As I was looking at a picture of Haunted Mansion, I noticed something very interesting. As a kid, I always believed that the outside facade was really haunted and I would always try to peek through the curtains in the windows to try and see the ride inside (I honestly believed the ride took place inside the facade!). It was so real and so believable to me that I literally felt that the mansion was the real thing. Today I'm still just as impressed by the HM, but it's so much different now. Instead of enjoying it for a real-life structure, I marvel at how the ride building is beyond the berm and how amazing those special effects are even though they're 35 years old. My appreciation for Disneyland has definitely shifted, but it hasn't diminished.
Although I had more fun as a kid at Disneyland, I honestly feel as though I have more respect for it today. As a kid, everything was new to me whether it was the then-new 1983 redo of Fantasyland or the Jungle Cruise. I had no concept of nostalgia or history, I just liked Disneyland because it was "fun" and that was the only reason. And I know that you guys are going to think I'm crazy, but I feel that Paul Pressler was a good thing that happened to Disneyland. They say that you don't know what you have until you lose it, and thanks to Pressler we almost lost Disneyland forever. Through his misguided efforts, he has given all of us a much deeper appreciation for Disneyland by showing us what we had to lose in that park. So I think that today, because I understand nostalgia and showmanship and nearly had Disneyland yanked from me forever, I feel I have a MUCH deeper appreciation for Disneyland today than as a kid.
What do you guys think? Do you like Disneyland better now or when you were a kid?