I went to Dinseyland last weekend. I enjoyed the 50th anniversary celebrations because I’ve always been interested in the history and evolution of Disneyland, especially as I’ve noticed the rides change over the years.
I’ve only been there a handful of times, but it’s been enough to notice how things have changed. I remember going on the Adventure Through Inner Space ride before it was replaced by Star Tours. I remember the stage in Tomorrowland where they would show 3D movies at night, which was replaced by Captain E-O, and then Honey I Shrunk the Audience. One visit I went on the Mission to Mars; the next time, they were promising the Alien Encounter… which didn’t last long enough for me to see it. That space was finally taken by the Buzz Lightyear ride, which I think is pretty fun. I wish more rides would e-mail you your picture instead of charging ridiculous amounts for a print. And then, of course, I miss the PeopleMover and the Skyway.
I had hoped to find a good book about Disneyland’s past. There was one at the park, but it wasn’t as detailed as I’d hoped. Finally I searched around the Internet and found that was a much better resource for what I was looking for. Here are some of my finds:
- Yesterland - Contains pictures and descriptions of old rides and attractions, as well as current attractions as they used to be.
- JustDisney.com’s Disneyland Timeline - It only goes up through 2000, but it’s a pretty thorough list of changes to the attractions since the beginning.
- Wikipedia’s List of past Disneyland attractions - For some reason they don’t mention the Alien Encounter, but some of the other rides have detailed pages of their own.
It seems that Disneyland had more of an educational theme than it does now, especially Tomorrowland. The way technology is moving these days it would be very difficult to keep Tomorrowland “up-to-date”, but I think they should be able to return to the original spirit of it. Rumor has it the PeopleMover is coming back too. I hope so.