Monday, August 25, 2008

Inspiration Tuesday

"Hi, my name is Tina and I'm a Disney fan."

Yes, it is true, I like Disney. More specifically, I admire Walt Disney and his creations, Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

I never visited Disneyland as a child; my first experience was that of a 27-year-old adult. The world of Disney opened my heart and eyes much like a child's. A feeling of safety, of joy and of wonder is a good experience of any lifetime. The video included at the end of this post is one of my favorites on YouTube. I love it because it's a such a great collage of video clips from another ordinary persons adventures at Disneyland. Notice I said adventures? That's what it's about when we visit's not just another amusement park, it's a place for wonder and adventures for everyone!

Chris and I have no children and because of this our family does not understand why we would choose Disneyland as a favorite vacation destination. Many adults think that Disneyland is just a place for kids to have fun. Because it is an amusement park, the singular attraction must be the thrill rides. Disneyland is about so much more than the rides and is definitely not just for kids. From the moment you walk onto Main Street, USA, you are believer. Deny it all you want, but take a ride on the Disneyland Railroad to Tomorrowland and you'll be whirling around on the Astro Orbiter faster than a 5-year-old can say "Mickey Mouse"!

Admittedly, arguments have been made against Disney's mass-marketing and commercialism but for those who look past the corporate mechanics, Disney is about more than media, consumer products or theme parks with rides. It is about entertainment, and teaching by entertaining is an effective way to bring knowledge.

Some would say that a vacation to Disney equals a very high price tag. As an almost all-inclusive destination, however, the Disney experience provides a lot of bang for the buck. Where else can you go that has so much to do--theme parks, shopping, dining, adult nightlife, interactive theatres, history, world cultures (EPCOT), technical innovations, world-class architecture, Broadway quality stage shows, elaborate parades, top-notch fireworks and laser displays, award-winning golf courses, water parks, and Cirque du Soleil, La Nouba--all in one place?

Once upon a time, drawing a tiny mouse, an idealist believed that he could change the world so he bought an orange grove and built his dreams. Disneyland and Walt Disney World embody altruism, idealism and capitalism at it's best--the very epitome of the definition of Americanism. It is a source of joy and imagination. At Disney, the bad is forgotten and good seems to conquer evil. Wide-eyed excitement is seen in the faces of children and adults from all walks of life. You can see that they seek the same thing as you--fantasy, adventure and a magical experience to take them away from their everyday lives, if only for a few hours or days.

Different cultures become one as we forget the troubles of the real world all around us. It is a place where people of all ages visit to have fun in a world that is sometimes much too serious. Serious is good, but so is fun and a balance of both is the best. Walt Disney built a place that helps us to laugh, to think, to dream, and to do--not just in Anaheim, but wherever we are--no matter what race, religion, gender or age you might be.

Disneyland's cultural impact on society has been woven into our daily lives, from learning to use your imagination to innovative technologies that could improve society. The greatest influence of the parks that Walt built have been in his positive view of the future. Disney managed to find ways to appeal to kids and to the kid in all of us. He used money to create magnificent parks and ground-breaking films that have generated millions of careers and made people's lives richer. Walt summed it up best in his dedication speech on opening day, July 15, 1955:

"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 which have created America with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."

Color photos displayed in this post by Chris & Tina of Pfeiffer Photos copyright 2008. Black and white photo of Walt Disney is copyright protected and used by permission.


Judy Evans said...

This is a great post - It's long, but I loved every word of it and you kept me interested all the way.

I love that you weren't afraid to touch on negitive perceptions of Disneyland and were able to turn it into positives!

Great Job!

Barbra said...

Wonderful post! Disney should put you in their travel brochures! And I totally agree. I am in awe of Disney and all his creations and those who have kept the dream alive.

Rachel said...

Love that balcony shot!

saffron said...

Wow what beautiful photos of Disneyland. I'm also a huge Disneyland fan. Although I grew up a mile away and spent a lot of time there. And now that I have a son, I love going still. I'm lucky my mom is still in the neighborhood, because I'm now 2 hours away.

Pfeiffer Photos said...

judy: Thanks! Much of it was borrowed from an essay I wrote for a writing class on definition argument. My argument, of course, that DL is not just for the kids. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

barbra: I can feel Walt at DL every time we visit. Thanks for the compliments!

rachel: Thanks...New Orleans Square is my fave land at DL..especially at Christmas.!

saffron: Thank you! Wish I knew someone that lived that close to DL...would be great!

Darren said...

Nobody's ever too old for Disneyland!

Pfeiffer Photos said...

darren: You said it--it inspires me everytime we visit! :0) ~tina

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