I mean, not to rub it in or anything, but you understand that of all things worth getting excited about, going on vacation to The Happiest Place on Earth oughta be right up there near the top of the list!  Sure, maybe Mickey might still get trumped by touring the pyramids of Giza or perhaps even going into space, but hey, we’ve still got to leave something for next year’s celebration, right?!

You see, this particular trip is something that my wife and I are doing for our wedding anniversary this year – in fact, up until not long ago it was actually a secret because she was planning the whole thing as a surprise.  It’s a little tradition that we came up with shortly after getting married – swapping back and forth who plans the festivities – because that way at least only one of us has to worry about stressing out over remembering our anniversary in a given year!  Last year for my turn we went to go see those ridiculously flexible folks in Cirque du Soleil, which was actually pretty incredible to watch, although admittedly it did make for some unrealistic expectations later on that evening, if you know what I’m saying…

Of course, I already have no doubt in my mind that Disneyland is going to just be absolutely amazing – a chance to visit the original theme park that Walt Disney created after thinking, “parents and children need a place where they can have fun together … by being serenaded by animatronic pirates, eating curiously-oversized turkey legs, and buying t-shirts with my characters on them for $29.95 a piece, plus any applicable state and local taxes.” The man was a visionary, to say the very least, and the fact that I get to celebrate the marvelous miracle that is my own marriage by walking in those same footsteps and buying those same overpriced t-shirts truly is a magical thing, that’s for sure!

But in all seriousness, I think what I’m looking forward to the most is actually comparing the original Disneyland to Florida’s own Disney World, just to see what things carried over from one resort to the other and how different these two places of pure imagination really are!  I think anyone who knows me and has had to sit through the slideshows, or the home videos, or the fully-costumed parade re-enactments knows that I’m a huge fan of Walt Disney World in the most addicted sense of the wonderful word, so I think it’ll be interesting to see what kinds of things big and small have changed from one coast to the other.

You know, things like…

  • Will Mickey Mouse greet everyone with a Californian Surfer accent?  (“Like, have a totally magical day, dudes!”)
  • Does their version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror utilize a much gentler “float to the ground” technology that will be less likely to make me “scream like a little girl” than its Hollywood Studios counterpart?
  • What time will their three o’clock parade start?
  • Will any of the candy stores around Disneyland carry those cool, new kind of Mickey-shaped chocolate truffles that will magically make a guy lose weight if he tends to splurge a lot on candy and sweets while he’s on vacation?
  • Is there any chance that the original version of It’s a Small World… has a different soundtrack that makes it slightly more tolerable to actually sit through without making you want to bail out mid-ride?  (Hey, a guy can dream…)

And of course, the ultimate question – just like at Walt Disney World, will I find myself as completely satisfied in every possible way from the moment we pass through those magical gates right up until the slightly less magical moment when we get our bill at checkout time and are reminded just how much all of this pixie dust actually costs???

It’s like a whole new world for us to explore – kind of like Walt did when he … came here to get a fresh start when he ran out of land out in California…

To Disneyland, and beyond!