Happiness in Love

Disneyland: The Happiest Date Spot on Earth

By Laura Schreffler

It isn’t a secret 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 as well, and they’re even older than I am. Thus, one can conclude that Disney is a great date for those of all ages.

Celebs Renee Zellweger & John Stamos enjoy dates at Disneyland

I’ll hazard a guess here and say that part of the reason Ms. Z — recently single after splitting from boyfriend of two years Bradley Cooper — 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. She didn’t feel awkward about “dancing from ride to ride”.

I’d say they were pretty dang 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 the 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 even more romantic and whimsical 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 display, 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 (July 14) but I can’t swear to it as I’ve never seen them, so I’m sticking with old Walt D. until proven otherwise.

Whether your Disney date is part of a new relationship or an old one, the park is as equally enchanting. If you’re going with someone you don’t know very well, it’s going to heighten your sense of romance. And if it’s someone you really care about, how could you not fall even more in love with a guy that’s made sure had such a magical day?

As for Renee and John, to Uncle Jesse 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…




Filed Under: Blogs


About the Author: Laura Schreffler is a former New York Daily News columnist who left the world of celebrity behind to focus on what makes her happiest — love and travel. She is the creator of LoveTrekker.com — a website devoted to these two passions that she fondly calls “looking for love in all the right places.” In her spare time she likes to play matchmaker for her friends, dream about her next vacation and gaze at photographs of Taylor Kitsch. For more advice on love, relationships, and happiness, check out http://lovetrekker.com & her book "Internet Dating 101". And follow her here at Happiness Series with her weekly blog about finding love.

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