Sunday, August 26, 2007

First Memories

My first memories of Disneyland

The first time I ever went to Disneyland was my memory. My Mom will tell you it was 1963 or 1964. That was way before digital cameras, cameras with date stamps or even computers. My parents were into "slides" in those days. They thought them to be the most wonderful thing invented since sliced bread. The folks of that era didn't realize that years down the road (gosh, many years down the road...) people wouldn't want to set up slide projectors and view pictures....if they even had a slide projector and screen. And then there were the "accidents" when all the slides fell out of the circular holders they were placed into once developed. They never quite made it back into correct order after these incidents. So, our "memories" of this first trip are on slides somewhere in the dark storage area of the building my Mom now lives in. And so, the date we first went is a mystery. However, my memories of the trip are not. We made this trip by car. (My kids who are no longer kids would probably tell you this is because airplanes hadn't been invented then...NOT....they had but were very expensive in those days). We travelled a lot by car in those days. I learned my packing take everything in the house you could possibly ever need....from these excursions. We travelled with luggage and a huge steamer trunk. In the steamer trunk were various items from the kitchen such as plates, cutlery and the trusty electric frying pan which you could make just about anything in. These were days long before seat belt laws etc and my Mom would be climbing over seats and whipping up sandwiches and snacks from her grocery supply which was refurbished along the way. On this particular trip we went to Reno, Oregon and LA. My Dad tried everything to get us booked into the Disneyland Hotel but apparently it was sold out a year in advance in those olden days. Disneyland had only opened it's gates in July of 1955 so there were not the proliferation of hotels there that there are now. We ended up staying somewhere in LA that had a lovely swimming pool and driving to Anaheim. The first night we went, we rode on the Monorail and saw the Disneyland Hotel. It didn't look like it did in later years and there was a doll show in the lobby. That is perhaps my only memory of the hotel is all the dolls on display. And it was wasn't supposed to be raining, we were in California, land of sun, oranges and palm trees! The next day we returned to the park. In those days you didn't buy passes, you bought tickets for each attraction. My Dad bought us the tickets and off we went. I was always a daredevil when it came to rides and the sight of the Matterhorn Mountain was all I could focus on. I watched and watched and finally came up with a fool proof plan to go on that ride. Neither of my parents had ever been big on rides other than the kiddy type things so I told my Dad it was "just a little boat ride" and he believed me. We stood in the sweltering sun (the rain had gone away by the morning) for what seemed and probably was hours. We finally boarded the "little boat ride" for our trip up the mountain. Well, I thought it was the most wonderful thing I had ever done, my Dad about had heart failure a million times, he later said. And I am sure some of his grey hair was caused by this little boat ride. It became a family legend of sorts...but I still loved it!! I remember the Car Track ride, and I remember a train ride through a desert with animals perched up on high rocks. And I remember getting lost...I don't know how I got lost but somehow I did. In Fantasyland. I guess maybe I was just so busy looking at all there was to see and I just wandered off. I seemed to have been lost for an awfully long time but they eventually found me and we carried on. I remember the Mark Twain riverboat and then we went to what my Dad would have told you was his favorite place...The Tiki Room. Gosh he loved that attraction and show. My memory of that was some sort of kiosk outside with pretty colors of birds and lots of colored feathers etc. My memory is of colors...LOL The trip was a success and everyone had a really good time but it was a very long drive, the super highways hadn't been built yet and we took the Pacific Coast Highway all the way. This was a scary kind of highway as there were a lot of huge logging trucks and other big transport trucks on it in those days and it was full of twists and curves. I never returned there as a child. My next trip there was in 1989. I had started a full time daytime job the year before, my Dad had died the previous December, we had bought our first house that year before and in 1989 we went on vacation. I was now a Mom myself and had 2 young sons. Too be continued!