Our family visited Disneyland in Anaheim, California in April of 1989.
It was the first time that my wife and son had been to a Disney theme park.
I had been to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida, twice before – but never to Disneyland; so it was a first for me too.
We all enjoyed the “larger than life” Disney characters that walked around the park, and here is a close-up of Goofy.
David didn’t really know what to make of these giant cartoon characters, and here Mickey Mouse takes the time to put him at ease.
Brer Bear tries to reassure David that it’s ok to give him a hug, but David wasn’t so sure at the time.
The reason that Disney is so successful in all that they do is because they do everything – characters, costumes, music, rides and attractions – as perfectly as possible and always maintain that high standard.
Here Mini Mouse greets another child who enjoys the experience of meeting the Disney character up close and personal.
By this time David was more at ease with the life sized Disney characters, and here he strokes Donald Duck’s hand – knowing he has his own Donald Duck friend back home.
We had another opportunity to ride a carousel or merry-go-round at Disneyland, and here David rides on his own horse.
Looking as if he was galloping across the fields, David seems to take this ride in stride for a two year old.
David and I come round the bend “neck and neck” in a horse race that seems to be never ending.
David really enjoyed the teacup ride at Disneyland, and I think that all of the swirling colors and oversize teacups really appealed to his sense of imagination.
It was a long day at Disneyland, and even the best little troopers get tired – and David was no exception.
Roger Rabbit was a great hit for David, and the “over the top” aspects of the character, designs and animation really appeals to kids.
I really enjoyed these views from the Disneyland Skyway gondola, as they reminded me of Germany and what we hoped would soon be a return to Europe for our family.
The quaintness of Old World architecture really appeals to my inner nature, and is one of my very favorite things – along with landscape design and progressive rock music.
So Fantasyland on this visit to Disneyland really appealed to my desire to return to Europe, which even today appeals to my sense of adventure just thinking about it.
In many respects, what I appreciate the most is an authentic lifestyle; which is often lacking in modern society – that emphasizes the convenient and artificial over the authenticity of natural materials and organic lifestyles.
At this point the Disneyland parade began, featuring rock-n-roll music from the 1950’s in a musical extravaganza.
Many of the normal Disney characters also participated in the parade; where the teen dancers and the music were the main attractions.
The parade featured a recreation of a 1950’s soda and malt shop “sock hop” musical extravaganza.
No matter what Disney seems to do it always works, and the singers and dancers were all top notch that day.
Even Goofy is wearing his Disney High School letter jacket, and is very much part of all the action taking place.
Pluto joined in the fun and activity too, as the parade slowly went down Main Street U.S.A.
Of course the overriding appeal in the Disney experience is a sense of escapism from normal day-to-day life, which is fun occasionally but shouldn’t be the focal point of life.
Some people would rather live the Disney fantasy than experience real life itself, and for them the escapism means that they don’t have to deal with reality – which isn’t very healthy in the long run.
But for the child in all of us a visit to a Disney theme park is a great opportunity to let children and adults as well enjoy a well deserved break from the ordinary and experience the extraordinary.
A roller skating waiter serves up lunch on a tray, while a larger than life juke box plays in the background to the delight of the crowds.
Eventually the dancers finished their numbers and the parade came to an end, but it was an exciting day for our family to experience the best of Disneyland in the spring of 1989.