Welcome to those of you joining me from A Disney Mom's Love of Disney. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.
"To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land." - Walt Disney, 1955
|Disneyland - 1955|
Allow me to set up today's article for you. I'm a "Lander". I'm not sure if it's a term I myself coined or not (I'd not heard anyone else use it before I started to) but for me the land of Disney fans can be broken down into two primary categories above all others (excluding the foreign Parks): "Landers" (those who claim Disneyland as their Park) and "Worlders" (those who claim Walt Disney World as their Park). I assure you, nothing derogatory is meant by either. It's just something I started saying a while back.
I'm somewhat unique among my blogorailing peers in that I'm the only "Lander" in my entire loop. So when I was given the topic for this month's Loop, "Talk about your favorite Resort and why it is", it was a little bit tricky for me. You see, as an annual passholder who never has to stay at The Park, and can come and go whenever I please, there really wasn't anything for me to write about. Shortest. Article. Ever. So with Beth's blessing, today I'll be writing about my favorite Disney Park.
So, my favorite Park (in case you have to have me say it) is Disneyland Park. Simple enough.
But why is Disneyland my favorite Park? Is it too cliche to say that at its simplest it really boils down to Walt? Well, I'm going to say it anyway. It really boils down to Walt.
Disneyland was Walt's Park. Because he passed away before he was able to see Walt Disney World come to fruition, Walt is inexorably tied to Disneyland in a way that no other Park will ever have. And that makes it very special to me and to many others.
|One of my favorite views in the whole wide world...|
No matter how many times I go into The Park, I'm consistently taken aback by the magnitude of the history, Walt's history, that I'm taking part in. From the moment I walk inside the Main Gates and glance up at The Disneyland Limited ("now leaving for a grand circle tour"...), especially if the Lilly Belle (which Walt himself and his wife once rode in) is on track, I'm powerfully reminded of just who has come before me, looking at seeing the exact same things I find myself looking at decades later.
|Walt's Apartment (and candle) are directly above the Disneyland Fire Dept.|
You can't go two steps without looking and seeing something that Walt himself had a personal hand in: his apartment over the Disneyland Fire Dept.; the Opera House which houses Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln and the very bench Walt himself used to sit in whilst in The Park; the back row of Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room in which I never fail to see in my mind's eye the picture of Walt with his animatronic birds; and both It's A Small World and King Arthur Carousel, which Walt had shipped and moved, piece by piece, from their original locations on the East Coast because he loved them so much and wanted to share them with the rest of the world. The list could just go on and on.
|Like it or not, the Tiki Room is where all of our favorite Animatronics began|
Perhaps the greatest reminder of all, though, is walking through the arch of Sleeping Beauty Castle between Fantasyland and Main Street, U.S.A. Maybe nowhere in the entire Park is the thought "I'm literally walking where Walt himself once walked" quite so powerful. Our castle might be smaller than Cinderella's, but ours is the one where Walt once walked. Sometimes walking through, I just have to stop and take a look around, and if I'm in an imaginative mood, I can picture myself in perhaps the exact same spot that Walt once stood, looking around and surveying his Kingdom himself. That alone is worth the price of admission.
|Walt, Mickey and our Castle|
There's an entire litany of things I enjoy doing in The Park. I have my favorite attractions, favorite restaurants, favorite stores, and even my favorite restrooms. But since the question was "why is it your favorite Park?", I tried to avoid all of those and get to the heart of the matter. Disneyland Park is my favorite Park because of Walt.
My family and I plan on taking a trip to Walt Disney World again for the first time since 1993 next summer (2012). There is no doubt in my mind that it will go down in the annals of Elliott Family Vacations as one of the greatest ever. We literally cannot wait to get there and spend our seven days running around like complete fools, enamored with everything we see.
But it's safe to say that when I do return home after, and walk through the Main Gates of my favorite Park again, the first words out of my mouth will most likely be, "Welcome Home, Chad. Welcome Home."
for those days when I can't go...
Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Crystal and Bryan's Disney Blog.
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail loop should you happen to have to make a stop and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ Meet the Magic
2nd Stop ~ Growing Up Disney
3rd Stop ~ A Disney Mom's Love of Disney
4th Stop ~ Days in the Park
5th Stop ~ Crystal and Bryan's Disney Blog
6th Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog
Final Stop ~ Cooking with Mickey
This post is also part of the Disney Blog Carnival. Head over there to see more great Disney-related posts and articles.