Progress is in motion in Southern California. Fantasyland raises its drawbridge for the first time since July 1955 and begins construction of the ‘New Fantasyland’. The ticket system retires, employing all-day passes for this thrift-saavy generation of Reagonomics. Tron enters the gamegrid of Tomorrowland. A sense of vitality and momentum is in the air - Disneyland is ushering in a new era.
… And we are born.
Leaving the land of the 1980’s and entering the world of the present, we look back at ourselves as children of this burgeoning new age, frequently visiting the aforementioned kingdom of all-day passes and animatronic-heavy dark-rides. We were raised in a time when Big Thunder Mountain was a staple of Disneyland and where Star Tours had existed as long as we could remember. Complete strangers to relics like pirate ship restaurants and E-tickets, as well as barker birds, Old Unfaithfuls, authentic pharmacies, Progresslands, and so much more history waiting to be discovered. It didn’t take us very long to uncover the remains of this hidden history in every corner, and slowly but surely we found ourselves asking, “Was it always this way?”
“We” are - of course - Eric and Ginger, the authors of this love-labored blog, and it's very nice to meet you. The hand of fate was kind of enough to place us in Los Angeles, a mere 35 miles away from Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom. Fate was also good enough to bring us our bestfriendship, bound by a mutual love of art, heart, culture, laughter, and… yes, the Happiest Place on Earth. It’s no surprise that in Disneyland we feel most like ourselves; it is a culmination of all these passions, in a most delightful way.
As children at Disneyland, it was impossible not to fall in love. It’s exciting, it’s stimulating… it’s charming and classic. There is an inescapable nostalgia that almost every kid carries home forever… along with their very own hitchhiking ghost. The great news is, the perks only get better as adults! There is a world of culture, hard work, innovation and creative hands to be recognized and admired. The strongest pair of hands belonging to Walt Disney himself, and we see them everywhere. But why does it feel like most of the time we are simply two of very few?
There are words thrown around for people like us. Flamers, Purists… Debbie Downers. We’re not here to bring anyone down. We want to teach those who have never known, assist those who might not remember, and learn from those who do. Our goal is to spread a tenacious hope that tradition, class, and Walt Disney’s vision will prevail once again at Disneyland. Mr. Disney himself was a purist and perfectionist. He “flamed” when something wasn’t absolutely perfect. “Whenever I go on a ride,” Mr. Disney has been quoted, “I’m always thinking of what’s wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.” We feel that if we don’t follow suit, who will? A small voice in a big crowd is still a voice and it is only with honor and great respect to this legacy that we share our blog with you.
The thing is, we missed out on 22 years of Disneyland’s lifespan. That’s a lot of time to lose and it drives us crazy-over-Daisy. Equipped with a plethora of keen observation, diligent research, a toolbox of curiosity and our unprecedented ability to time-travel, we are ready to spelunk into the quarries of Disneyland Past. As the saying goes, the best place to start is from the beginning, and there we shall. We have a LOT of work ahead of us in order to experience Walt Disney’s Disneyland - the way it was truly meant to be - and we can’t wait to share our findings with you!