Thursday, April 14, 2011

Photostory Friday: A different kind of place

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

It's different than everywhere else, and I keep asking myself why?

Walking through the tunnel, into the Disneyland Park, feels different.

I find myself at a bit of a loss for words in trying to describe the experience.

It feels right.

It feels magical.

It feels like home.

But why? Why is Disneyland different than other places? Why do I sometimes find myself homesick for a place 700 miles from where I live?

I've always been a fan of Disney in general, and of Walt himself in particular. If ever there was a man who embodied the American notion that with a lot of imagination and hard work, your dreams really can come true, it was Walt Disney. He spent his life creating and dreaming and improving. He went from cartoonist to media executive to urban planner, always plussing, always dreaming bigger.

And in 1955, in an old orange grove in Anaheim California, Walt opened Disneyland. And nothing was ever the same.

In Disneyland, they can speak, with not a hint of irony, of wishes granted and dreams coming true, and we believe them. When you're there, riding through the landscape of Walt's imagination, watching Princesses and Dragons and Mice and Lions come to life, and immersing yourself in the curious atmosphere of nostalgia and anticipation -- all that was wonderful, and all that is yet possible -- you believe that your dreams can come true.

That they ARE coming true.

The thing is, it's not dreams of riches or luxury or of an easy life, or of fame or power that are coming true. It's a very simple dream, one that we all share.

It's the dream of happiness -- real happiness --  the kind of joy that is born of love and memories and long association, and the knowledge that we are lucky to have one another.

After all, Walt didn't call his kingdom the "coolest place on earth", or the "most fun place on earth..."

He called it the Happiest Place on Earth.

And that's what sets Disneyland apart from all other places, why it feels like home. It's a place dedicated to happiness.

As I walk that magical park with my family, I find myself smiling so much that it almost hurts, and as I look around at those dearest to my heart, I see the same thing on each of their faces -- in the steps they take and the words that they speak. 

They are happy, and that is a dream come true.


Cecily R said...

Ohhhhhh I haven't been in so long!! I think it's a must that we go soon...before Evie decides being a princess isn't the coolest best thing ever anymore.

4 Lettre Words said...

We are huge fans of Disney, too! In fact, we head down every other year. You can deny the magic.

kayerj said...

great story, I've only been once in my life when I was 8. I remember small world, the haunted mansion, pirates and the submarine ride. But I remember the trip to Tijauna more vividly than Disneyland. Now there was a culture shock for an 8 year old.

{krista} said...

I've never been... thus my kids have never been... we have to find magic the old fashioned ways, I guess. ;)

Adrianne said...

I loved going to DisneyLand! My kids have never been, but one of these Day's.... they will get the chance to go!! Did you go over Spring Break?!

Anonymous said...


Sheri said...

I am head over heels in love with all things Disney. I was lucky enough to be taken, along with about 13 of my cousins, by my grandparents and one aunt and uncle when I was about 5 (we went to Disney World in Florida). I CANNOT wait to take our 3 kids someday :) I love Walt, I love Mickey, I love the old Mickey Mouse Clubhouse shows, I love it all.

Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? said...

My oldest is dying to go to one of the parks..I know it will happen soon! It's so not my thing, but I know I will love seeing it through their eyes.

Emmy said...

Now I want to go to Disney! Enjoy your time there!

Kelly Deneen Raymond said...

Truly magical. Love it! :)