Disneyland: Not the Happiest Place on Earth

Topics: United States, Walt Disney, Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: July 28, 2009
Disneyland: Not the Happiest Place On Earth
George Lipsitz argues that Americans after the 1950’s wanted to delude themselves that their worries were over, that poverty did not exist, that slavery did not happen, and that work was never done. The creation of Disneyland reinforced this delusion because in actuality “Disneyland was a fantasyland,” an imaginary world where Americans went to escape the realities of the world. Walt Disney wanted to create a park that “would physically block out any view of the outside world, so that visitors could concentrate on the pleasant fantasies within its walls.” He helped in the delusion of the American people during the 1950’s. Disneyland was created to feel as if a person was transported to another world not their own. Disney reshaped the landscape of Disneyland so that visitors would lose sight of the surrounding area in order for them to forget the world they live in while they were in the park. Disneyland was created to be a place where people can “get away” from the real world and Disney encouraged that by constructing all his ideas along that theme of isolating the park from the realities of the world. An example of Disney’s methods of isolating the park from the real world was to create a “rigid policy of dress and grooming codes,” where security guards would deny admission to individuals who seem inappropriate. This was due to an incident where “300 ‘yippies’ marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima by staging a demonstration in Disneyland.” The “yipppies” accused Disneyland of being “a plastic world of fantasy” that contradicts the truth of the world outside of its walls; which, ironically, is what Disney had intended when he considered the construction of Disneyland.

I agree with the author in that people after the 1950’s were trying to deceive themselves from the outside realities of the world, especially with the construction of Disneyland. The management of...
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