Disneyland is Mickey Mouse

The other day Brenna suggested we go to Disneyland next month. I believe for the first time ever I was not 100% excited about the idea. A little part inside of me died that day.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a huge fan of Disney but am becoming less of a fan of Disneyland. I’m not exactly sure why but I think I have a couple ideas. I think it might have something to do with the way we were treated last time we were there. Disneyland offers discounts for military service members. We checked the prices on the official Disneyland site, realized that they were offering me as a former service member a pretty substantial discount, so we planned our entire vacation around getting the three day pass to both Disneyland and California adventure.

Troy and Brenna at Disneyland Cinderella's Castle

Troy and Brenna at Disneyland Cinderella’s Castle

Now when I ended my active duty in 1996 I never got a military ID card. As I recall, the reason was I took three months of vacation time at the very end of my time of service so I was not anywhere near a military installation on the day I actually separated from the army thus there was no one to give me an ID card. Now many years later I wanted an ID card but come to find out they do not give them out to former service members. I was given a identification card from the Department of Veteran Affairs. When we got to the ticket office at Disneyland I presented that as my ID and the cashier said it was not an acceptable form of proof of military service. I explained to her what the card actually was and that it was indeed my ID. She would have nothing to do with that. The challenge is without the discount the tickets were going to be substantially higher in price. Yes I could have been the man and just ponied up the extra cash but it was the principle behind it.

After a few tears and gnashing of teeth a supervisor made a deal with us and we were able to get into the park at a pretty nice discount. So in the end they took care of us but I don’t think they treat military service members as well as they should.

I think more so the reason why I have lost a lot of interest in Disneyland is the place has become very commercial. Oh yes I understand that there has always been commercialism at Disneyland. I know there was the Carnation Cafe or whatever it was called and Kodak sponsored numerous attractions. (Kodak had served as the official film and camera partner at Disneyland since the park opened in 1955 and up until 2012. Kodak was one of just three remaining original sponsors: Coca-Cola and Carnation, now Nestlé, are the other two.) But I think when they jumped the shark was when the submarine ride became the Finding Nemo submarine ride. (Read the history of the Disneyland submarines at www.disneysubmarines.com) And now they are converting approximately 20% of Disneyland into a Star Wars themed area. Not only that but they are changing the theme of the Tower of Terror into a super heroes theme. Now I give a dang about Star Wars or superheroes. I mean I like them and all but to me Disneyland is about Mickey Mouse not Chewbacca. Yes I get it, the 20% of the park that they are converting to Star Wars land was area that was very rarely used as well as some back lot area that they are converting to actual parking space. But the point is having a Star Wars section really takes away from the magic that is Disneyland. Look at this picture and you can see exactly how much of the park they are using. That big dirt area is what is going to be Star Wars land.

Star Wars Land at Disneyland 2016.06.06 photo by Jeff Barnes

(Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

Sadly I think my days of being in love with Disneyland Park are probably over. They’ve made their decision. They’re moving forward with it. And anything I say or do is not going to change their minds. Large companies like Disney rarely actually care about the consumer. They are just interested in the bottom line and pleasing the shareholders.

Legoland sounds more and more exciting the more I think about what Disney is doing to my beloved park.

star wars storm trooper three Wise Monkeys


What do you think about these changes at Disneyland? Let me know by leaving a comment below.


Read The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by clicking the picture below.

31 Replies to “Disneyland is Mickey Mouse”

    • Sadly it is a true story. An alligator or a crocodile killed a two year old boy at Disneyworld. To be clear, this is Disneyworld in Orlando Florida and I was talking about going to Disneyland in California. Although I hear both Disney amusement parks are going through many changes.
      Also, what we are now learning is that this alligator or crocodile problem is an ongoing one at Disneyworld as videos are emerging of workings interacting with these animals just feet away from tourists.
      You can probably find the videos on YouTUbe or some other news source.
      Troy recently posted…24 hours in DisneylandMy Profile

  1. Disney has always sounds like a dream land to me. A huge fan of Disney. I hardly miss a movies from Disney. But, I am feeling the same like you, a bad feeling I realize. While Disney movies have always brought fairy tales right out of our dreams, the reality is always bitter. In the end, only business matters. 🙁

    • True. It is all about business.
      The funny thing is Rocco, if you really look into these happy stories and films that Disney puts out, most…or at least many…are based on very dark tales from the Grimm Brothers.
      There are many good books out there about behind the scenes stuff at Disneyland and DisneyWorld. One is called Inside The Mouse. Here is a link to it- http://amzn.to/28J84B0
      Troy recently posted…24 hours in DisneylandMy Profile

  2. Oddly I’m okay with the evolution. I’m embracing Star Wars as part of the brand. When I was 7 the small world ride was sponsored by Bank of America with a giant sign at the end of the ride. It was a big joke for many years in my family. That was 30 years ago. What bothers me is if all of these rides and attractions are “sponsored” why does it cost my family of four $400 just to enter the park? Inflation and the cost of business? I get it. But still disappointing.

  3. So weird. I was just searching for information about this stuff and you popped up. You must be doing something right. Thanks by the way, this really answered some questions I was throwing around in the back of my mind.

  4. Hi,
    This article is nice and disneyland is good Place.Disney has always sounds like a dream land to me. A huge fan of Disney. I hardly miss a movies from Disney. But, I am feeling the same like you, a bad feeling I realize. Thanks you share with us.

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