Captain Fun in action

Captain Fun in action

Monday, April 25, 2011

Young at Heart

In July of 1955 Walter Elias Disney and his associates opened his first theme park: Disneyland. Not long after my mom and dad took me and my brother Ken there for the first time. Beyond the parking lot you could still see orange groves in Orange County where Anaheim is located.  As an avid Mickey Mouse Club and Davey Crockett fan I was just entralled with the transformation it made in me for a day... and maybe for life. Walt Disney is one of my personal heroes in life.  I miss the old boy sorely.  Disneyland allowed the adventuresome little guy in my head to hunt Indians in a canoe, visit outer space, track the bad guys, shoot moving targets, and later slide down the Matterhorn in a bobsled.  WhooHoo!  To quote Peter Pan: "I'll never grow up!!!"  That little adventure lover is still a part of me I guess.  I discovered there is a little girl in Jeanne who loves adventure too!

 We visited both theme parks over a two day period.  It was great to be able to take our time on seeing what we wanted after hitting the "big line" rides early in the day.

Where the old parking lot was next to the original Disneyland is the new theme park: California Adventure. This park celebrates much of the history of California and can only be visited at the Anaheim location. There is a Disneyland in Florida, Europe, and Japan (I think).  Here is the tribute to the classic days of the Hollywood film industry Disney knew so well, and changed so much.

Animation (cartoon style - hand drawn) has evolved into computer generated characters that are quite life-like.  These characters still come originally from hand drawn prototypes from the "master character" animators before given computer rendered versions for the newer features.  Here Jeanne and I visit with a rather life like character "Stitch" from the minor feature "Stitch and Milo" set in Hawaii.  Stitch was enamored with my shirt.  Liked the colors!!  I'm often found in hawaiin shirts that I collect... in Hawaii.

Many folks don't know that the Disney theme parks have great live shows with amazing talent.  Here is the Golden Horseshoe review with Bill Hill and the, ahem,.. Hillbillys (all named Bill) playing amazing blue grass on each others instruments SIMULTANEOUSLY!!!   We also saw a wonderful live play of "Alladin" - no photography allowed there.

Meanwhile in "A Bug's Life" I got a little too close to one of the Disney cast members...  said he didn't like my shirt! Well you can't please everyone!

Everyone knows I'm NUTS about the Pirates Of The Carribean movie series.  You don't?  Well I am.  Jeanne and I checked out the ride that inspired Jerry Bruckheimer to do the series, and I'm pleased to tell you that Jack Sparrow... ahem... Captain Jack Sparrow now appears several times in the updated, but still classic ride in the New Orleans Square part of Disneyland.  Jeanne and I had a great seafood jumbalaya lunch inside the Pirates ride at the Blue Bayou restaurant.  Call ahead for reservations or you won't be eating there. It is just around the corner from Tarzan's (previously Swiss Family Robinson) tree...

Finally there is a wonderful new attraction at California Adventure at night called "World of Color" that is hard to describe or photograph, but is AMAZING!! (Lots of amazing stuff at the park). It is a dancing colored fountain display upon which images of Disney characters are projected.  Yep, the characters appear in the fountain spray and move.

Hard to see but Nemo and Dori swim along here

Did I mention bubbles?  Oh yea, bubbles, and water spray to cool you down.  No end of imagineering from the company Walt started so many years ago.  We drove home Sunday to recooperate.  Just two tired, happy kids.

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