October 08, 2004


Indisputably, the most famous thing in our soon-to-be-(unless something goes horribly wrong)-hometown of Anaheim is Disneyland.

A post on Metroblogging Orange County called my attention to this photo tour of 50s and 60s Disneyland, made up entirely of visitors' vacation snapshots. This caught my eye for its superficial resemblance to the Alexanderplatz clock in (former East) Berlin; I'm surprised that Walt Disney allowed such a commie-lookin' thing in his all-American amusement park.

The Disneyland of forty years ago reminds me of my visit to Disneyland Paris four years ago -- everything looks so new and visually incomplete, with fresh mounds of dirt here and there, brand-new scraggly short trees tied to posts, and big expanses of sky visible through gaps of empty space that today are filled in by buildings and mature landscaping.

In a similar vein is this site of Disneyland postcards from the past fifty years (with a few more shots of that clock). The oldest and best, however, of all Disney-nostalgia sites is Yesterland. Just last week, Shelby and I were talking about how old we were before we stopped believing that the Adventure Thru Inner Space ride actually shrunk you down to molecular size ...

Being true Children of Southern California, we both went to Disneyland fairly often when we were kids. When relatives came in from out of state, we got to go along as escorts. Our dads worked for companies that were big enough to have their own Disneyland night (back when Disneyland would close down in the evenings and rent itself out to sufficiently large companies and groups). We'd go during days off from summer camp staff, or at the end of the school year. In college, I befriended a rich Orange County doctor-type, and thus got to take a date to dinner at the members-only open-secret Club 33, hidden above New Orleans Square. (Before the Robert Mondavi-sponsored set of winery-themed attractions in Disney's California Adventure, Club 33 was the only place where alcohol was served on Disneyland grounds -- although we were a couple of years too young to appreciate that at the time.)

Once we move in to the new house, we're talking about getting annual passes, at least for our first year -- because wouldn't it be fun to say "hey, let's drop by Disneyland for a couple of hours this morning", or "we've got nothing planned after dinner -- why don't we just go to Disneyland"? Our inner children, at least, will be thrilled.

Posted by Kevin at October 8, 2004 11:24 PM