It’s the day after Thanksgiving and for many of us that means it’s time to put up the tree and decorate for Christmas. Disneyland put theirs up two weeks ago. If you’ve ever seen it in person, you know what a beautiful monstrosity it is. I’m a little over six feet tall and I took this shot standing right next to the tree, looking almost straight up. From the end of Main Street, the tree stands in appearance even taller than the train station. If you are decorating today, I hope this serves as an encouragement and an inspiration.
Main Street USA
There’s something about a gloomy day at Disneyland that makes the Halloween Time decorations even more convincing. Have you ever had the thought that Disney has some amount of control over the weather via some magical super computer under the castle? Me neither. I do continue having my mind blown by how quickly Disney is able to make a change in decor at the parks though. They’re always able to capture the feeling of a season or holiday and make it special. I think that’s one of the primary reasons Disneyland doesn’t get old. There’s always something new, and something extraordinary.
Have you ever wondered why these two always look so happy? They are always getting into trouble together. I think the lesson to learn from them is that mischief = happiness. No, not really, but hopefully your kids will think so. As a kid, Chip ‘n’ Dale were one of my very favorite cartoons to watch. Whether they were stealing Donald’s apples, riding in one of his model trains, or quarreling with each other, I could always count on them for a smile and a laugh. If you’ve ever had a hard time remembering which one is which, my sister helped me with this: Chip has the dark nose like a chocolate chip. I know, I know, you’ve struggled with that conundrum your whole life. Now that we can cross that mystery off as solved, we progress to the real lesson I think we can learn from Chip ‘n’ Dale, and the reason for their happiness. Whatever mess they made, or trouble they got into, they did it together. And life is best when it is shared.
I hope you all had a wonderful and safe Fourth of July weekend. It’s truly a blessing to live in a country that provides us the liberty to create and enjoy a place such as Disneyland. Here at the Opera House on Main Street U.S.A., the Disneyland Story Presents Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln. It seems no coincidence to me that Walt’s bench from Griffith Park, where the idea for Disneyland found its inception, was placed at the entrance to this homage to Lincoln. Lincoln was the Great Emancipator, and the sinew of our nation through the tumult of the Civil War, when it seemed our country would be divided. Walt had a deep respect for President Lincoln, and a love for this country. In Disney’s opening day speech he said,
“Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.“
May we not forsake those ideals, nor forget to dream, nor ignore the hard facts that have created this country. And may God bless America.
I love walking leisurely through the shops on Main Street. It’s so relaxing, and kind of a nice break from the hustle and bustle that sometimes overtakes Disneyland. This gallery inside Disneyana is definitely my favorite part. It’s filled with beautiful art that’s always being switched out with other beautiful art, so you can bet to see something new every time you stop in. It also happens to be right next door to a coffee shop, so the aroma of fresh coffee creeps in to combine two of my favorite things, art & coffee, for a magical experience. The cast members in Disneyana are wonderful too. When I set up for this shot, patiently waiting for an empty gallery, it drew some attention and gave the gang and me an opportunity to speak with a great cast member whose name I believe was Jimmy. He really engaged us in sincere conversation, and we had a really nice time talking with him. If said cast member reads this and I have gotten your name wrong, I’m very sorry. You are cool, even if my name remembering skills are not.
At the entrance to “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” mementos can be found of the place where the idea and the dream of Disneyland were born. Walt would take his daughters to the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round and sit on a bench, all the while thinking that there must be something for parents and their children to do together for amusement. I’m glad he didn’t settle for leaving that as a thought. The horse from the merry-go-round, the peanut cart, and Walt’s bench serve as tangible reminders that “dreams can come true, if we have courage to pursue them” (Walt Disney). I, like I believe many of us, feel a strong, personal connection with Disneyland and its beginnings. Each time I go to the park, I feel more in tune with the past, more hopeful for the future, and I make new memories to cherish. This ability to make a personal connection is what sets Disneyland apart. We make the experience our own and we should. In doing so, we uphold and honor the dream that Walt Disney poured himself out to achieve. The park bears Walt’s name, but in his opening day speech, he dedicated Disneyland to each of us: “To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.”