Reflections of a castle and a rose.Continue Reading
A Morning Flight with Dumbo
I love the innocence captured in Dumbo’s expression. It’s the perfect tone to set in a land intended for the young and the young at heart. It’s also part of what makes Disneyland so wonderful—that we can remember our unblemished selves and return to more joyous and hopeful living.
When Elephants Fly
How do elephants fly?
Well, it begins with a magic feather and ends with belief in one’s self.
Fantasyland is a land built upon the idea of making the impossible possible through the power of imagination. The feather that made Dumbo fly didn’t posses any magic at all; it was Dumbo’s imagination and will to believe that gave the feather its magic. By the end of the film, Dumbo transferred that belief to himself.
What is it about imagination that makes it so powerful?
The notion that anything is possible is present in many of Disney’s animated and live action films. It was a notion that Walt Disney seemed to live by and that he set as the tone for Disneyland and future Disney parks.
If you stop and reflect for a moment with me, every manmade thing that exists, exists because someone believed they could do it and they did. That makes it sound a whole lot more simple than the reality of it. Imagination is strikingly similar to pregnancy; an idea is conceived, grows over time and is only brought into this world through labor. But when someone sees an idea through to fruition, the result can change the world.
Imagination is one of God’s greatest gifts to us. At Disneyland, we are reminded of the many wonders that can be achieved and the pleasure it can bring when we believe in ourselves. We are surrounded by works of art and feats of engineering and architecture. We can be swallowed by a whale, fly through London in a pirate ship, narrowly escape hell, become a real boy, defeat an evil queen and have a cup of tea, all the while knowing we could within mere steps of each other.
What makes imagination so powerful is that it has no limits. Dreaming with no boundaries can make elephants fly and when elephants fly, we all win.
The Castle at Magic Hour in Disneyland
There is nothing like walking across the bridge beneath the castle at magic hour in Disneyland. Some people seem to think that because Sleeping Beauty Castle is smaller than castles at other Disney parks that it’s lesser than them. I can’t speak from experience with those castles but I don’t believe any of them could match the charm found here at the heart of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom.
I feel like a child when I look up at these golden spires. I feel like anything is possible. I feel like there is good in this world worth celebrating, worth holding onto, worth fighting for.
When I look at this castle, my imagination runs wild and I am inspired with the audacity of hope to take up my sword and conquer the Maleficent dragons in my life, those fears that try to keep me from pursuing my dreams. Inspiration and hope can do that. They can bolster your courage to the point of boldness and downright tenacity.
This castle has stood here for nearly sixty years inspiring men and women of all ages, races, nationalities and creeds, trying to reconnect them with their wide eyed, unblemished youth so that they’ll dream again.
Disney Parks in Motion: It’s a Small World
I find it difficult to comprehend that It’s a Small World has been around for fifty years. What a milestone. I remember, as a kid, this was the first attraction we’d go on. The morning light would really get that gold glistening and the lines were quick. The music would start to reach you as soon as you passed the Matterhorn on your way from Main Street.
It was a great way to start a day at Disneyland. It still is.
We’ve been spending a lot of time at It’s a Small World and you know something? It just keeps getting better. Richard Sherman mentioned that people either want to kiss or kill him and his brother, Robert for having written the attraction’s tune.
I fall in the former category because I’ve never found myself bothered by the song. Sure, it gets stuck in my head, just like everyone else. I just start singing or humming or whistling along.
It’s a happy song.
The more I’ve learned about Disneyland’s history and the people behind it, the further my appreciation has grown and my experience been enriched. I know not everyone has the interest or takes the time to educate themselves but I’m grateful the information is out there.
It’s nice to know what passionate, talented, hard working people are capable of when they work together.
A Golden Afternoon at Disneyland
I can’t sing the praises of the team in charge of the horticulture at Disneyland loudly enough. The incredible flora around the park definitely makes some of its strongest statements. It’s amazing how little we have to know about plants for them to paint the portrait of a distinctive setting. Wildflowers such as these, spotted one golden afternoon at Disneyland, are no strangers to the foot of a mountain like the Matterhorn. This meadow, along with those on the opposite side of the mountain, add what I consider to be an additional layer of forced perspective. Even if you’ve never seen such a setting, it feels right and that’s because it is right. With Spring in full swing at Disneyland, it’s definitely time to make time to stop and smell the flowers.