Out of sight


When it comes to Disneyland, there are few places that are out of the public eye.

First and foremost, there is back stage. The places where the public never gets to see. Not particularly glamorous or magical. Utilitarian comes to mind. Where work is performed or just behind the scenes.

But there are some places where the magic hides from view. Like the one above.

Originally, this space was designed never to be shared with guests. It was to have been the dining room in the suite of apartments for the Disney family above New Orleans Square. Just next to one of the kitchens for Club 33, so that it could serve a meal or snacks at a moment’s call.

Sadly, Walt’s passing ended any plans for the apartment. This space lay empty until it became offices and storage. Ultimately, it became one of the display rooms of the Disney Gallery, showing off everything from animation concept art to theme park models to items on sale.

But even that was not to be permanent. When the Disney Gallery gave way to the Dream Suite during the park’s 50th (and the Year of A Million Dreams promotion), the dining room didn’t figure into those plans. And it sits today, as empty now as it was then.

In a way, I am glad it did not get the makeover that the rest of the rooms did. It sits pretty much as it was when the space was completed before it became the Disney Gallery. A step back in time if you will.

Disneyland has a few other places less well-known that slumber out of guest view. Occasionally, some guests visit Walt’s apartment above the Fire House on Main Street’s Town Square. Pay the price and you too can see the place.

Other spots might include the Fantasyland end of the Skyway with its faux Bavarian Chalet. Spies tell me that the termites love the place and eventually will seal its fate. Other than a few special events, not much has taken place here.

And Aladdin’s Oasis, formerly the Tahitian Terrace, has seen a revival of sorts as a spot for guests to use a handicapped accessible restroom. Sure, you can take your Dole Whip in to enjoy in a comfy chair, out of the hustle and bustle of Adventureland, too. Just the place was something more when the Polynesian dancers put on one heck of a show here.

Even the Big Thunder Festival Arena saw a return this summer. Although I’m not sure many guests stopped by.

But one last place remains above New Orleans Square. Never used as designed. Instead home to offices and storage. Above the French Market, once planned as an intimate jazz club. If you ever visit the Court of the Angels, that sweeping staircase? Would have led guests into a quiet spot just for music. Occasional rumors have Club 33 expanding into the space, but nothing has changed. Still offices and storage space.

I’m not one who thinks that every corner of the Park has to be loud and immersive. A quiet moment can inspire the magic just as much as a loud and exciting one. The Carthay Circle lounge and restaurant certainly prove that point, among others.

It’s just nice now and then to recall such moments and enjoy their memory. Would be even nicer if some of them came back. But hey! I’m terminally nostalgic. What do I know?

Posted in Disneyland | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Out of sight

  1. Roger, wonderful piece it does a great job of joining the nostalgia of the past with a sense of Disneyland today. Great job.

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