Missing the Sights and Sounds of Disneyland Parkby Todd Pickering, contributing writer
Since the news in California shows no progress made on opening up Disneyland to guests, I am going to share a daydream of a magical walk though Disneyland. I will use archived pictures and – as much as I want to grab a Matterhorn macaroon and ride Mr. Toad's Wild Ride – I am going to keep this to just a fantastical walk through with sights and sounds only. So Adventure along with me on this Fantasy journey as we hit the Frontier and dream of a Tomorrow when the gates can magically and of course safely open!
Approaching the gates to Disneyland, the music is playing the theme to Fantasmic! I cannot help myself and punctuate the downbeat with my fist, which brings forth the mental image of Mickey Mouse on the stage at Tom Sawyer Island in his Sorcerer's Apprentice costume, also punching the air in time to the music. I stop to admire the floral arrangement of Mickey, and linger because the familiar clang of a bell and toot of a whistle signals that the train will be pulling into the station. The sound of the steam is comforting as it pulls into the station. It is full of characters waving. Snow White and all the Seven Dwarfs are there! The Mad Hatter and Alice are joined by the March Hare! Hercules and Meg are on board also. Cuzco, Pacha, Kronk and Yzma are a new treat! (Remember that this is my fantasy.) I wave to them all and continue to the right side of the tunnel, as the Mr. Toad poster is my favorite. I can hear the Straw Hatters playing and spy them immediately, facing the square. I stop on the sidewalk and take in Town Square, and acknowledge the flags blowing in the wind.
Starting down Main Street, U.S.A., the horse-drawn carriage passes me with the Dapper Dans singing "When I See an Elephant Fly." The smell of vanilla wafts in the air, and I love seeing the castle getting bigger as I amble toward it. As the Dapper Dans' music fades, I hear some amazing ragtime coming from the Coca-Cola Corner on the left, and nod and wave to Noel. I walk right up to the Partners statue of Walt and Mickey hand-in-hand, and am not sure whether to go left or right. I decide to drink in Sleeping Beauty Castle to help make the decision easier.
I usually go left, so I decide to head into Tomorrowland instead as it is the least picturesque of all lands. I pass the Astro Orbiter and Star Tours on my right. I take time to watch the bouncing neon of Mickey Mouse in a space suit and look up at the sleek architecture of Space Mountain. I turn left and walk by the putt-putt sound of the Autopia, and take a moment to listen to the seagulls chirp "Mine! Mine! Mine!" as a shiny yellow submarine glides on by. The roar of the Abominable Snowman makes me turn, and I walk along the south side of the Matterhorn enjoying the whooshing wind and sounds of waterfalls. As I pass by Alice in Wonderland, the Monorail honks its horn as it glides on by. I take the long walk down towards "it's a small world" just in time to see the clock strike 4:00 and all of the dolls spin around celebrating the top of the hour. The Egyptian gal is one of my favorites. As the last ones begin to exit, the train goes by with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, Clarabelle, Horace, Roger Rabbit, Chip & Dale, and Gadget. This, of course, reminds me of how close I am to Mickey's Toontown.
Once inside Toontown, I walk around the fountain and pose with the Roger Rabbit fountain because I cannot help myself. I walk around the side street enjoying the kooky and wacky toon sounds by buzzing door bells, pulling open the crates, and opening the door of the Electric Company to give myself a fake shock. I pull a Roger and act like I am being electrocuted. Why not? I'm in Toontown. I walk through the gazebo and wave at Minnie's House and then Mickey's House. I walk around the fountain and jump on all the discs to make the musical instruments around the fountain play. Dreading the long walk back towards Fantasyland, I head back under the bridge. I pass the teacups that are spinning and playing the Mad Tea Party music. I don't really care for those sharp whistles, but to tell you the truth I have kind of missed it. I nod to the White Rabbit's door and enjoy watching Dumbo spin around. I jump in the Mr. Toad motorcar that is sitting outside the ride and pretend to drive it, when the Carrousel starts up with the Pearly Band on all of the horses playing "It's a Jolly Holiday." I also see Bert and Mary Poppins astride a stallion with Mary riding side-saddle, of course. As I enjoy that sight and sound, I walk around and admire the architecture of the attractions of Peter Pan and Snow White. (Of course I stop to see the Wicked Queen peering down at me). I almost start to walk towards Batuu, but change my mind and pivot and exit Fantasyland by Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
As I walk through Fantasy Faire, Rapunzel is sitting by her fountain and Belle is over by her father's food cart. Ariel, Aurora and Cinderella are over by the entrance queue, and I always bow down to them all as they are indeed royalty. They bow back, and are regal but always kind and gracious. I walk through the tunnel and come out into the beautifully-decorated Mexican passage by Rancho del Zocalo as I hear the theme to Davy Crockett. I round the bend and see the Disneyland Band gathered in a circle around the flag at the fort-like entrance to Frontierland. That makes me pick up the pace of my walk as I head over to Pioneer Mercantile, as I love to walk on the wooden sidewalks. They must have been so fancy back then. I round the bend of the sidewalk directly in front of the Golden Horseshoe Revue and hear the whistle of the Mark Twain Riverboat, but cannot see it.
