It might seem incomprehensible to those who have grown up with fast passes and Fantasmic, but Disneyland was once a pretty primitive operation. A Cast of about 6,000 kept the Park sparkling and operating at peak efficiency with systems about as advanced as a walkie-talkie.
Sure, Audio-Animatronics were sophisticated even back in the '70s and '80s. But operating the Disneyland Show depended much more on really simple things. Carbon-backed shift change forms, for example. Bell telephones. Mechanical coin sorters. Pressure washers and gum scrapers. Sweda cash registers.
Schedules for hundreds of Cast Members were written up on paper forms and revised with correction fluid. In my department of Outdoor Vending alone, thousands of guests' crumpled dollars got hand-counted and reported on little slips that we attached to canvas cash bags with rubber bands. Mr. Johnson and his crew in Mission Control were better equipped, and they were only launching a simulated trip to Mars.
Even so, the Show went on, almost always flawlessly. Guests could trash every flower bed during a New Years' Eve party, but you would never know it by the next morning. You couldn't find a burnt-out bulb on Main Street if you wanted to buy one.
Modern technology is here to stay, of course, so Disneyland will probably have lasers, water projection screens, interactive game attractions, and even more whizzy stuff for a long time to come. That's great as far as it goes. I mean, now we've got blogs, right? Still, I hope that I'm around long enough to see somebody develop the kind of tech that I'd pony up the cost of a hundred annual passes to ride.
A time machine that takes you back to the Park that used to be.