I might be in the minority, but I love the canoes. It’s the only ride where whether you make it back or not is up to you, sort of… More than that I love that it’s titled after a man I greatly admire, Davy Crockett, the real one and Fess Parker’s. I always root for the standup guy. His slogan, which are truly words to live by, “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.” Don’t be afraid of stepping out into the unknown or the opposed, so long as you’re sure you’re right.
Curiously, or maybe not so curiously, one of the most interesting things in Disneyland is the surface you walk on. There’s always a reason for it. What reason can there be, you might ask? Story. Disneyland’s ability to immerse you in its environment is directly tied to how well the story around you is told. Take Frontierland; the ground could have been any number of things that might remind you of the frontier (probably something like dirt). The Imagineers didn’t stop at dirt, however, they went so far as to put tracks in the pseudo-dirt. Horse tracks. Wagon tracks. Even cowboy boot tracks. Even then the tracks themselves tell a story. I’m not much of a tracker, so I couldn’t really tell you which horse has a limp back leg, but I’m pretty sure that the wagon driver spent a little too much time at the saloon! Next time you visit the Park, look at the ground, feel it beneath your feet and watch it shift and change with the story.
I love popping in to catch a show at The Golden Horseshoe. When I was a little younger I wondered what fun it could be compared to all the other attractions. I had no idea what fun I was missing. All it took was a singing violin and a hillbilly grin and I was hooked.
Sunsets like this create a new, inexplicable layer of magic to Disneyland. It’s almost as if you’ve stepped into a painting or a dream. You can’t waste any time enjoying enjoying it either; soon the light and color fade, giving way to a blanket of stars.
Making it over to Tom Sawyer Island is not a common occurrence for me but I always manage to get lost on that speck in the middle of the Rivers of America for hours when I do. It’s an adventure with so many hidden treasures. My favorite part, for some reason, has always been Fort Wilderness. Davy Crockett was one of my heroes as a kid and I can just imagine him and me hold up in there with our trusty muskets.
It still amazes me how much there is to enjoy at Disneyland. Aside from the myriad manmade marvels there are glimpses of the great outdoors. Take this small forest, for example; it might be difficult to place without a little help. It’s at the backside of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, near the transition from Frontierland to Fantasyland. It’s a reminder to me of how Walt loved nature and the many adventures to be found in it and serves as inspiration to give more consideration to my appreciation of the habitat around me.
Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland holds a lot of fun surprises. Some of the best are the unique ways different parts of the Park are lit. A familiar atmosphere instantly transports you somewhere else. A harmless cavern becomes a frightening fiery furnace. As the howling of a hungry wolf pierces through the echoes of a brooding storm, do you dare look to see what’s inside? Imagination races wild on the frontier at Halloween time.
Disneyland always seems different on a cloudy day. The already transporting ambiance takes a new direction. I’m fond of cabins, so this one in Big Thunder Ranch in Frontierland is a nifty spot for me. The looming dark clouds overhead, for some reason or another involving random synapses of the brain, make me think of Kansas before the tornado spirals in to sweep Dorothy and her dog to a place that isn’t, a place called Oz. That idea is what I hoped to convey with this image. Flying monkeys not included.