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  1. #1

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    Disneyland Memories

    Most who know me also know that I rarely (never?) post sentimental threads, but this one has been nagging at me to get out, so forgive the brief wandering into (for me) uncharted territory.

    "Often do I sit and think
    Of times that were before
    I long to hear returning feet,
    and voices at the door
    Of dear ones who I have loved and lost
    That I will see no more"

    [portion of an original verse adapted from a Tolkien work]

    My father passed away two months ago, and I have thought quite a bit about what was passed on from him to me. The one thing I see more clearly than any other is his love of theme parks.
    My family was very close to the Knott family, and we would all visit Walter Knott often in his 'home' inside Knott's Berry Farm. As a child I was able to witness first hand the building of a theme park, and the passion of its creator. We were the first to see Walter Knott's 'baby'; the "John Wayne Theater" he built on the property. These early memories are what sparked my interest in theme parks, and ultimately Disneyland itself.

    (myself, sister, and Pop on the Calico Mine Train)

    When I think of Disneyland, I first think of my dad--not because we would go terribly often, but because of his love for theme parks.

    When you think of Disneyland, who is the first person (or persons) you think of? It need not be a loved one who has passed; just anyone who is a part of your life, and who you 'share' Disneyland (either physically on trips, or emotionally, as nostalgia) with?

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    This was a great thread idea. Not overly sentimental at all, but just right. The poem was great. Did you do that?

    As for my thoughts on Disneyland, I usually think of my Grandparents who provided me with my first trip many man years ago. Both of them passed away almost a decade ago. I also think of my wife who is just as much of a Disney nut as I am. And in all honesty, the people here on MiceChat who indulge, understand and encourage passion for Disneyland.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Quote Originally Posted by mycroft16 View Post
    This was a great thread idea. Not overly sentimental at all, but just right. The poem was great. Did you do that?
    It is a small part of a larger poem I wrote several years ago, adapted from some verse I read by Tolkien.
    As for my thoughts on Disneyland, I usually think of my Grandparents who provided me with my first trip many man years ago. Both of them passed away almost a decade ago. I also think of my wife who is just as much of a Disney nut as I am. And in all honesty, the people here on MiceChat who indulge, understand and encourage passion for Disneyland
    Grandparents don't last nearly long enough

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    there are a lot of individuals who I think of when I walk in the park depending on where I am. On the Twain the thoughts drift to my Grandfather, by the Firehouse I think of my Father... just depends on where I am. Obviously a trip on Jungle brings back a flood of memories from past Adventures.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Most definitely my uncle who was really my surrogate grandfather because my real grandfather died when my mother was just a little girl. And my father's father passed just a few months after I was born.

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    there are a lot of individuals who I think of when I walk in the park depending on where I am. On the Twain the thoughts drift to my Grandfather, by the Firehouse I think of my Father... just depends on where I am. Obviously a trip on Jungle brings back a flood of memories from past Adventures.
    It seems very efficient to have certain places in DL linked to corresponding individuals--I like that!! It's comforting to have a physical touchstone to 'visit' when we can't in practical terms visit the ones we wish to.
    Last edited by fo'c's'le swab; 11-30-2007 at 08:19 AM.

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    When I think of Disneyland I think of my Grandma, and America Sings and the CBJ. There wasn't much my Grandma looked forward to on our visits to Disneyland. She hated the crowds, the lines, and filthy public places in general (and BTW all public places were filthy according to my Grandma).

    But there were two places where there were no complaints, and that was America Sings and the Country Bear Jamboree. Maybe because it was a nice time to sit back and enjoy a show that we all loved as a family, maybe there were less screaming kids and less dirty handrails to deal with. But I remember her being very content in either of these places. I still think of her every time I ride Pooh, sometimes i think she is looking down on us, especially in the Hunny room!

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    What a wonderful thread. I lost my Mom a year ago, and she is the person I always think of when I think of Disneyland. She loved the park and didn't take her first trip there until we were grown and married. She must have been in her late 60's. She has been there with her kids, and her grandkids. Last May she was supposed to go with her great grandkids, and we were going to do the shillouets (sorry spelling) of four generations...
    So now we go every Christmas time and do it as a present to her memory! After seeing your photos, GREAT PHOTOS by the way, I have to go dig up some of mine!
    "I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible, because dreams offer too little collateral."
    --- Walt Disney

    Member of MiceChat Gold!

    Lover of the Haunted Mansion and
    Nightmare Before Christmas

    Dreaming of Pirates!

    Still waiting to go to my first meet






  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Quote Originally Posted by ladydragon55 View Post
    So now we go every Christmas time and do it as a present to her memory! After seeing your photos, GREAT PHOTOS by the way, I have to go dig up some of mine!
    Great idea: any photos would be GREAT!! Love to see 'em all!!

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Quote Originally Posted by fo'c's'le swab View Post
    Grandparents don't last nearly long enough
    There was never a truer statement


    My Disneyland memories mostly revolve around my kids. Both of their first trips, first times seeing Mickey, first time seeing MSEP. My oldest first time on Screamin' as he yelled through the look "I DID IT" when he was 8 because he was scared of the loop the time they sang Happy birthday to my younger son on the monorail



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  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Thanks Fo'C. Hopefully you'll have some young family member to take to park with you to pass on some of that theme park love to.

    Great thread, if I only knew how to post pictures.

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    This may sound really well, "goofy" until I explain it. The reason I chose my nickname is that I think of Goofy when I think of Disneyland. When I was a child I went to DL for the first time at the age of 3. My father took a movie of me walking around the park (you know the old movie cameras with no sound?) and meeting the characters.

