Friday, December 31, 2004

New Year's Eve at Disneyland: The Lights! The Trauma!

 borrowed from LaughingPlace.comFive years ago tonight, John and I had one of approximately three out-of-the-house, actually-doing-something New Year's Eve celebrations in our entire 27-year relationship.  It was about to be the fake Millennium as the year ticked over from 1999 to 2000.  Some people were buying generators and duct tape, in case of terrrorists and Y2K glitches.  (Yes, even before 9/11 there were terrorism concerns, particularly for that night in major party centers.)  As for us, we went to Disneyland.

John brought our then-new Mavica along.  He took lots of pictures from the Rocket Rods tower and inside it's a small world holiday.  He took pictures of Christmas decorations in Toontown and on Main Street USA.  Unfortunately, John doesn't know where any of those pictures are now, what file names to search for in hundreds of CDs of material. So all the pictures in this entry are "borrowed" without permission from John Frost's article of January 2000 on  If John (Blocher) comes up with our pictures later, I'll post those instead.

another oneGenerally speaking, we had a grand time that night until about 10:30 PM.  Cast members were handing out "wishing wands" and hats.  The park's PA played a CD of stars singing Disney songs.  (Is that alliterative enough for you?) The one that really amazed me was Tim Curry riffing on The Ballad of Davy Crockett. This became a little less special, though, as they played the same CD over and over.  Numbers and colors and shapes were projected onto the Matterhorn and the castle.

and anotherIt was all very pretty, but something less wonderful was happening, too, at least from our point of view.  The park was filling up with people.  Thousands of people sat on the ground in front of the castle--in the park under the trees, and in the street and on the sidewalk. I had staked out a spot on the side of the castle near the Matterhorn, where it was sort of possible to sit down and not be on the ground. John was getting antsy.  He HATES crowds and lines and waiting. So you can imagine my surprise when he decided to wade into the crowd to try for a straight-on picture of the castle.

I think he was gone for about half an hour.  Twenty minutes of that, he was absolutely trapped in the tightly-crammed humanity.  It would have been traumatic for almost anyone, but it was especially bad for John.  I couldn't see him at all, of course, and after a while I got worried.  I didn't go after him, though.  It wouldn't have helped.

Pretty, huh?He finally made it across the street, made his way back away from the heaviest concentration of people, and circled around to rejoin me near the Matterhorn.  From there we watched the midnight light show and fireworks.  It wasn't a perfect view, but it was better than being in the worst of the crowd again.

Then we went back to it's a small world holiday for a relatively peaceful, quiet boat ride past Mary Blair's animatronic dolls, tricked out for holiday fun. The Sherman Brothers' famous song was interwoven with Christmas songs, so well that I bought a CD of it. People like to complain that hearing It's a Small World After All over and over can drive a person crazy, but after the New Year's Eve crowd, it seemed downright peaceful and reassuring.

19 minutes and counting here.  Happy New Year, everyone!


Also 'borrowed' from LaughingPlace You can see why John wanted a picture!

But this is what he had to deal with:

At midnight, the castle looked like this:

Pictures and video (follow the links to get to the video) by John Frost, James Hensley and Dave Mastanich.


jeff466 said...

That sounds like a wonderful trip!  Crowds do that to me too.  

That particular New Years Eve me and my then spouse decided to stay home just in case crazy and bizarre things happened (all the talk of the y2k bug, etc) and had a quiet evening playing crazy eights and rummy with his 80 year old mother until 3 in the morning.  She passed away about a year and a half later, so I always look back on that New Years and smile when I remember her having a good time beating us at cards!  


kristeenaelise said...

What a great idea - I would have loved to spend that particular New Year's Eve somewhere fun like that.  What gorgeous pics, too!  (Hope you find yours too!)  On that particular night, hubby and I watched and waited anxiously for the east coast to hit midnite, because we knew if they were ok we'd be ok.  That was one of the few New Years Eves that I've actually been able to pull off staying awake that late!!

Anyway I love your journal - thanks so much for visiting mine.
=) kris

ryanagi said...

What a cool way to spend the 99-00 change over. :-)