Disneyland: The Americanized Vacation


Disneyland remains in the hearts and resonates in the minds of many young and old Americans. It serves many purposes for family travel and adventures, as well as, if accessible, a child’s right of passage. However, Disneyland represents a sense of American pastime, and making meaning in the face of journey. We can understand a lot about a culture, by the ways people spend their off time.

We enjoy the adventures and fantasy lands that Disney has been able to manufacture, and sell to us as an experience. As humans, we enjoy stimulations that are often artistic, musical, visually stimulating, and physically engaging. Therefore, this is a park that allows these stimulations in a very Americanized, all-inclusive fashion.

As a culture, we have often found travel to be an attractive experience especially in the 1960’s when Disney became a popular vacation. The artificial replica of different places has proved to be very successful. The places represented are not only different countries, but often become imagined versions of fairytales. Regardless of if the place represented is real or made up, it is only the idealistic version of such.

For every foreign land that Disney presents in a sparkly new accessible version, there is another claim on the American “adventure” and our cultures meanings. By studying things like the ideal place, anthropology can help us understand the different ways we seek stimulations. And we can understand travel as a habit, class status, educational level, relaxation, as well as a statement on our own conditions and our acceptance of it.