Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Disneyland Ruins Everything

Well, except Disneyland.

I lived in Southern California until I was four years old. I have one set of grandparents in the San Diego area, and the other pair lives roughly thirty minutes from Anaheim. Needless to say, I've been to Disneyland. Probably more times than I can count. There is definitely a sense of magic when you grow up watching princess movies and then, as you are led down Main Street though the giant castle only to come out on the other side to see flying Dumbos, your little adolescent head is filled with dreams and rainbows and bibbity-bobbity-boo-ness.

Fast forward to the present and nothing quite lives up to those experiences. We went to Colonial Williamsburg this weekend for an event called Grand Illumination. I was envisioning the historic homes lit up and carolers walking around in red cape coats not unlike my childhood American Girl doll, Felicity. After we finally found a parking spot close to a mile away and followed the mass of crowds toward the historic center, we arrived on a packed street lit only by a few torches every couple hundred feet. I saw a man on a soapbox with a megaphone and I thought, "This is it! This is it!" As we got closer I pictured him saying something like, "Hear ye, hear ye! The Grand Illumination will begin in 20 minutes!" But no. This guy was not part of the colonial act. He was one of those guys taking advantage of a festive holiday occasion to yell at everyone to repent of their sins. Mood killer.

We gathered round with lots of families to hear a fife and drum band play colonial tunes before the big fireworks show. After the fireworks grand finale (a very impressive display I should add) we walked along some of the old streets in search of the 'grand illumination.' Per the Disneyland standard, I expected the houses and trees to glow in glorious Christmas splendor! We waited awhile hoping something like that would happen, but it never did. Too cold to stay out much longer we trekked back to the car.

Damn you, Disneyland-Main-Street-holiday-parade-with-princesses-and-fake-snow-every-night-in-December-aka-wonderful-magic-of-my-childhood, I expect these things all the time now! But go ahead, be the magical monopoly. I both hate it and love it that way.

[Image via MousePlanet]

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