…Adrift at sea, once again. No sign of land nor a sweet westerly kiss as we search for a treasure far beyond value…
As entertaining as it may be to write this “Captain’s BLog” via the voice of our beloved Captain Jack, the result would not honor the magnitude of the day…this day, the 17th day of July in the year 2020: Disneyland’s 65th anniversary! Buckle in, stow your belongings beneath your seats, no flash photography and Please Remain Seated, Permanezca Sentados Por Favor!
Rest assured that this journey will not delve into the details of opening day, nor will it speak of the current closure. To do so, would be to read the first page of a book, “To my dearest Carl…” then flip to the last page, “…Adventure is out there!” and in doing so miss all the pages between regaling a Sixty-Five-Year quest for magic, memories, and hidden Mickeys? (By the way, a query for the math junkies: Considering that earth has 365 days per year, plus some leap years in there, minus 4 documented closures, how many days has Disneyland created magic considering that the Monorail left the station heading East at 7:06 am? The answer is over 23,000 days! I tell ya, if they had a nickel for each of those days, they would be verrrrryyy…wait, never mind.) Apologies for the digression, sometimes this rickety ol’ train jumps a thunderous track…where was I?....Oh yes:
On milestones such as an anniversary (which this is the Sapphire Anniversary if you want to buy Minnie something pretty to wear), I ask you to pause and total how many days you have attended a Disney Park. Some seem to live there, and some have seen it but once, yet we all share a warmth in our hearts for each magic hour. These are the in-between pages in the book I speak of. Chapter after chapter Disneyland has been the setting for so many stories: family reunions, baby’s first vacation, birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, proposals and more. It has also helped us heal after a torrential storm at work, a divorce, or a loved one lost. What is this magnet that draws us in? What will sway us from a first-time visit to one of thousands of great destinations on this planet and instead queue us at the Maingate to experience something that we likely have already seen a dozen times over? Let us fly over to the park and find out...now where did I place the dust from that leaf-wearing pixie?!?
Close your eyes and imagine your favorite spot inside the park. Is it a ride, a restaurant, a parade? What music is playing, what smell is in the air, what colors do you see? Are you experiencing laughter, excitement, or a sudden drop? Did simply imagining this spot for a brief moment lighten your heart? What you just felt is possibly the closest definition of “Magic”. It’s a feeling that words can do no justice, yet a word that cannot be defined except by feeling. Disney Parks go to great lengths to make sure that surreality IS reality. That the show stage is boundless. Where else is every worker, manager, technician, server, and photographer be classified as a Cast Member? Cynics will say that they can see through it all to the money machine beneath it…and oh how easy that would be. Yet to believe the magic….to believe would be an awfully big adventure. For in sweet surrender, we can parlay with pirates, fly upon an elephant, sing with the dead, soar over London, float along a jungle river, twirl with a princess, and battle galactic villains all within a single day (perhaps even more if we know how to Fastpass)!
Next time you plan your visit, book the flight, the hotel, the dining reservation and inevitably hold that magic ticket in your hand...pause to feel the rush and excitement of what is to come. What will that next page in your Disneyland book read as? And when you stand upon that great blank page of wonder and possibility, pay homage to all those who made imagination jump from the page prior. Pay respect to our predecessors who introduced us to this magnificent place. Raise your glass, cheers their name, .....and drink-up me hearties Yo Ho!!!"
"Happy Anniversary Disneyland,
Thank you for all the Wonder Walt Disney!"
PS: Anyone is welcome to write and send his Captain’s bLog to: firstname.lastname@example.org in word & doc format (500 or so words, no .pdf) along with photos if any (his/hers to be posted and/or illustration ones). We will publish them regularly with sometimes priority to blogs related to the “fandom of the moment (FTM).”