Disney Land, the happiest place on earth?

Disney Land, the happiest place on earth, or just more marketing nonsense? Yesterday my wife and I took our 14 month old son to Disney Land. We live not too far away and we have annual tickets or passes or whatever daft name they go by. We can use these to, a few black-out days withstanding, to come and go as we please. It’s like free, albeit with the price of an annual ticket and a $15 parking charge each time, unless we park in downtown Disney, and then we only get a max of three hours. Oh and plus any money we spend inside.

Sarcasm aside, we all know Disney is a big cash cow, it’s not like it’s doing this to donate all proceeds to charity, so why do we go there. Well it’s Disney isn’t it? It means a library of well known characters, and yes some of these are from some genuinely classic films. Really Disney land is a just a big budget fairground, filled out with these characters. There are plenty of well thought out well designed rides, which arguably vary in quality, and of course there is a lot of personal preference in this. If you have children who know some of the Disney characters (really what Disney is counting on), then for the children it genuinely is a magical place. A magical place which makes you stand around a lot, waiting.

There are big queues at Disney. The benefit, well one of, having an annual pass is that you have more options of choosing when to go in. My wife and I like to go on the less busy days primarily to avoid the bigger queues. We use an iPhone app that predicts park capacity, and choose when to go that way. The same app also usefully contains “live” updated stats on the queuing times for each ride. When in the park we can navigate using this, choosing the rides with the shorter queue times. It is really useful. I hate queuing. I hate queuing on a hot day in the California sun even less.

Still compare this to a regular fair and this is a whole lot larger and potentially more fun, albeit fun that tries to sell you merchandise at every turn. On they other hand, the toilet facilities are clean and well run, and the park itself is clean with plenty of bins. I’m not sure where I’m going with these points

As mentioned above, my boy is only 14 months so he is still some way off going getting the best of the park / rides. Still it is good for some visual stimulation and to give him some different experiences, if you like. With that in mind some favourite rides are:

  • It’s a Small World – It is slow with plenty of things for him to look at, he likes that one.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – He was a bit unsure about the drops (not sure what was happening), but he loved the cannon explosions, and the talking parrot.
  • Dumbo – He likes to see what is going on.
  • Winnie the Pooh – Little fast this one but he likes all the bright imagery.
Me I like Splash mountain but he is far too small for that. I’m not that keen on the rides that are supposed to tell a story but fire you around too fast to get with it. I’m talking about you, “Toad’s wild ride”, “Peter Pan” and similar. I think you may be able to tell I’m a bit of a cynic here. I always feel a little bit uneasy going there too often, especially when I see some of the adults going there without children, who have clearly been a lot themselves. – So happiest place on earth? I doubt it, too much queuing in the sun may put paid to that. But, on the other hand, plenty of children really enjoy the rides, characters, general things to see, and so on. Plenty of parents enjoy seeing their children, enjoy experiences, so I guess there is a lot of happy people in one place. It can be happy, it can be fun, there can be plenty of good things to do. There can be too much money to spend, too much time standing around, and too much junk to eat. It is a bit of a balance. We’ll probably be going back again soon.
N.B. Small 19th Feb update: Someone pointed out to me it was spelt DisneyLand, i.e. one word. Oh well, not to worry.

Lexicon word of the day: Niggardly (I would suggest you look up the meaning in the Lexicon list from the menu).


One comment on “Disney Land, the happiest place on earth?

  1. anne says:

    You don’t notice the long lines or crowds when you’re a kid.

feed the brain:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s