Friday, July 31, 2009

Disneyland - Skyway To Tomorrowland 1985 * Sigh *

It has been only a short while, but why not another post mourning the passing of the Skyway. I came across the above photo the other day and remembered a very recent trip to Tomorrowland in which I stood on the ground to the far right of the photo, out of the camera's view. What was weird to me was that the old stairway up to the Skyway building was still there, though you could not access it. I could plainly see the roof of the stairway behind what used to be the Mod Hatter. Like most of "modern" Tomorrowland, it was a strange skeleton of its former self---like the Peoplemover tracks or the Rocket Jets platform, mutely standing as a sad reminder to those of us who were fortunate enough to experience Tomorrowland when the whole area was alive with color and activity.

To all who come to this happy place and have never had the experience of floating up and over Tomorrowland, through the majestic Matterhorn, above Fantasyland and into the quaint hilltop chalet at the other end of the line---sorry. Sorry you missed it. Perhaps you can imagine it, or glimpse some old Youtube footage, but those are but shallow illusions compared to the real thing. Riding over Disneyland in a Skyway bucket is something that cannot be replicated. It was a true "attraction," as popular with youg families as with young couples. Sure, those with a fear of heights missed out---but they often do, don't they? Vistas worth seeing tend to be in pretty high places, so many folk never cast eyes upon them. Pity, really.

I could attempt to wax eloquently on the Skyway experience...but you loyal readers know how well THAT goes.

Suffice it to say that I long for a day when the Park is alive again in every corner, as it once was.

In the past, even the "quiet" spots in Disneyland added to the immediacy of the overall experience.

A bench in a slow corner of New Orleans Square may not have generated revenue, but it welcomed the sitter to partake of peaceful reflection or of carefree people watching, among other things.

A warm pretzel dangling under a heat lamp in an almost-empty Mile Long Bar at the end of a long day somehow smelled even more alluring (salted please, with mustard---thanks).

A perfect strawbery soda with silky Carnation vanilla ice cream and its ornate glass container glistening with condensation amidst the red and white splendor of the Carnation Company Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street tasted best when enjoyed at one of the tables tucked furthest back off the street, near the old display window that had Mary Poppins and Bert seated with their penguin waiters in a diorama of the chalk pavement drawing that had come to life.

Even the Emporium windows on Main Street would change their content frequently---making each trip to the Park one in which you might get a glance at new scenes from the latest Disney film in release. I'm afraid they haven't changed for quite some time now---since the 50th? I don't know, I've lost track. * sigh * know where I'm coming from. If not, you're probably lost---this is definitely not your piece of the Internet!

If you do...

If you do...

...heave another sigh right along with me. Crack open an old Guidebook or dig through some photos or click through some Viewmaster reels of the way things were. Ahhhhhhhh. Feels good, even if it is a touch bittersweet.

To Disneyland!

I raise my glass!

Here's to fond memories, but here's also to savoring the challenge and promise of the future.