Thursday, August 13, 2015

Disney Dreaming


It is probably nearly impossible to grow up in southern California and not become a fairly devoted Disney fan....after all it is home to Walt Disney Studios and the Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland!

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland
 
I've said repeatedly how important drawing is to me, and I've been blessed with a talent for drawing.  As a child I was a fan of biographies- particularly of Presidents and historical figures but one man stood out as a favorite: Walter Elias Disney.  It was an attractive story of a young boy who used his talent at drawing to go out in the world and make a success of himself.  I honestly can not remember a time when I did not love Disneyland, many birthdays I turned down a party to instead be treated to a family trip to Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom.  My earliest Disneyland memory is of exploring Captain Hook's Pirate Ship- this would predate the "New Fantasyland" of 1983...so I am guessing it was at around age 4.  I also distinctly remember the time where we collected our leftover "Tickets/Coupons" only to get to the park and find that they had moved to one price passports. 

After family and perhaps the weather the thing I miss most about life in southern California is frequent access to Disneyland(or Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort as it is now called).  The last 2 years that we lived in Whittier were a special treat as we could often see & hear the fireworks from near our home, and thanks to our Annual Passports we were able to take advantage of living only 15 minutes away and making very frequent visits....sometimes just for dinner and a few rides.  Our son Presley(my co blogger at Presley's Little People Blog) continues the tradition/obsession and we have celebrated his 2nd, 4th, & 10th at the park.

Cinderella Castle, Walt Disney World
 
We moved to the East Coast in April 2009, managed a visit to Disneyland in November of 2009 and that was it, for the first time in my life I went more than a year without a visit to Disneyland.  That drought lasted nearly 5 and a half years.  This past March, for Presley's 10th birthday we managed to accommodate a day at the "Resort".  I don't think I realized until I set foot on the property how much I had missed the place.  It turned out to be a very crowded spring break day- and it was such a different experience to attend as a Tourist and not a local.  I experienced a sense of urgency that was unfamiliar to me on my previous trips, thoughts of who knows when I would make it again went through my head.  When I got back to North Carolina I found it had woken up my dormant Disney obsession.  I was like Malcolm McDowell from the Star Trek Generations movie- after experiencing a taste of the Nexus (a dimension of  unlimited possibilities) and then being forced to return to the real world he then spends his time obsessing over finding a way back in.  This lead to our making our first visit(June 2015) to Walt Disney World in Florida.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant , Disneyland Paris
 
I love Disneyland(and the parks it inspired around the world) because it is an architectural petting zoo infused with nostalgic, historic, and cinematic experiences.  In college while in Europe for a school trip I was lucky to work in a visit to Disneyland Paris, the second "Magic Kingdom"  I visited.  I have illustrated this post with sketches of the 3 Disney Castles I have seen, I drew these and colored them using the "Paper" app on my iPad.

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