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Ruminations - Disneyland Goodies - Simple Can Be Best!

Ruminations - Disneyland Goodies - Simple Can Be Best!

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Well, you all know how this works... It's that time of year when the gathered clutter from the long winter is about to take over the house. Like it or not, the revolt needs to be put down. So you gather up the boxes, bags, barrels and bundles and start looking through it so sort out the really tasty collectibles from the year-old mail order catalogs. Hey, nothing against catalogs, but they do seem to become the cockroaches of the junk mail scene. Seeming to multiply exponentially and you are always finding another one hidden somewhere, right?

Well, that's kind of the experience I found myself in last week. Jim got snow. I got rain and it was safer indoors than out. So opening box after box, I began sorting the wheat from the chaff. Truth be told, there's a lot more of the latter, but that's what the 40 gallon recycle can is for or so Waste Management would have us believe.

But a couple of boxes yielded treasures. Specifically, Disneyland treasures. Now the funny thing about these goodies is that most of them were not designed for the long haul. If they survived the day of use at the park, that was definitely above par. But for some folks, those little disposable items have become the links to a memorable trip or three. And I am certainly one of those people. It doesn't hurt that I have the pack rat gene and gather way too much "stuff". But a visit to Disneyland... Well, that was and always is special.

So? What did I find? Well, I won't share it all with you. Life does go on, after all. But here are a few of the more interesting pieces:

Everyone who visited the Park in the days before passports remembers tickets. The "A" through "E" coupons were the proof you shared with those not so fortunate to make the pilgrimage down the Santa Anna Freeway. And if you were really lucky, guests exiting the park at the end of their day might give you their unused coupons! Now that always made me smile!

But in earlier times there were individual attraction tickets. Some of the most notable were the Santa Fe & Disneyland tickets (with or without the coupons? A matter of preference to the collector...) as well as a boarding pass for the Steamboat "Mark Twain".

Even today, there are variations on the Passports used for the two theme parks. And now these will become that fondly recalled collectible for guests in another fifteen or twenty years.

In this day of the digital camera, it may seem somewhat passé, but Disneyland postcards were another great glimpse of the park you could take home and share, or drop in that classic mailbox on Main Street. Even if it didn't have a Disneyland postmark, it was really cool to get one unexpectedly! It's another one of those simple pleasures spoiled by the Internet.

These are two of my favorites. The first has a view of the Disneyland Railroad passenger train making a stop to take on water at the Frontierland Station. In those first days, this train bypassed this stop on a passing track on the right of the scene. And note the station in the background as well in its original location. Today the passing track is gone, the station sits west of this view and the water tank was replaced with another, also located west of this view.

The second scene is of the Monsanto House of the Future. I recall only one visit, but the layout of this house just was cool. No word describes it better. "Cool". How many of us wished for one of these in our own backyards?

Before pins became such the hot item, pin back buttons were something of interest for many guests. I know one person who had a hat covered in them. Eventually, he had to leave it at home because the weight of it gave him a headache in a short time of wearing it. This button was from the opening year for the "Storyteller Café's Breakfast with Chip and Dale". Okay, now I'm hungry again. That's one heck of a good breakfast!

Restaurant paper and other items also are favorites of a lot of people. Maybe a special honeymoon dinner or just the fun of having a tuna burger aboard a Pirate ship? This coaster is from the Biergarten at Epcot's Germany pavilion, and fits perfectly under that 1-liter mass krug (heavy glass mug) of fine German "bier"! Prösit!

In this last bunch, a couple of traditions for me. The Fortune Red card is something that I try to get on every Disneyland visit from the "Piece's of Eight" shop in New Orleans Square. Started way back when, and they still always bring me a chuckle.

The Indiana Jones Adventure decoder card? (Beware the eyes of Mara!) Well, I got mine on the night of a AAA Preview, February 17, 1995. Geeze! It's been ten years now! For only $20, we got to enjoy the night in the Park and ride a special preview of the attraction. It was just awesome, and the ticket is now another treasure I'm glad to have.

One of the early and now pricey giveaways was the Atlantic Richfield Autopia Driver's License. I was really glad to see Chevron bring back the cards when they sponsored the refurbished attraction. Heck, I even got the photo stickers to go with it!

Who knows what goodies the 50th anniversary celebration is likely to bring? But you can bet that many of them will find their way to becoming tokens of the fond memories of great experiences for children of all ages! I wonder how many of them will show up on the 22nd Century version of eBay?


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