back from the "happiest place on earth"

Disneyland, the happiest place on earth.

We got back today. I'm exhausted and my 6 year old is still dancing about. She had a blast. Princesses, mad hatter teacups, flying dumbos, carousels, cars, minnie mouse, peter pan, and wild toad rides were all part of the agenda. She got to have lunch with Ariel and Belle as well as attend a storytelling by Belle. She brought home all kinds of goodies as well as "first time visitor" and "honorary toon town citizen" badges.

So how was it really? Amazingly clean despite the crowds. The 'cast members' as they are called were consistently helpful and cheerful. It was almost weird after a while. We did not meet one cranky, rude, or otherwise person who worked there. The only complaint I could come up with was that they close the monorail at 9pm which is very inconvenient given the fireworks end at 9pm on Thursday night.

It turns out they close the monorail because the darn thing is so old. We rode it yesterday and the conductor we talked told us that we were riding the monorail on its 49th anniversary. The new monorail is being tested now and hopefully rolled out this summer. He muttered wistfully about hoping it lasted until then.

The overall experience is very consistent with their slogan. Its clear that training and attention to detail are key. All the Cinderellas we met had the same facial proportions and skin coloring. As did the Belles and Ariels. Mannerisms, figures of speech, carriage, and tone of voice were consistent. There was very little chance that a little girl would meet a Belle and realize its not really Belle. Or that it was a different Belle then the one they met at lunch. They all signed autographs similarly.

The consistent experience is key to why Disneyland is successful and why people return again and again. Proves that you can create a mythology and make money from it.

ArticlesAnnette Wagner