I see the plumes of smoke over by Splash Mountain, so I head towards the petrified tree so I can walk along the Rivers of America and encounter it as it goes by. That's when I hear Princess Tiana singing "Almost There" and spot her on the deck of the riverboat along with Naveen and Louis the Alligator blowing his trumpet. Such a perfect sauntering song. I stop directly in front of the stage where Fantasmic! is performed, and I wait until the boat is out of sight.
I hear Jambalaya Jazz playing over by the big mossy tree in front of the train station, so I go and listen to them playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" and grab three strands of beads. One purple, one green and one gold.
I hear the train pull up and can hear the steam as it is filled with water, and the band makes an exit. I notice that darkness is falling, and I slowly walk through the gates of the Haunted Mansion. The Dapper Dans are on the porch dressed as the Cadaver Dans singing "Grim Grinning Ghosts," so of course I stop and listen. When they finish, they take off their hats, bow and walk inside. Spooky.
I head by Splash Mountain and watch the logs go down the hill, and spy Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear going down three in a row. I guess they haven't gotten around to changing it yet. They need to get a few rides in too! I walk by the Hungry Bear Restaurant and see Pooh, Tigger, Rabbit, Piglet, and Eeyore all waving to me. How nice.
I enter Star Wars; Galaxy's Edge through the wilderness. The nighttime sounds are my favorite. I can hear all sorts of wild beasts out and about. The lighting is amazing. At one of the ships I see Rey, Chewie and R2-D2 working diligently. I holler "May the Force be with you!" and they stop and acknowledge me but then get right back to work. I walk through the marketplace and the shops are closed, but I can hear the Wookiee teen band playing in an apartment above and love listening to them being scolded by the neighbors. I walk through where the ronto meat is being roasted, enjoying the glow of the light from the makeshift pod racer engine-turned-roaster.
Then I hear the fireworks. Just for me? I stand on the ledge overlooking the Millennium Falcon and watch the black spires light up. It is really magical to see this. As soon as it is over I feel it is getting late, so time to leave. As I walk by Oga's Cantina, I can hear music so I stick my head in and listen to Rex spin for a bit. He has to stay sharp, right? As I walk across the plaza where Kylo Ren's ship is stationed, I notice that there is some smoke lingering around it. Being alone, it is sort of creepy. I pick up my pace, and as I am heading towards the exit near Fantasyland I see Vi Moradi. She looks concerned and tells me we need to hurry and hide. I see about a dozen Storm Troopers marching my way down the corridor near the Milk Stand. This is seeming all too real and we both head out of that tunnel towards the Big Thunder Trail but when I emerge into the old-timey lantern light safely, I see that Vi has vanished.
My goodness, she is good. I am tired, so I head around Big Thunder Mountain and can hear the train whipping around the corner. I spy Pocahontas and John Smith in one train car, Woody and Jessie in another. Of course I wave.
As I round the corner, I walk towards Pirates of the Caribbean. On the walkway above the entrance are the Bootstrappers playing "A Pirate's Life for Me." Of course I stop to sing along. They wave goodnight and walk off carrying that big bass, exiting near the Bengal Barbecue. Up on the stairs of Tarzan's Treehouse, I spy Tarzan and Jane wishing me goodnight. Walking down the streets of Adventureland is pure magic at night. The torches reflecting on the ground. The British broadcasting crackling on the radio at the Jungle Cruise. Jasmine and Aladdin and the Genie saying goodnight over at the Bazaar. I can hear the puttering of the Jungle Cruise boats and the squawk of Rosita near the Tiki Room. I can hear the tiki gods banging their drums and Tangaroa Ru and Pele doing their spiels.
The castle is all lit up and Tinker Bell makes a quick fly-over as I round the bend to a brightly lit Main Street, U.S.A. I love all the lights on the buildings and each colorful bulb blinking. I hear the Disneyland Band before I see them. They are playing "When You Wish Upon A Star" as I exit through the tunnels. I think we all know what I am wishing for as I exit those make-believe gates.