I've always had a love affair with Disneyland. I've never been to Walt Disney World or any of the other Disney Theme parks but Disneyland will always be near and dear to my heart. I am fortunate that my parents shared the magic with me at a young age and we went several times while growing up. Here's proof:
That's me on the left and my brother, Sean on the right. Yes, I did have to point it out just in case you zero in on the short haircuts missing the mini dress (is that a dress!?) altogether. By the date stamp on the photo it was taken June 1971. I was 4 years old and my brother would have been 3 years old. It was obviously summer - poor Sean had to wear long pants - Mom! where were the sandals and shorts for the love of all things cool!? Luckily we were in no danger of having our necks and ears covered in sweat or hair for that matter!
We are standing in front of the entrance to Disneyland park - the Mickey Mouse flower sculpture hasn't changed...still there! Mickey hasn't aged a bit - he must have a terrific skin care regime! Here's another one from the same visit:
I don't know if these '3 Little Pigs' characters still exist in the park? or anywhere else in the Disney video collections for that matter. We also met this guy...
I love this photo - looks like I'm pulling as far away from "The Big Bad Wolf" as my mom would allow me to while still remaining in the photo! But the real reason I love this photo is that it shows the Matterhorn in the background, the Skyway ride, the old booths and some nifty neat-o 70's clothes if you get a good gander.
My favorite rides at Disneyland back then were: The People Mover, Journey to Inner Space, America Sings, Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty's Castle (walk through), Bear Country Jamboree, It's A Small World and The Tiki Room. Sadly, many of those no longer exist.
However, I found the coolest website that shows pictures of those long, forgotten rides and describes them and when they were taken out of circulation at Disneyland. Take a trip to Yesterland for a jolt to the past for those of you as old as I am and wishing for the way 'things used to be'.
I love the smells, the sights, the sounds and the magic that exists there - Walt Disney knew what he was doing. Yes, they have to be pulling down some big bucks every day but I think it's worth it - my memories were worth it for my parents and now I'm making new ones which leads me to Part II...