june 18, 2003

This was the date that I first purchased a Disneyland pass. I was fifteen years old and had just started my first job teaching piano. The arduous hours I spent slouched over keyboards while repeating lessons over and over had finally amounted to enough cash for me to buy a deluxe annual passport. Back then, it was only $160 for one. (Nowadays, it’s more than twice as much!)  This was the first big thing I had saved up for, and nothing was more gratifying than finally feeling the cool plastic of the passport in my hands.

The wheel of life has turned so much since then, but one thing remains the same. I love Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom has never lost its luster in my mind’s eye. I’ve seen Disneyland bring the inner child out of everyone who walks past the turnstiles at the front gate, whether or not they admit it.

Each time I go, I insist on reacting to the jolts and turns of Indiana Jones’ Adventure as if it was my first time, every time. I give directions to tourists who are visiting for the first time, as if I were a citizen of this Disney-fied town. No matter what, I always save room for clam chowder. Even though I’ve been to New Orleans and it is nothing like New Orleans’ Square, I let my imagination overwrite my memory for the time being. Then, when the fireworks come on at 9:30, I return to innocence in the middle of Main Street, joining the hundreds of other kids (young and old) looking up at the sky, wide eyed and awestruck.

All this is to say that I’m due for another trip soon. Since I’ve been back in southern California, I’ve only made one trip, and that is insultingly infrequent, considering how I made weekly pilgrimages when I was younger. Felipe and I will be getting passes soon. I can’t wait.

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