Tag Archives: Disney

Some thoughts on the magic of the Magic Kingdom


There’s a scene in the movie Nation Lampoon’s Vacation that I never saw coming. After fighting their way across the United States, through horrible tragedies, dead grandmothers & dogs, the Griswold family station wagon barrels into the completely empty parking lot of Wally World – a thinly disguised DisneyLand – only to discover the park was closed for maintenance.

At that moment, I sat transfixed. Someone else had been there, too. Someone else had felt the crushing defeat just as I had when I was nine years old in 1974. Unlike the Griswolds, my father and I barreled into the massive parking lot, not in a station wagon, but a vintage Porsche 356B, but just like them, the lot (which is now Disney’s California Adventure) was eerily empty. Back in those days, DisneyLand was closed one day a week, and no doubt many a well-meaning father delivered their excited children unto the doorstep of disappointment.

That has, perhaps, colored forever my perception of DisneyLand.

We went back in 1977, and, while I remember having fun, it wasn’t so much so that I’ve had any reason to go back until 2010.

And so now we’re here with our children and I’m having fun. It’s hard not to have when so many people around you, and especially your own children, are having a blast. Fun is infectious.

The analytical part of me is dissecting each ride, marveling that what was cutting edge 1955 technology is still very much in evidence and musing as to why the rides are supposed to be fun, but I must acknowledge that they are fun.

I am, perhaps, too jaded (or cynical, as some have said) to completely switch off Mr. Analytical and enjoy myself unreservedly as a kid might, but I can nonetheless enjoy it in my own way, and I can enjoy, and even empathize, seeing that unreservedly joy in my kids’ eyes, laughs and smiles.

Location:W Convention Way,Anaheim,United States

Don’t tell my daughter…

It’s a good thing my kids don’t read my blog.

This will be no surprise to most parents, but my kids are not like each other… apart from the obvious anatomical differences.

James is a compulsive, obsessive child, who is frequently fixated by superheroes. Hardly a day goes by where it isn’t “Batman this, Batman that,” “Go-Onger this, Go-Onger that” or “Obi-Wan Kenobi This and Obi-Wan Kenobi that”

I supposed I’d be worried if I didn’t know that my first grade report card came back with the note, “Your child could be a very good student, if he’d just spend a little less time thinking about Batman.” I turned out OK and they didn’t have to medicate me as a child. They say acorns don’t fall far from the oak tree.

My daughter, on the other hand, is frighteningly sharp, but she’s also both bossy and a “pleaser.” At times she takes keen interest in things and it’s difficult to tell if she’s doing it because she’s genuinely interested, or she’s trying to be interested in things that I like. I’m quite certain now that she actually does have an interest in dinosaurs and paleontology.

Her interest in cricket; however, seems to come and go. Sometimes she’ll watch the matches intently, others she couldn’t care less. I’ve at least trained her that we always root for New Zealand.

Since fall is finally here and the temperatures have begun to drop below 90Âș, we’ve gone to the park the last couple of weeks and set up the stumps. She’s really improved in just a couple days, she gets bat on the ball most times. At 6 years old, I’m not expecting much, but she’s really improving. My mother was quite athletic and a natural at baseball, perhaps Michelle has inherited some of that.

(Actually, I mostly take the kids out so I can hit the ball as far as possible and watch them chase it.)

In any case, I wonder where she’ll be on the love cricket/ignore cricket next year come June. Hopefully she (both of them, really) will enjoy their first live sporting event.

However, considering that she’ll be in a foreign land, far from her friends, on her birthday, I’m trying to come up with something special for her. We can’t hold a party for her, but we might be able to take her somewhere… and that somewhere might be Euro Disney in France. It’s just a 2 hr 38 minute ride on a wickedly cool high speed train, departing from a recently renovated Victorian railway station, passing under a massive underwater tunnel… and then there’s Disneyland at the end.

I’m going to see if I can keep the whole idea a secret from her, and since she’s always going on about wanting to go to Disneyland, I assume she’ll be pleased with it as a surprise. Train tickets aren’t quite available to book yet, but May ticket fares are only $260 for the entire family – and for that fare, we actually get seats! Looks like entrance and ticket fees for Euro Disney will be about the same amount again, unless there are special deals, which appears often to be the case.