Do you have to be a kid to find pleasure at Mickey’s playground?
If you’ve been reading LoveTrekker faithfully (and if you haven’t, shame on you), you should know by now that I have a thing for amusement parks. I am a gigantic infant, albeit one who refuses to sing, ‘Mommy, wow! I’m a big kid now!’ Feeding my inner child some fireworks, a few roller coasters or a little ski-ball every once in a while keeps me young and happy. So I’m going to put it right out there and say it: Disneyland is one of my very favorite date spots in the world. Apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Renee Zellweger and John Stamos recently went on a date there, and they’re even older than I am. If you can’t see me metaphorically sticking my tongue out at you, then I’m going to give you a wet willy.
As Us Weekly so aptly put it, yes, Bridget Jones has found her new Mr. Darcy in Uncle Jesse. But maybe part of the reason Ms. Z — recently single after splitting from boyfriend of two years Bradley Cooper (whom I just worked on a movie set with, PS) - had such a good time in Anaheim was that she could finally embrace a side of herself she doesn’t get to explore very often. She didn’t have to be so proper or adult for once, she could let loose and be the young, fun girl she used to be. In fact, a ‘witness’ (I simply loathe that term) watched the two “dancing” from ride to ride.
I’d say they were pretty damn happy, wouldn’t you?
So why did Renee and John choose to spark the flames of a new romance at a spot famous for enchanting children, and why do I applaud their decision?
If you haven’t been to Disney/California Adventure before, there really is something magical about it. You’re walking through a fairytale brought to life. You become your favorite cartoon. Perhaps you’re Ariel, giving up her voice for love, or Belle, who can see beyond the exterior to find the real, decent man trapped inside a monster.
I’d say there’s something thrilling about plummeting down Splash Mountain (which Renee and John enjoyed, apparently) if I wasn’t terrified of water rides, and 100% believe that Pirates of the Caribbean is actually a modern-day equivalent to the tunnel of love (re: should your date be inclined to have a little make-out session, sit in the back: it’s a hot spot). As for Space Mountain, I kid you not, there is nothing more exhilarating. You may not even think about the dude you’re with.
The park is absolutely more romantic at night. Everything seems a little bigger, and you, in turn, feel a little smaller, a little more awe-struck. Everything from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland and in between takes on a fine patina of unreality. Seriously. There’s even an ElecTRONica (as in, from the movie Tron) dance party with glo-sticks and rave music...for kids.
The best part of my date day-into-night experience at Disneyland was the fireworks, hands down. They are, quite simply, epic. They last forever, come in shapes like umbrellas and stars and, for once, the entire park is silent aside from the gigantic booms you hear overhead. Apparently the only display that can top it is in Paris for Bastille Day (today, July 14, ironically) but I can’t swear to it as I’ve never seen it, so I’m sticking with old Walt D. until proven otherwise.
Whether it be a new relationship or an old one, Disney is equally as enchanting. If you’re going with someone you don’t know but suspect you like, it’s only going to make you like them more. And if it’s someone you really care about, how could you not have a fabulous time?
Keep in mind, there’s no alcohol at Disneyland itself, so if you do feel like drinking (you may need to after being surrounded by so many kids all day), I’d recommend getting a park-hopper ticket so you can flit back and forth between Disney and California Adventure, where there’s beer. Passes are pricey — it’s $105 for a park-hopper pass — but the price is worth it.
And to John Stamos I say this: sir, I salute you. Your choice of venue completely blows any other guy Renee could have moved on with out of the water. How can anyone else compete with you now that you’ve not only helped her heal from her heartbreak, but allowed her to feel like a child again?
If you’re wondering about my D-land date, well, that didn’t work out — but the park isn’t to blame. In fact, the enchantment of Disney and the rose-colored glasses I wore there probably caused that relationship to linger a little longer than it should have. That said, I eagerly await the day I find someone I actually want to return with. After all, it is where dreams come true…