After spending my second afternoon at Disneyland, I took the monorail back out to Downtown Disney and had dinner at Catal, a Mediterranean restaurant I'm rather fond of. It's nice to be able to relax a bit and enjoy a nice meal and a drink while I'm out visiting the parks. (And the next two nights were only going to be upping the ante on this.) I let myself indulge in foods I don't normally eat anymore, including some lovely bread, sangria, and even a yummy chocolate/peanut-butter dessert. But that wasn't going to be it; I had plans for the night.
I headed back into the park (which, with all the lights and holiday decor, is even more lovely after a glass of wine) and enjoyed sampling my way through a number of my favorite attractions. (At one point, I also rode through the Snow White dark ride with a group of three other people who I think were about mid-twenties. One woman in the group asked if she could sit with me, and I said "sure", so they piled in. She said the two of us were up front, which "is obviously the best place." I deadpanned, "Yeah, but the witch might get us." Sometimes you can make weird connections with total strangers while on a Disney vacation.)
But as it came up towards the nightly fireworks display, it was time to start rolling out my plans for celebrating Christmas right. I hadn't indulged too much in holiday treats before I'd come, but I knew that Christmas celebrations would still be in full swing at the resort, and I planned to enjoy some cookies, gingerbread, hot chocolate, and eggnog while I was there, if I could find them. The last time I visited, I also discovered a wonderful idea: It may be worth standing out on Main Street to watch the fireworks display one night so you can get a good view (like I did the previous night), but it's not very comfortable to stand there and watch. If you go back on a later night and sit yourself somewhere out of the main line of sight, you can see and hear most of the show, while parked at table at a closed cafe or someplace similar, and munch on some lovely dessert at the same time. So this time it was going to be Christmas treats, and particularly gingerbread, which I knew they had. I headed out to a bakery on Main Street about 45 minutes before the fireworks, and eventually ordered a gingerbread cookie, an iced snowman shortbread cookie (on a whim), and a cup of hot cocoa. Everything was eventually wrapped up and passed to me, and worked my way out into Frontierland (feeling a bit like a salmon as I fought my way through a heavy crowd moving the other direction) and eventually found myself a table just as the Christmas-themed fireworks were starting. I was just thinking, "How perfect is this?" as I unwrapped my cookies, and discovered the bakery gave me a Mickey Mouse cookie instead of a gingerbread cookie. (Or maybe it was gingerbread also. I did see online that someone was claiming there was a Mickey Mouse gingerbread cookie which was coated in chocolate, and that the chocolate helped offset the strong taste of the gingerbread. But the point was I wanted the cookie to taste like gingerbread and not have the taste "offset.") I tried the impostor cookie, but it didn't taste like anything I cared for, so I abandoned it and ate the shortbread cookie, drank the cocoa, and watched the fireworks. (Which left plenty of time for some additional attraction visits before the park closed at midnight, but that's another story.)
But at the end of all this, I still didn't have my gingerbread. I tried going back around to the various bakeries on Main Street the next night, and none of them seemed to have any. And I thought, "Dammit, I am getting gingerbread!", so I tried once more two days later, earlier in the day, and finally found some. And when I ordered it, I actually got it! Hurray! So I still had my Disney Christmas, although a bit more spaced out. (Although I never could find anyplace that had eggnog, weirdly enough. I figured they must have that too, but no such luck.)