Back on Florida Ground After a Disneyland Christmas

The idea of visiting the original Happiest Place on Earth during the holidays grew larger each year, like a snowball being rolled down a hill. After our mind blowing visit to Disneyland last June, while still riding the high of seeing Cars Land and Buena Vista Street before opening to the public, my husband booked us a trip to come back during the holidays.

The opening of Disneyland's Christmas parade.

The opening of Disneyland’s Christmas parade.

As a girl who has grown up spending the holidays all around Orlando and in Orlando’s theme parks, it may seem frivolous to want to see how yuletide is celebrated at Disneyland. Being that it is the place my beloved husband called home most of his life, it has become my second home. Above all, I recognize that were it not for the one that started it all, my hometown would still be not much more than orange groves.

Season's Speedings from Cars Land

Season’s Speedings from Cars Land

Stunning holiday decorations for it's a small world

Stunning holiday decorations for it’s a small world

Our Disneyland Christmas trip has come and gone, it seems like a dream. Instead of visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head, I see sparkling lights and perfectly detailed garlands enveloping the parks in holiday splendor. I see beloved attractions done up in their holiday best. I see Sleeping Beauty Castle in dazzling lights and snow capped turrets.

There are so many thoughts and emotions about my first experience with Disneyland at Christmastime. My heart is full of joy, fighting the impeding jealousy. Why can’t my Magic Kingdom feel as warm, cheery, and bright? Why can’t my Disney’s Hollywood Studios feel as joyful and triumphant as Disney’s California Adventure? I know it is silly and that these thoughts are clouding my holiday spirit, especially because I should be shouting out with glee.

disneyland christmas

It only took a few moments for my love and appreciation for the place I call home to return. As I disembarked the gate at Orlando International Airport, the sight of the airport’s Christmas decorations caught my eye. The advertisements for all of Orlando’s attractions surrounded me. After a whirlwind wintry trip to Disneyland, what better place to come back home to than Orlando?

The appreciation continued to grow as my husband and I returned to our home. Driving through our neighborhood, so many homes sparkled with Christmas lights. Our luggage slumped off our shoulders and with a thunk, hit the floor. I immediately went to the largest of my three Christmas trees, hit the switch, and suddenly my home was filled with a warmth all its own. A bittersweet sigh escaped my lips.

IMG_3732

The largest of my three Christmas trees

Just then I heard the sirens. I smiled. “It’s him! It’s Santa!” I exclaimed, sounding less like an adult and more like a five year old. Sure enough, a tradition I have enjoyed since my childhood welcomed me back home. Santa made his two hour trip throughout the neighborhood in a motorcade of firetrucks, police cars, and one bright red pick-up truck sleigh. Inspired and re-energized, I finished decorating my front yard; red and green lights sparkling in my eyes.

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