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  • [Chat] How has Disneyland changed your life?

    Time for a positivity thread!

    How has Disneyland changed your life for the better? Did it inspire you in some way to achieve your goals? Did it uplift you in a time of great emotional need? Did it launch your career? Did you meet that special someone at the park? Did it bring your family closer together? Did you bond with someone over your love of the Happiest Place On Earth and make lifelong friends? I'm curious to know.

    For me, Disneyland was the catalyst for my becoming an artist and performer. I first visited the park back in 1968 for my 6th birthday. Whereas most children that age buy into the whole fantasy of a place like Disneyland ("This is where Mickey & Minnie live!"), I was not like that. Even at age 6 I understood that it was all make believe, that it was all "show", and that fascinated me. I wanted to know who made this place, how did they do it, and more importantly how could I do it too. That first visit (and all the subsequent summer vacations) inspired me to study drawing, cartooning, acting, puppetry, magic, costuming, makeup, theater, lighting, special effects, filmmaking, animation, comedy, teaching, public speaking, and so on. I went on to become a professional actor, visual effects artist, animator, voice-over performer, and genuine Dark Lord of the Sith (a tale for another time). I even ended up doing work for Disney including a few projects for the parks. It all came about due to my "artistic awakening" as a six-year-old kid visiting Disneyland and being in awe of Walt's accomplishments.

    So what's your story? Big or small, please share it. How has Disneyland changed your life for the better?

  • #2
    1) When I was much younger and both my eyes actually worked, I wanted to fly planes for a living. In order to do that, you need lots of hours in the air. I owned a small plane and took a ton of people to DL. Not only was it enjoyable for me but I built time as well. On of my eyes went bad so I stayed in construction but I still remember the look on faces, especially little kids, on their first trip.

    2) I've always liked detail and especially if it flowed with an overall theme. Back then, Disney always did an outstanding job with small details. Every time I visited, I'd notice something new.

    3) DL is one of the very few places the no matter what your actual age is, you can act like an 8 year old and get away with it........

    4) I find it really easy to become immersed in the majority of rides there. Leave reality behind for a few minutes and just enjoy the fantasy. Especially the dark rides.

    Comment


    • #3
      Disneyland is a place were
      I try leave my cares be hide.......and relax
      Enjoy A Day !..........( that the concept any way )
      1959 was the first.....
      It was time with my Family and Time I got meet MICKEY MOUSE.
      So it was very, very ,Magical Time for me!
      Last edited by Eagleman; 01-06-2020, 05:15 PM.
      Soaring like an EAGLE !

      Comment


      • #4
        My favorite childhood memories with my parents are going to Disneyland in the 80s, and it's also where I proposed to my wife
        "Have I gone mad?"
        "I'm afraid so. You're entirely bonkers. But I'll tell you a secret. All the best people are. "

        Comment


        • #5
          Like many, I got engaged at Disneyland. Disneyland has always been a special place for my family. Over the years it was a place to spend special time with each of my children and my wife.
          Years ago, after a heart attack, I was in the hospital seriously scared. One thought that came to my mind that helped calm me, and get a more positive attitude was the image of walking down Main Street USA, with my children hand in hand.
          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...ip-report.html
          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...oto-heavy.html
          http://micechat.com/forums/disneylan...something.html

          No matter where you go, there you are.

          Comment


          • #6
            Like the OP post, my first true recollection of Disneyland was Tomorrowland 67, I was amazed by all the motion on multiple levels. Everything at Disneyland was overwhelming to this 6 year old but I recall looking backwards on a few attractions and seeing how certain physical effect were done. I was hooked. My dad snapped me back to reality telling me to watch the attraction and not try to figure it out. I slowly learned to do both, enjoy the ride and also figure out how it was done.

            My father was a tool and dye maker as well as a woodworker, which made him a good person to ask about physical effects. The Disney people were masters and it inspired me to learn how it was done. After many hobbies and High School shop classes, I settled on the electronics industry. Not being able to afford college I joined the USAF where I served as an electrician for 20 years.

            Unlike the person in the second post, I believe that Disneyland can be simple entertainment, or an inspiration. Or it could be both.
            Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

            Comment


            • #7
              It's become a passion for me. My office is decorated with a framed map of Disneyland, I read and collect Disneyland books, I love planning a trip to Disneyland. I love the park's history - and present and hopefully future. I love how it's brought my extended family together and the memories I've made with my family.

