To all who come to this happy place: Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America, with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world. –Walt Disney, in his Disneyland dedication, July 1955
Covered: older folks, reliving fond memories of the past. Covered: youth who wish to look toward a promising, challenging future and feel they are continuing in a great American tradition. It’s true–I see it in the enjoyment my parents in law experience in the music, theater, historical and cultural tribute to the era of their youth, the happy version. My children see lovely colors, listen to uplifting music from Disney films that stir the emotions, quell fears, gently stimulate a moderately adventuresome spirit. Parades, roving entertainment and smiling, silent Disney characters waving and posing for pictures make boredom impossible. Rides are all completely safe, landings soft, and once admission is paid, free to whomever lines up in the queues which are so carefully managed so that one hardly feels any sense of delayed gratification. The pleased and appeased expressions on the many faces of the other folks strolling in pairs and small groups all over the clean-swept, sunny streets rein in any possible feelings of anxiety or discomfort caused by sore feet, conflicting ride plans, the heat, concession stand and souvenir prices. Sitting on a park bench one may watch a water spout concert, the thrilled expressions on the faces of little girls being blown kisses by a Disney princess, or just others looking happy.
I feel the effects of Disneyland’s attempt to inspire me and make me happy, along with all three generations of my family here. Three full days, nothing much beyond breakfast at the hotel with all the other vacationers, Disneyland until we’re all tired, then shuttle home, supper and bed. As usual I want to write a little at least, and I am groping for thoughts submerged in my mind, somehow reluctant to come to the surface. I was told I would love Disneyland. I want to be in a happy place, right? Don’t we all?