The Magic Kingdom


Disneyland: the archetype of the simulated city. A city in which illusion becomes reality; in which the hopes and dreams of the ideal world are realized. The crowd at Disneyland is a warm one, people are friends, laughter, joy, imagination and creativity abound. No body cries in Disneyland. Just like a real city, the crowd (the population) are directed in ordered currents and flows. We follow arrows, we stand in lines, just as we drive between the painted lines of the street. Disneyland is, in miniature, the ideal American city. Rules are obeyed because there is no alternative. Here is a city where murder, rape and adultery do not exist. 

No one is pretending that Disneyland is real: even children are made keenly aware of this fact. 

    You are about to enter the world of Imagination 
    You are about to enter the world of Tomorrow' 
Baudrillard writes that, "Disneyland is presented as imaginary in order to make us believe that the rest is real, whereas Los Angeles [is] no longer real, but belongs to the hyperreal order and to the order of simulation." 
Los Angeles has become, according to Baudrillard, "a city whose mystery is precisely that of no longer being anything but a network of incessant, unreal circulation -- a city of incredible proportions but without space, without dimension. As much as electrical and atomic power stations, as much as cinema studios, this city, which is no longer anything but an immense scenario and a perpetual pan shot, needs this old imaginary like a sympathetic nervous system made up of childhood signals and faked phantasms. 
    All quotations from Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra & Simulation, 1994