    The encounter that sticks out in my mind and in my mother and father's mind because we have watched it many times, is my first meeting with Goofy. He took the hat off my head and put it on the ground. I picked it up and replaced it. He did it again...and again...and again, each time with me putting it back on and chewing him out (I think I even stamp my foot at one point) about it.

    It's a "family story" that my parents still laugh about to this day and has stuck in my mind as a humorous situation.

    As an additional note, on my daughter's first trip back in 2002, my parents joined us. We walked into the DLH and who should be there but the goof himself! My mother had not been to DL since around the 1980s. We walked up to him slowly as this was my daughter's first ever encounter with one of the characters. She was a bit nervous and about 2.5 years old. My mother says, "Todd, it's a good thing you are not wearing a hat like when you were little, he might try and take it again." To this day I am impressed with the CM who was bringing Goofy to life there that day...he/she pointed at me as if to say "that was you!?" and then mimed in sign language about how big I had gotten. My daughter perked up and said "Daddy he amembers you!" (she meant remembers but she was 2.5 years old ya see) and then said "You two need to make friends." Goofy stuck out his hand to shake mine. I accepted and we also hugged. My mother was laughing so hard that she had tears in her eyes. My daughter then had no trouble hugging and talking to Goofy or any other character after that. The person who played Goofy on those two occasions spanning many years of my life really created some family "magical moments" for us (before they were even officially called that!) and I can't express enough how grateful I am to those CMs who ever they were.

    So anyway...when I think of Disneyland, I think of Goofy. And that's also why I am a Goofy Daddy.

  13. #13

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Sorry to hear about your recent loss, fo'c's'le.

    Disneyland was such a big part of our family when I was growing up...and because I'm so old now and virtually all my family members that were "old" to me back then have since long passed...Disneyland always brings to mind almost my entire family! Here's a re-post from a past "Favorite Disneyland Memories" thread where I mentioned "long gone" family members and how Disneyland always brings back fond memories of them:

    Quote Originally Posted by Opus1guy
    My favorite memories have to do with back in the days when Disneyland was really more of a "Park." There were no guardrails protecting the lawns. You could find yourself a nice cool spot under a shady tree and enjoy your chicken dinner al fresco...picnic like. Back then Disneyland seemed a really enchanting place in a much simpler way, especially at night with the twinkling lights in the trees. The Park itself was an E attraction! The rides were nice but almost just diversions. Lots of folks paid just a couple of bucks for a General Admission Ticket, and you could enjoy all the shows, parades, bands, fireworks, etc...and not go on a single ride!

    You really felt like you were visiting "Walt's Place" rather than some big corporate money machine.

    The homey simplicity of the Park back then was more reminiscent of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. A fairyland of lights and beautiful settings. Heck, back then...the Grand Canyon Diorama was the big deal!

    Almost every Saturday night my folks, grandparents, aunts, uncles and various and sundry teenyboppers and tykes would pile into our station wagons and head to Disneyland and Big Band Night at Carnation Plaza Gardens. They had really big names back then. Satchmo, Al Hurt, Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton, Les Brown. You'd often see Walt and Lillian, arms around each other, listening to the music on their special little footbridge (still there). Folks would occasionally holler "Hi Walt!" and he would smile and nod. And local television station KTLA (or it might have been KHJ...don't recall) broadcast the bands and the dancers almost every week for awhile LIVE to the Southland in glorious Black & White! Bet some of you never knew that Carnation Plaza Gardens was once part of a weekly local television series! We'd often return home to neighbors saying, "Hey! We saw you on the T.V. again!" Television was so new...we felt like celebrities! Just seemed like a normal weekly Southland ritual to us. A walk in the park. Literally.

    Great memories. Every time I visit The Gardens and see that Red & White canopy and the old mirror ball spinning, I think back to those days and many family and friends now long gone. And in my own golden years I find myself thinking of them often and fondly, and of our many family outings to Disneyland. Even today when dining at Club 33 on a Saturday night, I always request an 8:30pm dinner reservation just so I can have time beforehand to listen and watch the band and the familiar regular faces dancing the night away. It's like time has almost frozen in that little piece of the Park (though I miss the Carnation food and ice cream windows). I just love it. And to this day, no other Magic Kingdom has anything like it. It's a classic example of a special something that is "Strictly Disneyland."

    My uncle just loved Teddy Buckner and his group, and the two of us would often break away from the rest of the gang to go watch them in the Old New Orleans area of Frontierland, and in later years at New Orleans Square's French Market bandstand.

    Occasionally still, on some wonderful Summer nights when the dry Santa Ana winds are gently blowing just right, and the Big Band music is drifting in the air, and if I don't look in the direction of Tomorrowland, I can almost imagine myself back in those days. So very little has changed in The Hub area, really. It's Magic.

    Those family memories are my favorites. But another favorite that I still think about when I'm approaching the Disneyland Resort today, is about how I remember back when the "big deal" for Southern Californians was to be the first to spot the TWA Moonliner from the freeway! Back then it was just about the highest point in the Magic Kingdom. And there weren't any high-rise visual obstructions back then, so you could spot it from pretty far away, too! Of course, in 1959 that all changed when Disneyland acquired it's then-new Swiss/Italian "landmark" and the contest changed to being the first to spot the Matterhorn. But my fondest memories are of being the first one to spot that gleaming red and white Rocket Ship of the future, and shouting it out to become the winner of something that didn't even have a prize.

    Thanks for the great question. And Thanks for reading.
    I miss 'em all.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    You're all very lucky to have Disneyland tied to your family memories.
    Thanks for sharing-

  15. #15

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    Re: Disneyland Memories

    Terrific (re)post, Opus!! Thanks!

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