I spent four days in the Happiest Place on Earth. That’s right, Disneyland.
My school’s choir and band (I play tuba) traveled to California for a long weekend to perform and do a workshop in the park. (The workshop was probably the best part of the whole trip–we were directed by Donald Duck himself…that is, the man who voiced Donald for five years).
I enjoyed the trip, and I would certainly choose to do it over if I had a time machine. Disneyland, however, does make me feel a bit awkward. It seems almost endemic of America’s consumerism and materialism. Where else but an amusement park can you voluntarily subject yourself to stress hormone-inducing activities, purchase overpriced knick knacks, or eat whole fried turkey legs (at least they have healthy foods, like overpriced apples, now, too)–all for over 100 dollars? I am blessed to be able to afford this sort of leisurely activity, but I know that not all people are. It’s as though within the park, you really are in a surreal, small world, isolated from the real world. I’m not ungrateful or dissatisfied with the trip, just pensive about the value and meaning of such indulgences.
But I’m done with philosophizing, for now–back to the trip. There were a number of firsts for me: I took the tuba on an airplane for the first time, I saw fireworks in real life for the first time, I rode a rollercoaster for the first time. Two songs got “stuck in my head” the whole time: “The Wells Fargo Wagon” (from Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man, in which I played euphonium two years ago) which loops on Main Street, and, of course, “It’s a Small World After All.” While waiting in line for rides (which, due to slightly damp weather, were on the shorter side), we translated the whole song into Spanish and French. (Another symptom of our geekdom: we tried to create calculus word problems based on the Tower of Terror). We also figured out how to play “It’s A Small World” by ear on our respective instruments. Hilarious, albeit annoying.
I was trolling the internet after the trip, and came upon these renditions of “It’s a Small World”:
This one is just cool. I wish I could play the piano like that.
We told our band director (half-joking) that we should play this for pep band. I’m sure the crowd would love it.