Celebration

Vacation car! Most people over about 45 years pointed with delight at this display. The kids were all, "Uh, Dad, what's so great about that old car?"
Vacation car! Most people over about 45 years pointed with delight at this display. The kids were all, “Uh, Dad, what’s so great about that old car?”

We celebrated two things last week: Tara’s graduation from High School (with High Honors, I might add with pride), and – as it turned out serendipitously – Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary.

This amazing theme park was opened on July 17, 1955.  Our trip to Disneyland was planned sometime around September of 2014, and neither of us knew that in the meantime, the big 6-0 would pop up, resulting in massive park renovations, updates of old shows, and all-around spit-and-polish.

A 60th anniversary is the “diamond” anniversary, and thus the park heartily embraced the jeweled theme (glittering diamonds could be found on castle spires, on T-shirts, on signposts, on Mickey Ears), as well as lots of icy blues (in fabric banners, in cupcake frosting, in the flowers planted, in logos).

It's A Small World - familiar to anyone who has ever been here.
It’s A Small World – familiar to anyone who has ever been here.
Lamp post over Casey Jr. Circus Train ride, another 1955 original, named after the train in Dumbo.
Lamp post over Casey Jr. Circus Train ride, another 1955 original, named after the train in Dumbo.
The Mad Tea Party's tea cups have been spinning since opening day in 1955, bringing us six decades of motion sickness.
The Mad Tea Party’s tea cups have been spinning since opening day in 1955, bringing us six decades of motion sickness.

As longtime readers know, I visited for the first time in my life just last year, in March. At the time we felt as though half the park was closed for repairs, and we cursed our bad luck. On this visit, we not only realized why so many renovations happened last year, but we also were able to see and experience all the new stuff!

There are a remarkable number of rides and attractions from 1955 (and those installed in 1958) that are still running today, and those are my particular favourites. I’ll admit, however, that not much can beat the thrill of a modern rollercoaster, or the dazzle of movies shown onto a towering fountain spray of water. And I can honestly say I’d be happy to hanglide in Soarin’ Over California or board a spaceship on Star Tours once a week for a year, because the wonder of flight combined with a sense of realism in those two rides is indescribably exciting.

Goofy walks with a fan through Toon Town.
Goofy walks with a fan through Toon Town.
Blue banners and sparkly spires to celebrate the Diamond Anniversary.
Blue banners and sparkly spires commemorate the Diamond Anniversary.
Metal bonnet over a shop in the New Orleans district.
Metal bonnet over a shop in the New Orleans district.
A larger-than-life ringmaster holds up a tent in Disney California Adventure Park.
A larger-than-life ringmaster holds up a tent in Disney California Adventure Park.
Fabulous rollercoaster above the water in Disney California Adventure Park.
Tara looks out at the fabulous rollercoaster and Ferris wheel above the water in Disney California Adventure Park.

I found a lot of joy this week in observing people find their bliss. Kids went out of their minds with happiness to see their favourite characters, and parents were gleeful when watching their kids interact with the characters. Adults would start to get testy (the crowds, the heat, the lines, the noise), and then suddenly smile and relax as though a voice in their head had just said, “Cool it. You’re at Disneyland.” Teenagers wore completely ridiculous outfits and were proud to be a part of it all. Elderly people walked very slowly and looked for shady spots, and I never saw someone acting impatient with them. Staff went out of their way to get people using wheelchairs into rides. We saw a Disney employee in a wheelchair, and Tara was helped at one store by a Disney employee with Down’s Syndrome.

We are now home, a little sunburned, still recovering our sleep, and still happy.

magical moment
It’s a magical moment for two little girls (the older one got hold of the princess’s hand a few moments later). And then, look at Mom in the back ground.
The Queen
The Queen says to the little girl, “Of course you want me to sign it, because then it will have some value.”
When it was Tara’s turn, their Mickey Mouse pen ran out of ink. “That’s what you get for trying to use a rat to write with,” sneered The Queen. She walked over to a nearby tourist woman, snatched a pen out of her hand, and said, “I’ll be using this.” It was brilliant.
We caught some really great shows. Some on the streets, and some on stage, like this one, featuring King Louie from one of my most beloved Disney movies: The Jungle Book.
We caught some really great shows. Some on the streets, and some on stage, like this one, featuring King Louie from one of my most beloved Disney movies: The Jungle Book.
Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog
Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog
These dancers leapt through the air, launched from stylized surfboards in a piece from Lilo and Stitch, another of my top 5 Disney movie faves.
These dancers leapt through the air, launched from stylized surfboards in a piece from Lilo and Stitch, another of my top 5 Disney movie faves.
Just like last year, I was impressed with the attention to detail in creating realistic scenes to entertain and educate. At the Redwook Creek Challenge, we explored a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout tower.
Just like last year, I was impressed with the attention to detail in creating realistic scenes to entertain and educate. At the Redwook Creek Challenge, we explored a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout tower.
A real U.S. Forest Service jeep was parked outside Eureka Mine No. 2 entrance, at Grizzly River Run (an innertube ride on river rapids).
A real U.S. Forest Service jeep was parked outside Eureka Mine No. 2 entrance, at Grizzly River Run (an inner tube ride on river rapids).
Multiple artist workspaces are installed throughout the parks, and frequently have real Disney artists at work.
Multiple artist work spaces are installed throughout the parks, and frequently have real Disney artists at work.
Captain Hook and Tara were both in good spirits, flashing their hooks.
Captain Hook (despite his rather nasty reputation) and Tara were both in good spirits, flashing their hooks.
Peter Pan has adoring fans. Just catch a load of the face on this girl as she realizes who is walking toward her.
Peter Pan has adoring fans. Just catch a load of the face on this girl as she realizes who is walking toward her.
Oswald (who inspired Mickey) greets his fans.
Oswald (who inspired Mickey) greets his fans.
There's a big Goofy. And a Disney character too!
There’s a big Goofy. And a Disney character too!

