a line!
Exhausted from the heat by the early afternoon, Dave and I were both ready for a quick break at the hotel. We were meeting friends at the park later in the evening so we took advantage of the hot afternoon and slipped away to cool off for a bit.
There is an amazing Mexican restaurant in Downtown Disney that has incredible steak nachos, so we met our friends for dinner and drinks. In classic California style, as soon as the sun goes down the air drops and it’s suddenly “cold” outside. But, the margarita’s and heat lamps made dinner outside a great idea. I was in Heaven- friends, nachos and Disney on my birthday. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to bring in a new year.
The fun didn’t end after our dinner. We bid farewell to our friends but Dave and I headed back into the theme park for the best part of the day- the fireworks! Disneyland was still celebrating their Diamond Celebration – 60 years of Disney. The fireworks were paired with classic Disney songs, Tinkerbell flying from Sleeping Beauty’s castle and the story of Walt and Mickey causing immediate chills down my spine. The first time I remember seeing Disney fireworks, I was with my dance team and best friend at Nationals. Her and I promised each other we would one day make it back to California to chase dreams and to see the Disney fireworks. Whenever I start to miss home and wonder if it’s worth being so far away, I think back to how badly 17 year old me wanted to be in California and remind myself, I’m making my younger self proud by being here.
When the fireworks ended Disney kept the party going by featuring a light show parade. Set to the soundtrack of Disney classics and newer Pop Songs, characters danced down Main Street U.S.A making us feel like we were kids all over again- watching our old favorites come to life. Disney never ceases to amaze me with their special effects, choreography, music and visuals. They don’t disappoint when bringing to life the magic you loved as a child.
In my heart, I don’t believe anyone is ever too old for Disney. When the world is blowing up and crumbling down there are two things that make me feel safe- home and Disney. Two places that for a moment, take away the stresses of adult life and allow you to feel safe like you did as a child. And sometimes, in the noisy confusion of life- it’s nice to turn a blind eye to the troubles in our life and believe in magic, if only for a day.
“Laughter is timeless, imagination has no age and dreams are forever”