Thursday, February 16, 2017
Speaking of Disneyland...
And if you had a hot date you really wanted to impress, taking her to the Magic Kingdom on a Saturday night usually allowed you to take an extra base.
We Angelinos would schlep out to Disneyland to catch musical acts. I saw the great Louis Armstrong perform on the Mark Twain riverboat. That was kind of sad, but still.
Crowds in the summer were large. And it was HOT ("Death Valley Land"). Again, we locals figured out some tricks. For instance, don’t go in the middle of the day. We would arrive at about 4:00 PM, go on the rides we had to see during the day like the Jungle Boat, have dinner, and by then the sun would go down and things cooled off. After the Electrical Parade at 9:00 lots of folks went home. It was way easier to get on primo rides. We’d leave at midnight and drive home (then sleep for 48 hours).
Of course, as time went by the crowds got larger and larger to where even that trick was rendered useless. But we natives continued to search for shortcuts and the “WAZE” version of negotiating the park.
Today there are Disney theme parks all over the world. It was bizarre being in Tokyo seeing Space Mountain.
And there are Fast Passes, Fitbit-type wristbands, all kinds of different ways of experiencing the park. And that’s just what the guests see. Behind the scenes is a whole 'nother world of tunnels, surveillance control rooms, and employee areas.
Back in the early days, you could just go, enter the park, and make your way haphazardly around to the different Lands. Today you need a game plan.
With spring break coming soon I thought this would be the perfect time to devote my podcast to Disneyland/Disney World/whatever they call it in France. I’ve got a great guest, Greg Ehrbar, who worked for Disney for years and offers fantastic tips for getting the most out of your Mickey Mouse outing. We also talk about those tunnels and surveillance centers and what it’s like to work there.
Also, I tell the story of how I heard my dear sweet grandmother drop the F-bomb for the first time. So many precious memories from the Happiest Place on Earth.
I invite you to click on podcast at the top of the blog and join us for a lively discussion of Uncle Walt’s playground.