Bad Weather or Christmas Miracle, our first Disneyland Christmas happened.
We didn’t expect to get in Disneyland this Winter Holidays. Reservations are full till New Year. But the day before we were leaving L.A., there is was, an opening for 3.
Rain is hard to come by in California. So, it never occurred to me that all day and all night rain can happen in Disneyland of all places.
I always imagined the happiest place as Sunny and clear blue skies. Turns out, that’s a Fairy Tale.
I was dreaming of Christmas Parades and Fireworks, that I didn’t check my weather app, and even if I did, I wouldn’t have believed the 100% chance of rain. Wife said she knew, but didn’t want to ruin my excitement.
We entered Disneyland exactly 8 A.M. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge still empty except the line to the Rise of the Resistance ride. No more virtual queue.
First stop, the Cantina. Son wants to get a drink that gives free souvenir Porg Mug.
We were the first walk-in standing bar customers. Reserved sitting seats are 16 days wait. Wife and I shared a flavorful Jabba Juice. For a moment, the Cantina was all ours.
We have to pay 20 dollars each on top of the Genie plus 20 dollars to skip the lines for the Rise of the Resistance Ride. So, we joined the 2 hours line, and used the $60 on food. Epic experience has a price.
It started to drizzle. By the time the Rise of the Resistance was over, serious rain began. We had to buy ponchos. Turned out to be a smart idea. An hour later, rain was pouring crazy. It’s ponchos and umbrellas everywhere.
Genie plus 20 dollars fast pass is a must have when one only gets a day to finish all their favorite rides. Hardly any wait. Easy breezy. No stress. Problem, so much time in between rides. So, it’s catching up on missed foods like Turkey Legs, Churros, Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
We finished all our must-rides: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones. Can’t believe we did a lot.
Jack and Sally live characters of The Nightmare Before Christmas are new at the Haunted Mansion. Coolest couple.
Disney Staff confirmed, no parades and fireworks because of the rain. Around 7:20 P.M., we decided to head to our hotel. Just close to the exit, an announcement was made, Sleeping Beauty Wintertime Enchantment will begin.
A couple in front of me held each other under an umbrella as they watched Sleeping Beauty Castle lit up. Everyone was just trying to catch a piece of joy and magic, regardless of circumstances. I was witnessing Hope. I was seeing me in all of them.
We left Disneyland. No fireworks. Just lots and lots of rain. By the time we rode our Lyft car, our shoes were drenched wet. It wasn’t the Disney experience I anticipated, but it was the Disney magic I was given.
I feel blessed and grateful for the gift of Christmas experiences with Family like no other, not just for a day but for an entire week.
I honestly forgot I am living in the midst a new Surge. I forgot their is still the Pandemic. Or maybe I decided to move on, ignore the bad news and just enjoy life again.
Then I watched the T.V. news when I got home. Hundreds of Holiday flights cancelled because many airline staff are infected with the Omicron Variant. Passengers had no choice but to miss Christmas with their love ones. The COVID sick had to celebrate Christmas alone because they had to be on quarantine isolation. Los Angeles has tripled its new positives cases in 24 hours. Omicron is now the dominant strain in the U.S. in less than 30 days. America is close to 200,000 new cases of COVID per day.
One bad news after the other, but I’m done. I turned off the T.V. news. Haven’t opened my iPhone News Feeds for more than a week now. It felt good to feel detached from the negative news. It felt nice to feel calm, positive, happy and hopeful. Mindful Filtering.
Family and I visited two theme parks. Everyone in that park are like us. No fears. No social distancing. No worries of touching contaminated surfaces. No disinfectants and frequent hand washing. We screamed when we ride roller coasters as loud as we want. We ate without mask indoors and outdoors. We laughed, talked and smiled at each other, with or without mask. No one was asked of their vaccine status. No one was asked about recent COVID test. Everyone were willing to take COVID infection risks to enjoy life and have fun again.
For one day, People chose to forget all the bad shit we are forced to witness and absorb. For one day, a magical place allowed us to be ourselves as free and as playful as we can be. For one day, we were lucky to experience a Christmas that is unreal and extraordinary.
In less than a week, we all will say goodbye to 2021. It wasn’t perfect. Actually, it was crazy chaotic. It is however also beautiful, incredible and surprising.
I just wished there were no regrets, but it has a few. Perhaps, 2022 will be kinder, and I get to over turn a regret into a new beginning.
Love and forgiveness. Happiness and Peace. Family and Family the way it was. Hope and Miracles. Life and Living. Surrender and a giant leap of Faith.