“Dick Van Dyke has been in my life for a long time, and continues to be a part of my children’s, grandchildren’s, and great grandchildren’s lives. He holds a huge part in my heart.” Lorraine said as she sat down with her friend Cathy for a little lunch.
The two friends had traveled to the park with a bus load of people from The Malibu Playhouse Group, where Dick Van Dyke is a creative executive producer. Once at the park, they merged with hundreds of fans all dressed to the nines in celebration of the man who continues to warm our hearts.
Dick Van Dyke Turns 90 was a full day celebration at Disneyland. The event was planned by his wife, Arlene Silver and social media account NerdPoppins. The day started off with a dedication to the legend himself at Jolly Holly. Sadly, Jolly Holly is such a small area and the umbrellas were up, leaving it extremely difficult for anyone to see what was going on.
While people shuffled and stood on tip-toes to see the morning event, fans started to line up for the big attraction. Many started to line up hours before Dick Van Dyke was to perform and fans were to serenade him back with Happy Birthday. Green tape marked the safe zone to stand, but trying to cram so many people in a small area like New Orleans Square seemed like being trapped in a Tetris Puzzle. The silver lining of being huddled closely, was everyone was talking about their love for the birthday boy.
“He has great energy,” said Sonia.
“Legend. Full of life,” said Benjamin.
Jeff proclaimed, “visionary.”
“The most joyful person to meet.” smiled Christina.
As people chimed in more and more, one word kept popping up. It actually shocked me, at how many different people who were all from different waves of life, could repeat the same word without even knowing.
Joyful. It’s a word we don’t use often to describe someone, but when thinking back there wasn’t one person that fit it better then Dick Van Dyke. Even on his 90th birthday, he was smiling like a kid in a candy store. But it wasn’t just seeing him, talking about Dick Van Dyke was enough to spread joy. When bystanders would stop to ask what was with the crowds, their faces instantly brightened as they were informed of the celebration. Others squealed in agreement as fans discussed his movies like Mary Poppins, Bye Bye Birdie, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Just talking and remembering him, had the crowds buzzing with excitement.
By the time Dick Van Dyke had shown up and the first cords were played, tears started to overwhelm a few audience members. He stood on the balcony of The Dream Suite and performed some of the top hits from Mary Poppins, including a rap break. He performed with The Vantastix, which by the way are amazing. Check out the performance below.
The day continued to be filled with more activities including a Pre-Parade Birthday Cavalcade which included characters Mary Poppins, Bert, and penguins. As well as a sing along to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”, where fans sang and paraded around home made kites. While the day will be forever cherished by everyone involved, nothing fills my heart more then Dick Van Dyke’s own words.
“When I was a kid and saw Pinocchio, I wanted to be in a Disney move. Of course that happened to me, but today is the cherry on top,” he said as he thanked the fans for coming out to celebrate his birthday. He continued, “I can’t wait for my 100th.”
We can’t either. Happy Birthday Dick Van Dyke and thank you for keeping us laughing, singing, and dancing. Your youth and joy continue to spread across generations.