The wonderful thing about being flexible and keeping your eyes and ears open when you travel is the fun, sometimes once in a lifetime, events you can stumble upon. Even with Disney vacations, there can be an element of the unexpected if you are willing to ‘go with the flow’ and make changes to your plans when something comes up. We’ve been able to attend Annual Passholder events including special movie screenings, meeting the ‘voice of Mickey Mouse’, and enjoying the first ‘Glow with the Show’ performance of Fantasmic a few years ago. Sure, we did have to adjust our plans a little but the memories we made were worth it.
This week was another of these moments. We had planned to drive down the coast on Sunday but didn’t think twice about changing our plans and spending the day at Disneyland when we heard that there would be a 90th birthday party for Dick Van Dyke at Disneyland that day. I had the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream – to ‘meet’ Bert the chimney sweep in person.
|One of only 250 limited edition poster cards made for the event (I will treasure it!)|
OK, I know Bert is an imaginary character and no, I was not quite close enough to shake Mr. Van Dyke’s hand, but I did get the chance to see him up close during the special dedication at the Jolly Holiday Bakery and Café. As one of the many fans who arrived early, I was able to nab a prime spot right near the steps where he demonstrated a few of the nimble dance moves he is so famous for.
Mary Poppins has always been one of my favourite movies. I remember our elementary school used to run movies in the gym one weekend a month and every month I would vote for Mary Poppins. Of course, this was back before we had Netflix, DVD players or even VCRs so you had to actually access the film reels to watch your beloved characters come to life. I do love Julie Andrews and wanted to grow up to sing just like her, but Mary Poppins would not have been the movie it was without the performance of Dick Van Dyke. Walt Disney certainly knew what he was doing when he asked him to play the part.
|A group photo of us waiting for Mr. Van Dyke from the Facebook event page|
Following the dedication, there was a birthday serenade from the balcony of the Dream Suite. Sadly, I wasn’t able to get any pictures of this one since the crowd had gotten huge by then. I decided to focus on getting over to the parade route in anticipation of the Birthday Cavalcade Pre-Parade event on Main Street.
|The Disneyland Band entertains the crowd prior to the afternoon parade|
|Mary Poppins on her carousel horse from Mickey’s Soundsational Parade led the cavalcade|
|Dick and Arlene Van Dyke in Walt’s runabout|
|Special cupcake celebrating Dick Van Dyke’s 90th Birthday from the Jolly Holiday|