Cinderella’s Castle

Disney Nostalgia

When I think back to Disney, I am always nostalgic. As a kid growing up, we were always “going to go” to Walt Disney World…we never did as a family. I went in High School on a band trip, which in retrospect at that age was probably the perfect way to see The Magic Kingdom. I didn’t go back to the Florida Wonderland until last year and had a surprisingly good time. Today’s photo is one of those photos that maybe I would have taken as a kid visiting The Magic Kingdom. Its a “vintage” feel for a modern digital camera photo. Note the wire where Tinkerbell makes her magical descent every evening to kick off the fireworks show!

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Gateway to Tomorrowland


I visited Walt Disney World last year and of course The Magic Kingdom was my favorite part. I am pretty partial to Tomorrowland. I love the 1950-60’s version of what tomorrow should look like. Walt was in many ways a visionary, not only in the field of entertainment, but also in the way he constantly pushed. We are talking a trip out to Anaheim and will visit Disneyland during our short stay. That park, that started a new empire, was put together on a shoestring budget. The company practically went broke building the park, and it could only operate at the behest of corporate sponsors, but despite the risk and despite near calamity, Disney saw what others would not. He accomplished what only he could. He built his own future.

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Old Universal

Bumming Around the Old City

I had an opportunity last year to spend an evening at Universal Studios in Florida. It was interesting because there was a whole section of the park that was reserved just for our party…it was a big party The great thing is despite attending with 20,000+ geeks the parts of the park we occupied were relatively empty, at least compared how these parks usually are. While meandering around with my camera, I found this section of 20’s New York. The streets were completely deserted that night.

Swiss Family Treehouse

Disney Contrasts

I had a great time at Disney, but oddly one of the most exciting things for me (besides feeling a bit like a kid) was the contrasts at the Magic Kingdom. There were contrasts in families with some enveloped by exuberant excitement while others just seemed angry (“I am SICK of looking at you” I heard one mother yell at her toddler as she slammed down the stroller shade). There was the contrast in young and old, the contrast of groups and single people visiting the park like myself (though I think I was one of a few). I also loved seeing contrasts in the old and new rides. Some like its a small world seem ancient while Winnie the Pooh’s Adventure was really new and a bit trippy. These differences made the price of admission well worth it for me!

This is one of the older attractions at The Magic Kingdom, the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse. It was opened in 1971 not too old, not too new, but a good bit of stairway fun!

Big Thunder Mountain

Silver Dollar City Surprise

Living in the Ozarks you grow up going to Silver Dollar City. It’s out version of Disney…well if you only count Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom then its our Disney. Also you would need to replace the giant scary mouse with a hairy and equally scary hillbilly…maybe they are a bit different. Anyway, I haven’t been to SDC in a number of year (probably 5) and I haven’t been to Disney World since High School.

It was impossible for me not to notice similarities and differences. For instance there is the roller coaster Big Thunder Mountain. At SDC this is called Thunderation…the colors seem similar in my recollection (maybe I am just crossing theme parks in my head). Both are train motifs. Big Thunder Mountain at Disney was opened in 1979, Thunderation was opened in Silver Dollar City in 1993. I am not saying there is any relationship, but simply that it’s interesting. Here is a fun shot I took while the train was roaring by…I felt it needed to look old.

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe

Tomorrow Land

I always feel like I need more time at the Magic Kingdom. I got there an hour before the park opened at 8pm and I stayed till after 11pm. I think I had some 15 or 16 hours in the park, but there was still more to do. I never feel like that at EPCOT, but then perhaps I am just a big kid at heart. This is Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe on the outskirts of Tomorrow Land as seen from one of the bridges in the Magic Kingdom. Its funny, because I always think tomorrow land looks like a 1960’s vision of the future. This diner makes me think of Edward Hooper’s painting Nighthawks even though I know they look nothing alike.

Mission Space

Confessions of a Space Cadet

I didn’t ride Mission Space at Disney’s EPCOT Center. I made it to the ride VERY early in the day. It was my second stop after Sorin’. When you enter they ask if you want a green or orange card (less intense or more intense…in that order). I chose orange and anyone my age would. I got into line and started wondering what sort of ride this was. I am not a scared sort of amusement park rider, but I can sometimes get sick. There are pretty much two things that are out; inversion and spinning. While I was waiting in the line I looked on my phone to see what I had signed up for. The first review was of a person much like me who rode early and was queasy the rest of the day. I turned around and left. I tried to come back and ride the green card later in the day, the wait time was 100 minutes. No thanks! Has anyone rode this? Is it fun?