Recently, I took a trip down memory lane and ended up in Disneyland.
In line waiting for a Mickey-shaped rice crispy treat, I discovered I was within earshot of a perturbed middle-aged lady who deemed our happiest place on earth "ridiculous" because the manager of the Mad Hatter store wouldn't allow "P. Diddy" to be stitched on a mouse ears hat, as it was the name of a rapper. I went through a list of disallowed names myself before someone unwittingly stitched "Kool Moe Dee" onto my hat so pimp.
No one wanted to go on the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland. Too bad for the suckers who preferred to wait an hour to ride Space Mountain. Nothing rouses a venturesome spirit like the redolence of hot dogs coating the air as you're travelling down the dangerous Nile, shooting anything that's got eyeballs on him. That night, I dreamt of grilling franks in Africa.
Even the happiest place on earth couldn't keep me from frowning when I saw that It's a Small World was closed for maintenance. It wasn't a small world, after all: it was a shitty world, a shitty, shitty world.
Things got shittier when I saw for myself that people were no longer moved along the lines where the PeopleMover once moved. In the twenty-eight years that it provided low to moderate enjoyment to Disneyland goers, only two people died after boarding it. This was not the fault of the PeopleMover, however. This was the fault of the two people who hadn't the capacity to supplement the imaginatively open ride and therefore chose to cast themselves from the 2 mph travelling carts to extinguish their anguished boredom forevermore. I wonder if it worked.
The happiest place on earth? Barely. From the monorail above I witnessed with great horror that my beloved Submarine Voyage was no longer. Once a deep sea wonder filled with giant oysters and mythical mermaids, the space was now a parched tract, awaiting the installation of a stupid fish named Nemo, along with his wide-eyed Pixar cast of imagination destroyers.
Soles heavy, I trudged over to Star Tours, a Star Wars inspired simulated ride, which I, as a child, waited two hours in line to experience. No line this time, but I remembered the meandering path well, and it occurred to me that Tron really was a frightful movie and that Ewoks should never die under a pile of rocks when a child is watching.
On the whole, Disneyland remains pretty aight. I really like that ride where you sit on a boat going 1 mph and sail into a whale's mouth like Pinocchio.