Disneyland was built, as history will show and as the hearts of so many of us, young and old, big and small know in our hearts and minds. It is the catalyst of so many fond memories; our first drive in a "car", our first ride down the Alps in a bobsled and our first trip to New Orleans without boarding a plane (although some had to in order to get here).
Disneyland is our land. It is our imagination. It is ours to keep with us from the day we are born until the day we die.
Unfortunately, time has not dealt a favorable hand to this happy place, as years of corporate neglect and attempting to "keep with the times" has taken away some of that nostalgic and momentous feeling that one experiences when walking beneath that bridge in into Walt's world.
I am not an imagineer and most likely will never be, but someone has to find a way to reclaim some of the magic lost through the reign of suit-wearing corporate types such as Paul Pressler and Michael Eisner, and while I do not call my armchair imagineering that mythical answer, I say it in the hope that it will bring back that magic to the hearts of those who know and love Disneyland. The Disneyland that Walt built.
We'll start in Adventureland; from there, we will go clockwise around the park.
I never knew Tahitian Terrace when it was around, but from what little I've heard, it was a pretty good addition to the world of Adventureland. Unfortunately, now it is an Aladdin show which, first of all, doesn't belong in the jungle as Aladdin was set in a desert and, second of all, is never open while I am there.
The plan with the Terrace is to bring it back as a dinner venue and bring back the Polynesian dancers to Adventureland. Much of the food in Disneyland is either counter-service or ODV and in my opinion, that is a crime. A day at Disneyland can make a guest awfully tired and hungry, so what better way to rest for a while than a good Polynesian dinner and a show with authentic Polynesian dancers?
Next up we have the monstrosity known as Tarzan's Treehouse. While the synergistic appeal of this ride may have been good in 1999, it is no longer relevant in 2007. The idea is to bring back the Swiss Family Robinson to the treehouse. Many people would say that the younger generation will not know who the Robinsons were; what a crime! I spent countless hours in that treehouse climbing and exploring and the children of today see motionless figures from a movie made almost ten years ago? Bring back the old charm and show the children that special magic that the generations before them experienced.
Now, in New Orleans Square and Critter Country, there isn't much of a problem save for the lack of the Country Bears, and even then the Pooh ride makes sense for the kids; everyone knows Pooh.
Frontierland has turned from destination to a mere bridge between Fantasyland and New Orleans Square, and that needs to change. Make it a rollicking mine town with gunfights and an all-new Golden Horseshoe Revue show and make the Golden Horseshoe's food selection authentic. None of the hot dog and pretzel stuff that is there now.
Where much of the attention should be focused in Frontierland is the mostly-unused Big Thunder Ranch section. I don't know if the area is big enough, but wouldn't this be the perfect place to build Tony Baxter's Western River Expedition? Even cross the train tracks and make the train part of the experience? The possibilities are endless and I would venture to say that it would be a magical experience.
Mickey's Toon Town could use some revamping but a lot of the kids still like it, so keep that.
Fantasyland is still relatively good.
And, last but not least, Tomorrowland. Man, 1998 was a bad year for Tomorrowland.
Innoventions is actually quite cool, especially the Honda Asimo robot. But, I think it could be rethought into a glimpse into future technology, ever-changing and ever-evolving as new technologies are realized and as old ones are put away. XBox and driving simulators are not that magical wave of the future. But remote surgery, television technology, robotic technology, anything that will be useful in the future, is.
The PeopleMover should come back into the fold as it once was, but with a sleeker, more thought out look. Imagine a chariot of silver and glass as it glides overhead (or crawls) through tunnels of light and neon and wondrous future scenes... that is what Tomorrowland is all about.
New movie for Star Tours based on a new destination and a new climax. I blew up the Death Star fifty times, yet when I come back, it's still there! It's getting old and creaky, make it new and brilliant.
Observatron needs to go and the Rocket Jets need to come back. Astro-Orbiter can be replaced by a pool of water with a fountain of color and a program that changes throughout the day. Even add some ambient music to go with the show.
Main Street is just fine.
Anyhow, as I said, this is my vision of Disneyland.