The Goth Guide to Disneyland

While perusing the Internet last Friday (translation: slacking off), I stumbled across a website for an annual event called Bats Day in the Fun Park. Apparently, it’s a chance for all the goth kids of Southern California to descend on Disneyland for a day of black-clad revelry.

This might come as a surprise to some, but I was a little goth girl in college. Those of you who know me might argue that I haven’t entirely outgrown the phase, so needless to say I was fascinated by the whole Bats Day event. When I mentioned it at dinner with friends on Friday, someone raised the inevitable question: “What does Disneyland have that would interest a goth?”

The Haunted Mansion (my personal favorite) was the first ride that came to mind, but before long I had a growing list of things a goth might love about Disneyland. And so, here’s The Goth Guide to Disneyland:

-Once again, The Haunted Mansion is the best ride ever. How can any goth not love 999 happy haunts frolicking in a Southern plantation home with wall to wall creeps, hot and cold running chills, and enough cobwebs to make a neat freak self-destruct?

-Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: Come on, where else can you go on a ride that ends in HELL? My husband Ed never visited the Magic Kingdom before the Toad ride there was replaced by Pooh, so when we went to Disneyland in October I dragged him on it. After the ride, Ed gave me a bewildered look. “Mr. Toad got a raw deal,” he said. “He was just a fun-loving little guy who liked to drive fast, and they sent him to hell!”

-Pirates of the Caribbean gets on the list for two things. The first part of the ride roams through caves that are bursting with skeletons, giving it immediate inclusion on the list. Plus, some of the costumes on those pirates and wenches would be perfect with a pair of big black boots.

-Snow White’s Scary Adventures might be in Fantasyland, but it’s dark and creepy, in its own neon-painted plywood sort of way. I know it’s a kids’ ride, but I still like it.

-The walkway the cuts from The Village Haus restaurant in Fantasyland over to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has to be one of the darkest areas of the park. I used to be in California once a month for work, and I bought an annual pass to Disneyland so I could head over there for a couple hours at night after leaving the office. On a weeknight near closing time, that stretch of sidewalk can be dark and lonely. It’s the kind of place where you’d expect to find a vampire lurking. Or a goth who thinks he’s a vampire.

What have I forgotten? If you have any additions for the list, let me know!

Beth Dolgner

Beth Dolgner is a freelance writer and editor whose work encompasses everything from motorcycles to ghost stories. She is a devoted Boba Fett fan and a member of the 501st Legion.

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