Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts

*This text is a sample of writing from my postgraduate thesis project. My project was a reader in which I selected five original essays from the post-war American travel magazine, Holiday, introducing and contextualizing writing from the 1940s – 1960s. Here is a sample of my introduction to an essay about the wonders of Disneyland called ‘The Machine-Tooled Happyland’ written by Ray Bradbury in Holiday’s October 1965 issue.  

The below URL links to a recorded reading of the entirety of my essay, “Ideals, Dreams, and Hard Facts” at the 2014 Final Show at the Royal College of Art’s Battersea campus, hosted by ECHO—a radio series from the students of the Curating Contemporary Art programme. [11:55 minute mark to 25 minute mark, approximately]





Just beyond the gates of Disneyland, before the courtyard of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, stands a towering flagpole. High atop, a monumental American flag floats in the California breeze, and a small bronze plaque at its base reads: “To all who have come to this happy place; welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past… and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts which have created America… with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.” [1] On July 17, 1955 Walt Disney, as master of ceremonies, opened the doors to the ‘happiest place on earth’ with those words of dedication, and with the hope that his amusement park would animate the world.



[1] Walt Disney’s Guide to Disneyland. (1964) Anaheim, CA: Walt Disney Productions.  Pg. 11