November 28, 2009

Holidayland


Now that we're past the official "busiest shopping day of the year," it's time to make your list and check it twice. Here are ten of my Disneyland holiday wishes. Feel free to add your own!

A new Tomorrowland inspired by science and filled with silver and blue optimism;

A PeopleMover or similar advanced transportation system for a leisurely tour of said new Tomorrowland;

A Skyway over Fantasyland to the new Tomorrowland wished for previously;

A magic shop in Fantasyland;

A One-Of-A-Kind antiques shop in New Orleans Square;

A Keel Boat trip around the Rivers of America;

A Plaza Gardens stage with big bands;

A new Circle-Vision 360 theater with a film on something that could make particularly good use of the format, like global climate change;

A return to the Disneyland look; and

A special "classic" month at the Magic Kingdom, with the old characters, costumes, merchandise, music, parades, etc. If the National Hockey League can play outdoor games in historic uniforms every season, Disneyland could pull this off for sure.

November 22, 2009

Build me up Buttercup

The Best Possible Job has been off the clock for a while due to family matters. We all have to face certain issues, but that doesn't make them any easier. Sometimes you need something to build yourself back up before things look all right again.

At times like that, nothing's cheerier than flowers. Even artificial ones like the blooms and blossoms that one spilled out onto West Center Street off Disneyland's Main Street. The flower market made it through the first half of the eighties when I was a Cast Member, and I remember vividly the pleasant feeling of stepping onstage through the door tucked in the back. Evicted by the unstoppable force that squeezes commerce into every once-quiet spot in the "Resort," the "small plants and unusual artificial flowers" are gone now. Most modern guests probably don't even notice.

Those who grow up with today's Disneyland are steeped in a Park where period graphics on stores selling everyday plush have taken over the themed experience that Main Street was once. Then, it wasn't just printed signs with nostalgic type and curlicues. Walt's Main Street had a flower market, a bank, a general store, a Carefree Corner because they helped create the state of mind that we imagine existed in bygone days. How many kids with their own iPhones pick up the receivers in the Market House and listen in to 1890 party line conversations?

Probably not many. Fortunately, the Market House still stands. I haven't been to Anaheim since nearly as long ago as 1890, and I hope the old phones are still there, too. Things like the phones and places like the flower market provided a foundation for suspending belief that created the theme experience once so easy to find in the Magic Kingdom. Foundations like that help build you up when you'd rather be in another time.

Thanks to the Best Possible Job's (four) loyal readers and new friends whose kind words helped get this show back on the road. A smile and a song to you all.