The Magic of Disneyland’s Cosmopolitan Canopy
Built in 1954, Disneyland is nestled in Anaheim California. Walt Disney had a vision to create a magical place, with his endless imagination it all started with the creation of Mickey Mouse. Disneyland theme park is spread over 85 acres of land, filled with amazing attractions that welcome any person no matter what race, gender, or religion. Disneyland attracts tourist from all over the world, the variety of people present is one of a kind. The park incorporated a representation of every culture, so everyone can feel right at home. They also created sections in the park to represent different places in the world, like San Francisco’s Pier. The uplifting and joyous vibe of being in Disneyland, eliminates the hesitation or anxiety that would normally resist people from communicating with others. A Cosmopolitan Canopy is a place where a diversity of people are welcome and capable of overcoming the issues that exist in society, such as racism. Disneyland theme park provides a cosmopolitan canopy because it offers a safe and comfortable place for people of all ethnicities to experience a place filled with magic, warm feelings, and positive vibes.
Disneyland’s cosmopolitan canopy attracts 40,000 people per day. “In this relatively busy, quasi-public setting, under a virtual cosmopolitan canopy, people are encouraged to treat others with a certain level of civility or at least simply to behave themselves.” (pg.15) The magical setting throughout the park encourages happiness and imagination. The experience of watching something you seen on a film come to life captures your attention and thoughts. Everything thing inside the park plays a critical role in creating the inviting vibe, every individual that visits gets to experience. There is no categorization, prejudice, or judgement inside the theme park which is important to the creation of a cosmopolitan canopy. All societal issues disappear as if they don’t exist allowing people to create new views and opinions of others. “Their trusting attitudes can be infectious, even spreading feelings of community across racial and ethnic lines.” (pg.16) The trusting vibe spreads over the park, allowing all people to let their guard down and just enjoy what the space should offer.
The crew members of Disneyland work very hard to ensure they are all dressed to ebbed and blend into the attraction they are playing a role in. Space mountain being a popular ride, usually the wait is at least 50 minutes, although you may expect people to become agitated; you look around and see smiling faces of people excited to enjoy the fast-paced journey through space. Walking through the paths of space mountain you are so intrigued by all the small details incorporated; it is impossible for your mind to wonder to unsafe places. Instead you begin listening diligently to each other to see if they recognized something you might have missed. After you experience the 35mpg hour ride; your adrenaline rushing people that fill the space begin clapping for your arrival, waving and smiling at you.
Elijah Anderson writes in, “The Cosmopolitan Canopy” that food has the capability of bringing people together. “When diverse people are eating one another’s food, … a social good is performed for those observing. As people become intimate through such shared experiences, certain barriers are prone to be broken.” (pg.17) Disneyland offers food from all ethnicities throughout the park, making people feel right at home. The Pacific Wharf Café offers the most amazing clam chowder served in a warm bread bowl; that you can eat along the water of the river that flows through Disneyland. While the famous Blue Bayou Restaurant that is nested inside the Pirates of the Caribbean, serves Cajun and creole recipes which represents the African American and European decent. Not only do they offer foods which belong to specific ethnicities they also have their own unique food everyone loves. You can smell the mouth-watering turkey legs while waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain, and the aroma of popcorn fills the entire park.
While exploring one of the many shops Downtown Disney offers, without any hesitation I snapped a photo of myself. Which is unusual for me because of my lack of confidence, but in this cosmopolitan canopy people do not compare themselves to one another allowing me to look past my normal self-conscious ways. I was overwhelmed by the infectious feeling of openness and happiness that filled the air. This image I captured of myself using my I-Phone 6s plus, wearing a Star Wars themed hat; captures the uplifted spirits of such a humble place. Showing how a person can express themselves without being judged, or feeling like someone is watching them. Without a doubt, someone can recognize the pure happiness in my eyes. It takes the input of all people in your presence to embrace what a cosmopolitan canopy represents.
Disneyland is truly a magical place that shows a pure representation of a cosmopolitan canopy. Experiencing a Cosmopolitan Canopy like Disneyland opens many doors, showing the possibilities for society to overcome the issues that currently categorize and separate us by culture, ethnicity, and class. The feeling of being a part of such a pure, happy, and stress free environment makes you want to experience it all the time. Our society could highly benefit from incorporating more places representing a cosmopolitan canopy. It is unfortunate that our societies overall growth, is hindered by racism and judgement of each other’s cultures. We may not be able to control our unconscious thoughts, but we can create and mold our surroundings to enlighten us. Elijah Anderson has provided a concrete explanation to begin to start in the right direction to creating amazing places that we can all feel safe in.
Anderson, Elijah. The Cosmopolitan Canopy. (2012) http://www.jstor.org/stable/4127607
Author Unknown, How many people go to Disneyland each day? (2012) http://www.howmanyarethere.net/how-many-people-go-to-disneyland-each-day/
Author Unknown, Disneyland’s History. http://www.justdisney.com/disneyland/history.html