The attraction poster for Storybook Land features a canal boat entering the monstrous mouth of Monstro with the title I’ve borrowed for my picture, “Gateway to Enchantment”. I don’t know how comical it was intended to be but that’s some sense of humor. Here you are Disneyland guests, the gateway to the enchantment you’ve sought after is just around the bend… in the mouth of a giant whale. I don’t know, it reads like a Jungle Cruise joke to me. Joke or not, I really appreciate the joy that’s been poured into Disney attractions.
I remember riding the canal boats at an early age and having wonder overtake me in the same way as Monstro’s mighty jaws, looking up at the massive teeth and ridged palate, not seeing any light at the end of the “tunnel”. It was mysterious, unnerving and exhilarating. The attraction poster made good on its promise. Being swallowed by a whale does have a way of enchanting. For those of us that have been touched by Disneyland and the memories we’ve made there, it’s very much a right of passage. Michaela and I don’t have children yet. When we do and the day comes that we take them to the Park, I can’t wait to watch wonder overtake them as we enter through a giant whale to a land of enchantment.