A week ago today marked the official start of the holiday season at Disneyland, so Nate and I went last weekend on Sunday since we knew all the decorations were already up (yep, we cheated). Main Street was resplendent in bright garlands, wreaths, and lights and greeted us with its giant Christmas tree, with pretty presents and smiling people surrounding it. After a couple days of gloom and rain, we spent a lovely afternoon going on ride after ride without a grown-up care in the world. We went on It’s a Small World Holiday, all decked out in a million twinkling lights. We twirled around in the teacups, screamed on Space Mountain (well, I did, anyway), and took the train around the park. Nate bought me cheetah-print Mickey ears in Adventureland. Holding hands, we watched the parade, and I bounced around just as giddy as any eight-year-old that was there, waving to the princesses and singing along. We walked under the pretty garlands and beads and ornaments hung in New Orleans Square. We overate delicious Mexican food under glowing glass star lanterns. We saw Santa’s real reindeer at Santa’s Round-Up and walked to Sleeping Beauty’s castle, crowned with glittery icicles and gleaming snow. And after we ate our ice cream cones as we watched the holiday fireworks show, it started “snowing.” Magical Disney Christmas snow. And tears of joy streamed down my face.
I know it’s silly and childish, and I almost felt embarrassed for being so excited. But you know what? I hope I never lose that childlike awe, for Disneyland or anything else. No matter how many times I go, it never gets old. The promise of enchantment and adventure as I enter through the front gates never leaves me wanting. I’ve been an annual passholder since middle school…and I still just can’t wait to go back.