Walt Disney loved taking his daughters to and amusement park at the beach, however he got tired of sitting on a bench watching them play. He watched other parents do the same thing and could see their boredom. He wanted to create a place where parents and children could have fun together as a family. While sitting and watching his daughters play he began creating Disneyland, a family place where imagination is the main ingredient, where people can go to escape the worries of life, a magical land where memories are made.
When Walt told his wife Lillian about his idea she was far from thrilled, she did not like amusement parks, they were filthy and not family oriented. Walt told her that his park would be different. It would be clean, have rides the family can enjoy together, and be completely family oriented.
Disneyland is just that, magical and family friendly. Walt did not even allow alcohol sales in the park. He did however build Club 33 so that his friends could visit and have a place to get away from the crowds. It is the only place in Disneyland where alcohol is served. Most people do not even know it exists. Membership is exclusive and those who visit do not leave drunk.
Later on, the Disney Company built several different parks, Disney World, Disney Tokyo and more. In 2001, the new park, Disney’s California Adventure Park, opened just across the way from Disneyland. California Adventure Park was based on California. It did have a Disney theme but also has a California theme. The Disneyland area became Disney resort. It was still a place where families could go and have fun together. DCA did bring with it alcohol that is served openly to the public. However, they only offered it in a couple of areas and it was not widely publicized nor did it bring in the party crowd.
In 2007 DCA announced that they would be giving DCA a new look. They want it to express Walt Disney and his ideas more than it has in the past. The sad thing is that in creating this new look they are going completely against all that Walt Disney believed in. They are taking away the family theme by bringing in the Glow Fest and now Electronica. Both brought in more alcohol, which in turn brings in a whole new crowd. Hollywood Backlot in DCA is where this is all taking place and has now become more like a rock concert or dance hall. They play loud music, have flashing lights, and sell beer and other alcoholic beverages from a kiosk in the heart of Hollywood Backlot.
The crowd that the new event is pulling in is a party crowd. Many people come to the resort area to party and dance at DCA. This crowd filters over into Disneyland taking away from the whole idea of what Walt meant it to be. If they continue to sell alcohol at DCA families will no longer be able to take their kids to Disneyland and expect it to be a family resort.
Even the language at the parks has changed. In years past the “F” word was not heard at all around the park. This year several guests visiting the park spoke it freely. This comes from the party crowd. Many people in Disneyland were also heard talking about how they wanted to get back to DCA for the alcohol and the party. They were excited to party.
Disney Resort is a wonderful place. It is a great place for families to go and feel comfortable that their kids will be in a magical and family oriented place. The introduction of alcohol and street parties is taking the family atmosphere away. Hopefully those at Disney will realize that they are going against what Walt wanted and that families will no longer be able to take their children to Disneyland if it is just another amusement park or a street party. Disney executives need to remember the magic and keep it alive. Disney Resort in Anaheim, California is a great place to visit. However, those with young kids now have to worry that their kids will be exposed to bad language and drunken behavior. Most people with children do not want to take them to a bar. Hollywood Backlot is becoming a bar like atmosphere. It is the responsibility of those at the resort to make changes now so that every kid can experience the magic Walt Disney created for them.
In his Disneyland dedication speech, Walt Said, “To all who 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 the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”
He did not mean for it to become a place where people can party. It is time to dump the alcohol and keep the magic alive.