Friday, September 17, 2010

Disneyland - Thanks

As I look back at the years I've been going to the Park, I am grateful that there is a place like Disneyland in our world.
It is an odd fact that it exists, actually.
Uniquely American, it is international in its appeal.
It was creatively conceived, but delicately and precisely engineered.
A small world unto itself, it is tucked behind a large berm in the middle of modern Orange County.
From Main Street Americana to jungle rivers to ghosts and pirates, it plunges visitors into imaginative fantasy worlds that are at once real and completely made up.
I do not think it could have been built today.
The manner in which Walt and his team of artists, designers, architects and engineers went about creating, designing and then building the Park was unique to say the least.
Why is it so darn appealing, so deeply "connected," to so many people?
Nostalgia?
Escapism?
Dole Whip addiction?
Timelessness?
A powerful link to our youth?
Mint juleps?
I will never be able to frame a satisfactory answer.
Look at this silly blog.
How could one place inspire one person to post hundreds of times to four (4) people he hardly knows----(sorry, Mom, that wasn't meant for you!)?
If you told me---assuming no Disneyland existed---that I would spend time in a boat, going in a circle through jungle scenes, repeating tired old jokes to 30 to 40 people trapped on the vessel with me, and would somehow enjoy this experience enough to blog about it almost 25 years later...I think I would seriously question whether you had adequate control of your faculties. That is, I'd think you were nuts.
Most experiences in life that are repeated over and over become a bore or a chore or both.
Only truly good songs can we hear again and again, with each time sounding as great as the first time we heard it.
How many times have I been to the Park over my life?
I have really lost track.
Why is each time new and different?
Why isn't it "the same old Castle, the same old Main Street, the same boring old Matterhorn, the same old Pirates burning down the same old seaport?"
Really, if I went anywhere else on the planet as many times as I've been to the Park, I am quite sure it would get old and I would just stop going at some point.
Not Disneyland.
Not ever.
Go figure.
So, to Walt Disney, Harper Goff, Admiral Joe Fowler, X Atencio, Marc Davis, Sam McKim, Mary Blair, Marty Sklar, Tony Baxter, Bob Gurr, Rolly Crump, Claude Coats, Roger Broggie, Harriet Burns, Yale Gracey, John Hench, Herb Ryman, and the countless other talented folks who made the modern Park a real place for us to experience, I say thank you.
Thank you for this special place.
Thanks for doing the impossible because, "the impossible is fun," as Walt once famously said.
Here's to Disneyland!!

"That's all I've got to say about that." ---F. Gump

---Mike

7 comments:

heath(er) said...

Just so you know- you have five (5) readers. Not four.

Connie Moreno said...

OMG, thank you, THANK YOU for putting into words what has always been in my heart!!!

Anne said...

Agreed. Disneyland today is one of the closest things we have to magic.

JG said...

All the good memories of all the people who have visited over the years have soaked into the ground there and made it "holy" in a way. I think was enabled somehow by the care and love and perception that went into the planning and creation of the original Disneyland. The difference of this place can be felt, just as you have written, just as many of us have felt it too.

Doubt me? Go tomorrow. Stand in front of the Jungle Cruise, or on Tom Sawyers Island, or in front of the Castle. See how you feel. Then go straight to California Adventure and stand on the paradise pier, or the walkway supposed to be Cannery Row, and compare your feelings.

Your psyche will know the difference, even if your intellect doesn't want to admit it.

Is this the cranky old fogey JG? Am I becoming "new agey" or even unhinged?

Try it, and get back to me. I promise to listen.

JG

milojohn said...

I know what you mean. I love Disneyland more now than I did as a kid. It is magic.

Anonymous said...

Make that 6 people. I have been enjoying / lurking on your blog for almost a year now and I have read every single word. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I live in Minnesota and have been fortunate enough to visit Disneyland once as a child w/ parents, and once as an adult w/ my Wife. Together we have also visited the parks in Florida. I feel the DIsneyland is my favorite. The feeling of walking the paths that Walt walked evoke a feeling that can't be described. Thanks Mike for the memories.

Another grunteled reader,
AL