I’m one of those people. I love Disneyland.
I love going to Disneyland just for my own enjoyment. Because yes, I’m 30 and I don’t have kids yet and I realize that with those credentials I may be considered (by some) to be a little bit insane for loving Disneyland the way I do, but I don’t care.
Growing up in Southern California, you have the opportunity to go to Disneyland quite a bit. It becomes an annual treat as a child, then it becomes a place for Grad Nights and the possibility for playful flirtation with Disneyland employees as a teen. It was a place where my older brother and I could roam free, away from our parents, we’d pretend the park was our very own little microcosm – ours for the taking – A place where it did seem like magic could happen.
I was fascinated by the folklore of the place. The tunnels under the park, Club 33, the deaths that had happened there (which were so hurriedly covered up) the shenanigans of the employees – I wanted to know all about the seedy underbelly of the happiest place on earth.
Then when I got a bit older, it became a place to take my boyfriends. We could be silly together, childish even, yet I still found it romantic and full of possibilities. I felt charming at Disneyland, like I was able to show off a side of myself that I normally kept close to my vest – A hopeful, youthful, joyful side. It’s always there, but it often gets buried with the day to day drudgery.
It then became a place of escapism for me and my husband. A place to go to forget the real world for a while, on those far too often occasions when we didn’t have the time off work to get away to somewhere more exotic and, uh, adult I guess.
It still feels like the natural place to go when I want to escape. I associate it with so many happy times – countless trips where I laughed all day, and wore ridiculous outfits and sang songs, and smiled into the sunshine, and bought over-priced food and merchandise. And even though I know it’s cheesy and fake, I can’t shake it’s importance to me.
I still love Disneyland.