UC Irvine Is Teaching A Class On Disneyland

Sometimes college classes can be boring, but could you imagine having a class that's all about Disneyland?!

That's right, UC Irvine now offers a class all about the Happiest Place on Earth!

The Disneyland class first launched in January for UCI's winter quarter and specifically focuses on the theme park's art, architecture, and operation. It's taught by Roland Betancourt, an associate professor of art history and visual studies, whose specialty is the medieval period.

"I work on the medieval portion of the Eastern Roman Empire — so based in what today we know as Istanbul, formerly Constantinople," Betancourt recently told KPCC's Take Two. "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."

Other topics he has covered in previous classes include the Las Vegas Strip and The Holy Land Experience, a Christian amusement park in Florida.

So how does one prepare to teach a class about Disneyland? Well, Betancourt visited Disneyland 130 times, rode the Matterhorn 600 times and took more than 20,000 photos and slow-motion videos, according to the university. He studied and noticed everything, from the brand of churros sold at the carts to the hiss of brakes and the clack of anti-rollback mechanisms on passing coasters. Now that's impressive!

He said he wants his students to go beyond thinking about the park's history and learn how to look critically at its use of space, of art, of architecture.

Click here to learn more about the class.

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