Not to be cliche, but another year has come and gone….oh, who am I kidding, this will probably be full of cliches….another year has come and gone at the Disneyland Resort. It was a year where guests were asked to show their #DisneySide….but didn’t; it was a year where Frozen mania threatened to take over the Parks; it was a year that showcased some upgrades to a couple of favorite attractions; but mostly….it was a year to get us to next year, when we’ll celebrate Disneyland‘s 60th birthday. It was like a filler episode before the season finale of The Walking Dead…where none of the main characters are in it…still an ok episode, but you want them to hurry up and get to the good stuff. 2014 was that kind of year.
That said, I still had some memorable moments.
Memorable Moment #5 – Teaching Eddy the Goat Trick
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad returned in March and was better than ever, with a brand new super-smooth track and some great new special effects. The best news, of course, was that Disneyland veterans could still do the goat trick. During an interview onboard Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I asked Disneyland rep Eddy Collins if he knew about the goat trick. He didn’t…he does now.
Memorable Moment #4 – Family Fun at Knott’s Berry Farm
Knott’s Berry Farm upped their family attractions again this year with refurbishments of both a classic attraction AND an entire land.
Camp Snoopy celebrated its 30th birthday with a new look, 3 new attractions, and updates to a couple others. The classic Calico Mine Ride received a complete update to its animatronics, plus new lighting and a new soundtrack.
However my favorite memory of 2014 at Knott’s Berry Farm happened in June when my family, several friends, a couple members of my team, plus a great group of DISers participated in Coasting For Kids, a fundraiser to benefit Give Kids the World. Now THAT’S family fun.
Memorable Moment #3 – Being the Token Married Guy at Gay Days/Re-Discovering the Carthay Circle Lounge
Yes, those go together.
I spent a great weekend with an old friend and made lots of new ones. There’s just something about the shared experience of wearing a red shirt during Gay Days (or a bow tie on Dapper Day or a Lime Green Mickey Head any day of the year) that’s hard to duplicate.
Oh, and I also discovered that the Carthay Circle Lounge is a great place to relax with an old friend and some new ones. Just saying.
Memorable Moment #2 – Visiting the Good Neighbors
As part of the DIS Unplugged: Disneyland Edition podcast this year, I decided to review some of the off-property Good Neighbor Hotels. After 14 hotels and motels and 13 podcast segments, I have my favorites. The best part though, was knowing (based on emails and DISboards posts) that I was helping people make the right choice for their Disneyland Resort vacation. It made all those nights in strange beds worth it.
Memorable Moment #1 – Being Humbled in Arizona
For much of the year, we promoted a DIS Meet in Phoenix to raise money for Give Kids the World. The meet was wonderfully organized by DISer Denise and the money went to a great cause! When I asked Denise how many of the 30-40 people at the meet she knew or were friends with, she said “none of them.” Theywere there because they were fans of what we did and wanted to help us raise money. Humbled.
I think the theme running through all of my memorable moments is the same every year…I say it at the end of every show…and I truly believe it…Disneyland IS more magical when it’s shared. May you share the magic with friends, family or heck, even complete strangers in 2015.