              I also got engaged at Disneyland. The shared love our family has for it is big. I love the passion I have for it.
              -Tennor-
              http://www.AnnaLiberty.Wordpress.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by coconutcrab
                I'm very sorry, but, in my opinion, if you let something pretend, something not real, actually "change" your life, then your life is not based on solid ground. You can have a life changing experience while you are there, experiencing the magic and then a warm after glow when you leave, that's great. But, that's it!
                In my case it wasn't something pretend that changed my life. It was the real world accomplishment of Walt Disney and his imagineers that changed my life. It was their artistry and craftsmanship the inspired me to become an artist and performer. It went beyond that "warm glow" that you meantioned, and it was based upon the tangible aspects of the park, not some warm fuzzy feeling from pretending I was flying over London with Peter Pan or following Alice down the rabbit hole.

                Comment


                • #9
                  For most of the first half of my life my earliest memory was of my mom taking me on Dumbo three times in a row when I was 2 in the 1960s.

                  Walt Disney, like Steve Jobs, showed me that capitalism could be used to create wonderful things.

                  I worked at Disneyland while I was in college driving a sub and (while telling jokes) a Jungle Cruise boat. I STILL put put Disneyland Jungle Cruise on my resume, and sometimes it impresses people I meet in person more than my 3 graduate degrees.

                  Most of the top ten best days of my life
                  were taking my daughter to Disneyland from the time she was 14 months old through the age of three.
                  I once took her on Pooh 5 times in a row, unable to say no to her "AGAIN! AGAIN!"
                  (The lines were very sort on those September weekdays in the early 1990s, and my AP was--happily--underpriced.)
                  We've been the the Disneyland Resort about 100 times together over the last 13 years, and many of those days would be among the best 50 days of my life.

                  Thank you for starting this thread, C. Andrew Nelson!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I remembered something after typing my earlier post. Who has seen the August 1963 edition of National Geographic? It had an entire article on Walt Disney and Disneyland. I didn't discover it until the 70s but the section about animatronics lit a fire as well as the park. A later book that I dogeared until it fell apart was the 25 page Pirates of the Caribbean book. It had Mark Davis art, backstage photos, all the things that pushed me forward.
                    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
                      I remembered something after typing my earlier post. Who has seen the August 1963 edition of National Geographic? It had an entire article on Walt Disney and Disneyland. I didn't discover it until the 70s but the section about animatronics lit a fire as well as the park. A later book that I dogeared until it fell apart was the 25 page Pirates of the Caribbean book. It had Mark Davis art, backstage photos, all the things that pushed me forward.
                      I came across that issue if National Geographic when I was in my college library supposedly studying for a Political Science class. The school library had the issue, but you couldn't check it out. I had to stay in the library to read it. I went back several times to peruse it again and again.

                      I still have that Pirates book you're talking about, sitting close by on a bookshelf near my desk in my home office.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jcruise86 View Post
                        For most of the first half of my life my earliest memory was of my mom taking me on Dumbo three times in a row when I was 2 in the 1960s.

                        Walt Disney, like Steve Jobs, showed me that capitalism could be used to create wonderful things.

                        I worked at Disneyland while I was in college driving a sub and (while telling jokes) a Jungle Cruise boat. I STILL put put Disneyland Jungle Cruise on my resume, and sometimes it impresses people I meet in person more than my 3 graduate degrees.

                        Most of the top ten best days of my life
                        were taking my daughter to Disneyland from the time she was 14 months old through the age of three.
                        I once took her on Pooh 5 times in a row, unable to say no to her "AGAIN! AGAIN!"
                        (The lines were very sort on those September weekdays in the early 1990s, and my AP was--happily--underpriced.)
                        We've been the the Disneyland Resort about 100 times together over the last 13 years, and many of those days would be among the best 50 days of my life.

