Thursday, August 6, 2015

Theme Parking: Yesterland

  • When we returned to Disney California Adventure for the first time ten years, we found a wildly different park than the one I remembered. The entrance and opening thoroughfare were amazing, entirely unlike what I could recall. The airfield zone was closed for refurbishment, but I could not recall its name. There was a Cars Land out of nowhere. I remembered a movie theater, but it seemed to be long gone. The new park was magical, but in comparison to what? It has been so long since I last visit that I could no longer remember the park that I was comparing it to. Luckily, those old lands and attractions were just a short trip away on the internet.

  • Yesterland is a website curated by Werner Weiss. Opened in 1995, the site was one of the earliest bookmarks I ever set in a browser. Over the years, Weiss has written extensively about lands, attractions, shops, parades, and even signs that no longer exist at Disneyland and several Disney other parks. He published each Friday, either with a new addition or to spruce up an older article. Several photographs illustrate his articles, letting readers gaze into a past that no longer exists. It would take several days to get through the entire archive. I speak from experience.

  • Upon returning home from DCA, I looked up the Yester California Adventure articles. Amazingly, it is already two thirds the size of Yesterland. I had a lot of reading ahead of me. It took several late nights of reading to get through everything. I came out the other side with a much greater appreciation for what Disney had to work with when they redesigned the park.

  • Walt Disney famously said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." Neither, it seems, will Yesterland. Yesterland will be there to welcome those attractions from yesteryear that no longer find a home in our world. I could not be more grateful for it.

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