27 thoughts on “Celebration

  1. Ha-ha!! I LOVE the Wicked Queen – I did not know she was featured there. I have a photo of my eldest daughter spinning around in those giant teacups taken back in 93 when she visited. I’ve never wanted to go – but the Queen has just changed my mind 🙂

    1. I never wanted to go my whole life until pressured by Tara last year. And I really loved it. That was a surprise. It makes a difference that I am a huge fan of Disney movies, and Pixar, and Star Wars! So all that stuff is there. I am downright foolish in the face of my fave characters. /blushes/

    2. Oh, I’ll pass on a tip. After we raved about how wonderful the evil queen was, a woman who sold us stuff in Frontierland said that Cruella de Vil and Jack Skellington are also fabulous. Just… you know… in case you are ever tempted to go again. 😉

  2. I loved the photo of you (Goofy not!) and Disney Goofy. Tara and Captain Hook look really like they are “hamming it up!”
    Congratulations to Tara! May your future be bright, challenging and successful. God bless you 🙂

    1. Thank you so very much! I read your comment out loud to Tara. We had a lovely time, even among the crowds and under the powerful sun.

      Isn’t that photo with Hook a bunch of fun? Tara is a kick. I am so glad to have a child to bring my youth back to me.

  3. Well it wasn’t the celebration I was hoping to read about but it’s a wonderful way to celebrate becoming a grown up. Tara looks like she is having a good time as well as you. I wish her all the very best in her future endeavors. I know she will be successful. She has you for a role model. Give her our most enthusiastic congratulations. Job well done. It’s been many years since I was there. After 7 trips there with different family visitors, I was done with it but it is a beautiful place to be. Good place to go before you have to do grown up stuff. 🙂 After too.

    1. Ha ha! Yes, I had to come home and do grown up stuff just like Tara.

      Thank you for your faith in me and in my kid. I wish all of you could meet Tara. Of course everyone thinks their own kids are great, but everyone who meets Tara loves Tara. My child has serious shortcomings, to be perfectly clear, but if a beautiful spirit can make up for other things, this is the person who can pull it off. I am thrilled to have had a part in bringing them into the world.

      I never knew that it would be like this raising a child. That I would get to witness the blossoming of a life, and I would be tempted to sit back with a bag of popcorn and watch it all happen. It’s amazing! And surprising! And educational.

      Seven trips?! Good gravy.

      1. You make me smile. I say the same thing about my son. My daughter takes a bit of getting used to as she goes to her own beat. I’ve been like you. Sitting back watching the blossoming unfold. 2 kids from the same parents, day and night but both with wonderful kind hearts. You tagged it right. It’s their spirit that shines through. I have been in awe for years. I don’t care what people say. There are some wonderful young people in the world. You got lucky enough to have one of them. I consider myself lucky too. Would love to meet her one day. 🙂

    1. Thank you! It was a very good trip. It was just what we were hoping for. I had paid for the room, the plane, and the admission tickets well in advance, so our expenditures weren’t even too shocking. 🙂

  4. Glad to see you met the Goof. His creator, Pinto Colvig, did voices for Disney in the early years, including Goofy in his first cartoon. Disney was so caught up with Goofy’s voice that he turned him into a major character. Pinto would go on to become the original Bozo the Clown. He grew up in Jacksonville, Oregon and our families were close friends. My grandfather’s sister married Pinto’s older brother. –Curt

    1. Wow, Curt, what a great story! I am so very glad you told me the Oregon connection to the Goof, and your own personal connection to Pinto Colvig (what a name!). A friend and my next door neighbor expressed their adoration of Goofy, so I made it a point to find him and stand in line for photos. Now I am especially glad I did that. I love his voice, and can immediately bring it to mind. That is certainly a trait of a talented artist.

    1. Isn’t it perfect?! I couldn’t resist a photo. Up close, you could see all the camp gear crammed into the back. I suddenly felt like I was on some hot highway in the back seat of the car with my dad, passing this one and feeling envious of the kids who got to ride in the canoe.

  5. Disneyland is such a magical place, isn’t it? We live a mere 35 minutes away and used to go all of the time. It has been a few years now. It was a big deal for grad night when in high school so how fitting that your daughter would celebrate her graduation there! Congrats, Tara.

    1. Yes, you are right! It turned out to be filled with staff (cast members as they call themselves) still very excited about graduation. We didn’t volunteer the information, but one of the cast members was talking with Tara and figured it out. Once he did, he gave Tara a “Just Graduated!” button to wear, and a couple of fast passes (can skip the lines at rides). Then the rest of the time we were at the park, any cast member who saw Tara’s button called out congratulations.

      If we lived close, like you, we would probably have to go many many times before we got tired of it. Ha ha 🙂

  6. Love the TWO Goofys!
    Congratulations to Tara, and to the two of you having such fun at Disneyland (I went there at the age of 4 or 5 in the early 60s).

    1. I don’t mind being a second Goofy, not one bit. It’s fun to continue my childlike ways, even into my 40s. It’s also so much fun to share the goofy joy of being in Disneyland with Tara. We really did have a magical time. On the last day, I went to bed early, anticipating an early flight. But Tara stayed in the park till it closed at Midnight, just trying to eek out as many bits of magic as possible. 🙂

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