Stirring the pot, raising hell and rearing children in the Bay Area

My Best Childhood Memories…All Over Again

Posted on Jul 20, 2010 in Featured |

My Best Childhood Memories…All Over Again

Some of my very favorite childhood memories are at Disneyland. Not Disney Resort! Not crazy Micky Vacations! But plain ‘ol weekend days at the Happiest Place on Earth. And, for me, it was. Except for Space Mountain. I always puke on Space Mountain. Every time I sit and look at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, I don’t see the glow sticks or Goofy floppy ear hats, I see my Grandmother sitting on a white scrolly park bench, her handmade sundress wrapping around her knees, her chubby smile and favorite wig were as much of a beacon to me as the castle itself. When I think of Disneyland, I think of my grandmother. And the Carnation Cafe with Carnation Ice Cream and men with red carnations on them. When I think of Disneyland, I think of jumping on the back of my mom’s wheelchair and speeding down the hill from the Haunted Mansion all the way to New Orleans Square. I think of how, even as a child, It’s a Small World made me cry and the Main Street Electrical Parade signaled a peaceful, happy end to a long day full of family. Some of the happiest memories in my life were on those make-believe streets.

I joined some other Bay Area mom bloggers as a guest for the Disney World of Color Road Show (both on and offline). I went reluctantly. When you’ve got memories so indelible, it’s hard to try and change the image of a brand in your mind. I do this all the time with clients, but for personal stuff, it’s almost impossible for me to get past the past. I himmed and hawed at going up to the City; I barely blinked when they said it would be at the Legion of Honor. I was annoyed that I’d forgotten how cold San Francisco can be in the summer. I was so cranky that I talked other bloggers into doing shots at the bar en route to the bathroom. As the coach pulled up to the Legion of Honor, I gasped. A true audible gasp. Out of my mouth came, “Oh my God, there is Micky and Minnie!” So much for being grown-up.

What came next is hard to describe. It was, by definition, my childhood all over again. As the lights projected extraordinary images on the building, all I could do was smile. The feeling was that feeling — the feeling of Disney magic, the surges of emotion when the music rises and falls, the excitement and thrill of the Main Street Electrical Parade, but oh, oh so different. The lights and the music and the attention to detail were so classically Disney. The massive GE light bulbs and big drums were replaced with spectacular cutting-edge technology beaming across the buildings. I can only imagine what adding fire and water would look like, as they have at the park. I found myself in awe of how easily Disney can tap into my best childhood memories with the launch of something that pushes the edge of technology 40 years later.

Thanks for a beautiful evening and a good reminder of what a wonderful piece of family history Disneyland is for me.

*Note: You all know I don’t do reviews, I don’t do promo or product stuff. I curse too much anyway to write happy-go-lucky posts about cereal bars and dishwashing soap. That said, Disney was kind enough to allow me to see the World of Color road show free of charge.