Celebrating Mickey’s Birthday and Holidays at Disneyland

Photos by Charly SHELTON
Impromtu parades at Disneyland celebrated Mickey’s 90th birthday.


Last weekend, a legend celebrated a milestone. Mickey Mouse debuted on Nov. 18, 1928 in the cartoon short “Steamboat Willie,” which makes him 90 years old as of last Sunday. And for the main Mouse’s birthday, Disneyland threw a big party. After months of teasing it out, a special art exhibition in New York and several TV specials on ABC to celebrate, Mickey’s big day was finally met at the original Disney Park with special events, special merchandise and special food items.

The big-ticket item for everyone waiting in hours-long lines was the Mickey Mouse sipper, a cup shaped like Mickey with a birthday hat straw. In Disney California Adventure, lines for the sipper stretched from Mortimer’s Market (the first fruit stand inside the park) on Buena Vista Street all the way to Grizzly Peak Airfield, where the end of the line met the end of another line for a different sales point, Smokejumpers Grill. The first three hours of the day saw a park full of people in lines, but it was worth it for the cute little sipper that was sold for one-day only – a special birthday souvenir for those in attendance. The rest of the day was filled with impromptu parades, band concerts and meeting Mickey at his house to wish him well on his big day.

Mickey and Minnie by the Christmas tree.

Other than it being a very special birthday, this weekend also saw the holidays at the Disneyland Resort in full swing. The annual celebration of the winter holidays took over Disneyland and Disney California Adventure last week and runs through Jan 8, 2019. The castle is covered in snowy lights, a 60-foot-tall Christmas tree dominates Town Square on Main Street U.S.A., and It’s A Small World is all aglow in twinkling LED lights for the season as the ride enters its holiday theme overlay. Holiday time at Disneyland is a holiday tradition for many families across the country and especially for those in Southern California who are within a couple of hours drive of the resort. From taking pictures in front of the tree to seeing the new gingerbread house each year in the Haunted Mansion Holiday, there are Disney classics around every corner.

One new aspect of the celebration has quickly become a holiday tradition as much as any other – the Festival of Holidays at Disney California Adventure, now in its third year. This food, drink and live entertainment festival features a dozen booths across the Paradise Park area, each offering food and drinks inspired by the traditions from around the world, done up to be the best and most creative possible version of the dish. Holiday ham shanks with brown sugar pineapple glaze for Christmas, turkey and stuffing tamale with cranberry relish for Navidad, lox and everything bagel nachos for Hanukkah, cornbread cakes with braised collard greens and smoked bacon gravy for Kwanzaa, and chana masala with grilled garlic naan for Diwali, just to name a few.

This festival is half the reason to make the trip. And with prices in the range from $4 to $9 for most foods, these tapas-sized bites can build up to a full meal for a very unique dinner.

Whether it’s the classic holiday traditions, like the tree and castle, or the new favorites, like the Festival of Holidays, there is something for everyone at Disneyland.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort run now through Jan 8, 2019. For more information on this and all the holiday offerings at the Disneyland Resort, visit DisneyParksBlog.com.