Progress City: How Disneyland Anaheim continues to show pride

I have a contact. We met online, on Ebay actually, but we've moved on in our relationship to email now.

I say "relationship", but it's probably more accurate to say that Lisa is my dealer; my Disneyana dealer. I email her about a new piece of merchandise I've seen previewed online that will begin being stocked in Disneyland in Anaheim and she picks it up for me on her next trip to the park and I pay her and she ships it to the UK. It helps this Disney fanatic last a little longer between trips and has been great for getting fellow Disney friends some great gifts, including personalised wedding ears for a Disney loving bestie. 

This week I received another care package from Lisa, and as I was unwrapping it and looking through the extras she'd included (there's always a branded plastic bag, some badges and a latest park map), I finally got to the items I'd ordered and realised quite how special Disneyland in California is. 

This is what I'd ordered:

 Hipster Mickey sold separately 

Hipster Mickey sold separately 

A lot of blogs had covered the PrideEars recently made available in Disneyland Anaheim in advance of the summer pride season (our own city's Pride Weekend begins next Saturday) and I'd thought what great additions they'd make to my collection of Ears; when you've visited every Disney park on Earth, you collect a lot of ears! 

But it wasn't until I got them out the box and held them, that I realised quite how wonderful Disneyland in Anaheim actually is. Yes, I know it's a massive corporate machine and they're clearly banking on the pink pound (or dollar in this instance) for a bit of extra revenue this summer, but holding this item in my hand took me back to the few days I spent on my honeymoon in Anaheim back in spring 2015 and how Californian Disneylanders made me and David feel so happy and normal, to use a description I dislike, regarding the celebration of our nuptials. 

Our trip to Disneyland wasn't our first park visit by a long shot, so we knew what to do in order to feel special:

  • Go to City Hall, get a celebration badge
  • Go to the hat store, get some personalised wedding ears
  • Have your really long new surname almost break the sewing machine!
 Obligatory partners wedding photo

Obligatory partners wedding photo

The ears were a great choice. Random congratulations from passers-by, smiles, extra pours at wine tasting, and even front of the line access on a couple of rides from cast members who were feeling particularly celebratory! 

 Disney, recognising marriage equality, have since updated the Just Married badge to a genderless "Happy Ever After" design. 

Disney, recognising marriage equality, have since updated the Just Married badge to a genderless "Happy Ever After" design. 

We also got badges each to wear: "I'm Celebrating" and "Just Married". The marriage badge had a Cinderella and Prince Charming design which we just ran with and wore both days we visited. We were two grown adults wearing Mickey shirts and ears by this point, a badge with a Princess on actually added to our look! 

On the second day, we were in Disney California Adventure Park at the time, an older guy came up to us and congratulated us on our wedding. He saw us wearing the princess badges and smiled adding, "you know, I don't think we've long to wait before you'd be able to get one of those with a Mickey and a Mickey." 

It was his voice I heard as I held these new rainbow ears in my hand. He was right.

 I'm very excited to wear these in a park sometime soon. 

I'm very excited to wear these in a park sometime soon. 

You'll get an idea of what it's like to be part of an LGBTQ couple touring a Disneyland Park from David's write up on Shanghai Disneyland. Inquisitive looks to people pointing and even requests for photographs depending on where in the world we happen to be. But in Anaheim, it was nothing but something to celebrate. And as I displayed my PrideEars at home, it made me love the original all that more.