The University of California in Irvine will probably get more young Disney fans applying to their school because of the newest class that was added to the schedule.
Created and being taught by Roland Betancourt, an associate professor of art history and visual studies at UCI, the ‘Disneyland Class’, is academic as much as it will appeal to Disneyland fans. “So I’m an art historian that’s used to trying to understand the way that objects, images, [and] works of art work in space,” said Betancourt in a story by LAist.
“So Disneyland sort of was a natural way of exploring these landscape spaces that seek to be themed in some capacity, to transcend the mundane, the average, and to take us to another realm in some capacity. And I think Disneyland does that in a way that pretty much puts a lot of history to shame,” Betancourt continued.
To create the class, Betancourt visited Walt Disney’s original Disney park 130 times, capturing slow-motion video of the attractions, taking photos of the architecture, and simply watching everything happen during the course of a day. He then condensed his observations into lectures that consist of cast scripts, social media posts, accident reports, on-ride YouTube videos, training manuals and the patents for the rides.
Oh, and he also has an optional class field trip to Disneyland toward the end of the class for students to see it all for themselves.
So, what’s the purpose of having a class like this? According to Betancourt, it’s part appreciation and part enhancing the wonder that is Disneyland.
“And so my interest is really to not give them the story that they can pick up in a popular book, but to also have a deeper understanding of the labor involved, the work that it takes on the part of cast members and designers to sustain, and actively maintain, spaces like these that are so heavily themed,” he said.
The class will be offered again in the spring quarter of 2020 and will likely focus on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Can this class get any more exciting?!