It turns out, Disney sequels have been successful since way back. The success of the original Date Nite at Disneyland inspired a spinoff called the Sodatime Dance. “Sodatime” was a clever marketing term for afternoon. In that spirit of cleverness and of cultivating a super sweet Valentine’s Day, we’re presenting our first Sodatime Date, because while there is much poetry to be written about the nightly lighting of Disneyland’s Main Street, its afternoon charms deserve notice as well.
No Place Like Home
The Sodatime Date on Main Street is all about immersive time travel, so slow your roll on Valentine’s Day and enjoy the turn-of-the-century atmosphere around you. Look up at the second-story windows; pretend you’re looking at your home town. Choose an apartment that would be yours if you lived there; imagine what it looks like inside. And listen to the sounds of home: of particular note is the near-constant musical serenade you and your Valentine will hear as you walk and talk through the neighborhood. The Disneyland Band plays concerts in the square, and there’s plenty of shady seating where the two of you can sit and toe-tap. The Dapper Dans will sing you on your way down the street with their barbershop quartetery. And don’t pass up the ragtime piano bouncing out of Refreshment Corner’s back yard; the players take requests and have even been known to share the ivories with talented guests – a great way to show off for your date if you’ve got the skills.
Once you’ve got the surroundings all nice and soaked in, look for some light activity. For starters, the middle of the day is the perfect time to shop the many stores that fill up in the evening. Presenting your Valentine with a token of your affection may be in order. Midday also is the right time to ride all the old-fashioned vehicles of Main Street. Honk horns, ring bells, and wave hello with your sweetheart by your side as you cruise the front of the park in fire trolleys, double-decker buses, and vintage autos. And go ahead and pet the Disneyland horses! After all, they deserve some love too! Just give the attending castmember a heads up first.
Tea for Two
If you find yourselves in need of a sarsaparilla, duck into Gibson Girl and channel your best turn-of-the-century-as-seen-from-the-mid-century teens by ordering up a root beer float with two straws. Raise your shared glass to The Music Man’s Tommy and Zaneeta and sip away. Before you head out, take notice of all the shop’s gorgeous architectural and decorative details; as a general rule, always look up for the best show when you’re indoors on Main Street – you’ll be surprised at the finery you’ve been missing!
For a Cupid-approved souvenir of your afternoon, cross over to the Silhouette Studio, where you can get your lovely profiles cut into paper together for about ten bucks. The charm!
If you’re lucky enough to be out courting without a chaperon, end your Sodatime Date on Main Street with a Vday tour of the area’s vaudeville velvet curtains. First hit the Main Street Cinema, where you can slip behind a pair of deep red ones (there may also be some Mickey Mouse cartoons playing in that darkness). Then visit the last row of seats in the Opera House. From there you can see some beautiful, dark blue curtains (and possibly an attraction about Abraham Lincoln that apparently shows after the lights dim). Happy Valentine’s Day, ya wild kids, ya!
Photo Credits: Dapper Dans and Silhouette Studio by Kevin Crone, Main Street Cinema by Michaela Hansen, both of toursdepartingdaily.com.