In 1989, I visited Disneyland with an ordinarily pessimistic friend of mine who, quite out of character, absolutely loved the Park. As we stood in line waiting to get in, I watched rain clouds hurrying to encroach us. I turned to him and disappointedly indicated that it was going to rain. He flashed a rare and almost elfish smile and said, “It never rains at Disneyland.” (Which isn’t exactly true.) I said that was impossible and asked him what was the scientific basis for his claim. He replied very matter-of-factly, “It’s the happiest place on Earth. Just watch … when we go under the arch, look up. The sky will be blue.”
Sure enough, raindrops were beginning to fall as we passed the Mickey-shaped flowers and walked under the train tracks. While my friend paused to admire the Haunted Mansion poster (my otherwise gloomy companion’s favorite ride), I strode ahead to prove him wrong. Flabbergasted, I exited the short tunnel and looked up into a clear, azure sky. In disbelief, I ran back toward the gate-side of the tunnel where rain was still falling.
“I don’t understand,” I asked when I returned to his side. “How can this be?” “That’s the magic of Disneyland,” he replied.
We went on to enjoy the Park, where it did eventually rain lightly for about 15 minutes. During the next hour lines were very light as everyone else, it seemed, ran for their jackets and ponchos.
Twenty years later, taking advantage of the free ticket offer on my birthday, I returned with my girlfriend. As we waited for the Park to open, she noticed that was becoming cloudy. I told her not to worry and recounted my experience to her, saying that once we passed under the arch, the sky would be blue … and it was!
She asked me how it was possible and I replied, very matter-of-factly, “That’s the magic of Disneyland!”
– John, 39, Ashland, OR
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