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Disneyland Disappointment: where your childhood dreams go to die

Disneyland made me realise that I am not 10 years old any more and that I should probably make something of my life.

For us Australians our childhood would have involved a family vacation to the Gold Coast at one time, or at least hear stories from a friend whose family loved them more. A family trip to “the worlds” was like nothing other and our little mini selves lapped up the characters, rides, shows and plush fluffy toys of our favourite animated characters.

Naturally, Australians always compare ourselves to our across the globe counterparts, the Americans. Due to the fact that our media industry is inundated with US news and gossip, we have all known Disneyland to be this colossal wonderland for all of our inner children, unlike anything that we could ever fathom to imagine.

Oh but it is not. You may be shocked to know that Disneyland California is really not a whole lot bigger than Movie World, our great Australian equivalent.

It’s like we are in this twisted mindset that because they are the USA that they are automatically better than us at everything, but when you actually visit the States you come home and appreciate how truly fantastic Australia is and understand that we are actually the best and most fortunate country in the world.

But enough of that, let’s get back to the park.

Alternatively, maybe everything seemed bigger when we were younger though? Maybe I’m making high expectations in my head to fuel a deep seeded desire to travel back in time, to a time when as a little girl I had no responsibilities and a head full of dreams of what I might be when I become a woman of 23. Or maybe I’m looking way too far into it…

Rocking up to the place was a nightmare as our cab driver wasn’t 100% sure of how to get there. It ended up being a three person team of navigators as we all consulted our iPhones and Google Maps.

Tip for young players, the famous castle isn’t actually a castle but a Styrofoam cut out of a castle which acts as an archway leading you into the park. That in itself was a bit of a disappointment and my inner child shed a tear and held back a small public tantrum.

We did not see one, not even one damn Disney Princess to take a photo with. My life-long dream job. I even considered dropping out of year 12 at one point to go to princess character auditions held in Sydney for Disneyland Tokyo. In hindsight I am glad that my family convinced me otherwise. To be honest, I am too because they obviously don’t get much work considering we spent a good 10 hours at Disneyland and didn’t see one of those bitches.

Surprisingly a highlight of the day didn’t come in the form of a ride or a meeting with a character (thanks to the lack of princesses roaming around), but in an all-American family of four from Milwaukee who we made conversation with in the line. We were in the line for a good hour and a half so we had plenty of bonding time with a mother and father along with little girls Kaomi and Emily.

After hearing our twanging accents Emily, 6, proceeded to ask us questions that had us stunned.

“Have you ever seen a swag man with a tucker sack?” “Did you know that the Great Barrier Reef is actually the largest living thing?” “Wow, I can’t believe I met two Australian girls at Disneyland!”

Silently praising little Emily for making us feel like superstars, we parted ways with the girls and smiled to ourselves. Like I mentioned before, it’s not often that us Australians feel superior to the bright lights and fanciness of the USA, but in that moment when little Emily treated us like celebrities and was genuinely interested in the mysterious land down under, it made us proud to be Australians.

All in all, Disneyland California was shit. BUT, I have heard that Disneyland Orlando takes the cake as far as parks are concerned. So stay tuned, because this overgrown child will one day make her way to Orlando to compare and make a decision once and for all. Disney, you haven’t lost me… yet.



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