Where's the magic?

I survived the magic kingdom. It only took eight formica-tasting ibuprofen caplets to quell the toe pain.

I struggled with my feelings for "the happiest Place on Earth". Alas, it is no longer, the sign was removed to make room for the new "Mickey and Friends" parking structure. I admit that having an aching foot didn't help, but I failed to relive the happiness.

As a child, Disneyland was the coolest thing evar. Everybody wanted to be there. It was soooo much better than the local amusement park. Why? I never liked Mickey. His cartoons suck. The roller-coasters are mediocre compared to the local ones (conveniently accessible in my youth via public transportation). I mean, nothing even goes upside-down in Anaheim.

Not even the lollipops taste better in Socal. Come on! Something has got to be good about Disneyland besides the perfect weather and the great people-watching (OK, I think I just explained to myself why I tolerate the lower half of my state).

The new attraction "Innoventions" is just an advertisement for Sony. It was beyond cheesy. It was baaaaad. (Though Dance, Dance, Revolution called to me. I wished my foot was able.) The food was beyond indescribable. A veggie burger should not taste worse than a well-used rubber tire.

And the themed areas are sooo sterile! Main street is colorless. Tomorrowland is right out yesterday (though retro is back in fashion, so maybe it works?). The faux accents on all the voice overs and the animatronics make me long for a real battle of San Juan. The Pirates of Caribbean was a slight letdown. I don't need Jack Sparrow. Also, I just noticed that the Pirates skeletons are only 4-feet tall. Was there a hybrid race of savage pygmy pirates that ravaged the Lesser Antilles?

And why is the food total crap in New Orleans square? (If only I had known the secret knock...) You'd think on the roller-coaster-like ride "Matterhorn Bobsleds" there would at least be some St Pauli girls, but the best I got was a stiff American speaking the same-old overly-formal Spanish (Permencer sentados, por favor).

Mix into all of that ancient feelings: childhood anxiety, a the worst flu of my life, a missed opportunity to go (stupid LA riots), a missed opportunity to hook up with a girlfriend, a high school band trip, my senior trip, my spacecamp friend, a date with my future wife (with best friend in tow, oops!) Argh. There's too much emotion here.

Granted, the visuals while I waited in line weren't bad. You don't just stand in some lame cordon. The rocks, the caves, the signs all try to place you in the scene, the movie, adventure. Indiana Jones overdoes it, but I could get stuck in the collapsing room forever and it would be heaven. Star Tours still brings a smile to my face. The Haunted Mansion is creepy and corny in just the right mixture.

Disneyland serves decent coffee now. The food prices weren't terrible. There are no drunks wandering out of a food court after having consumed twelve liters of watered-down beer. Everybody looks happy. The kids have smiles wider than their faces as they battle Darth Vader in the Jedi Training Academy. Hmmm.... As far as amusement parks go, it's amusing. Next time, I'm not leaving New Orleans Square. The live music might have been bad, but at least it wasn't dubbed.


At 5/7/07, 1:16 PM, Blogger marshlady said...


You might enjoy this site, has retired rides on there.

Sigh I too remember the first time I went and it seemed, well not magical.
It was tough, and I of course go further back loving the Monsanto inner space ride and carosel of progress. Now it's all pixar and like they are taking over.

At 5/9/07, 3:34 PM, Anonymous Alex said...

A buddy of mine just went to the Miyazaki museum in Tokyo. From the way he talked and what I read in the New Yorker a year or so ago, it sounds like it's the new Disneyland.


You should tell people you broke your toe during a fistfight with Goofy.

At 5/15/07, 1:32 AM, Blogger Les said...

that band trip with the riots was weird. When we went back the next year, I and Renée missed the band workshop because we were both taking our SATs at Aneheim High School.

I really love the retro datedness of tomorrow land. It's my favorite thing about Disneyland.

At 5/15/07, 11:40 AM, Blogger Crinis said...

Les, do you remember how we got stuck in Santa Barbara and how we were forbidden from going to the beach? That was odd. I remember a bunch of us going to the beach anyway, getting in trouble, but not really getting in trouble because the chaperons were just as upset as we were. Or did I remember this totally wrong?


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