I love Disneyland. Really. I love it.
(Not Disney California Adventure, not Disneyworld Florida. Disneyland, the original, in Anaheim CA).
I love how when I go there now, I can go straight back to being a little girl growing up in Orange County. Because while so much in that area has changed, Disneyland is the one place from back then that is preserved. That I know I can always come back to, and it will be the same.
I love how the teacups are still there, and the Dumbo ride is still there, and the train is still there. The pirates are still there. New Orleans Square and Main Street and the Jungle Cruise are still there. I love how the music still sounds the same. I love how it doesn’t change. (Except that they took out the Country Bears Jamboree. I’m slightly irked about that.) (But replaced it with Winnie the Pooh, and I do love Pooh Bear. A lot).
I know there are so many arguments to be made about corporate profit, the way management has been transferred, long lines, crowded parks, expensive food… Yeah I know. But they don’t love Disneyland with the heart of a six year old girl. Yeah that’s me.
I love Walt. I love that he looked around at a world weary from world wars, that was hungry for something joyful, and he wanted to build a miniature land where people could come and be filled with wonder and imagination. And he did it. He wanted to make worn out people like me be able to come and feel like their six year old selves. And he did it.
When Disneyland first opened, my Grandfather was the train conductor. I love telling this story because it makes me proud. Walt Disney would ride the train around after hours and make character sketches that he would give my grandfather. I love Disneyland.
It was the first thing that made me want to explore the world. It made me want to have big dreams. So happy birthday to you.