Friday, September 30, 2011

The Happiest Blog On Earth - Happiness...

Happiness. Now that's a pretty personal word, isn't it? Happiness could mean a million dollars to one person, and it could mean a good hair day to another. The meaning of the word is as unique to the person as the person using it. To me, happiness isn't a "feeling", it's a state of being.

Let me back up a moment. Being happy, as I'm sure everyone knows, is always in a state of flux, that is, it's never constant. For example, you could wake up in a happy mood, then after battling a fierce traffic jam, be transformed into "Mr. Grumpy Pants"! Then, someone plays the "Baby Monkey Riding On A Pig" song for you, and viola, you're in the Happiness Realm once again! So, for most of my time, I'm a pretty happy guy, but can experience my "downs" with the best of them. But...there's ALWAYS one magical thing that reaches its hand down the deep well of Grumpy Town and rescues me - Disneyland! Yep, Disneyland. The location, the idea, the thought, the photos, the sounds, well you get the picture.

I'm a relative "Newbie" to the Disneyland Resort. For those who know me or have heard Joyce and me chat about this on our podcast you'll already know this. But, for the vast majority of my life I've been deprived of that awesome happiness factory called the Disneyland Resort. My very first visit to Disneyland wasn't until 2007 - at the age of 42! My darling wife finally talked me into visiting for the Halloween Season in 2007, and I've been HAPPILY hooked ever since. Disneyland represents a tremendous state of being to me that is extremely difficult to put into words. Once I walked through the Magical Gates of Disneyland for the first time, my very definition of happiness changed. No longer was it sufficient to watch my favorite movie to make me happy. No longer was it sufficient to hear my favorite song to make me happy. Oh no! Happiness moved to a whole new level.

For those of you who love Disneyland, you understand. Walking through those gates puts you in another world, another time. The worries and troubles that plague you on "the outside" just don't exist for those few magical hours you get to spend there. Walt Disney was a very insightful man. He understood that folks NEED, not just want, but NEED, to be connected with that inner child. He found a way to help folks re-connect with the child they used to be, transporting them - US - back to an age when we were happy just being...and that's exactly what happens every time I walk through the gates of Disneyland. I'm happy...being. And spending those few magical hours with the love of my life...well, the word happy just doesn't cover it.  Call it magic, call it clever marketing, it doesn't matter. The end result is the same: HAPPINESS.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Happiest Blog On Earth - Back To School...Disneyland Style!

Fall. A terrific time of year, especially for those of us who live in the Southwestern United States. Fall means a lot of things for us: day time temperatures falling below 110 degrees finally; Christmas decorations going up (far too early) in most retail shops; most schools beginning their educational season again, and most importantly, the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California adorning the Happiest Place on Earth once more with those whimsical “Halloween” and Fall themed decorations!

For me and my wife Joyce, fall at Disneyland has a very special place in our hearts for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the very first time we had visited the Resort together, in fact, MY very first time at a Disney Park EVER, was September of 2007. The day after we arrived, the fall decorations were put up. It was quite magical really. We had enjoyed the Resort the day we arrived, then the next morning, just like Magic, the Resort was transformed into a Halloween/Autumn Wonderland that neither of us were expecting. An awesome way for me to be introduced to Disneyland, and an awesome way for Joyce to get “reacquainted” with the Resort after many years. Secondly, with kids recently returning to class, the Park wasn’t very busy!

There’s really no “bad” time to visit the Disneyland Resort. For each season of the year, cast members “dress” every inch of the place with some type of decoration signifying where in the year you are, but honestly, there are two very impressive seasons to visit: the Holiday Season and of course, Halloween. Although Joyce and I LOVE the Holiday decorations at the Disneyland Resort, our favorite time is Halloween, for those sentimental reasons I mentioned earlier, and of course, the Happiest Haunts Tour!  One other very nice aspect to fall at the Disneyland Resort is that the daytime temperatures hover around the mid 70’s, and the overnight temperatures are chilly enough to wear that cool Disneyland jacket you just purchased, or chilly enough to cuddle with that very special someone while riding on the Disneyland Railroad!

So, for us, back to school time means something a little different than it does to most. It means a trip down memory lane at the Disneyland Resort…and shorter lines!! - Al