Imagineering

Long ago, back when I didn't know what I was going to do with my life, there was one job which sounded magical. It combined fun with technology and science. It was a great neologism (not that I knew the meaning of the word back then).

I wanted to be an Imagineer. I loved Disney World when my parents and grandmother took me in 1987, and again in 1989 and 1991. Mostly I fell in love with the (then) EPCOT Center. I read a book about the parks which explained there was a Disneyland in California and a Disneyland in Tokyo as well as the one in Florida.

In 1992 about 3 months after it opened we went to EuroDisneyland, and were a little underwhelmed. Then in 1996 I saw Disneyland. I was sufficiently nerdy that what I really wanted was more EPCOT, and so I couldn't see the wood for the trees as regards how nice a Disneyland style "Magic Kingdom" park can be.

In 2003 my fiancee and I went back to Disneyland Paris on holiday and had a nice time. In 2004 and 2005 we managed to get to Tokyo Disneyland, which is amazing. Then in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 we went to Anaheim and saw the original Disneyland and the various evolutions of (Disney's) California Adventure, initially just the two of us and then with our son aged not quite 2 and not quite 3. We even had Annual Passports, despite living thousands of miles away and almost a whole day of flying.

I'm not an Imagineer, and I never will be, but over time my appreciation for the non-EPCOT parks has developed. I can see the pleasure in a "Magic Kingdom" park and the various other parks around the world. I am, proudly I hope, a Disney geek. The various Disney parks are places where I can feel happy and forget myself for a while. They are, to use a stupid phrase, my happy place. My Happiest Place On Earth in fact.