By Eileen Ogintz

ANAHEIM, CA – (Day 3) –No kids at Disneyland?

It might seem counterintuitive, but this past trip to Disneyland, we opted for grownups-only visit to the home of everyone’s favorite Mouse to take in all the holiday decorations.

Holiday parade on Disneyland's Main Street USA
Holiday parade on Disneyland’s Main Street USA

There were kids all around us, of course, but we didn’t have to chase any toddlers, field arguments on where to go next or listen to complaints about the lines which were admittedly long.

Small World decked out for the holidays at Disneyland
Small World decked out for the holidays at Disneyland

Besides, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were celebrating their wedding anniversary, as were we.  So it was our night to take in the holiday decorations and wait on a 45-minute line to ride “Radiator Springs Racers” in Disney California Adventure Park Cars Land.  The ride takes you along Route 66 through Ornament Valley, the Radiator Falls waterfall and into a car race.  Fun! I especially loved all the car-centric holiday decorations.

I couldn’t believe we also waited for “It’s a Small World Holiday” in which the classic attraction celebrates the season with children from around the world dressed in their holiday best singing Christmas songs.  But no one was complaining, though my husband opted out of a third line for Haunted Mansion Holiday.

A couple of Frozen princess wannabees on the parade route
A couple of Frozen princess wannabees on the parade route

We indulged in dinner at Carthay Circle in Disney’s California Adventure which is known for its contemporary Southern California cuisine and a detailed reproduction of the Carthay Circle Theater,  where Walt Disney’s first feature-length film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered in 1937 and where in 1941, ground-breaking stereophonic Fantasound was installed for the West Coast premier of Fantasia.   The restaurant is adorned with period photographs and animated art from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that once hung in Disney’s home.  There are even scenes from the movie on the ceiling of the main dining room.

We lingered over signature cocktails  complete with an ice sphere made from locally sourced purified water.  Next time, I’ll try Walt’s drink of choice—the Scotch Mist.

It was hard to choose what to eat—certainly this wasn’t typical theme park fare.  Think Fire Cracker Duck Wings with soy, lime and Sriracha Chili Sauce, Warm Roasted Beet Salad, Steamed Pot Stickers with gingered port.

Main courses were equally hard to choose—Thick Cut Pork Chop with Onion Fondue with Dried Cherries, Chicken and Spinach Ravioli in Red Pumpkin Broth, the sustainable fish of the day with roasted root vegetables…. A choice of a Chocolate crème brulee tart or citrus cheese cake for desert.

Who says theme parks are stressful?  Thanks, Mickey!