There is not one person in this world that hasn’t heard about DisneyLand or DisneyWorld. Disneyland first opened in the 1950’s, the years after war. People were in need of something more positive and happy after this bad time to get their mind off of traumatic and depressing things…enter Walt Disney. After Snow White, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and his own television show being a huge hit, he decided to open up a theme park, which was quite unusual at the time, but obviously a huge hit once again.
Believe it or not, several of the rides that were there when DisneyLand had first opened, are still around today. But, over the last 70 years, some rides have had to be rethought, as the world was obviously changing. An example being the Jungle Cruise.
If you have been to DisneyLand before, I doubt that you haven’t been on this ride. The ride where you are on this boat with a group of people and a tour guide, and you are going through a river surrounded by forest. Now, the
“attractions” of what people on that boat see around them is what the problem was and where there were changes that needed to be made.
In 2001, the ride skippers were “disarmed’ and no longer shot animals during the ride. And just this year, they have announced that they would remove any negative depictions of First Nations, since there were many. This recent change just goes to show how normalized things like racism were back in the 1950’s
(even diverse representation on screen wasn’t a thing).
Another issue at the time was gender roles. If you look at the animated movie Cinderella, many “bachelorettes” were lined up to meet the prince, hoping he would ask for their hand in marriage. This, reinforcing the stereotypical belief at the time, that the ultimate life goal for a woman was to be married (and stay home, cook clean and take care of the kids).
It’s good to see how much the world has changed since the 1950’s, however there is still a lot of work to do. Today, gender inequality still exists. For
example, women’s right to vote (Pakistan and Vatican City). Racism is still here today (Black Lives Matter and Asian Lives Matter) and the belief system of many countries in the world has not developed very far from the fairytale life of Cinderella and the fake image of the “American life” that America has tried to put up since the 1950’s.