So I grew up in Northern California and came down south as a youngster for only 1 reason. The County of Orange boasted the larger than life site that previous to my parents generation was only good for the soils ability to grow citrus. That and a handful of surfers who made Huntington Beach famous as Surf City, USA. What I can tell you is that I never came down to watch the Angels or the Dodgers play. And it wasn't for the Lakers either. Heck, we didn't even care that much about visiting the beach. We had them up north. All I knew about beaches as a kid, was that they were windy even on sunny days and the water was cold. Little did I know. No the only interest I had coming down here was to fulfill all my preteen dreams of going to Disneyland. It was magic coming as a 12 year old kid for the first time. Pure magic. Even Josh and I got along at Disneyland, and for us at that age, that was saying something. Everywhere you looked there were exciting things going on. Rides, roller coasters, Star Tours, Michael Jackson as Captain EO(at the time the most expensive movie per minute ever produced). Yes Walt Disney was a genius in my 12 year old mind. Pure genius.
But the next time I went, I was kind of bumbed. The rides weren't as good as Great America. This one girl in my high school only wore Disney character clothing, and I thought it was pretty much lame. Disneyland was pretty far away. I think it might have rained while we were there. Star Tours was old school, and I am pretty sure Michael Jackson was sleeping with little boys. The Magic had faded. The place disappointed me. The coolest thing about that trip was that I got to be with some of my best friends in high school. Second to that the Oakland A's stayed at the same hotel as we did and I got a glass that Rickey Henderson drank out of. (Probably still in my parents attic somewhere)
So fast forward to about 12 years in the future. I now have 3 kids, a 6 year old, 3 year old and 11 month old. We moved about an hour from Disneyland this past year, decided to get season passes and my life has changed. I no longer see Disneyland through a punk teenagers eyes, but through the eyes of a 6 year old princess, and a 3 year old adventurer. I love seeing my kids get excited when they see Mickey or Snow White or Mary Poppins. Their innocent eyes wonder in amazement at the magic of It's a Small World. Pirates of the Caribbean takes them through a strange nighttime adventure in the middle of the day. The Tiki room has real birds that sing. Everything about this place is magic to them. It is amazing. I love it. Whenever we have a weekday off and no holiday, we are there. I cant get enough of it. It is the strangest and most unexpected thing. Even Kim thinks I am kind of weird, cuz I get so stoked to go. To me it is a place where a kid can just have that magic that only kids really get to have. The magic of Christmas, before you know about Santa. Before they get old and it no longer holds that wonder and amazement. Yes, to my children, it is everything great about being a kid. Hanging out with Mom and Dad, getting some treats and exploring a 100% kid wonderland.
I am not a real big drama or theater person, and most of the guys that work there seem much too gay to not be on your guard when you were around them. But I could really see myself working there someday. I would probably like to just walk around the park wearing a light blue and white striped pair of pants, white shirt and a matching tie and engineer hat. I could just pick up garbage. Seriously. I could be one of those people who knew everything about the park, and when you asked me where a bathroom is, I could tell you everything you don't want to know about the rides not to miss and the best attractions and the history of Walt Disney himself. That would be sweet. Again, don't think I am kidding. I have had this thought. It would probably have to wait until I am retired or independently wealthy, whichever comes first. But right now it is right up there with my other retirement dream of being a fisherman in Jamaica. Either one would be alright.
As for Mr Disney. Well, lets just say he has regained his genius stature. Nice work Walt.