So… are you among the crowd taking in the full 24 hours at either Disneyland or Walt Disney World today? If you are, I certainly hope you will enjoy your time.
Me? I am safe at home, thanks. Last weekend, I visited Anaheim for a celebration with friends. Had a great time. I should have some views to share from my mis-adventures later this weekend. Still catching up on things of all kinds.
I would have enjoyed being there for the big doings starting yesterday (with the press preview events) as well as the 24-hours of Disneyland being open. Lots of good times with old friends, plenty of what Jim Hill refers to as the free shrimp for the media crowd, and making plenty of new friends as we all stand in queue for various attractions, food, beverages and bathroom breaks. But I don’t feel too bad about not being there today.
Ten years ago, as a media guest I was able to take in the big kick-off events on May 5th, 2005 as Disneyland began to celebrate it’s 50th anniversary. It was quite a day with a new parade and a fireworks spectacular that looked fondly at 50 years. Later that summer, I had the pleasure of doing a live radio broadcast from Disneyland for CBC One out of Saskatchewan, Canada. It was all about sharing memories of those first Disneyland visits – both my own as well as caller’s to the show. And of course, i was there for the big day on July 17th, as the anniversary of the 1955 Press Preview was heartily observed by one and all. Somewhere I still have my bottle of air from the Park on that day. Saving that as a collectible for the 100th!
Later that year, I was lucky enough to share a long weekend at the Park with all of my family. 18 made for a great number when ever we were asked “How many?”
Oh, that dog…
The shared experience really is what a visit to Disneyland is all about. Friends, family, children… you name it. There is the famous, oft repeated, Fletcher Markle interview done for Canadian television in which Walt shares his thinking behind the creation of the Park. He says that “there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise where the parents and the children could have fun together.” Consider how it is almost 60 years since Disneyland opened it’s gates to guests. All of those memories of great times for millions of guests. Guess Walt knew what he was talking about…
The attraction of that shared experience will continue to bring folks to visit Disneyland as well as to Disney theme parks worldwide. Celebrating the success with a big party in Anaheim is only the start as we look forward to more wonderful experiences ahead.
If I needed a reminder of how all this really works, I got it last weekend while out walking in Disneyland. There was a young girl (maybe 4 years old) who was being followed by her parents. She was proudly carrying her very own box of popcorn. Her smile was bigger than the box and both her parents had one, too. That’s the kind of magic that Walt wanted for everyone who would visit.
Glad to see it still works.