I have had a lot of turmoil in my life the last few years, and Disneyland definitely cheers me up, and allows me to get away from my problems. I am looking forward to my late January visit, and I'm certain entering the esplanade, and walking through the turnstiles will erase a lot from my thoughts.
Yes. I have been going through a terrible time, and would love to escape for a day to Disney. Unfortunately, since I am out of work, the payments on my Pass have lapsed, and they would not let me in even if I could get there!
I plan Disney trips my health takes unfortunate turns. It always cheers me up to focus on touring plans and dining reservations instead of painful depressing reality. The planning gives me hope, and the actual trip lets me get away from doctors, hospitals, etc.
Sometimes it's good stress therapy for me, yes. If I can go on my own, when I'm on Space Mountain or BTMRR, in particular, my troubles just vanish. It's wonderful.
The flip side of this is that when I'm stressed any little molehill at the Park becomes a mountain. If I get there and it's really crowded, or Space is down, or something, I'm liable to be more upset than I might normally be.
Depends on what those troubles are but for me it's the get away from work stress and I find that going to DL or any vacation for that matter is definite therapy..I am just always sad when I have to leave, wishing I lived closer so I could visit more often. But it does get me thinking about my next trip and I start planning.
The "it depends" answer seems to be the best one for me. Here are two examples.
My wife and I love to go to Disneyland during the Christmas holiday season. We use a trip to enhance our Christmas holiday experience. One year we had there were an number of personal issues we had to deal with leading up to the holidays. We were unprepared the season ahead. We thought we would take a trip to Disneyland to put us in the holiday spirit. It almost had the opposite effect because once you strip away all the holiday decorations, Disneyland is really layer upon layer of ways to get you to spend money. The commercialism was almost overwhelming. Again, Disneyland works if you use it to enhance your holidays. If you use it to be center point, well, that may not work out so well.
A few years ago, my oldest sister suffered a stroke, lapsed into a coma, and passed away about a week later. It was unexpected. About 3 weeks after the funeral, my younger sister and a couple of my nieces (who are adults) surprised me with the thought about taking a quick trip to Disneyland. We live several hundred miles away so this trip was made spur of the moment without any planning whatsoever other than booking a hotel for a weekend and hopping on a plane. It may have been my best trip ever as 4 people, after going through weeks of sadness, were finally able to share a few smiles once again courtesy of a trip to Disneyland. Walking around the park, we reflected back on other family trips we had made with my older sister. We stopped and shared memories of certain spots, certain benches, certain attractions we shared with her. It was the best thing we could have done.
Writing about all things Disney, a couple of paragraphs at a time
I have always found a visit to Disneyland was cathartic for me. It is a place that I forget the real world, where I can revisit warm childhood memories created in the park with my grandparents, other family members, and friends over the years. Amazing what that can do for a person when you can revisit those. Disneyland is not the only place, but it is one of the most prominent.
When I lost my grandparents, I came to the park to rekindle those wonderful memories and rejoice in them. When I have been depressed, down, or life is bad, I come.
Even married with my daughter, I come at times by myself to enter childhood memories. No matter when I come, I love feeling the butterflies of excitement I get every single time I pass under the archway bearing the immortal words listed in my signature. The real world is stripped away leaving the inner me to play and renew.
Here You Leave Today and Enter the World of Yesterday, Tomorrow, and Fantasy.
“To all who come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past...and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America...with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” - Walt Disney, Disneyland Opening Day Speech 1955