Written by Margarita Morgan
August 7, 2014
Many years ago when my four older children were little, we ventured on a family adventure to the happiest place on earth. Disneyland had been up until that time a wonderful destination and every time we had been there before, we had a great time. As time passed by, I couldn’t wait to take my youngest daughter back to Disneyland to experience the same joys and family fun, only this time, the happiest place on earth was not happy any more.
Maybe it was the weather, hot and muggy that wore down the employees to have serious and at times annoyed looks in their faces, but their monotonous and rehearsed greetings were a put off when arriving to the front of the line after waiting eternally to get there.
The lines although always long, were aggravated by the fact that most of them were outdoors and even as you enter the buildings to each ride, there seemed to be a lack in ventilation that made the air stuffy and the smell of sweat permeate every corner.
The crowds were the worst part of this latest experience. There was no room to get around. When walking from one ride to the next, you had to follow the hordes of people moving in that direction. As frustrating as it was for us, I could see the look of sheer aggravation and mortification on people that were either on a wheelchair or pushing baby carriages, they could not cut through the crowd to turn around or get to the other side of the street.
In the past, Disneyland used to have blooming flowers everywhere. The one thing you could count on was that the entire park was beautiful. On that day I noticed that the only place they had flower arrangements was at the main plaza while the rest of the park had a green tone of foliage indistinct from one area to another.
I remember how clean the park used to be. If there was a piece of paper on the ground, any employee nearby would pick it up besides the many individuals walking around with a broom and dust pan even through the lines at rides to ensure the place was spotless. Last time we were there, there was trash everywhere.
I understand that when it comes to large crowds, managing details is challenging, but with the amount of money they charge for admission and the sheer volume of people that attend every day, you would think managers and directors would be better prepared. It seems to me that Disneyland is more concerned with quarter profits than to live up to its image. I would even say that after creating a reputation for offering the best there is in entertainment, they lacked effort to deliver high standards in basic goods.
Yes, among all this distractions we managed to have fun. As my older kids say, it is the company you keep that makes good times roll. My daughter was able to enjoy the rides and each experience gave her enough awe and energy to last through lines, but I would like to hold Disneyland to the high standards they are capable of offering and realize that allowing ungodly scores of people into the park to the point they loose control of its management is not the best they can do for all the people involved. I’ll be going there again this summer and hope to catch one of those days when everything goes well.