January 25, 2012
The Happiest Place On Earth
On Christmas day in December of 2011, when I was told I would soon be traveling with some of my family to Anaheim, California to visit the “happiest place on earth,” I was immediately sent into thoughts of some of my best childhood memories. Disneyland, being the epitome of vacations for families of all ages, is not given the title “happiest place on earth” for no reason. This title has been earned after years of putting smiles on the faces of anyone who walks through the enchanted gates. When evaluating an amusement park held at such high standards, such as Disneyland, Disneyworld, SeaWorld, and others, it is difficult to enter the evaluation without preconceived opinions and expectations. In order to judge my experience at Disneyland I will use the following criteria: friendliness of the staff, how enjoyable the rides were at the park, guest satisfaction, and finally, how enjoyable were the shows that were put on through the day. I feel that all amusement parks strive for the best in all four of these areas, therefore my criteria will be a worthy judgment of Disneyland’s character
Disneyland alone has 21,000 men and women who work for them (English 1). Out of these 21,000 people who make up the Disneyland staff, almost all of them appear to be completely content with their occupation and more than happy to be working alongside all of the people who come to enjoy the park. Once in a while you may pass by a staff member who does not project their friendliness to their customers, but the others more than make up for this. It is nice to see the smiles on not only the vacationing families’ faces, but also those who are busy making everything possible for the guests. When you consider the many areas within the park in which staff is needed, the 21,000 members might start to seem small. Concession stands everywhere you turn, sometimes five or more operating the many attractions, picture takers, greeters, and not to forget the characters that walk around making the experience as magical as possible. Seeing Mickey Mouse or Disney Princesses walking your way has to be one of the most exciting things you will ever see. The characters are always more than willing to take a picture of two with you or sign autographs. They truly act their part and their character’s personality shines through, in hopes to make it the best experiences for you and your family. You can tell by Disney’s staff, that is their ultimate goal!
My next area for my evaluation of the Disneyland Theme Park is the rides and shows which makes any park, an amusing one. “Disneyland opened July 17, 1955, with 18 major attractions. Today, there are more than 60 attractions” (English 1). Considering the fact that all but a few of these attractions run year round, maintaining them after hours and behind the scenes seems to be the only way possible. When families go to Disneyland, especially those who have been before, they plan to go and have the exciting experience that they expect. For some, these mean riding certain rides or seeing certain shows or parades. Whatever the case may be, operating 365 days a year, Disneyland has the obligation to uphold these families’ expectations by keeping these attractions open and running. The shows that are put on throughout the day are always the most colorful, lively performances you will ever witness. The cast members in these shows are carefully chosen to fit these parts. The acting is phenomenal and the sets, props, and even theatres are made to resemble the colorful, magical characters and movies they are representing. Not only is the idea of maintaining these surreal attractions amazing, but the attractions itself are awe-inspiring. The work that went into making the attractions is clearly scene through the extensive decorations and props used. Many of the themed attractions make you feel a part of the movie or idea that they are based off of. Movies such as Aladdin and Lion King have had some of the best shows for example! From the very corner of the ceilings, to the floors of these attractions, there is nothing left to do but to appreciate and enjoy all Disney has done to make your visit everything you ask for and more.
My last and final area to critique is the satisfaction of the guests that visit the Disneyland Park. I was only able to witness those who went on the day that I did, and I could tell, solely on their facial and body expressions, that the guests more than satisfied with their stay. The children who did not have gleaming smiles on their faces, had tears of disappointment, not from the park itself, but from having to say goodbye to Disneyland as their day came to an end. Since opening day on July 17, 1955, there have been 450 million guests pass through the gates (English 1). The number does not stop there; each day, thousands of people from ages one to100, make their way to Disneyland to enjoy the welcoming staff and surreal attractions. The expressions of total satisfaction and bliss filled the gates as the parked closed and the staff prepared for another day at the “happiest place on earth.” I myself also felt a wave of disappointment when I was walking away from the park and not knowing when I would get the chance to come back to Disneyland. My family, whom which I went with, also expressed their disappointed feelings. It is not every day that we get to experience the joy and the great happiness that accompanies a trip to Disneyland.
English, Cameron. “Disneyland History.” Disney Dreamer. Web. January 25, 2012.