No going back…

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It’s funny really.

One of the most common things shared by repeat visitors to Disneyland is the desire to travel back to a previous visit. To enjoy the same experiences as they happened before or as we would like to remember them as happening.

Be it the Peoplemover, the Skyway, or any of the myriad of attractions gone off to Yesterland, fans of this theme park all have that favorite that they would like to see revived in some way. And that isn’t a bad thing, to an extent.

Disneyland is all about memories. Making them or reliving them. Even theme park merchandise tags at this desire with all kinds of goodies to take home from the Parks and share with others. Right down to that shirt or pin that pays homage to a dear departed icon. Even Walt, in his desire to have a place where all members of a family could enjoy something together, realized that those memories created by the shared experience would be a great thing.

Recently, some folks have derided the Park’s Annual Passholder’s who just seem to come to the places to “hang out”. Now while I can’t plead guilty to that myself, I have visited Disneyland and spent the whole day with just one attraction or ride – The Disneyland Railroad. Mostly because it was efficient transportation that got me where I was going. I was by myself (okay, it was my 40th birthday), but I did enjoy a nice meal (lunch at the Blue Bayou) and I did buy a few Christmas gifts for others as well as a nice pocket watch for myself.

That day, the real joy came from just being at Disneyland and savoring the moments. Things like listening to the Royal Street Bachelors on the street of the same name in New Orleans Square; a performance by Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland; just walking about the Park and taking it all it. People watching.

Looking back, there are plenty of great memories with family and friends. Wouldn’t trade a moment of any of them. Would I like to go back and enjoy some of them all over again? I can think on a couple and that sure sounds tempting.

But the truth is that no visit will ever be the same as one before. And to those who would like to see the Park as a moment in time, trapped in amber as it were, it can never be. Too much has (and continues to) changed. For example, the only thing that may be unaltered? The Main Street Horse Cars. Pretty much as they were opening day. But even those cars have been repainted, with minor changes over the years.

Buildings wear different colors than they have over the years. Signs tell of changes, too. Foot paths have been altered to best allow the flow of people. It’s not a museum. Disneyland changes to respond to needs,a s it should

The perils of nostalgia? Yeah, they are lurking about. My advice is to enjoy the past, but don’t live in it – no matter how cheap the rent. Enjoy the “now” instead. Make new memories to take home.

Always worth the effort!

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Posted in Disneyland, Ruminations | Leave a comment

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