Right now my friend, Aaron, is in the Disneyland Resort for the first time in seven years. As someone who’s used to visiting weekly and feels left behind after being gone for not even three months, it’s crazy to think how much has changed since his last visit. Not only has he not seen enhancements made to such things as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Alice and Wonderland, but Carsland, World of Color, and Buena Vista Street didn’t even exist on his last trip! That blows my mind.
Visiting the parks with someone who’s never been or hasn’t been for sometime is hands down one of my favorite activities. Thankfully, I’ve gotten to do so a handful of times and have also been on the other side of the experience. Even though I’m not with Aaron this time, seeing his 140 character updates on Twitter as he reexplores the resort has much of the same effect. However, this time I’m also living vicariously through him as my “days since last visit” number sadly continues to increase.
Though it won’t be seven years before my next visit to Disneyland (at least I sure hope not), it seems a lot will be different on my next trip. In addition to the previously announced entertainment changes being made for Disneyland’s 60th, this week Disney confirmed new magic coming to The Haunted Mansion, The Matterhorn, and — my personal favorite — Peter Pan’s Flight. That means there will be at least half a dozen semi-major changes that have occurred over the course of six months. And that’s not even counting the Condor Flats/Grizzly Peak Airfield conversion.
Each year on The Disneyland Gazette podcast, we do a year in review that looks at all the changes the parks went through over the past 12 months. Every time we do so, I’m astounded at how much can evolve without the average day guest even noticing. Furthermore, it’s funny to look back at all the pictures and tweets we’ve sent out over the year documenting even the most nuanced additions or subtractions.
Admittedly I’m used to be the one taking the photos and updating the folks back home on what they’re missing at the resort. Incidentally, with live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope taking over social media over the past few weeks, there are now more ways to keep in touch with the Disney Parks than every before. I see the value in such things now and it only serves to make me proud of the job I did when I had the blessing of being able to visit frequently. It’s nice to visit the parks through someone else’s eyes, but I still can’t wait to get back and see them first hand.
Kyle is a writer living in Springfield, MO. His deep love of Disney and other pop culture finds its way into his stories, scripts, and tweets. His first book “The E-Ticket Life: Stories, Essays, and Lessons Learned from My Decidedly Disney Travels” is available in paperback and for Kindle. http://amzn.to/1CStAhV