August 12, 2012

What a day in the Park

Thank goodness for old home movies of our Disneyland. If you were one of those who still feel something when you think back around thirty years to the Park as it was then, these could just as easily be images of your family. A brief record of a simple but wonderful day long ago.

Here is the world of imagination, hopes, and dreams before marketing largely replaced magic or morphed it into the CGI-based surrealism that seems to surround everything new. Movie tie-ins remained subtle at most (how many people have seen "Third Man on the Mountain," the picture that inspired Walt's Matterhorn?) A family's admission didn't cost a mortgage payment.

Plus, just look what you got for your money! Especially after you reached the Hub, climbed down off the old Fire Wagon, and stepped into Tomorrowland. Mary Blair's murals cheerfully salute children of the world. PeopleMover vehicles and silent Monorails glide by overhead. Rocket Jets swirl higher, and Skyway buckets swing above all. A world on the move that we thought would never stop.

In a way, it hasn't. Sure, you can tear down and build over Disneyland, reshape it into a Pixar paradise, strip it of its permanent Cast, and squeeze it until the last dollar dribbles out. But you just can't deconstruct the happiness that it helped create back when happiness was its primary reason for being. The Happiest Place on Earth is always there for those who knew it.

That's the great thing about these old home movies. Most don't even have sound, but the happiness is almost fully preserved. If the only thing you know is the "resort" of today, then you can see just enough to feel a little bit of how it felt to be part of the magic of Disneyland during earlier days. And if, like me, you haven't been to the Magic Kingdom in a long, long time, then the scenes in these movies might have been shot yesterday. You can still feel all of it.

What a day in the Park.


Anonymous said...

Nice commentary. I stumbled onto this video a few days ago and I believe it was dated as 1970. But the Park didn't change dramatically that decade...or into the early 80s for that matter. And so the "feel" was the same. It was a different time then that I am glad to have experienced as both a guest and CM. I am constantly amazed as to what the resort has become. It has grown beyond our imagination of that Walt promised. Yet,our fondest memories will always be those of our past that we wish we could re-live. And I do that through blogs like this.

...But It Wasn't Always That Way! said...

What a simply beautiful post. It's videos like these that have motivated me to travel back to the park in its golden years. Eric and I often visit the park with a camera in hand loaded with old pictures and he compares the old with the new... and we pretend it's still there. You're right, you just can't take away happiness like the kind Walt's Disneyland has given us. Thank you for this gentle reminder, it's nice to know the love is still out there <3.