"The Important Places"... Disneyland

The five minute writing prompt for my AAUW Talking on Paper writing group was "Where do your memories take you?" Mine took me to Disneyland.

One of my favorite places is Disneyland. It truly is the 'happiest place' and what I believe is the magic is how I feel once I enter the gates... as a child with everything right in the world.

When I'm in the company of the characters, I'm with friends. When the smell of fresh popped popcorn fills the air, I'm at a parade.
I am so transported that once, I completely forgot that I wasn't a small child. I grew up in San Diego, close enough to go to Disneyland a few times in my youth. Our routine was to head to Tom Sawyer's Island when our parents needed a break. My brother, Larry, and I were set free- modern day Toms & Hucks- to explore and imagine. We thoroughly traversed the island, climbing every rock and running through every cave.

Flash forward to when my own son was just eight. We took him to my happy place and to the Island but, unlike my parents, I was not merely an observer, I participated.  I was so transported to my youth, that while running through those familiar caves, I forgot I was 5'9", not 4' the entrances were designed for. I crashed, head first at full running speed, into the cave's opening, landing with my feet having gone up in the air and me crashing hard on my bottom.

Looking back, I probably should have been examined for a concussion but at the time, I was so delighted to be in my 'happy' place, reviving old memories, I did not let a lump and a bruise stop me. Everything was right in the world.

“To all that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land.
Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor
the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals,
the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America…
with hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
- Walt Disney

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