Thursday, September 10, 2009

Disneyland - A Guest Post From Anne of "The Best Possible Job" Fame

Today, we at the Jungle are honored to have a guest blogger come forward to do our dirty work. She is Anne of "The Best Possible Job" blog (here's the site in case my hyperlink doesn't work for some reason: "The Best Possible Job" recounts Anne's experiences as a Disneyland Cast Member in the 1980s. If you are a Disney fan and have not checked out Anne's Blog---you are missing out!! Get over there right away! For now, however, please enjoy Anne's guest post below.

Take it away, Anne!


Greetings, Jungle readers! Your gracious skipper, Mike, has turned the wheel of his blog over to Anne from The Best Possible Job for a guest post. As my (four) loyal readers know, Mike and I share the same perspectives on Disneyland. Both of us were Cast Members in the days before DCA, when the PeopleMover still cruised through Tomorrowland, and popcorn was sixty-five cents.

Mike's recent photos of his daughter strolling down an early-morning Main Street brought back fond memories of my second summer in Outdoor Vending. As a new permanent part-timer, I got the opportunity to pick a regular shift. I chose a 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. assignment, which put me in the Park long before the rope drop. I loaded ice cream wagons with frozen bananas, ice cream bars and sandwiches, orange juice bars, and dry ice, then drove a little pick-up truck backstage to load lemonade cartons into the vending "train" wagons adjacent to the Small World souvenir stand.

I didn't take the a.m. shift to avoid guests. I just wanted to experience a Disneyland that few ever really see. Morning in the Magic Kingdom is truly a magical time. There's a kind of wet freshness that soon evaporates into the Anaheim air. And a quiet in which the sounds that soon fade into the background are solo performers.

Many of those sounds are still there, and Mike's daughter probably heard them as she walked leisurely over to the Plaza Inn. 1890s melodies. Clip-clops. Birds. The faint ticking of the Small World clock. "The Disneyland Limited, now arriving from a trip around Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom. Passengers will stand by to board."

If Madison had walked up to the Central Plaza at that hour in the early 1980s, though, she would have heard other sounds that brought a happy feeling to me during those years. Close your eyes the next time you're there, and maybe you'll hear them too:

The PeopleMover spiel near the entrance to Tomorrowland, where "you can see the heart of Disneyland. It's the Plaza. Gateway to the themed lands of the Magic Kingdom."

The Robinson's (not Tarzan's) organ pumping out "Swisskapolka."

Bears snoring in the caves above the entrance to Bear (not Critter) Country.

“Miracles from Molecules”

Snow White's Wishing Well

And then the announcement as the rope drop opens the Park for another day.

If you arrive too late, Disneyland's special sounds become harder to pick out, and the more distant sounds can barely be heard at all. So get there early, walk up Main Street like Mike's daughter, and really listen to Disneyland. Your day will be better for it. And you might even catch an echo of sounds from the best possible time.

Many thanks to "Jungle is 101" for the chance to step aboard for this post. Your regular skipper is now back from lunch at the Pit and ready to take the wheel of the Leaky Tiki for another trip!

(Hi, it's Mike again. Thank you, Anne, as always, for your keen perspective. It is great to see I'm not alone in my appreciation for what the Park once was. Here's hoping Anne gets another crack at being a Disneyland cast member someday! Once again, check our her blog!)