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  1. #1

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    Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    I've been meaning to share with with you all for some time and I've finally gotten around to it. I hope you enjoy it.
    ----------------------------

    When I was about 8 years old, I distinctly remember the joy and excitement I felt the night before we went to Disneyland. That night, we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel in a room that overlooked the park. For at least 10 minutes, I stood there motionless, face pressed against the window glass, eyes scanning wildly, as I surveyed the park and imagined the following day’s events. Finally, my dad pulled me away from the window and urged me to go to bed. As my head hit the pillow, my mind was working overtime, envisioning all the wonderful things I would see and do the next day. My body tingled with joy and excitement. I could not sleep. Just like the commercial that would appear some 20 years later, I was “too excited to sleep.”

    The anticipation was growing with each passing minute. I had never felt like this before (at least not so intensely) and I loved it. It was like Christmas morning x10. I got up and went back to the window. There I saw the Matterhorn towering above the park like a giant Christmas tree. All the rides and attractions were scattered around it like gifts to me, from Walt. Suddenly, I was wishing it were morning, so I ran back to bed, threw the covers over my head and tried to go to sleep. I lay there awake for what seemed like forever (it was probably only 15 minutes), but eventually exhaustion took over and I fell asleep.

    The next day we rode the monorail into Disneyland. As we sailed high above Tomorrowland, I swelled with excitement until I could hardly contain myself. Once in the park, it was even better than I imagined. I found myself immersed in rich, detailed worlds of adventure, fantasy and technology, all of which was intensified by my imagination. For a day, I sailed with pirates, journeyed deep into the jungle, fought off attacks from the walls of Fort Wilderness, traveled through Inner-Space, rode a bobsled down an Alpine mountain, drove a car through Toad Hall, cruised deep beneath the ocean waves, and blasted off into the deepest reaches of space. I believed in the magic of Disneyland and the reward was admittance into a world beyond my wildest dreams. I was sad to leave the next day, but my short time spent there fueled my imagination for months back in the real world.

    As I grew up, I began to notice the joy and excitement I felt for Disneyland began to fade. The “night before” feelings that had so consumed me in my youth seemed to disappear with each passing year until as an adult, the “night before” was the same as any other night. My experiences in the park seemed to become a little less engrossing as well, to the point where I felt almost removed from the experience. I still had fun and deeply enjoyed the park, but it was different now. It was almost as if I was watching a movie of it instead of being part of it and really living it.

    I was seeing Disneyland (and the world) though the eyes of an adult now, filtered through the experiences of my life. I had been trained to use logic and skepticism – to protect myself from cheats and liars in the real world by spotting tricks and falsehoods. Unfortunately, I these are not tools I could just turn off when I went to Disneyland. I wanted it to be as it was when I was a kid. I would try to achieve a state of suspended disbelief in order to gain a footing (if only for a moment) back in that magical world. But I could not. As much as I wanted to believe in the magic, I could see through the illusions now.

    I cannot say that I wasn’t warned. Specifically, I remember an eerie voice whispering a warning though the caverns of POTC, “Perhaps he knows too much!” Before I knew it, it was too late. I do know too much. And now, the pirates do not attempt to warn me anymore.

    In 2006, some of that magic came back into my life when my wife gave birth to our daughter. I won’t bore you by gushing about her or telling you my opinions on fatherhood, but I will tell you that being a husband and a father have been the most rewarding experience in my life. As my daughter grew and developed, I saw that joy and excitement in her that I had as a child. What’s more, playing with her, I felt reconnected to my childhood. It wasn’t long before I started feeling the need for a Disneyland trip.

    My wife and I didn’t quite know what to expect of our first trip to the park with our daughter. She was still pretty young (1 year old) and wasn’t walking yet. We figured she would not remember any of it, but we would remember and we hoped she would enjoy it at least. To our surprise, not only did she enjoy it, she seemed to have a blast. Here is a sampling of what we experienced:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=http:...?v=TrJ2WxxMkU8

    As you can see in the video, the parade was a big hit. She was so excited, clapping as fast as her little hands could go. It was such an awesome moment to share with her, tears welled up in my eyes and as I looked at my wife, I saw her wiping a tear from her eye too.

    For that moment, I once again felt the joy and excitement I experienced as a child at Disneyland. During our trip, there were many moments like this and the whole park seemed to regain the sparkle it had when I was 8 years old. I no longer felt removed, I was part if it. So long as my daughter was holding my hand, I was immersed in those wonderful worlds of fantasy, adventure, and technology again. I was seeing it all through new eyes now – the bright wide eyes of a child, my child – and I believed in the magic again.
    -----------------------

    If you've had a similar experience or some event has given you a new appreciation for Disneyland, feel free to share it here.

  2. #2

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Welcome to Mice Chat!!

    That is an awesome and heartwarming story. It was like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing with us through brand new eyes!!

  3. #3

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    That's absolutely amazing!

    I hope you guys had a great trip!


  4. #4

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    How cute, thanks!

  5. #5

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Aww, that's a cute video!
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  6. #6

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    What a darling story and I loved the video! My son is two years old as well and going with him now has definitely rekindled the Disney magic for us too.

  7. #7

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Amazing story and the video was so special. I hope you will enjoy the magic of Disneyland through your daughter, and you will visit much more.

    Welcome to MiceChat!

  8. #8

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Oh wow! What a great story! Im so glad you have found the magic once again! Its the greatest feeling in the world!

    C'mon everybody, here we go!

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    That was very heartwarming.. welcome to mice chat.. and thanks for sharing that story!


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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Great story! Welcome to MiceChat!
    Check out my page at www.myspace.com/wheresmickey

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  11. #11

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    I have experienced the same thing with my five children and now my grandchildren. It's my opinion that those kids can pick up on the excitement and wonder of places like Disneyland, especially Disneyland though. We have taken ours when they were less than a year old and although they need lots of rest and sleep through a lot of the day, they pick up on the characters, parades and music that fills Disneyland. Our family motto is that we ARE in the happiest place on earth so we WILL be happy. Of course the kids are always happy, it's the adults that most often have to be reminded to just settle down and enjoy the time with the kids.
    My two cents.

    Mike R

  12. #12

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Welcome to MiceChat.
    The same thing happens to me sometimes I get so excited I can't sleep the day after I go to Disneyland.
    Great trip report it was really touching.

  13. #13

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Welcome to our wonderful little world of MiceChat! Thanks for sharing your story with us!




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  14. #14

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome and kind words.

    I couldn't decide how to categorize this thread, so I posted it as a trip report because, well, on a basic level, that's what it is. But, I think it's more than that and I hoped it might spark some discussion. I encourage everyone to share their similar experiences here as well. I don't want people to think they are stepping on my trip report by doing so.

  15. #15

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    Re: Seeing Disneyland through new eyes

    Nothing better than seeing someone else's face light up after introducing them to something new, in this case, the Disneyland Magic!

    Thanks for the wonderful story!

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