I grew up believing that Disneyland was the happiest place on Earth. I had a Disney Sing Along VHS tape that taught me Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and It’s a Small World while it showed footage of Big Thunder Mountain and the Jungle Cruise. Of course it didn’t show people’s ankles getting clipped by strollers, or the overpopulated Grad Nite, or even the occasional Code H (horse poop on Main Street). Everyone in that tape made Disneyland look more and more enticing, especially since the only theme park we had on the island was the 50th state fair every summer. Although I enjoyed our little town fair with the sketchy rides and rigged games it still wasn’t the happiest place on Earth I dreamt of.
Living in Southern California for the past ten years allowed many opportunities for me to have the privilege of going to Disneyland. I always read the sign near the entrance that said, “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.” I don’t know if it was the scents of buttery popcorn, waffle cones, or the overpriced churros, but for me, being in that place helped all my worries go away and felt as if I was entering a world of fantasy. My only concern was deciding which attraction to go to next or if I should get some Dole Whip while the line is short. I simply loved being in that place because I can’t help but laugh and smile from the moment I arrive to the moment I get on the five.
Although Disneyland is my sweet escape from the daily routine I wouldn’t necessarily call it the happiest place on Earth. For some people their happy place could be a country they traveled to or watching Scandal on the couch with wine and popcorn, Sunday barbecues or performing onstage with your dance team, watching your kid walk into the classroom or playing Heads Up with a bunch of friends. For me it’s the coffee talks, meals, phone calls, video chats, and text messages with people in my life who constantly remind me that I am valued and supported through anything and everything. They fuel my faith and reassure me that God has my best interest at heart. I can sit and reflect in contentment that I’m well taken care of.
Love is my happy place.