Tag: Disneyland

Disney Imagineering

During our trip to Disneyland my younger brother recommended the Imagineering Story on Disney+. I enjoy behind the scene documentaries and looking into the writing process, movie-making, and other creative endeavors, so I decided to give it a try and brush up on my Disney history.

My wife and I watched the first two episodes last night. It’s an excellent documentary that takes an in depth look at the creation of Disneyland and the small team of creative geniuses who came up with all of the magic. It’s really cool seeing the creative chaos and almost manic creation that went into opening the first park. How everything was made custom, decisions happened on the spot, and everything was improvised or created from scratch.

The first episode focused on Walt Disney coming up with the Disneyland idea, getting it funded, and building the theme park in the middle of nowhere at that time, Anaheim. Interesting to look back at Disney as a small company, Orange County as a backwoods, and every Walt Disney idea as a far-flung pipe dream.

While watching these guys improvise and build this park basically by hand I was struck with the realization that Disneyland could not be built today. 1950-60s U.S. was at its peak or creativity and innovation. If Walt Disney tried to build Disneyland today he would never get past the basic pitch. The amount of red-tape, insurance, government interference, regulation, inspection, and obscene taxation, is unbelievable and insurmountable by anyone but the biggest multi-billion corporations. Opening a small restaurant or bar in California is a nearly impossible endeavor, let alone trying something like Disneyland with its massive scale and quirky innovation.

It’s sad to reflect on the fact that we live in sclerotic time, buried in bureaucratic over-regulation and creative stagnation.

A Visit to the House of Mouse

This week I started my two week vacation before I fly out with Uncle Sam’s construction club for the next seven months. My wife and I wanted to do something fun, memorable, and special with the kid before I left, so we decided on a two day Disneyland trip.

Both of us grew up close to Disneyland, I grew up about 20 minutes away, so we went there regularly. My wife and I had annual passes a few years ago and we would go just for coffee and fireworks on random evenings. But, that was years ago before we moved to San Diego and Japan.

We decided to do the two day hotel trip. We were weary of how much Disneyland the kid could take, she’s only 20 months and has the attention span of a 20 month old. We figured that we would check out a few things, hang out in the hotel, then go back and forth between hotel and park based on her mood.

We were wrong. This kid is a warrior. She loved it, went on so many rides and wanted to see and do everything. She didn’t have breakdowns and was able to handle everything the park threw at her. We even rode Dumbo three times in a row because she loved it so much.

Disneyland was awesome as a kid, really fun as an adult, but truly magical as a parent bringing your kid for the first time. The cast was so great with her, she got to meet Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Gaston, Ariel, and my favorite Tinkerbell. It was excellent and I’m looking forward to going back in the future.

Nothing is better than watching your kid be happy.

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