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Disneyland, August 5, 1981

9 Jan

How do we decide what pictures to take? How do we know what images we most want to capture? How can we possibly imagine what we’re going to want to look at a decade or so later?

I had a bad day. I needed a little magic. So, after chatting awhile tonight with my BFF Lisa (and Eric, and Dan, and Matt, and a buncha other Disney geeks . . . ), I went and dug up the pictures from the one time Lisa and I went to Disneyland together: August 5, 1981. I know for sure that was the day because I still have the ticket! Hard to believe it cost only $8.00, in 1981 dollars even.

I have the strangest assortment of pictures from that day, and only one of them has any of my friends in it: Lisa’s posing with her brother Peter, and a family friend Ginger. Lisa and I were still in our early teens, but she looks for all the world like Peter and Ginger’s mom, posing proudly with her beautiful kids in front of skull rock.

I’ve got the de rigeur picture of the castle, but it’s an odd jumble of people, much more the feeling of the moment than the actual architecture or theming.

I’ve got a picture of Space Mountain’s entrance, nothing to write home about but there it is. I remember riding it with Peter, screaming lines from Star Wars as we whizzed around in the dark, standing by Red Five! Come in, Gold Leader!

I’ve got a picture that I think I took from the Peoplemover, perhaps when it had broken down for a while and Lisa and I thought we’d try to lead the multinational group of tourists in a rousing rendition of The Rainbow Connection. Ah, the days when not only the Peoplemover existed, but was chock full o’ riders!

And finally I find a picture of Astro Orbiter, not as nice as the one my Dad took circa 1976, but still there, steady and solid. (If you click on the link and look at the larger version on Flickr, you can even make out the green Peoplemover sign, looking a lot like the California highways.)

I can’t imagine these are the only pictures I took that day, but it would seem they’re the only ones that survived the years of moving, of being too cool and disaffected for Disneyland memories, of life’s predictable and absurd chaos. But somehow, tonight they’re enough.

Tokyo Disney Space Mountain Re-Opens

29 Apr

The Space Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland has just re-opened; Theme Park Insider has some details, and a YouTube link. John Quinteros points out that Walt Disney World now has the only Space Mountain which hasn’t had a recent refurb. Any of us who’ve been on it recently can attest to the fact that it needs one.

Sadly, I didn’t get to go on Space Mountain during my visit to Tokyo Disneyland. Guess that’s just another reason for me to book three seats on the next flight to Narita. I’m sure Mr and Jr Broke Hoedown wouldn’t really mind.

Virtual Reality Ride-throughs: Space Mountain and Mr Toad

30 Jan

If you’re a fan of Disneyland’s Space Mountain, head on over to Space Station 77. They’re putting together Virtual Reality ridethroughs, and have wireframe previews available for your viewing pleasure. This is way too cool. You might want a little dramamine first, the motion simulation is pretty darn good. (Tip o’ the mouse ears to The Disney Blog for posting about this a couple weeks ago.)

And don’t forget about another way cool work in progress, Virtual Toad, a computer-animated re-creation of the classic Disneyland dark ride.

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