Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Disneyland 1983 Wallet Fact Card

As a Custodial Host during my first summer at Disneyland, I was provided with a "Wallet Fact Card" for the Park. Having been a Park goer for many years prior to working there, I was already quite aware of most of the information on the card.

Looking at the card today reminds us of the way things were just before Eisner & Wells came on board. This was the park before the corporate greed really got rolling and stupid things started happening to Disneyland. Back then, admission prices were reasonable and the attractions were classic. Area theming still remained true to Walt's original vision. There was a parking lot. A big parking lot. It stood in gray contrast to the colorful world "inside the berm."

There were actually things to see and do in Tomorrowland, for example.

America Sings was till operating. You could take a "Mission to Mars" or cruise along the Peoplemover tracks and look down over Tomorrowland. The Rocket Jets were high in the air and in the middle of Tomorrowland. Now, they're on Main Street and a bizarre modern space sculpture occupies their old location (what the hell is that thing anyway? Looks like a bad DirecTV antenna). Mary Blair's mural still graced the building that housed the Circle Vision theater, where you could catch "American Journeys" and cool off during a hot summer day. The Submarine Voyage subs cruised their crystal-clear lagoon while the Skyway floated overhead on its way through the Matterhorn to Fantasyland.

Tomorrowland itself was a bright, white vision of the future. Sure, it was a "dated" vision, but it beats the heck out of the funky, rust-colored "Jules Verne" mess that it later became. Even the Autopia was friendlier. The cars were bright, primary colors. There was no massive canopy thing (again with the Jules Verne rust colors everywhere) blocking the wide open view of the Autopia and the Monorail track above it.

I miss the "old" Tomorrowland.

Oh, and one more thing, the Carnation Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. It is gone. Oh do I miss the strawberry ice cream sodas they used to make there. I also miss the old red and white umbrellas over the tables in the patio area. The red and white just seemed to blend in with Main Street. They also served a Monte Cristo sandwich that was fabulous. The costumes worn by the cast members were also fitting and perfect for the 1890s theming.

Well, enough reminiscing. Here's hoping that the new crew in charge of Disneyland will look back and take some lessons from the folks who originally designed and built the place. I see some promising signs that this may be happening. Call me when they bring back Tomorrowland.