Lost Disneyland Rides

The vacation reaches its apex tomorrow, when we descend on the Disneyland resort for a second time, this time beginning at Disney’s California Adventure. I’ve never been there, and I’m a little concerned about it. I’m an old dog, and I’m not sure if you can teach me new Disney tricks. Remember, I’m the one still pining for “Journey Through Inner Space,” which is the ride that “Star Tours” replaced.

What? You don’t remember “Journey Through Inner Space?”

That’s the ride where you get shrunk down to the size of an atom. It wasn’t a trick, because you could see a lot of really little people going through a little tube, which proves that actual shrinking was taking place. How could they fake something like that? Case closed.

Actually, it was a pretty sorry ride, but my sister said it was a great make out ride, because you were riding for so long in those people-mover things in the dark. I was too much of a geek to make use of that particular feature, but I’m sure it was nice.

I also remember “America Sings,” a rotating animatronics show where various and sundry animals performed the history of the country in song, and a weasel popped up at the end of everything. It was way lame, but our family went on it every time. And all those animals are still working – they were just transferred over to Splash Mountain, so no harm done.

Gone but not forgotten is the classic “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln,” where a creepy Abe Lincoln robot was exhumed every few minutes to recite the Gettysburg Address. Yikes. Definitely not an E-Ticket ride.

Incidentally. Disneyland is much better without E-Tickets, but I remember the E-Ticket days well. All the good rides were E-Tickets, and you would go through your ticket book and use up all the E’s as fast as you can. You would go home with a ticket book still filled with the A, B,C and D’s. The best D ticket ride was the Autopia, which kept breaking down on Friday. The only A ticket ride was the stupid trolley up Main Street.

I even recall the fad attractions that have come and gone over the years. There was Videopolis, a big 80’s style dance place that took up all the area where Toon Town is now. Nobody mourns its exit, but it shall live forever in a cluttered, otherwise useless portion of my brain.

Everything else remains constant. There are minor tweaks, too – the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is now the Tarzan Treehouse and is still just as much of a waste of time, and Pirates of the Carribbean, despite a few Jack Sparrow tweaks, is 90% the same. Space Mountain was shut down for years for a revamping, but other than it being a little darker, I couldn’t tell the difference. The Haunted Mansion was decked out for the Nightmare Before Christmas, which was a welcome change. They probably ought to update it permanently.

Or not.

Actually, I don’t think anyone really wants to see Disneyland pulled into the 21st Century. It remains surprisingly consistent, a welcome link to days gone by. And as my own children discover it for themselves, they’ll probably be as resistant to change as I am.

Because in the heart of every child is a future geezer ready to yell “Hey, kids! Get off my lawn!”

True Art
Love and Guts

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