                        Thank you for starting this thread, C. Andrew Nelson!
                        Wow, what a great story! Thank you for sharing that.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          For me similar to the OP it was not only seeing the artistry and magic of the parks but also watching Walt on television showing the behind the scenes of Animation and Imagineering. Seeing that it was people with talent that were making this happen and having some artistic talent but knowing that fine art was a serious road to poverty I made the choice to go into design and leave fine art as a hobby. This lead me to a career in design both industrial and graphic. I was alway fascinated by the fact that every thing you see that isn't made by nature was designed. Good design is contagious and it is world building. I have had the pleasure of designing several exciting products and the look and feel of many great brands etc. that my children can point to one day knowing their Dad worked to help put smiles on peoples faces and make the world more beautiful.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by coconutcrab
                            I'm very sorry, but, in my opinion, if you let something pretend, something not real, actually "change" your life, then your life is not based on solid ground.
                            I did not realize Disneyland was an imaginary place that doesn't exist in reality.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Disneyland.........matter what age you are.......
                              has become one "Giant Toy Box"
                              Full of Joy -
                              discovery , artistry , craftsmanship and place just get away for a
                              changing experience for a time , from the rest of the world !
                              Soaring like an EAGLE !

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just the existence of Disneyland had changed my life. It would be hard to or all of it in a single post for me. From the earliest memory of me being scared on ATIS all the way to my NYE trip last week so much happiness and memories have been made and enjoyed at Disneyland. It also spawned my obsession with it's creater Walt himself.
                                These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                                DL 55th BDAY trip report
                                My company had a special night at the park
                                WdW trip report with WWoHP
                                NYE 2011 trip report
                                Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                                Leap year 24 hour report
                                New DCA trip report
                                NYE 2012
                                HKDL trip report

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Like most folks here, Disneyland was the magical place to visit once, maybe twice a year and that visit was one’s highlight of the year. Disneyland changed my life when I began working at the Blue Bayou. It was my first job so that made it special. However, what working at Disneyland did for me was that I was introduced to many people and cultures not my own. This was an eye opening time for me and a rather good time as well.
                                  I am old. But still love Disneyland.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I wouldn't say it's 'changed' my life, because I grew up with Disneyland. I've been going since 1955 when I was 7 months old. But it's certainly affected my outlook on life. It's given me a sense of whimsy, fantasy, and optimism. It's taught me that life doesn't always have to be serious. And that it's OK to occasionally escape from reality, especially in times of stress or trouble. And that there's nothing like a good thrill now and then.

                                    I've tried to pass these attitudes on to my own sons. So I took them to Disneyland, just like my parents took me.
                                    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.​"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm with biggsworth on this one; it would be hard to get everything that needs to be said out in a single post.

                                      In short, aside from simply being a place which has inspired me creativity, taught me what is possible when one goes above and beyond what is expected, brought happiness to friends and family and introduced/welcomed me to many a fandom, it remains to this day (yes, even with it's flaws) the only place in the entire world with the ability to erase the outside world for me. When I step into Disneyland and pass underneath those train tracks, it doesn't matter how bad things are outside the berm (or heck, sometimes even inside of it), all of that goes away. Calories suddenly disappear, bad memories start to fade and all the struggles myself and those I care about deal with in day to day life are magically gone. Magic is another big one too since Disneyland is one of the few things in life that still make me believe that it is possible. When I think of it as a privilege to wait 120 minutes in line for Haunted Mansion Holiday, packed like a sardine with a big, stupid smile on my face, that is proof to me of some next level, un-explainable magic or that I am experiencing something truly special/that I love.

                                      On a professional note, working at Disneyland for over half a decade and the subsequent losing of my career there has gifted me not just income and friends, but important life lessons. Some of which include not to take things for granted and to always go above and beyond the call of duty in any work you do, whether the job seems important at the time or not. Always do the very best you can do, no matter how small the task may seem, because others will always take notice.
                                      Last edited by Blurr; 01-08-2020, 07:59 AM. Reason: Grammar
                                      "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Maybe we could morph this thread into favorite Disney moments or start a new one? I could definitely share or in some cases re-share some great moments that I have had that have shaped me as a person. I always liked reading trip reports because of chatters experiences.
                                        These are some of my favorite TRs I have posted

                                        DL 55th BDAY trip report
                                        My company had a special night at the park
                                        WdW trip report with WWoHP
                                        NYE 2011 trip report
                                        Mice Chat 7th anniversary
                                        Leap year 24 hour report
                                        New DCA trip report
                                        NYE 2012
                                        HKDL trip report

                                        Comment

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