The Happiest Place On Earth! : LUSENET : Hedgehog Talk : One Thread

I go to Disneyland every year, and wouldn't miss it for the world. I have never been to Florida, so I have never seen Disneyworld, but I know that I would stomp around looking at things and saying "That's not right! That goes over there!"

What are your best Disneyland/world memories?

-- Kymm Zuckert (, December 31, 2000


Are you kidding? On my splash page there's a picture of me on the barfalicious tea cups!

I will never forget the time we went for my birthday and I made fun of my friend for being to chicken to go on Space Mountain (she turned back at the escalators) and then I ended up chickening out myself at the front of the line. My poor, poor dad. I heard all the screams and, never having been on a roller coaster before, thought they were screams of terror, rather than delight.

The last time I went was 3 or 4 years ago, for my brother's birthday (he's 10). He and my mom had annual passes at the time, so he was pretty spoiled by frequent, short trips. I marvelled at how small it all looked now that I was grown up. When I was a kid, it was immense; as a teenager, I finally got the layout down, but it still seemed huge; but that visit, it looked puny and fake. It was a sad, sad day. I'll be taking him while we're on winter vacation, so we'll see what it feels like. Now, if they'd only add a Drunken Sluttyland!

-- Erica Jackson (, December 31, 2000.

I've made three trips to Disneyworld -- Florida being closer to Louisiana than California -- with my family: 1973, 1983, and 1997. The first trip, when I was in fourth grade, we stayed -at- Disneyworld at the Polynesian Hotel, before everything cost a million billion zillion dollars. We got to ride in the very front of the monorail with the engineer! The park is open one hour early for everyone actually staying at Disneyworld, and that was fantastic for us. I was very into the Presidents at that time, so seeing the Hall of Presidents was the high point of this trip.

In 1983 we went after Epcot Center opened, and that was mighty cool, too.

The best trip was the last one, when our family had doubled in size with the addition of my sister's husband and two sons, then five and four. Stephen, the oldest, had somehow decided that Mickey Mouse was his personal buddy, and I remember calls to "hurry up so we can meet my Mickey." I have a wonderful picture of the two of them with Tigger that makes me smile every time I see it.

The Haunted Mansion remains my absolutely favorite thing to do at Disneyworld -- not being a roller coaster fan -at all-. Last time I went through it three times! I see something new every time I go through there, and love seeing the paintings that grow and the ghost sitting next to me in the mirror.


-- Robert (, December 31, 2000.

Hey, we went on our honeymoon in 1965! They had real pony rides and the Matterhorn was the biggest scariest ride. Tomorrowland had all the "futuristic" stuff that is now gone, and I'm still mad that they took away the submarine ride last year! There were still e-tickets and d-tickets and so forth. In fact, I believe I still have a couple of a-tickets.

Then we went again as a family in 1986. That was fun, too. We had discovered by this time that a sail to Tom Sawyer's Island and a rest there was the best way to handle small children. Our teens stayed late and danced, then made their own way to the motel. (Which was the same motel we'd stayed at in '65, for our honeymoon, though a lot bigger!)

Other attractions in '65: Marineland and a very low-key Knott's Berry Farm, and the LaBrea Tar Pits. Also the LA County Museum of Natural History, which truth be told was fairly awful. Steve Martin was in the mellerdrammer at KBF! He had an oleo act. The only way I know that is by looking at the program and saying wow.

Other attractions in '86: Knott's Berry Farm, much more high-tech, the Cabbage Patch Doll shop, the Del Mar mall, Olvera Street and the LA Children's Museum (where the teens really had a great time) and the LaBrea Tar Pits with the new Page Museum. Two days each time at the big D.

Other attractions in '86

-- Jan (, December 31, 2000.

I went the first time back arount 1970, back in the days of tickets. It was about 95 degrees, and the only free ride that was air- conditioned was Monsanto's ride into the water molecule. I went on that ride about nine times.

-- Colin (, January 02, 2001.

I worked there for four years in the mid-eighties. It was my first real job right out of high school.

I remember getting my new employee orientation where they told us, among other "Disney secrets", all the design tricks they used to entice people into the food shops along Main Street and how Main Street narrows as you get closer to Sleeping Beauty's Castle so the castle looks farther away than it really is and, alternately, when you leave, Main street widens so it seems that the exit is closer than it really is.

I remember my first day getting my employee ID and using it to get into the park after my first shift was over. I just walked around and marvelled at being able to work there. I took it for granted later, of course, and my mom would always keep the two passports I would get in the mail every other month or so. I remember all of my friends from Tomorrowland Terrace where I worked, and how we were all hard party animals, borderline alcoholics. I remember working the closing shift during the summer and the late night runs to the original Tommy's in LA. Sadly, I think some of those people still work there.

I remember the 30th anniversary summer celebrations and how crowded the park was. I remember how dead the park was during the '84 LA Summer Olympics because everyone thought the place would be packed so everyone stayed away, even the tourists. Because of the slow turn out, I remember showing up for my work shifts and being asked if I wanted an "early release" right there on the spot. I didn't make much money that summer. I remember the '84 Banana Ball the Custodial Department put on. It was billed as a sort of anti-Disney event. A temporary rebuttal to all the standard Disney attitude management expected every employee to exhude while "on stage." The symbol for this event was a picture of Mickey Mouse overlayed with a red circle and slash. I still have the button. They had rented one of the exhibit halls at the Orange County Fairgrounds and drove two Budweiser beer trucks into the hall. I remember getting shitfaced drunk on bud and the half-inch of beer all over the floor and not being able to dance to the band because it seemed every employee that was not working that night was there.

I remember getting ready for my shift one night and David Hasselhof was there with the KITT car. I remember seeing him in person and thinking, "Geez, he's got skinny legs."

Michael Jackson was frequently sighted in those days. We all just took it for granted that he would be around. There were several times I saw him hustled downstairs past our breakroom into the underground tunnel that led to the backstage area behind America Sings.

I remember coming to the realization of how much politics and favoritism existed in management and how that was the seedy, unseen cousin to the public face Disneyland showed the public. Now, 14 years after I quit, I look back and realize how naive my anger towards that aspect of the job was and actually, all things being equal, working at Disneyland was a pretty cool thing to have done.

I like the fact that I'm still in touch with a couple of people I worked with back then, that our friendship has lasted this long.

-- Roger Bixby (, January 05, 2001.

For those Disneyland memories of yore, check out Yesterland! A truly great site about everything that used to be at Disneyland.

-- Anita Rowland (, January 05, 2001.

oh, gee, I *am* the threadkiller, I think!

-- Anita Rowland (, January 08, 2001.

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