Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Disneyland - Crowded Adventureland - The Treehouse - and A Dry "Rivers of America"

Today I will share with you (again) one of my favorite water elements in Adventureland---the flowing stream under the Swiss, uh...Tarzan's Treehouse. The short video snippet above was shot on April 6, 2010 during a recent run to the Park with my fabulous (and patient) family. They have put up with me through many a trip to the Park and to Walt Disney World. Only true Disneyophiles (and their spouses, children or significant others) can understand what that is like.

Anyway, to truly understand the connection I have to the Treehouse waterway (pictured below), you must place yourself, circa 1985-87, at the turnstile to the old attraction (long before that enormously out of place extra tree stump and rope suspension bridge had sprouted up in the midst of perhaps the tightest walkway in all Disney parkdom---see photographic proof of what I mean below).

First, here is a a photo taken on the bridge in front of Pirates, photographed facing directly toward what would have been the "old" Treehouse entrance:
The opposite (or left) side of this pedestrian walkway (as shown in a photo taken again from the Pirates bridge looking eastward into Adventureland toward Main Street) is an equally mangled traffic jam of a pedestrian "pinchpoint," to wit:A photo alone does not do justice to the issue, so here is a short video to aid in your understanding:

Simply put, the crowds in this area are enough to send one to the old infirmary (if you know what I mean):
Anyway, as usual...

I digress.

My point is that, as evening fell over the West Side, the pedestrian traffic in front of the Treehouse and throughout Adventureland would dwindle as folks headed over to Main Street to get seats for the Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show.

The lone cast member standing at the Treehouse turnstile, became an early version of the "Wal-Mart greeter" of the West Side---waving to and chatting with guests and fellow cast members passing by, including sweepers, managers, other attraction operators and outdoor vending types.
An earlier post on this blog shows fellow 80's cast member Jackie Lacey manning (or womanning?) the turnstile position. It is from this position that I spent many an hour greeting, chatting, waving, b.s.-ing, and generally just getting paid to be at Disneyland.
Rough gig.
Doesn't come close to a day behind the desk as a litigator, let me tell you.

Did you know that the Swiss Family Treehouse was based upon a real fig tree that grew along West Street in Anaheim back when Walt decided he wanted a treehouse attraction for the Park? Take a moment to view this link: Forgotten Orange County, The Original Swiss Family Treehouse.

Permit me to close with some shots of the "Rivers of America" as they looked on April 6, 2010. Hmmm. Perhaps these amount to some sort of metaphor for the current state of America?
Oops, as the great Spears was oft to posit, I did it again.
I hate it when that happens.
Here you see the "riverfront" by the River Belle Terrace:
And here: is the Mark Twain's landing---absent a few million gallons. See? It is not that deep.
Here is the general area pictured above---only with water. Makes a difference thematically.
Lastly, here is a view of Tom Sawyer's Island from over on Thunder Trail---looking southwest toward New Orleans Square there in the distance.
I hope you have enjoyed today's "Jungle Is 101."
This blog has been brought to you today by the letters "E" and "R" and the letters "A,D,O."
This program has been made possible by the Carolyn Ahmanson Foundation, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by readers like you.

All four (4) of you.