Saturday, December 5, 2009

Walt's Birthday

If Walt Disney were still alive today he would be 108 years old. So today I will be celebrating Walt's legacy by watching a couple Disney movies and packing for my trip to *~Disneyland~* next week! Yipee! What to watch? I am thinking Lady and the Tramp and Peter Pan, two of my favorites.

One of the many great things about my childhood was the amount of times I was lucky enough to go to Disneyland. My Mother grew up nearby and she has been visiting the park since it opened. I wish I could go back in time and walk through the Carousel of Progress with her.It opened at Disneyland in 1973, so I was alive but too small to remember. Here is a photo of my cousin, me and my little brother in the Mad Hatters Tea Cups. My hair is unbelievably horrible I think. Ugh. Like it was cut with a Flobee! Remember those?

My sons childhood has also been graced with several trips to the happiest place on earth. Here is a shot of the two of us in front of It's a Small World. I love this photo makes me want to go squeeze my son, which he would Not appreciate at 17. I still love all the attractions... well... I am not fond of Winnie the Pooh's ride or Tarzan's Tree house but as an adult I notice all the details that make the magic. For instance, the photo below is a tiny little nook in New Orleans Square, it is a bit off the well beaten path... well not really, as I took this photo there were crowds of people funneling through behind me I am sure. I could just move in there. So much work has been put into every little thing. It is easy to get caught up with the cost, crowds, and the lines at Disneyland but if you can take the time to stop and really look at the fine details, it is so worth every penny. At least it is to me.
Here is another shot from New Orleans Square. I recently read this quote, which explains it all.

Memory of Walt by Dick Nunis, Theme Park Executive:

"We were redoing the Storybook Land attraction and trying to cut its budget. One of the art directors said, 'Walt, we can just use regular glass rather than stained glass.' Walt said something profound, 'Look, the thing that's going to make Disneyland unique and different is the detail. If we lose the detail, we lost it all."

Well said Walt. Oh I can't wait to ride on Storybook Land, I have to ride it twice, once in the daylight so I can see all the tiny little landscaping and once after dark in order to see all the houses and street lamps lit up. I am grateful Walt stuck to using stained glass.

When I went to Disneyland in October of 2005 I had the privilege of experiencing The Haunted Mansion all done up in "Nightmare Before Christmas" style. I loved it, but not as much as the ride in its normal state. I guess it will be like that again this time but I am going to get to see all of DLand dressed up for Christmas for the first time. I have heard Sleeping Beauty's castle is amazing and It's a Small World is all decked out in holiday cheer. I wonder what other changes they have made?
Two of my favorite things combined, Disneyland and Christmas. Better get busy. I think I'll start with Peter Pan, it has Pirates, Mermaids and Fairies!

Happy Birthday Walt Disney and Thanks for all the fun.


Heidi Ann said...

Yes! Happy Birthday to the wonderful Walt - and don't think that I had forgotten it!!

Jennifer D said...

OH Heidi Ann, I wouldn't think that for a minute ;-)