Maybe I will always be a kid at heart. Maybe that is why I became a novelist.
One thing that Disneyland does well is to create an environment in which everyone’s imagination can be unleashed. There is nothing in this amusement park to detract people from reliving their favorite childhood memories, to spend time in places that bring back those special moments. And to create new ones.
Hard to pick your favorite, huh?
As each of my daughters grew up, I think back about certain experiences unique to each child. One was sort of a daredevil. Disneyland is filled with these experiences—and brings back memories from yesteryear.
Recently, I asked my youngest daughter which ride was her favorite. She just
On one of the days at the park, we will get a special pass and go early—before most of the park is opened for the general public. We get to stroll through there before the sun rises up and heats up the place hotter than the gunfight in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. In those early morning hours, we get to jump on rides that have no lines. It is like Christmas and birthdays all rolled into one. The park is cool and unhurried, and we can race from ride to ride without any long waits.
Can you spell ‘Heaven’?
That is part of the Disneyland experience.
When I sit down to write, I like to pick places I have been to before—if at all possible. Sometime, I need to do research for places I've never visited, like the city of Baku, Azerbaijan on the Caspian Sea, and then try to imagine that place as it came alive in my novel, FATAL eMPULSE (A Gerrit O’Rourke Novel). And I find myself often creating mind picture characters who resembles actors I have seen on the big screen—at least at the beginning. Before these characters begin to take on a life, looks and attitudes all of their own.
It is all about imagination.
Disneyland is laid out like a novel as it sparks one’s imagination. The ‘Happiest
Place on Earth’ is filled with all kinds of scenes—castles, rocket ships, mountains, and submarines. It is not bound by time. You can travel in the past, into the future, or in the here and now. You come across a variety of characters to fill these enchanting places. Some are good, some are evil and many fall somewhere in between.
Disneyland—like each novel—is divided into genres of entertainment—western, futuristic, medieval, and historical, to name but a few. You can choose which genre you would like to visit, or, you can sample them all. You are free to roam wherever you want until the place closes down. Morning turns to afternoon, and afternoon to dusk. As the hours slip by, so does the atmosphere of Disneyland. Places of mystery and intrigue during the day, seem to change as darkness sets, morphing into something entirely different at night. Lights become more intense, crowds seem to change, and at some point fatigue sets in as the hours wear you down.
It is like reaching a point in the novel, as you lie in bed, and start looking for a
Which brings me to the question I asked my daughter: “What is your favorite ride?”
My favorite moment in Disneyland is not the rides or any of the entertainment. It is when you approach the front gate and see Mickey Mouse or one of his friends on the other side waving back. It is about the excitement I see in my family’s eyes—if those 'tween' girls who try to pretend that Disneyland is for kids, not almost teenagers like themselves. I enjoy that moment where we are about to cross over into the Land of Imagination where everything is possible. That little moment in time when everything about the day is still fresh and you feel anything is possible. That your imagination can go just about anywhere and unleash a whole new world.
That is my favorite part of Disneyland. And I experience it every time I return with my family.
How about you? What is your favorite experience in the enchanted world of Disneyland or the enchanted world of books?