When we were living in Tampa, the Disneyland 50th Anniversary CD collection came out and we had to have it. I was so thrilled to have the soundtracks to Disney music of yesteryear – like America Sings and Date Night at Disneyland. I remember dancing to the big bands at Disneyland as recently as the 1990s, and I wondered if Date Night was still around because it really is quite unique to Disneyland. Being so local, it’s where people went to dance as if it was their own private dance hall. Well, after the Festival Wine Reception, we discovered Date Night is still alive and well. More on that later.
First, I must say I agree with Rich’s assessment of the evening. It probably would have been rather dull without Nancy and Kathy. I met Nancy in line while Rich went back to our room to get our sweatshirts. So then she hung around with us as we made our way tasting and nibbling.
Nancy was a blast – she used to be a CM at Disneyland and shared some fun stories about celebrating events in Walt’s apartment. She’s also worked in the wine business so when Kathy joined us with hugs like we were old friends, we introduced her to Nancy and they both grew up with the Gallo brothers on the Central California Coast. More fun stories. We closed out the event, downing every last sip of wine we could get our hands on – those Californians really know how to drink their wine.
By this time, DCA was closed so we headed on over to Disneyland – Rich, Nancy, and me, and Nancy used her special CM skills to make our way through the crowd as the 50 Year Anniversary Fireworks show exploded over our heads. Our destination: Plaza Gardens Stage for Date Night Disneyland. Nancy said she came here often just to watch the dancers – all ages and sizes and skill level. We admired one older couple, and Nancy said he was her investment broker’s parents and he had Alzheimer’s. He couldn’t remember much, but he remembered how to dance. It brought tears to our eyes as we watched the wife enjoy this part of her past with her husband, holding each other, dancing together just like they did when they were young. I’m getting chills now reliving it.
The band was on a break, so Nancy asked us if we wanted to catch a ride and then come back when the band was playing. We said we did – we were dying to ride Pirates. So we left, promising to return. The line at Pirates was rather long – we thoroughly enjoyed the ride – but by the time we returned to see the band play, the band, the dancers, and Nancy were gone. We were disappointed not to be able to say good-bye to her because she had made our evening so memorable.
So we strolled on over to the wishing well and sang with Snow White and shared a romantic moment before heading back to our hotel. A very memorable evening indeed.
Tip: If, like us, you get frustrated when the crowds are jammed together for fireworks and/or a parade, well, let me say that drinking gallons of wine beforehand makes it a whole lot easier. 🙂