Ray Bradbury’s short story “All Summer in a Day” kept coming back to me as I beheld the ecstasy of children on a March morning at Disneyland. I was there to participate in the birthday experience of a good friend (Southern California residents can go online and claim a free ticket on their birthdays.). We five grown-ups ventured forth, sufficiently caffeinated, expecting rain (The skies were a clear perfect blue.).

For all of the crass merchandising, for all the evils an adult brain acknowledges in this bizarre institution, the energy of thousands of children and memories from one’s own childhood (the first trip to the Haunted Mansion, which has all the magic of Christmas the first time one rolls through it) can lift the silly to the sublime. The spirit of the Peter Pan ride, the rush of Space Mountain, the funk and grittiness of Star Tours (which erases the last three Star Wars movies from memory) have a “Kick the Can” effect.

Rod Serling understood well the yearning which draws us to Disneyland: a yearning the park’s architects sought to satisfy with an attention to detail, a craftsmanship, equal to that of Disney’s greatest films.

That said, Automated Johnny Depp should not intrude in the goings-ons of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It’s like coming back and finding product placements penciled into the N.C. Wyeth illustrations of Treasure Island.

While the Lucas crossovers are a complete success (the Indiana Jones ride has more heart and makes more sense than Crystal Skull), Captain Jack Sparrow and Billy Nighy’s Davy Jones do not have the aura the original pirates have obtained after so many years. For them to be shoehorned into a ride, which is a bona fide classic, seems not only wrongheaded but impolite. It’s a question of propriety: something the architects of the ride would have understood.

Disney’s California Food and Wine Festival begins April 24 and runs though June 7. For more information, visit disneyland.disney.go.com.