Today, Disneyland is 55 years old. I was in the park five years ago to celebrate the 50th—it seems a bit odd not to be there today. A lot has changed in those five years; people I thought would forever be in my life have up and left me. People who I barely knew or I hadn’t even met before July 2005 are now near and dear friends. I’ve moved over five times, had several jobs (including working at Disneyland on two separate occasions), a few roommates and bought a freaking house (a fact that still freaks me out).
Disneyland hasn’t remained unchanged either; Jack Sparrow became a permanent fixture on Pirates of the Caribbean, the subs were brought back with a Finding Nemo theme, famous Disney characters were added to It’s A Small World and soon Star Tours will finally have a different stop other than Endor. Yet, when I walk through the gate and under the plaque proclaiming “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy“, I’m instantly transported back to 5, 10, 15 and 20 year old Christine and it doesn’t matter what has or hasn’t changed in my life or at Disneyland. The Castle is still waiting for me at the end of Main Street and somehow, I know everything is going to be alright: I am going to be alright. That may sound corny and sentimental, but I’m okay with that.
So, I wish my happy place and home away from home a very Happy 55th Birthday! I shall celebrate by reliving not only the most amazing fireworks show ever created, but also moments I was not present (or even alive!) for: