Sleeping Beauty Castle Twilight

Disneyland’s 60th anniversary celebration festivities are fast approaching and I can feel my excitement growing by the day. It’s not so much for the bedazzled castle or even the promising nighttime entertainment. It’s simply for the milestone.

One of my favorite places in the world is about to start its year(ish) long birthday party. Having had the privilege of going several times in my childhood, for Grad Nite as a teen, and becoming an annual passholder as an adult, Disneyland has been a pretty big part of my life. At this point, the park feels like an old friend.

It’s been a source of joy and inspiration as Walt hoped. It’s been a place to think fondly on the past and to dream about the future. It’s been a place for birthdays and anniversaries, for escape and adventure, for worlds of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy and for reminders of how small this world is.

As much as the spectacular can celebrate such a wonderful place, a quiet, contented gratitude is more my cup of tea. I think I’ll still find myself seeking the solace of this nook for the beauty of a Sleeping Beauty Castle twilight and others like it. I’ll still close out the park occasionally in hopes that I’ll be one of the very last guests and selfishly stroll down Main Street like it were all my own. I’ll make sure to see the parade and the fireworks too, but I’ll probably sneak off early to catch a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean while it’s a walk-on.

Yes. I’ll celebrate with my friend by doing all the things that have brought me so much pleasure for all these years.

Most of all, I’ll think about Walt and the many Imagineers and Cast Members that have made Disneyland such a magical place.

Roses frame Sleeping Beauty Castle at twilight in Disneyland

About Matt Hansen

Matt is a photographer and designer based in San Diego. When he’s not working, he's charting his next adventure over coffee or craft beer.
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  1. My son and I rode Pirates one night right at closing time. We must’ve been the last people to ride that day, or close to the last. We had the whole boat to ourselves, and all the boats around us were empty.

    It was SO AMAZING to finally hear the soundtrack without any distractions or background noise! It was like a whole new ride!

    I imagine you’ve had the same experience, Matthew. It is so cool.


  2. Well said.


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