Disneyland: Now and then

I remember being a child and enjoying the smallest bit of happenings here and there. I remember watching cartoons and laughing till my stomach ached. I remember being innocent and lively. I remember going to Disneyland. My memories from back then are very clear and crisp in my mind even today. Disneyland is the dream world for kids and a place for perfect retreat. I can still think of the day when I was eleven and I was about to see Disneyland for the first time. I couldn’t restrain my enthusiasm and excitement as we entered the main gates of the land filled with magic and amazement.

That’s how I perceived Disneyland when I was eleven; a land of wonders. I couldn’t wait to see Mickey and Donald smiling back at me. All the fun and frolic came alive to me, as I stepped in to the magical land of fairy tale. Today when I think about Disneyland, I do not contemplate it as a magic land or a land of wonders. For me, it is just any other amusement park or theme park, nothing added. But what surprises me is the way my perception has changed towards the same thing in due course.

Disneyland is the same; in fact it is believed to have grown for better in these years. But for me, it no longer remains a place of magic or enchantment. It only tells me one thing, I have moved far ahead and my childhood is still behind, lost in the memories of Disneyland. Disneyland meant to me, making the world of animation and cartoon come alive. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Bugs Bunny were one of my favorite cartoon characters ever and watching them alive was like a dream come true.

I remember being excited by the thought of seeing those characters in front of me. Like, when I was eleven, I ran with exhilaration to shake hands with the legendary Mickey Mouse. I couldn’t let his hand go; moreover, I hugged him and curled into his arms like he was my teddy bear. I asked my dad to take bundle of pictures with Mickey and Donald. Later, I framed those photographs and hung them up on the wall of my room. Moreover, for a long time, I thought of the moment I met Mickey, when I watched cartoon back at home.

However, today, when I think of it, I feel a tinge of embarrassment. I would never hug Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck for that matter. Although, sometimes, I watch Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck cartoons on television, I do not think of those characters as real cartoons. I understand the fact that they are real people under the disguise of these famous cartoons trying to woo kids and entertain them to their best. I feel taking pictures with them as a laughable act and something only kids would want to do.

My excitement level is as normal as it would be when I am at home, watching those cartoons. Additionally, when I first went to Disneyland Park, I had enjoyed and jumped in high spirits even for the all the small rides. The miniature circus train with cars designed as wild animal cages, the crazy tea cup ride, the chip and dale tree house, exploring Goofy’s house, the flight to fantasyland with jumbo, the merry go round, all made me roar out in laughter and eventually, I enjoyed every bit of my ride.

The rides were long, simple but very enchanting. The joy found in those simple things was incomprehensible and ceaseless. The moments seemed to be so prized and exceptional, that even a camera couldn’t bind it in its flashlights and tape. When compared to the latest trip, the experiences, however, beg to differ. The rides seem to be ordinary, just like any other ride, in another amusement park. Every ride tries to test the patience by making us fall from huge heights, in dangerously simulated situations and backgrounds.

All thrill rides seem to endow with higher risks, higher heights, more velocity and more twists. Even after finishing a single ride of few minutes of length, there is no sense of delight or bliss. The feeling of joy in the small things seems to have lost. It’s just not about having fun anymore. It is only about moving from one ride to another, trying to finish as many rides as possible. Furthermore, when I was young, I remember being excited about the main street parade. I was so keyed up to watch the parade that I blocked seats an hour before the parade actually began.

I was overwhelmed with the stunts and performances of all the characters. Consequently, I struck my eyes all along, without moving an inch. I waited till the end of the parade and not for a moment, thought about leaving early. Each character performing in the parade was special in its own way and I admired them all equally. Nonetheless, now when I think of it, it doesn’t seem to be as astonishing as before. Even though the performance of the artists remains of high caliber and incredible excellence, I do not seem to be attracted towards it.

I remember the last time I visited Disneyland, my concerns were more towards driving back home. I didn’t want to block seats an hour before; neither did I want to stick till the end. I was getting late and I was more worried about the traffic. As a Conclusion, I believe that things change with times. Also, the way we perceive things, changes with changing times. When we are young, innocent children, we are ignorant to worries and responsibilities. Also, life seems much dreamier and everything looks like a play area.

As we grow older, we seem to intertwine in the complications of life and start losing the small joys we can experience in moments of life that may seem insignificant and diminutive. The moments that are filled with immense joy and blissful entertainment are no longer observed. Life becomes fast with growing age and even a beautiful thing passes by, without being noticed. A place like Disneyland, that meant so much to me at one time in my life, no longer holds the meaning it used to. I seem to have lost my innocent childhood in the fast life, in the race to achieve something more.

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