Disneyland Inspires Me to Write

Most people give me a you-must-be-crazy look when I mention that I’ve been to Disneyland over 400 times. Then I explain why. I’ve been a very prolific writer at the park which is where I’ve worked on screenplays and my upcoming novel based on the Wizard of Oz. One writing day at Disneyland has equaled two writing days anywhere else. Why? Inspiration. Disneyland inspires me to write because everything there is based on stories.

Each attraction supports a narrative that features you as the main character and takes you on an adventure. Not only that, but characters from those stories walk around and interact with you. It’s as if you’re in the middle of stories that have come to life.

On a Friday afternoon, I was working on a screenplay while sitting on a park bench in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. The Mad Hatter noticed me and wandered over with Alice and the Queen of Hearts close behind.

“What is that contraption?” the Mad Hatter asked, pointing to my computer with a confused look on his face.

“My computer. I’m working on a screenplay,” I said.

“May we read it?” the Mad Hatter asked.

I laughed. “Of course.”

I turned the screen so the Mad Hatter could look it over. He directed Alice to read along with him and they enacted a scene from Hooked where two characters go on a date. As they delivered the lines, a crowd gathered. The Mad Hatter and Alice finished the scene with relish and the crowd applauded. The Queen of Hearts, however, held her nose and motioned that it stunk.

I winked at her. “Everyone’s a critic.”

As they walked away, it struck me how magical it was to have three people, who were playing characters created by Lewis Carroll, reading and bringing my story to life. That doesn’t happen at Starbucks. Unless it’s the Starbucks at Disneyland.

When tourists have noticed me working on my laptop, they usually have a different reaction. They typically glare at me as if I’m a workaholic likely neglecting my kids. Because no one ventures to Disneyland alone, right?

In the summertime, people have jokingly yelled at me to get off my computer and go enjoy myself. On one afternoon, I was writing in a section of California Adventure and a little boy wandered over to inform me that I shouldn’t be working at Disneyland. He then turned and dashed away.

Some tourists have been confused by what I was doing. During one of my trips, my computer battery was dying so I plugged it into an outlet at Hungry Bear restaurant which is at the far side of the park, next to the future Star Wars land. While I wrote, the fireworks exploded overhead.

A man wearing mouse ears passed by me and said, “That’s so cool.”

“What?” I asked.

He pointed to my computer. “That you’re doing the fireworks.”

I laughed and told him I was writing. From his look, that didn’t seem to make sense to him.

When I’m not writing, I’ve taken frequent trips to Disneyland with my family too. I’ll write about bringing my 6 month old daughter in my next blog.

Has Disneyland inspired you? If so, let me know how in the comments below.

By | 2018-05-22T06:28:54+00:00 May 24th, 2017|Allen Wolf, Disneyland, Hooked Movie, Hooked Novel, Wizard of Oz, Writing|4 Comments

About the Author:

Allen Wolf
Allen Wolf is an award-winning author, filmmaker, and board game creator. His debut novel, Hooked, was named a winner in the Book of the Year Awards. He's also a fan of Disneyland, chocolate, and spending time with his wife and two kids.

4 Comments

  1. Jenny Bowell May 24, 2017 at 10:23 am - Reply

    I love this Allen! We have visited Disneyland several times at different stages with our kids and it really is a special place for us. My parents first took me for the first time when I was 5, and they took us when my older girls were about 4 and 5. Whenever we go back, that Disney Magic seems to transport us back to that special trip. We see things through the lens of that very first visit with those little girls that were so excited to be picked by the fairies for the parade, overwhelmed with excitement at seeing all of their favorite characters up-close and hugging them tight and being able to do it all with their beloved Nana and Pa by their side. I am so blessed that all of my kids got to experience this trip with my parents. These memories we have make the trips to Disneyland priceless. I’m happy to say, my husband and I are headed back again in July with my son who will be a few weeks from turning 17 and my daughter who will be just shy of 19. I can’t wait to see them transform back into those little kids I miss so much and I know my parents will be watching over us the whole time, enjoying every second. Disney Magic, there’s nothing like it! I will be sure to not judge anyone too harshly for working on a laptop. What a great place to be inspired! By the way, I can’t wait to read the new book- it sounds amazing!!

    • Allen Wolf
      Allen Wolf May 24, 2017 at 10:36 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing, Jenny! I hope you have a great time in July.

  2. Krista May 26, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    That was amazing! How wonderful that you have found a place that truly inspires you. I, for one, woukd agree that Disneyland is the most inspirational place on earth. I can’t wait to go back someday! 🙂

  3. Todd Fredrickson May 26, 2017 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Can’t think of a place I’d rather write. Of course, I’ve never actually done it, but I’d sure like to give it a go!

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