I'm going to share a secret with you. I'm an emotional guy. When I encounter something that touches me, I lose it. A movie. A song. A bench.
What type of bench would make me break down? I've actually talked about this very topic in my review of the Walt Disney Family Museum. I sat down on one of the benches from Griffith Park, where Walt would sit and watch his daughters on the carousel. It was on these benches that Walt envisioned a park that families could enjoy together. The act of sitting on a bench that Walt himself likely sat on made me burst into tears.
But I'm getting way ahead of myself.
Let me take you back to a trip I took to Disneyland back in late September of 2010 with my wife and friends, Todd, Meghan, and our Godson, Flynn.
On the last hot afternoon of our 3 day stay at the Grand Californian, the group went back to the rooms to escape the heat and take a nap. I stayed behind and decided to visit attractions we hadn't gotten to yet, including Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, located at the Opera House at the front of Disneyland.
Upon entering, I saw this:
The plaque reads: The Actual park bench from the Griffith Park Merry-Go-Round in Los Angeles, where Walt Disney first dreamed of Disneyland. Yes, I started to cry.
On another plaque nearby, under a picture of the carousel:
Walt Disney's Dream
"It came about when my daughters were very young and Saturday was always Daddy's day...So we'd start out and try to go someplace...I'd take them to the merry-go-round and I took them different places and as I'd sit while they rode the merry-go-round - sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts - I felt that there should be something built, some kind of amusement enterprise, where the parents and the children could have fun together. So that's how Disneyland started."
I started to sob.
As there was still 15 minutes until the next Lincoln show, I stepped outside to get air, just as the Flag Retreat Ceremony was starting! This is so patriotic and moving, my crying just intensified.
Due to knowing that this was an attraction Walt was personally involved with, the patriotic nature of the show, and the moving "2 Brothers" Civil War Segment that people who have visited the American Pavilion in Epcot will be familiar with, I broke into tears once again.
I was thankful that my family and friends were not present to see what an emotional wreck I'd become!
Happy Anniversary to Disneyland, which opened on this day in 1955, and thank you Walt! -sniff-