This shot is the very last shot I took from our twenty-four hour Disney extravaganza and in many ways it is my favorite from the day. This scene is always what I think of first when I think of Disneyland. I love the Main Street Depot and the ever changing Mickey Mouse flowers. It’s the first thing you see past the turnstiles as you eagerly wait to enter and the last thing you look back on as you leave. As we walked through the tunnel, past the attraction posters and out into this grand entrance area, the early morning light seemed to make a point of highlighting Mickey. It makes sense, after all, Walt wanted us to remember that it was all started by a mouse. Even the sun seems to take note of such important things. But for me, more important than any of this, this image is the moment in which I remembered, very tangibly, how special this place is and how blessed I am to visit. To have taken part in such a wonderful event put on by dedicated hard working people is almost indescribable. Twenty-four hours culminated in so much more than exhaustion. This is the place, this magic kingdom, where we make memories and have special moments.
Main Street USA
The Main Street shop, Disneyana, recently reopened after a period of renovations. You never really know quite what to expect when you see the “Pardon our pixie dust” signs go up. Sometimes the changes are difficult to notice, if any were made at all. Sometimes it’s just a good cleaning and a new layer of paint. Other times you enter the area you once knew to find a strange new world, full of curious, fresh details. I am completely in love with the revamp of Disneyana, which falls into the last category. Shopping-wise it is much cleaner and more focused. Design-wise I think I could spend a whole day in this shop, just gawking at the general splendor. Now I’m even more excited for what’s to come across the street!
One of my favorite places is standing beneath Walt’s apartment in front of the Disneyland Firehouse. At Christmas time, they supplant the ever-glowing lamp with a small Christmas tree and despite its small stature, it sits proudly in the window overlooking Main Street. On the eve of Thanksgiving, I find myself with much to be grateful for, as is often the case when we pause to count our many blessings. Among the many things I have to be grateful for, this window is one of them. The light that always shines, whether by lamp or tree and what it stands for. For me it is one of the most poignant reminders of Walt Disney’s legacy. I am grateful for his example of courage to pursue dreams and the tenacity to dog it ’til it’s done. I am grateful that among his dreams, bringing families together was paramount. This tree in the window is one of those holiday touches at Disneyland that is truly special and makes the season bright.
The Disneyland Resort has officially started their holiday season this week. It’s amazing how quickly the season has come upon us but I’m greeting it as the old friend that it is with open arms. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and before we know it, Christmas. I feel very fortunate to be able to visit Disneyland during this time because it really does help make the season brighter. Even with all the charm that it has every day, Christmas time at the Park leaves you feeling a little extra warm inside, with idealistic hope that the rest of the year tends to wear on. Browsing through the pictures I’ve taken to decide on one for this evening, I kept coming back to this one. Walt and Mickey surrounded by Poinsettias in front of an icicle covered castle just said “welcome” to me. So to all who come to this happy place for this happy time of year, welcome.
I love those moments when you see something new or something familiar in a new way. Finding the Hollywood Tower Hotel through the trees on Main Street was one of those moments and the Halloween Time decor the icing on the cake. When you think of Disneyland and Main Street, the Tower of Terror is definitely not the next logical step. For me that’s what makes it. This idea isn’t typical and challenges us to see something differently and allows me to share one of my “aha!” moments with you.
The reds, oranges and yellows of the Halloween Time decorations at Disneyland fit right in on Main Street. At night they glow vibrantly beneath the many lights and lamps adorning everyone’s home town. The giant Mickey pumpkin is definitely the grandest of the decorations and it’s painfully obvious when trying to wait for the crowds to thin out to get a picture. From Park open to close couples and children, families and friends wait to have their pictures taken in front of either side of the gargantuan gourd. But if you wait long enough, you can capture quiet moments like this as security makes their final sweep down Main Street to bid you a good night.
The colors of Fall at Disneyland somehow manages to add to it’s welcome and charm. Walking into the Park is that much easier and leaving that much harder. One of my favorite ways that Disney accentuates the seasons is with their flowers, ever changing and always beautiful. After capturing this shot, I sat for a while watching people come and go and having their pictures taken in front the Main Street Depot.
Halloween has arrived at Disneyland and in typical Disney fashion, they have decorated this year to “plus it” from last. We have a lot of fun things in store to share with you. Some things haven’t changed, like this marvelous Mickey pumpkin standing near the beginning of Main Street. It leaves no doubt that Autumn is nearly here and Disneyland is ready for it. The crisp cool air and the soft hazy light of a Fall morning were present for our trip today and oh so welcome. We hope you’re as excited as we are!