Thursday, July 10, 2008

Disneyland Musings - Volume 2 - Familiar Scents

Disneyland is not simply a three dimensional reality. It has additional dimensions of sound and smell that accompany all that our eyes perceive.

Smell is the sense said to be most directly linked to memory. When I smell diesel fumes, for example, a link appears in my mind to the Disneyland parking lot trams that I have boarded over the years. Indeed, the smell of diesel (or other fuel) links to a variety of vehicles in and around the Park: the subs, the Jungle Cruise, the Main Street vehicles, Storybookland.

Disneyland has many other familiar smells. How about the sticky mint julep and apple fritter smell in the direct vicinity of the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square? Or that moist, chlorine-ish, watery smell as you enter and exit the Pirates of the Caribbean? The smell of the trains of the Disneyland Railroad as they pull into the station? The smell of the moat in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle and at the entrances to Adventureland and Frontierland? For that matter, the smell of the Rivers of America and the waters of the Jungle Cruise? Popcorn at the Hub? Or the distinct, clean chlorine odor of the water as you enter It's A Small World.? Sticky pineapple in front of Tiki Room? Exhaust from Autopia cars? The planter in front of the Matterhorn? Even the shops on Main Street, especially The Emporium, have their own, unique aroma of new clothes, plush toys, and hundreds of guests! The train steaming through the tunnels (at Splash Mountain, just before Mickey's Toontown station, and at the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas) has its own heady aroma of diesel, steam, wood, oil, etc.

I'm sure there are many folks more olfactorily gifted than yours truly who could add to this meager list, but I have provided a start, a sampler. I am sure one could add things like the smell of turkey legs or peanut brittle (or whatever else is being cooked up at the candy shop on Main Street) or the odor smoke drifting by after the evening fireworks. Each person certainly will have their own memories of smells associated with the Park.

Thanks for allowing your noses to join me on this little jaunt. If you have a moment, please post some Disneyland "scent memories" of your own.


Namowal said...

I first smelled mildew when I got a faint whiff of it in the cannon battle scene of the Pirates of the Caribbean (it doesn't smell that way anymore). To this day the scent brings me back to the ride.

Mike said...

Ahh. Mildew and Disneyland. Along the same lines, during my days as a sweeper we had plastic bags of stuff we called "pixie dust" that we would use to cover up a "protein spill" before sweeping and mopping up the mess. Pixie Dust had a unique smell that will forever be linked to my days as a sweeper!

kitchenmage said...

Dill pickles! The original ones from the barrel, not the modern replacements. (speaking of which, I am in search of a photo of them for an article, you don't happen to have one around...?)

Mike said...

I don't have any good pickle photos from the old Market House on Main Street, but would certainly agree that the aroma of dill and coffee should be added to the list of Disney odors. While we're on the subject, I add the smell of the water and wood at the Hungry Bear restaurant in Bear, excuse me, Critter Country (downstairs, under the "porch" where you can feed the ducks and watch the canoes, Mark Twain and Columbia float by.