Since Daniel Lorey’s controversial post Why Disneyland is NOT the Happiest Place on Earth caused public outrage (seriously, I heard there were riots with people flipping over cars and stuff) and thousands of searing hate e-mails (along with old school, physical mail written with cut out letters of the alphabet from magazines), I thought it was appropriate to defend Disneyland, a place that I dearly love now and forever, with this post.
You see, I grew up in Southern California. Knott’s Berry Farm is a ten minute drive from my house. The beach is a 30 minute drive. And, fortunately, Disneyland is 15 minutes down the road from me. Every time I mention this fact to anyone, their face lights up as they shriek in utter delight “OH MY GOSH YOU MUST GO THERE ALL THE TIME. I WISH I WAS YOU.” To which I reply, “HELL YEAH! I love this place! Let’s all go get annual passes together and get matching tattoos of Mickey’s face on our ass! WOOOO!!!”
So why do I love Disneyland so much? Well,
Reason no. 1: Disneyland does it right. Disney has always produced amazing movies. Everything they release sets the new bar for animated film. Well, Disneyland does exactly the same for amusement parks. If they’re going to make a new ride or attraction, they make sure it’s nothing short of spectacular.
Each ride is truly a unique experience from the moment you step in to the line until the second you leave through the exit. The attention to each and every detail is amazing (ever see a dead plant within the confines of Disneyland? That’s because every morning before the park opens they have gardeners replace flowers that show even the slightest indication of death. That shit CRAY). You can literally just stand their, do a 360, and be wowed by the immersive environment around you. The lights, the sounds, the moving puppets, the scary holograms, the floating dishes, the foamy snow, the glowing Christmas tree, the fireworks, the World of Color, the Fantasmic, the 10 different Captain Jack Sparrows you slowly drift by during Pirates of the Caribbean – everything is done so damn well.
Reason no. 2: Their Southern California annual passes are awesome. A one-day park hopper is a pricey $99. However, the cheapest Southern California annual pass with 170 pre-selected days of admission is $199, or, with the monthly payment plan, $80 down and $9.92 a month. Under ten dollars a month! So, technically, if you went all 170 days you would have amassed a $17,000 value with that annual pass. Think about it! Two visits gets you your money’s worth.
But Michael, that’s just to get IN! Think about the prices for parking, food, drinks… So expensive! Plus the park is always crowded, what a pain in the ass!
Ah, young Padawan, let me take you under my wing. First of all, if you own an annual pass you’ll want to take advantage of it by going on days that are least busy. This is perfect for college students, whose flexible schedules permit you to go on weekdays during the evening; you’ll be able to ride everything with no wait! Now, avoid the hefty parking prices by parking in Downtown Disney’s lot; you’ll get three hours free, and two more if you get your ticket validated. Five hours in an empty park is plenty of time to have a blast!
I do admit food and drinks are expensive, but that is standard with every theme park. But come on, they have delicious stuff! Their popcorn, turkey legs, corn dogs, churros, churros, and CHURROS? BOMB! It’s like those things are sprinkled with
Mickey Mouse crack Tinker Bell’s pixie dust *drool*.
Reason no. 3: Disneyland caters to all ages. Another reason why Disney movies are so successful is because they are entertaining for all ages. It’s not a complete burden to take your children to watch a Disney flick because their films are so enjoyable to watch. This formula for success is also evident in Disneyland.
Are you a thrill seeker? Go check out Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, or California Screamin’. Want to be entertained by beautiful lights, decorations, and music? Seek out Main Street, The World of Color, or the fireworks and prepared to be awed. Even the slow-paced rides that are catered for children are enjoyable because they’re so beautifully designed. Disneyland is place you can truly have fun at any age, no matter if it’s with your family, significant other, or group of close friends.
Reason no. 4: Disneyland really sells the fact that you’re in a world of Disney. Anaheim is not the most glorious of cities here in Orange County. I once made the wrong turn trying to get into Disneyland’s parking lot and, literally, that one turn brought me in to the slums. I quickly re-routed myself and in ten seconds I was surrounded by the familiar Disney environment.
Once you enter Disneyland it really feels like you’re in an entirely different world. Everything is so clean, colorful, and bright. When I see those dressed up Micky Mouse’s and Pluto’s hopping around Disneyland I think, “Yeah! You go Mickey! You go Pluto!” How do Knott’s and Six Flags compare? G-H-E-T-T-O. Knott’s and Six Flags try to compete with their Peanut Gang and Loony Toons characters, but when I see those mascots running around the theme park I just think, “What sad 40 year old man is in those janky costumes?”
Like I mentioned earlier, every ride at Disneyland is an experience from the second you wait in line. Well, Six Flags feels like I’m in line to be incarcerated – you’re just surrounded by metal gates and concrete walls. There park has no environment; there are just a bunch of steel roller coasters that loop you in every direction at a thousand miles per hour. I’m all for the thrills, but I don’t want a plot of land (in the middle of nowhere, no less) with rides just scattered around – I want a theme park.
Side note: A single teardrop rolled down my cheek as I browsed through Disneyland images in search of a featured image.