Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Place Hodgepodge - Aug 19, 2014

As I said earlier in the week, Tuesday was a pretty big day for me! I've been on an "Annual Passholder blackout period" since the end of June, and it was the first day I could get back into Disneyland and see the sights!

I really enjoyed my first day of being able to go back, but since it had been so long, I ultimately decided to just sit back, relax, and enjoy what I was doing instead of snapping photos of everything I came across. That said, I did have my phone with me and managed to take a few here and there when the mood seized me just right, and those form the basis for this week's hodgepodge.

I hope that you enjoy!

We'll pretend it was a PERSONAL invitation welcoming me back to the magic!

I figured since it HAD been a few months maybe I should pop into Hollywood Land for a spot of T!

The White Rabbit DJ (DJ Missy B!) keeps the "between sets" times rocking and dropping for hours!

Alice and the Mad Hatter are the host-es with the most-es... straight from the charts to the bottom of our hearts!

I'd truly missed walking through these gates!

And what better way to end the evening that outside of Sleeping Beauty Castle...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Days in the Park is back... in The Parks!

It's a question I've heard many times over the past several weeks since my Annual Pass "blacked out" at the end of June and I've been forced to stay at home: "How do you stand it?" "It", of course, being the ability to go to Disneyland and do one of the things I love most in life.

I have all the right answers, of course, ranging from "I'm trying to save a little money", to "I have three kids who have all kinds of different interests now and football don't come cheap!", to my personal favorite, "It's no big deal. Really!" It's been difficult, and I've missed going, but now that I'm on the other side of the fence, so to speak, the time has come for me to re-assume my place inside the walls of The Parks and re-enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy; the happiest place on earth!

Am I being overly dramatic? Perhaps. But anyone who knows me, really knows me, knows that in some small way it was killing me to not be able to go to Disneyland whenever I wanted to like I could before, and I suppose there's no use in pretending it wasn't. But at the end of the day, as an adult, with a wife and children, sometimes you just have to do what you have to do at the time. It's just going to make it that much sweeter walking in those gates this afternoon.

So if you're new to Days in the Park, or perhaps an old hat who's been following me for quite some time now (and there are some of this, which continues to puzzle and amaze me), I think I'm going to have some pretty great stuff for you in the near future. I'm going to be there today with bells and whistles on (or, if you prefer, my eyes open and my camera ready!), and I'm going to make the most of it. Feel free to check back over the next few days to see just some of what I'll be seeing today, or if you're not already, please (because it seems to be my achilles heel) follow along on my Instagram account @daysinthepark for live pictures from inside The Parks throughout The Day. By all means, please keep coming back for more pictures and all the information I have time to throw at you. I promise to, now that I can, go as often as I can and keep throwing them at you.

"To all who come to this happy place, welcome!"

Thank you Uncle Walt, I think I will...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Happy Place Hodgepodge - Downtown Disney, July 2014

It's been a long, hard summer! For one person who up to a few months ago almost always a Premium Annual Passholder (that's me!), it's been much harder than I thought it would be.

When I made the decision to lower my payments and save a little money every year by going to a Pass with July and half of August blacked out, I told myself that it would be easy because of "the heat", "the crowds", "*insert any excuse you want here*", but I learned very quickly... I missed being able to go in July and that first half of August!

But, glory be(!), my time of languishing without a way into my happy place is almost over! This coming Monday the blackout dates end (for the most part), and I'm already planning my first trip back with a full day at it this coming Tuesday. I can hardly wait!

But, with all of that said, I did manage to make it out to The Resort a few times this summer just to wander about and take pictures of things I don't normally take the time to since I'm usually partying it up inside The Park. A few weekends ago I spent a wonderful evening just strolling around Downtown Disney and its various haunts taking pictures, which make up the gist of this week's "hodgepodge".

I can't wait to get back next week with a ton of pictures from my first day back but in the meantime I hope these pictures will help tide you over the way they've helped tide me over. I always say there's magic to be found everywhere you look at The Park, and I think these do a great job of proving it. Even though I may not have been riding Space Mountain or Pirates of the Caribbean, I still had a wonderful time and I'm so thankful I got to go!


Sometimes you need help remembering where you parked!

The gazebos around the Disneyland Hotel really do lend themselves to some amazing fairy-tale weddings

When Tinkerbell and Mickey's Sorcerer's Apprentice Hat greet you, you know that you're home

Buzz and Woody. LEGO form. Touche!

One of my favorite Hidden Mickeys from around The Resort. Can you spot it?

Late nights at the Disneyland Hotel with Starbucks; people-watching. Doesn't get much better!


Even the carpets are magical!

If you see THIS coming at you...

Magical Carpet #2!

Who needs Autopia when you can sit in this actual car from the attraction for hours at the time?! Just beware of little kids telling you to "get out of the way, mister!"

If Mary Poppins flies out of the Disneyland Hotel, is this what she leaves behind?

Three different Goofy's in one picture; can you spot them all?

One day... I may actually go swimming here! In the meantime, this remains one of the coolest signs in all of The Resort!

And lastly, there may not be anything better than ending the night with a friend and a cocktail at Trader Sam's. Just about the perfect evening in every way!