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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Overview and Orientation of Disneyland

When you arrive at Disneyland, you get a map of Disneyland that points out the various attractions that can be found in each of the different themed lands, so that you can plan your journey.  Not everyone visits every attraction, and there is so much to do at Disneyland that it often takes several trips to see everything.  Similarly, this chapter will reflect Disneyland.  We will begin with a map, actually several, and a look into Disneyland’s structure, including a grand tour of Disneyland which will orient us and help us plan our journey.  Once we have seen the map and the overall layout of Disneyland, we will all be on the same page and know what to find where—this is akin to entering the park and walking down Main Street USA.  Everyone enters Disneyland the same way, which serves to orient and also to set the tone for the rest of the visit.  As at Disneyland, upon reaching the hub at the end of Main Street USA, where you go is up to you, and in this chapter, too, you can feel free to do the same.

Disneyland uses narrative extensively, and contains narratives within its different themed lands, yet Disneyland itself is not a coherent narrative.  This chapter, too, reflects the paradoxically narrative yet non-narrative nature of Disneyland. 

The different sections of this chapter will be arranged like Disneyland into areas that reflect different themes, and for fun, will be archetypally situated onto the map of Disneyland.  Disneyland is amazingly complex, and many things go on behind the scenes.  In this chapter as well, at some points you can peer further into a subject, but you do not have to.

Disneyland is famous for its remarkable detail. Various guidebooks point out some of these interesting pieces of information and two books by Yee and Shultz (2003, 2005) are solely about interesting Disneyland details, shining lights on the little touches that bestow such magic on Disneyland.  Our experience can be enriched if we know where to find the little extras that Disneyland is famous for. For example, many of the windows above Main Street USA contain whimsical tributes to some of the important people who helped design, build and run Disneyland over the years, and sometimes inside jokes as well.  Knowing about these Disneyland details “makes the magic they create more apparent” (Yee & Shultz, 2003, p. 7).  These myriad of details add to the richness and magic of the Magic Kingdom. 

This chapter will give a deeper look into the archetypal side of the “Disney magic” as it is called.  So, as I describe Disneyland’s structure and we later take our tour, along the way, I will continue to allude to optional excursional essays that can be taken, which are archetypally associated with the different themed spaces of Disneyland.  These excursions not only show archetypally how Disneyland plays, but they also, at times, allude to different play concepts that have been archetypally situated within them.

At Disneyland, you may choose to avoid entire lands completely, or only visit a single attraction in one land and spend most of your time in another land. similarly, in the two Disneyland chapters, I will mention different excursions during the "Overview" and "Grand Tour." For each particular excursion, you can take the entire excursion, or choose to only explore a part of it.  As we go along, I will mention [in brackets] different excursions that you may want to take, to further experience the archetypes at play in a deeper way, and where they are located. The excursions will also be highlighted with icons along the way, in much the same way as the different photo spots are marked at Disneyland.  That way you can decide if you want to go there or not, and when.  At the end of the grand tour, all of the excursions and their locations will be summarized and links directly to them will be provided.


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