Anaheim Shows Ron DeSantis How to Build a Better Mickey Mousetrap

To Fight Disney, Local Containment Works Better Than a Culture War Assault

How best to fight Mickey Mouse?

There are two schools of strategy for making war with the Burbank-based Walt Disney Company.

One strategy, from Florida, is making national news because it is driven by the culture war and the presidential campaign of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The other strategy, from Southern California, is little-known because it’s grounded in local concerns in the city of Anaheim, whose residents have spent decades being outmaneuvered by Donald Duck and friends.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, which says that …

A Short History of the Idea of ‘Main Street’ in America

From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Disneyland, the Concept Has Represented Both the Experimental and the Conventional

In the United States, Main Street has always been two things—a place and an idea. As both, Main Street has embodied the contradictions of the country itself.

It is …

How Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse Elevated the Everyman

The Disneyfication of American History Began Long Before the Theme Parks

There are few symbols of pure Americana more potent than the Disney theme parks. To walk down any of the destinations’ manicured Main Streets, U.S.A.—as hundreds of thousands of …

Chasing Holocaust Ghosts Down Route 66

Coping with Survival, My Father Took the Family for the Ride of Our Lives on America’s Mother Road

When I was 9 my father, Jacob, uprooted me from my magical boyhood in Detroit to chase ghosts down historic Route 66. We were bound for L.A.

Like Dust Bowl Okies, …

Give Every California Kid a Free Trip to Disneyland

Visiting the Happiest Place on Earth Is a Golden State Resident's Fundamental Right

On Christmas Eve, it felt like the park was all ours.

When I was growing up in the 1980s and early ’90s, Disneyland was so reliably empty on the day before …