Generations Go to Disneyland

June 9, 2009 at 8:23 am 1 comment

250px-DisneyETicket_wbelfThree different Boomer friends visited Disneyland this week and mentioned how much fun they had. If there was one key experience of my growing up in Los Angeles, it was my family’s bi-annual pilgrimages to “the happiest place on earth.” A fabulous treat and an all-day experience, I wanted to ride all my favorites again and again, and although I loved the new rides and attractions I never wanted the old stuff to change.

Of course the old stuff had to change, and some of it vanished. Anyone remember The Adventure Through Inner Space? That was one of my favorites and an attraction that many were sad to see go, but the space was needed for Star Tours. I never rode Flight to the Moon in Tomorrowland, but my father remembers it as fondly as I remember the Mission to Mars that replaced it. (Neither of us was too fond of Captain EO which followed, but the 3-D feature was pretty cool).

There are many resources for generating Disneyland memories. My favorite is Yesterland which catalogs every element that has vanished from the park. Did you know Disneyland had a Main Street attraction on the history of underwear? While there was a Dumbo ride in 1955, it wasn’t what you ride with your kids or grandkids today. Does anyone remember the movie elements added to the People Mover to make it “through the land of Tron?” Who actually rode a Rainbow Ridge Pack Mule? I was speaking about Disneyland to a young patron in our library and said “Did you go to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse?” Um, it hasn’t been that for a while (it’s now Tarzan’s Treehouse) and this eight-year-old had never seen or heard of Swiss Family Robinson (the book or the movie). It’s a good test of your generation to see what you remember about the Disneyland of your childhood; also what you mourn the loss of when you take the next generation.

On Doug’s Disneyland Trivia webpage, he captures the sentiments between the generations perfectly in describing how the original Toad Hall in Storybookland disappeared to make way for Aladdin’s Palace, but then was brought back:

“The 1983 remodel of Fantasyland added the present facade to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, built to resemble Toad Hall itself. Thus, like Toad Hall in Storybookland, it has a multitude of chimneys (and supposedly only one fireplace) which actually produce smoke. Toad Hall disappeared from Storybookland a couple of years ago, to make way for the Palace of Agrabah from “Aladdin.” But there was a bit of a fuss, and now, in a new location in Storybookland, Toad Hall has returned. As Tony Baxter, one of the lead folks at Walt Disney Imagineering recently said, (paraphrasing) ‘it’s important that Disneyland speak to each generation. Thus, while we old boomers miss the removal or relocation of something like Toad Hall, Disney tries also to connect to that seven-year old who says, ‘Look Mommy! It’s Jasmine’s house!’ “

Discussions about Disneyland at my house always set off a course of fond remembering … E Tickets, Country Bear Jamboree, Main Street Electrical Parade … and inevitably someone says “Why did they take that away?”

I think Walt Disney, creator of Disneyland, the home of Tomorrowland, and the host of the House of the Future and the Carousel of Progress would approve.

ht

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Reinventing Date Night for Boomers and Others Travel, Relax, Contribute, Grow

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Create a Wave of Good Feeling « LINK Logs  |  July 21, 2009 at 6:34 am

    […] 21, 2009 The post on June 9, Generations Go To Disneyland was not an accident; I was actually researching the amusement park in preparation for spending my […]

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