Kevin here. Disneyland is nicknamed “The Happiest Place On Earth” for a darn good reason, I think. It simply makes people happy. The cynical among us would scoff at such sugary sappiness, but whenever I am in the park, I feel rejuvenated as if I have been given an elixir of life. To me, Disneyland isn’t about cynicism, hipster irony, or corporations run a muck. No. It’s about smiles, and children laughing, and adults reliving the joys of their childhood. How could anyone see anything but beauty in that?
So, in the spirit of the people who love Disneyland, I give you a list of things about the park that I have loved in my life, and hopefully you love some of these same things, too. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s one I hope you will enjoy. So, here goes.
Disneyland happiness means…
…E-ticket rides. You can’t spell “excitement” without three e’s, or rather, three E-ticket rides.
…The Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland (where Big Thunder Mountain resides.) One of my earliest memories of the park.
…Hearing Snow White’s singing voice echo in the wishing well at The Snow White Grotto.
…Main Street. Just the whole vibe is amazing.
…The old Penny Arcade on Main Street that had authentic mutoscopes from the turn of the 20th century that showed flip-books of filmed scenes for a coin.
…The old two-level Starcade in Tomorrowland that always had the latest, greatest video games. I spent many rolls of quarters there in my day.
…The Haunted Mansion. This and Pirates of the Caribbean are two of the greatest rides that Disneyland has ever created.
…Flying over London and Neverland in Peter Pan’s Flight always makes me feel like a kid filled with wonder again.
…Pulling on the bendable, bamboo ceiling support in the Indiana Jones ride queue. When the ride was new, spikes would slowly emerge from the ceiling and it would descend a few inches to dramatic effect. Very cool memory.
…The original Submarine Voyage. I never got to see the live divers and mermaids, but the ride was so cool, that I can only imagine what it must have been like to see a real person waving at our sub as it passed by.
…The Mission to Mars ride. Oh sure. The ride looked like the inside of a giant washing machine, but for those of us who imagined traveling to faraway places, this was the ultimate trip.
…Tom Sawyer’s Island, which was, essentially, a place where you just turned your kids loose and let them play. What fun!
…CircleVision 360. Being the huge movie nerd that I am, how could I possibly resist a 360 degree movie? Yes, you had to stand for the entire movie, and it didn’t help that you might have had really aching feet during the show, but it was one of the most unique movie experiences I have ever had, and I miss that attraction very much.
…Holidays at the park. Nothing beats the Halloween and Xmas at the Happiest Place on Earth. Everything is decorated, the music is all seasonal, and even some of the rides are changed to have a holiday theme. And the climax of the fireworks at night during the Holiday period brings nightly snowfall. All in Southern California, no less. Nothing short of magical.
That’s enough for now. Thanks for reading. What are your favorite Disneyland moments, past and present? Let us know in the comments.