Feeling Inspired at Disneyland

Why I became an annual passholder

August 31st, 2021

On Sunday, I did something that I've daydreamed about for a long while now - I got an annual pass to Disneyland. After 15 years of living in SF, it's one of the perks of moving back to So Cal that I most looked forward to and finally got to indulge now that I'm back.

It’s not an idea that’s always been with me, it’s something that germinated small a few years back and grew to the point that I was truly looking forward to making it happen. If I had to point to a single origin on my timeline, I’d guess that it was after finding out that Steve Jobs idolized Walt Disney and I read both of their biographies to find out why.

I was blown away to find out that Walt was much more than a friendly avuncular animator, in ways that are too expansive to get into right now. Let’s just say that my visits to Disneyland always spark some of that same inspiration I felt when first learning about him or visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum devoted to his life story.

Aside from the ties to Walt, it’s still hard to articulate exactly why becoming an annual pass holder appeals to me so much. All I know is that I get a lot out of every visit. Maybe it’s the pleasant nostalgia, meeting up with friends with similar interests, or a variety of other underlying reasons.


Another factor is that it’s a great little laboratory to experiment with my new camera and practice photography. There’s something so soothing about walking around with your head in the clouds, music playing in the AirPods while looking for angles and light. I consider my skills to be intermediate but enjoy the process of hunting and trying.

I’m looking forward to seeing how the park changes with the seasons and trying to capture the different vibes over the next 12 months. The changes for the fall are already here: the Haunted Mansion was down while they theme it with Nightmare Before Xmas, while orange banners and pumpkins adorned Main Street.

Here's a few from this weekend:

If you liked these and want to see more, here's a collection of photos from the first half of this year.