Monday, October 21, 2013

Memories of the Magic Kingdom

I recently had the chance to visit Disneyland with a small group of people, including my 1o-year-old nephew and his mom.   Coincidentally, the weekend after our visit to the Magic Kingdom, I picked up a bunch of old Disneyland memorabilia at an estate sale.

The family who saved these memories from their own trips to Disneyland, must have visited there several times during the early 1960s and the early 1970s.  

Four-fifty.  Four-seventy five.  Six dollars for a teenager to get in and ride all those rides.   Amazing.  And yet there was a leftover E Ticket loose inside one of the ticket books!  (This was long before "E" stood for "electronic.")

(Which ride to go on?  Hard to choose, but probably "Pirates.")

The pocket guide to Disneyland, shown above, has a date of 1971 on it.  It was obviously well-used.  I bet the previous owners had a good time while they were there.

The souvenirs from my most recent trip to Disneyland are different than the ones I found at the estate sale: a PDF printout confirming my online ticket purchase; a receipt for a Build-Your-Own Lightsaber at the "Star Wars" gift shop in Tomorrowland (I told you I went there with a 10-year-old); a folder on my computer full of digital photographs.  

Even though the admission price to Disneyland has gone up (understatement!), it's certainly easier and better to pay a flat admission fee and ride all the E Ticket rides you want without having to buy another coupon book.  And digital technology certainly makes it easier to get the tickets in advance and navigate around the park. 

But I wonder:  How can we make sure we save our best memories to share them with future generations, when the records of those memories exist only in cyberspace as a string of ones and zeros, or can be deleted from a cellphone or a file with one wrong push of a button?   

The paper memories trigger the remembrance and the sharing with others.  How will we remember to explain what an E Ticket was, to someone who was born long after E Tickets were history?

I think I'd better print a few of the best photos and put them in a scrapbook or photo album, just to be sure these memories can be passed along.  And when I pass them along, I will remember to explain about the importance of E Tickets. 

(The horse-drawn trolley.  The "Mark Twain" riverboat.  And Donald Duck.  It's good to know some things never change much.)

___ explains E Tickets (officially E Coupons):

There are tons of websites devoted to the history of Disneyland.  This is an interesting one:

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