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As I look back on the many trips I've taken to Disneyland I discovered that I not only have favorite attractions but favorite moments within attractions. Sequences that are the highlight of the attraction for me. in many cases without this sequence I would probably not have the same fondness for the attraction because it is this sequence that connects with me.
Here are 10 of my favorite moments from Disneyland attractions past and present:
Star Tours -- I want to let out a joyful shout each time I hear Rex declare "I've always wanted to do this, we're going in". Having played Atari's Star Wars many, many times, to actually travel through the Death Star corridor and feel the vehicle's movement as we avoid on-coming tie fighters and laser shots - not only does it fulfill a dream but it leads to new dreams. Now I dream of the day when such a ride will respond to my direct movements. I truly will be in an interactive environment that allows me to destroy the Death Star or experience crashing into it in defeat.
Captain EO -- No matter how many times I would stop to enjoy this three dimensional movie starring Michael Jackson I would always chuckle at the following sequence: We are introduced to Captain EO on the bridge of his ship. He appears from beneath it via lift slowly. He is facing away from the camera and it slowly reveals a powerful masculine figure. He turns to the console and declares in a surprisingly soft and delicate tone, "We're goin' in"
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -- The seemingly endless spiral turn after the second lift keeps me coming back to Big Thunder. I just love the forces pushing against the body. Sometimes I lean into the curve and sometimes try to lean against the curve.
Enchanted Tiki Room -- Yet another gone but not forgotten moment holds a particular value for me. Back in elementary school I once got an A on a test simply because I was the only student who knew the composer of Bacarolle by Offenbach. I learned this bit of information from The Enchanted Tiki Room. After the opening number In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room and before Let's All Sing Like the Birdies Sing the smaller birds would perform this beautiful piece of classical music. The toucans would add a dash of wildlife with "ooh, ooh, ooh, ah!" sounds here and there. A colored fountain in the center of the room would move with the music. It has been many years since this segment was removed and I still miss it.
"its a small world" -- Whether setting sail under the gold and white or pastel colored spires of its a small world I've always been anticipating one particular moment in this marvelous attraction. I know what some of you are thinking....the end! But no, my favorite moment in this simple attraction is found in Africa. I have always enjoyed Cleopatra laying almost seductively on her couch. She slightly moves her head to the left and to the right and winks at the passing guests. I can remember mimicking her flirtatious movements throughout the day.
Peter Pan's Flight -- I love flying over the streets of London and looking at the little cars and Big Ben and the clouds moving across the silvery moon. I also enjoy flying over Neverland but that love had to develop. As a young child it terrified me. As we flew over Neverland, Captain Hook's ship would fire at us and I would panic. After a few moments when I was quite sure the cannonball had not hit us I would relax to enjoy the rest of the ride.
Casey Jr. Circus Train-- About halfway through this journey around Storybook Land, Casey Jr. encounters a hill. Slowly he chugs up it repeating, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." After reaching its summit, Casey declares, "I thought I could. I thought I could." as he zooms down the hill and around the bend where he lets out a whistle blow, "woohoo!" The kiddies giggle with delight.
Pirates of the Caribbean -- My favorite moment in this ride comes near its conclusion. The town is on fire and one pirate is stuck in an awful predicament. He has a number of hats piled on his head, a treasure chest in his hands and one foot in a boat and one onshore. He rocks back and forth trying to maintain his balance. Because of the distance he is from the boat and the speed at which we pass I never feel like I get a really good like at this guy and find myself craining my neck to see him longer.
Haunted Mansion -- I impatiently wait for one particular sequence in the Haunted Mansion. In fact, you enter this sequence backwards and then your buggy turns to unveil the scene before you. I must admit I am often leaning forward and around the buggy to get a longer at this scene. It is a coffin that is occupied by someone who is not quite dead. Skeletal hands can be seen coming from within it and a small voice calls out "Let me outta here!" Recently this scene became even more interesting when I learned that the lyricist of Grim Grinning Ghosts, X Atencio, is that voice.
Adventure Through Inner Space -- I can recall watching guests load into an atommobile and then seemingly shrink and enter a snowflake via the Mighty Microscope. I tried to figure out how they did this. It seemed impossible but I could watch the people load into the vehicle and then watch the vehicle travel into the Mighty Microscope. The interior of the Mighty microscope was visible to the queue and you could see miniaturized vehicles with people. I eventually realized that the people going in didn't match up to the miniatures but I still had some doubt. So I always had a bit of fear when I'd board the atommobile for my journey, but then I would enter the world of science. As the ride progressed we became smaller and smaller until we were the size of an atom. Our vehicle passed under the microscope eyepiece. We could look up and see the large eyeball examining us. I used to ride this attraction all the time and this part would always make me uncomfortable. It felt too real and yet I would always look forward to seeing that large eyeball peering down at me.
Those are my favorites, what are yours?
-- Rebekah Moseley (July 26, 2000)
Forever Magical: Rebekah's recollections on Disney events of the past - both distant and recent - proving that Disney will always remain forever magical.
Forever Magical is posted on the fourth Wednesday of each month.