Redefining 30: The Happiness Year

Thirty gets a bad rap. There seems to be an unspoken agreement that once you hit 30, you’re “old.” I don’t remember anyone freaking out about their 20th birthday. But now that I’m the age where a lot of my friends are hitting 30 – which, if you’re paying attention, means I’ll soon be there too – fear of aging seems to be setting in all around.

Which is why I love that Tokyo Disneyland chose “The Happiness Year” as the theme for their 30th anniversary. Why must 30 induce such neurosis among the late 20’s crowd? Why do we need before 30 bucket lists, and all the rest? Why not refashion 30 as something to look forward to, something to celebrate?

Last month my husband Jordan turned 30, and in the months leading up to it he was getting pretty depressed about it. So, with the help of some generous family donors, I took him on a surprise birthday trip to his favourite place in Japan: Tokyo Disneyland. There’s nothing better than sharing a birthday with The Happiest Place On Earth!

Jordan with the "30" Disneyland sign

How many people get to be birthday buddies with Disneyland?

Brass band playing in front of the Disney castle.

As we entered the park first thing in the morning we were greeted epically by a brass band. Happiness ensued.

Disneyland wouldn't be Disneyland without the costumes, so we got ourselves some tails! It took some getting used to, I kept feeling like I was being followed... I think I now understand more how cats feel half the time.

Disneyland wouldn’t be Disneyland without the costumes, so we got ourselves some tails! It took some getting used to, I kept feeling like I was being followed… I think I now understand more how cats feel half the time.

Jordan wearing a cheshire cat hat

I succeeded in getting Jordan to be tail buddies with me, but I couldn’t convince him to get the hat.

On the Splash Mountain log ride.

Riding Splash Mountain! Jordan takes pride in his stoic roller coaster look.

Posing, soaking wet, in front of Splash Mountain

I was a very wet Tigger after Splash Mountain!

The Lost River Delta and Indiana Jones ride in the distance.

The Lost River Delta in Tokyo Disney Sea, that’s home to Indiana Jones: Temple of the Chrystal Skull.

Mickey Mouse waffle

It only took us five days (including the last time we were at TDL) to find proper breakfast in the park. Ironically, though, in Japan waffles are considered dessert, and we had to wait until an hour after open to get them!

Toy Story Mania entrance

One of the newest rides, where you get to play a bunch of mini games shooting suction cup guns during the ride. Actually super fun!

The entrance to Pooh's Hunny Hunt

This was a ride I didn’t expect to enjoy as much as I did. It is unique in that it is trackless, very cool!

Donald in an R2-D2 costume

Star Wars meets Disney and this is what is born. The new “Star Tours” ride is pretty cool. It always seemed like it was trying to be Star Wars anyways, so now it can!

Jordan poses under the "30" sign at the Disney castle.

I think by the end of the trip Jordan came to terms with being 30. It’s not so bad when you get your own castle!

We pose with the castle in the background.

On our third and last day we took this one final picture. Goodbye Disneyland! Thanks for sharing your Year of Happiness!

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4 thoughts on “Redefining 30: The Happiness Year

  1. Pingback: I’m 29! Really! On Age-Pride and Age-Aversion | Breaking Moulds

  2. I like this post! And I LOVE Disneyland! I think we should ALL redefine where we are at in our lives! Regardless of age, rut, etc. EVERY year should be the year of happiness! Oh Disney, how wonderful you are… Thanks and Happy Tuesday!

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