The fabulous Disneyland castle, mini-sized to be more fun for kids, but still pretty darn immense and impressive.

The fabulous Disneyland castle, mini-sized to be more fun for kids, but still pretty darn immense and impressive.

Look at that castle! I think it’s stunning in the morning sunshine. We were in Anaheim for six days, and the first four of them were cold, grey, cloudy, and even a little wet. But on our last morning to go into the park, there was blue sky everywhere and the sun came out and made everything sparkle. We could see the mountains around the city of L.A. from our hotel room, it was so clear.

Wandering around the two parks (Disneyland and Disney California Adventure), I marveled again and again at how drastically our landscape changed. We were in jungles and cities and deserts and on spaceships and underground.

Where do you think Disneyland is? Looking at the photo of the castle above, a reasonable person might guess it’s in the forest.

And if you guessed forest, you would be right. Disneyland is in the forest, with rivers and geysers.

And if you guessed forest, you would be right. Disneyland is in the forest, with rivers and geysers.

But… a reasonable person is not familiar with the forests of Anaheim.

Disneyland is in a desert! Everyone knows LA is in the desert.

That’s because Disneyland is in a desert! Everyone knows Anaheim is in the desert.

It's a beautiful desert, with live cacti, Route 66, and red cliffs.

It’s a beautiful wide-open, empty desert, with live cacti, Route 66, and red cliffs.

But wait… weren’t we in the middle of a gigantic city in southern California?

Yes, a city packed with buildings and people is where one finds Disneyland.

Yes, a city packed with buildings and people is where one finds Disneyland.

It's a large city, with industry, a town hall, a pagoda, a fire house, and more!

It’s a large city, with industry, a town hall, a pagoda, a fire house, and more!

That’s not a real city.

Are you thinking of a city like this?

Are you thinking of a city like this?

With a grand City Hall instead of a Toon City Hall?

With a grand City Hall instead of a Toon City Hall?

And a stately entrance like this?

And a stately entrance like this?

Yes, yes, that looks like a city to hold Disneyland. So, where did those trees come from?

Disneyland is in the snowy Alps, with crashing waterfalls, birch trees, and granite peaks.

The trees are in the snowy Alps, with crashing waterfalls, birch trees, and granite peaks.

Don't forget the Bavarian ski lodge.

Don’t forget the Bavarian ski lodge.

Let Olaf assure you: Disneyland is in the snow, for certain.

Let Olaf assure you: Disneyland is in the snow and trees, for certain.

I thought California was known more for….

Vineyards? Yes! California is where one finds grapes.

Vineyards? Yes! California is where one finds grapes.

Well I was thinking more along the lines of….

Jungle? With bamboo and cicadas screeching all day while we walked beneath dripping vines.

Jungle? With bamboo and cicadas screeching all day while we walked beneath dripping vines.

Wait a minute, things are not normal in that jungle! Since when do fireflies provide nighttime lighting?

If you see a jungle you want it to look like this.

If you see a jungle you want it to look like this.

With temple ruins and Bengal tigers and fat lazy rivers?

With temple ruins and Bengal tigers and fat lazy rivers?

Yes! Now that’s a real jungle! Now wait, you tricked me. We were trying to figure out where Disneyland is.

It's in a jungle, I'm telling you. And all the people live in treehouses.

It’s in a jungle, I’m telling you. And all the people live in treehouses.

Stop messing with me.

In a manicured garden beside a pond, you will find the park.

In a manicured garden beside a pond, you will find the park.

Or you may find it in a crazy Small World castle.

Or you may find it in a crazy Small World castle.

Again, I must protest. That is no castle.

Ah, but you see, the park is in a castle.

Ah, but you see, the park is in a castle.

The park is contained in high stone walls with turrets and towers and royalty.

The park is contained in high stone walls with turrets and towers and royalty.

It's a truly beautiful place.

It’s a truly beautiful place.

You are not being direct. You haven’t given me a clear sense of what kind of place I’ll find it in.

A Moroccan marketplace

A Moroccan marketplace

It's in an Old West frontier town.

It’s in an Old West frontier town.

Or possibly you'll find it in Hollywood of days past.

Or possibly you’ll find it in Hollywood of days past.

Here's a lovely place. Why don't we put Disneyland in this area of gardens and hills and foliage with mountains in the background. Hm, that peak looks a bit ominous.

Here’s a lovely place. Why don’t we put Disneyland in this area of gardens and hills and foliage with mountains in the background. Hm, that peak looks a bit ominous.

Ok, now that is a threatening mountain. Maybe Disney shouldn't be here after all.

Yikes! That is a threatening mountain. Maybe Disney shouldn’t be here after all.

Alright, stop it. You’re messing with me. Where is the park?

You'll find your park at an enormous carnival at the beach.

You’ll find your park at an enormous carnival at the beach.

See? Mickey Mouse logo and all; the park is here.

See? Mickey Mouse logo and all; the park is here.

Or, maybe it's in this wild world of futuristic science and space travel.

Or, maybe it’s in this wild world of futuristic science and space travel.

Possibly you'll find it in the deep South, with huge plantation houses and dripping Spanish moss.

Possibly you’ll find it in the deep South, with huge plantation houses and dripping Spanish moss.

Or in a regular California town in the warm and sunny coast lands.

Or in a regular California town in the warm and sunny coast lands.

Enough! I’m tired of playing at this. In order for everything you’ve shown me to be true, Disneyland must be in an entirely different kind of place, where the world changes completely around every corner. A place where every new sight is even more surprising than the last. If all of this exists, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks must be awfully big.

Indeed. So big that we used this to go from place to place.

Indeed. So immense that we could use this to go from place to place.