Tell Me... Why Do You Like Theme Parks So Much?

As I'm nearing the end of my Master's degree at London Business School and Fudan University, job interviews become more and more of a routine. Over the past couple of weeks, I have gone through a couple of assessment sessions, video chats, online tests, and many other stages that I can literally talk about for hours.

Perhaps the one interesting thing that I notice is that I've always been asked one question - the one exact same question - in all interviews that I've done so far.

Why do you like theme parks?

Trust me, the first time I was asked this question, I paused for what I felt like eternity. For what seems like forever, I've loved theme parks with my whole heart. Yet when I was asked why, I didn't know how to answer.

#MyYearAfterLBS moment: Making people happy one magic at a time.

First things first, this question is simple, yet to construct simple and straightforward responses is a delicate and complex matter that requires a lot of thought, reflection, and self-discovery. Personally speaking, this is similar to the kind of question where you're asked, "Why is fried rice your favourite food?" and, "Why do you like cars so much?"

Sure, you can respond by saying, "Because it tastes good," "Because it excites me," or by going on and on about technical details that could bore your listeners. But for me, answering such questions that way is a lazy way; it's a shallow way to explain something that deserves much deeper and more engaging responses.

In simple ways, I can go about how theme parks is the manifestation of arts and imagination coming into life. It gives me a safe environment where I'm free to set my mind free, to have my imagination sail for the wildest corners possible. I can go on and on about how much I love the weird sensation of riding roller coasters: the unexpected movements, G-forces, I feel like flying, amongst others.

Theme park is one of the highest forms of arts, where dramatic, musical, and visual arts merge into one creation for people to experience in real life.

But go deeper and I'll relate this to my childhood in Indonesia. Growing up in a small town in a rather conservative family and culture, expected to meet certain standards and adhering to the norms, I never had many opportunities to imagine the "what could be possible" and was told to follow the "what will definitely work" instead. Doing the earlier rather than the latter would usually result in me - and those around me too - being told to "grow up" or "immature." Trying to defend myself - even until today - isn't an easy task. I've been called "delusional" so many times, hell, I even lost count. You can read more about this in my previous blog post.

Today, I couldn't help but to sometimes think what would happen if I were to have the chance to be my true self throughout my childhood. Where would I be today if I took a different path in the past?

This question has driven me to help people - particularly the young generation - to be true to themselves; to learn what they're truly capable of. In other words, it has become some sort of a mission for me to tell the young people to not be afraid in questioning the norms; to believe in themselves and to take the time to put their thoughts into actions whenever possible. Your future is yours to live, so live up your dream; stay true to the path you wish to take and be kind to yourself.

To me, making the people that I care most about smile, happy, and inspired means everything to me.

And that is where theme parks come into play in my quest. Throughout my lives, I've seen theme parks as places where people - no matter how old they are, no matter where they come from - leave the reality of the world behind and step into places where they can live up their imagination and innocence, forces that are far more powerful than even the most ambitious ambition you can ever find in this world. It's in this world they're able to freely and safely explore - and perhaps discover - the other sides of themselves that they haven't encountered for such long time.

It truly warms my heart when I see people - regardless of their ages, origins, religions, and other forms of backgrounds - have their senses evoked and have their mind inspired by the creativity embodied in theme parks; amazed by what could be their first-time experience in many things. I came to a realisation that I love going to theme parks not only because I love theme parks myself, but also because of the spark and the materialisation of inspiration and creativity that hopefully will allow these people to find their true paths.

As long as theme parks continue to inspire people around the world, I'll forever want to be in the middle of it all: to continue inspiring people one moment at a time... and just like what this blog is called... ONE THEME PARK AT A TIME.

On a recent visit to Shanghai Disneyland, while exiting the popular Soaring Over the Horizon, an Indian boy cheerfully screamed at his parents, "One day, I want to become a pilot so that I can fly around the world."

I wouldn't mind witnessing people being inspired like this every day.

Comments

  1. Great thoughts! Keep going Adriel!

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  2. I'm so humbled to have you as my friend, Adriel :) Hope you get that dream job!

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  3. Adriel, some of us at LBS have always admired by how different you are compared to everyone else at LBS. You were never afraid to be yourself, to take paths that are rarely taken, and to believe in something so passionately. I really hope that you stay being the unique you and keep believing in yourself and dearest passion. Before you know it, you will change the world in your own special way.

    LBS must have been so proud to have you as an alumni!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Xiao,

      So grateful to hear you got accepted as an Intern at Disney Imagineering :-) What's your contact info? I think it's better if we talk about this directly rather than comment section of this blog, haha!

      Mine is "a" "dot" "tjokrosaputro" "at" "gmail" "dot" "com". Hope that's fine with you!

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