The pictorial souvenir that my parents bought me after our first visit to the Magic Kingdom became one of my most prized possessions. I read and re-read it; re-living my time in DISNEYLAND, learning about its famous creator and dreaming of my eventual return. Most of all, however, I wanted to know more about Walt Disney and why he had built his Magic Kingdom in the first place.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that Walt Disney was born on December 5th, which happened to be my birthday too. While I was already interested enough in the world of Walt Disney to read several books about him and DISNEYLAND before I discovered that we shared a birthday, that fact probably made me an even bigger fan. What I eventually learned about the development of DISNEYLAND made me love the place even more.
As many people have said, deep down DISNEYLAND was built by a father for his daughters. It was a deeply personal project where Walt Disney was assembling some of his favorite things from around the world in one place. Even as a wide-eyed seven year old, I could feel the love and care that had gone into building and designing this labor of love. Whenever I walk under the tunnel and into Walt Disney’s one and only Magic Kingdom, that amazing feeling that I felt on my first visit returns. It’s a feeling that I’ve never gotten anywhere else.
When DISNEYLAND recently closed due to COVID-19, video of the park’s special closing ceremony was widely shared on the Internet. I’ll admit that I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I can’t imagine a world without DISNEYLAND and the thought of it closing, even temporarily, is too depressing to think about. But the greatest thing about Walt Disney is that he always had an optimistic outlook on life- and so should we. DISNEYLAND is a dream that never ends- a Magic Kingdom that’s always just a dream away!