Merry Christmas from the Disneyland Authors


Christmas is almost here, and I’m excited to bring you a special greeting from my fellow Disney Parks Blog authors here at the Disneyland Resort. We were inspired by a question posed by Michele Himmelberg: “If you could wrap up a Disneyland experience or memory and give it as a gift, what would it be?”

So here are our Disneyland gifts to you!

Michele Himmelberg: Wrapping Disney magic in a gift box is like trying to put a genie in his bottle. Even if you can’t grab hold of it, stuff it in the package and tie it with a pretty red bow, you still wish you could. If I could, I’d wrap up one of my favorite Disneyland Resort experiences and put it under the tree on Christmas Eve: A visit to the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

This gift comes with an aura of mystery and a step back in time to October 31, 1939. It includes a greeting from a bellhop in authentic period attire and a stroll through an abandoned lobby, where spectacles are still sitting on the table where a guest suddenly left them behind all those years ago. Listen carefully, and the gift sounds like Rod Serling inviting you to discover the story of the haunted hotel elevator. After all the delicious build-up and anticipation, the best part is two minutes of surging adrenaline as you rise and fall – and rise and fall again – with a quick glimpse of all of Disney California Adventure park from the highest point in the Resort. If you dare open the box, I hope you enjoy the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Jim Ames: I was fortunate enough to receive a very special gift this holiday season – watching my niece’s face as she visited Disneyland for the first time. The joy and wonder was a treat and made my day even more special. My holiday wish for you is to take a moment to remember your first time at Disneyland and to share that sense of magic each day with those around you.

Michelle Harker: There isn’t enough ribbon to tie around the gift I wish for all of you this holiday season … the gift of giving. I’m inspired by this gift each year, as I marvel at the amount of hours our Disney VoluntEARS, their friends and families donate to numerous local charities and organizations involving children, families, education and the environment. There are so many activities that I can’t name them all, but one of the most meaningful to me is Operation Interdependence, where heartwarming messages are written to our overseas servicemen and women who valiantly serve our country away from their families during this celebrated holiday season. You can’t put a price on a smile, a laugh or just letting these heroes know that you care. After all, the best things come in small packages.

Betsy Sanchez: This holiday season, if I could, I would wrap up the joy that I feel when my little boy’s face lights up each time we visit Disneyland Resort. It’s the awe in his eyes and the joy in his smile when he sees Mickey for the first, fifteenth and thirtieth time. It doesn’t matter if it’s Downtown Disney District, the parks or the hotels – there’s always something that amazes him. As a mom, that’s the greatest gift anyone could ever give me, so if I could, I would wrap that up and wish that indescribable joy for each of you.

Happy Holidays!

Kevin Rafferty, Jr.: If I could give you a gift filled with Disney magic to unwrap during the holidays, you’d surely receive a stay in one of the Disneyland Hotel’s signature suites. Which would you choose? A difficult decision considering each is unique and spectacular. Perhaps you should relax in the free-standing copper tub inside the Big Thunder Suite? Or maybe watch fireworks through the Fairy Tale Suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows? My gift could take you to the Old West or out to sea, inside a fairy tale or safari lodge, or even surround you with the Big Cheese himself, Mickey Mouse!

Shannon Swanson: I would wrap up the smell of freshly made candy canes. I had the opportunity to join the bakers at the Candy Palace early one morning to tape a video of the candy making process. I had never seen or smelled anything quite like it! The potent smell of peppermint in the warm kitchen overlooking Main Street, U.S.A., at dawn was a wonderful Christmas memory I’ll never forget.