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Ruminations: The Power of Disney Magic

Ruminations: The Power of Disney Magic

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"Got big doings this week. Adventure, fun, music, cartoons, news. Everybody  ready?"  -- Mickey Mouse, "The Mickey Mouse Club, "1955

You know, that quote very neatly sums up all of the excitement from last week's big Disneyland 50th anniversary events. All of the above and then some ...

Out of all of the events launching the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth," there was one particular moment I think that I will remember for some time to come. On Thursday, Robert Iger -- CEO-elect of the Walt Disney Company -- was hosting the early moments of the ceremony at Disneyland.

Photo by Jeff Lange

Among his remarks was a phrase that I believe best describes exactly what the entire event was really all about:

"... the power of Disney magic to bring a simple smile to a child's face."

It's the child in all of us to which that simple smile belongs. Those things that can bring  it to us are the magic that Disney has provided throughout its history. Time and time again during my recent visit, I watched it in action.

Take -- for example -- this moment that I observed while I was in line to ride "Peter Pan's Flight." A little girl and her father had boarded their pirate ship and were ready to begin their journey to Neverland. She reached up and made sure her golden Mickey ears were on tight by holding them in place, to be sure that they wouldn't fly off during this adventure. So carried away by the magic, this little girl looked over and smiled at her dad as they flew off to follow Peter...

As is shown by this quote from Walt Disney, this is the kind of moment that Walt Disney wanted to provide for his guests:

"Disneyland has that thing - the imagination and the feeling of happy excitement - I knew when I was a kid."

Watching that father and daughter share in that dream really did bring home just how much of a success this theme park has been over those fifty years. It's evident every day all across the Disneyland Resort.

Photo by Roger Colton

In the way that a guest gets to share a very special moment with Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora.

Photo by Roger Colton

Or in the way that they get to "go for the gold" by driving one of the "golden" vehicles that you'll find on various attractions around the theme park.

Photo by Roger Colton

Even Mickey takes part in the Disneyland's new color scheme. And doesn't he look "neat & pretty" in his new 50th anniversary duds? 

Now don't get me wrong. Not everything went according to plan on May 5th. And yet -- as they have become legendary for doing -- Disneyland's cast members rose to the occasion. Doing everything they could to make sure that these days were memorable for all the guests who had crammed their way into the theme park.

Take -- for example -- Annie. Who was, on her first day of working at the Plaza Inn, making salads for a line of guests that never seemed to end. Yet she had a smile for every person that was waiting to be served.

Or how about Cara, who was quickly clearing tables at a very crowded Club Buzz. Clearly she had a lot to do. But that didn't stop Cara from taking an extra moment to help a guest get a straw for her beverage.

Or how about everyone who helped out with guest control during the premiere of the "Parade of Dreams." All of these cast members put in extra effort to make sure that moment was special for Disney visitors.

Photo by Roger Colton

Yes, sir. Disneyland's cast members went above & beyond the call on May 5th. Which is why I have no doubt that Walt would have been proud of them all.

But it wasn't just the cast members that made those days special. As I walked through the park, I couldn't help but notice all the extra little touches that have been added here and there. Like those Tinker Bells that grace the tops of the gaslights along Main Street U.S.A.

Photo by Roger Colton

Or how the guests themselves are now part of the show, thanks to all the great photo mosaics that are scattered around Disneyland, like these two in front of the Golden Horseshoe.

Photo by Roger Colton

FYI: If you submitted a photo for the mosaics and want to find out where it is located, there are two kiosks on Main Street U.S.A. that can help you. Check in front of City Hall for one. The other is located across from the Mad Hatter shop on the other side of Town Square.

If your photo has not been used yet, don't fret. It still may be. There are reportedly a few more mosaics under construction. The cast member I spoke to indicated that they will be sending e-mails to everyone sometime this month to let you know if your photo was used and where it is.

Photo by Roger Colton

All in all, it was a most memorable time spending these days at Disneyland. Here's hoping that -- sometime over the next 18 months -- you can get on out to Anaheim to experience for yourself what it's like to take part in the "Happiest Homecoming on Earth."

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