Santa’s got toys all over Big Thunder Ranch during his Reindeer Roundup. I’m sure it makes him feel a little more at home in warm Southern California while away from the North Pole. All of these vintage toys add up to make a magical toyland with cars and dolls and teddy bears so fluffy you may just need to hug one. These charming toys take me straight back to my childhood when all it took was a teddy bear to make my Christmas dreams come true. I hope this picture recalls some fond memories for you.
Santa’s famous reindeer take some time at Disneyland before their big night of touring the world. We’re currently in negotiations with them and Santa about utilizing their amazing transportation services in the off-season. A tour guide can dream, right? Anyway, it’s a lot of fun taking time at the Big Thunder Ranch to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures. And it’s magical when they take a moment to glance back at you.
Frontierland is so cozy this time of year. The dim, soft light glistening over woodgrain and garland is especially inviting. As a young boy, I used to imagine being a cowboy on the frontier. My parents even got me a little log cabin for Christmas one year. Sights like this take me straight back to those rifle shooting, boot wearing days when I would hold up in the back yard under attack from all manner of varmints. I would duck beneath the window and taunt them with all the cowboy slang I could remember from western movies and if that wasn’t enough I would threaten to taunt them a second time. Of course, they were really no match for my straight shooting or my ten gallon hat. It’s truly wonderful how simple things can spark those fond childhood memories and let us relive those cherished moments.
Halloween can sometimes be thought of as a diabolical holiday filled with evil spirits and gruesome characters, but not at Disneyland. During Halloween Time, there is a sense of wacky spirit and goulish fun throughout the park. It’s surprising to see such a holiday turned into a great time for families and young children. There are only few days left to experience the wonder of Halloween Time at Disneyland.
Mark Twain. Two of the sweetest words a riverman can hear. We would submit that that’s not only because of the water’s depth either. Boarding the Mark Twain for an excursion around the Rivers of America is one of the sweetest, most relaxing rides at Disneyland. The whistle and the steady puff of steam are the serene soundtrack for your voyage, unlike that pesky Sailing Ship Columbia and the canon they fire in hopes of making you jump in front of your friends or spill the last bites of your sandwich into the river for the ducks. So if it’s a placid and pleasant journey through the frontier you’re after, “Mark Twain” are the sweetest words you’ll hear… not Columbia.
Carving gourds with all manner of pointy tools is not the first thing that jumps to my mind when I think of art, but it truly is. Back in the Big Thunder Ranch the Halloween festivities have been in full swing with artists carving classic Disney characters, both old and new, out of pumpkins and gourds of all shapes and sizes. The likenesses are inspiring. I especially liked “Chuckles” from Toy Story 3.
We hang out at the Frontierland bridge a lot, which lends itself to seeing things in new ways. We were hanging out one evening and this section of track really struck me. The way the amber light from the lanterns glistened on the rails as they curved and twisted for a wild ride. The bright bluish hue on the wood in the foreground contrasting sharply against the amber. Moments of complete calm before a mine train comes barreling through loaded with guests, screaming and laughing. It was easy to get lost in this picturesque scene of wild west adventure.
Sometimes I think the Rivers of America are the most peaceful place at the Disneyland Resort. We’ve been spending a lot of time during our recent trips at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, overlooking this view. It’s easy to let the hours pass and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the river, and the circling of the Mark Twain and Sailing Ship Columbia. If you hang around long enough on a Fantasmic! night, you can see the crew going back and forth on rafts and give them a friendly wave. They like that.