Much to my surprise, I enjoyed myself. Here's why:
- The park had a palpable sense of well-being. People weren't crabby and were genuinely friendly to one another without exception.
- I didn't worry about any items being stolen from my stroller when I parked it and left.
- The selling of stuff was more subtle than I anticipated.
- The employees seemed sincerely dedicated to our well-being, but they weren't hovering as I thought they would be (in a weird utopianish kind of way).
- That Buzz Lightyear ride was a helluva lot of fun.
- It's impossible to deny the place's history. My son needed explanations about who Goofy and Huey, Dewey & Louie were. There is value in that history and in Disney's longevity as an American institution.
All that being said, they still have a long way to go in some departments. I would appreciate it if they could make a movie where the mother wasn't dead and where women were more than passive and beautiful (princesses) or subserviant cheerleaders (Minnie Mouse).
I also saw one too many depictions of Native Americans as little more than angry-looking drummers and Africans portrayed as savages. When one looks at the beautiful diversity of people percolating through the park, it's inexplicable why Disney hasn't gotten this part right yet.
The text at the bottom of the shop window is a quote from Walt Disney. "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world."