I really do not get out enough. I just found out that a handful of the original Disneyland rides I remember well are gone … and have been for a while.
It just never occurred to me to check. My favorite of the now defunct group was the submarine ride. Somehow, in spite of claustrophobic leanings, that ride grabbed my imagination and whimsy. I absolutely loved its mermaids, giant squid and sea serpent. I figured it must still be there, because I took my children on it in the early ‘90s, which was just a minute ago, right?
I think I have spotted a pattern here and it’s no surprise, really. I have known for some time that my life is rocketing by me so fast you’d think I wouldn’t need a facelift. I have become reasonably adept at ignoring many of the obvious harbingers of time racing by, but every now and then, updates like the Disneyland rides snap me back to reality.
The good news is that Disneyland replaced my beloved, yet cheesy submarine with the “Finding Nemo” ride. I haven’t been on it yet, but I am such a fan of that movie, that I have to applaud the upgrade.
It seems the park has also said goodbye to the Skyway. We thought it especially cool because it went right through the top of the Matterhorn. I got a double whammy upon finding that the PeopleMover was replaced with Rocket Rods in 1995. I don’t think I ever even saw those and they, too, disappeared in 1998. The tracks just sit there unused now, which just seems terribly unDisneylike.
The others gone missing include the low-tech Old Mine Train through Frontierland. I only have memories of riding it near dusk, which I believe is when we would finally give in because our feet were too tired to walk anymore.
My children, raised along with the Mario Brothers, will be thrilled to hear that “Luigi’s Flying Tires,” part of a new Cars Land opening in 2012, will replace a ride even I don’t remember, called “Flying Saucers.” From the looks of it, it was like a giant air hockey table, but the discs didn’t do much except bounce a little. The “Flying Tires” creators are going to really need to bring their best stuff to impress today’s lightning-fast gaming crowd.
I have four nieces who will just laugh and shake their heads at me when they read this. They are in the top one percentile of Disneyland fans, coming down from Oregon at least once a year for a visit. The youngest even had her wedding outside Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Now that’s a solid fan.
Please tell me the castle is still there.
Filed Under: Small Talk