Friday, April 18, 2008

You Might Have Parked Here

OK, show of hands: How many of you out there have a piece of the old parking lot? Above is my own sample, obtained personally in early summer 1997. At that time, most of the original parking lot remained open, but they had closed off Alice and Bambi (and perhaps a couple others?) to begin construction of the East Esplanade. I was with a sister and a friend; when we arrived I had us go over and take a look. There wasn't much to see through the green screen on the fence, but I did note several pieces of the parking lot. Of course, it would be silly to walk around Disneyland with a rock all day! But on our way out, I did pick up the biggest piece I could find.

But we had a problem: we hadn't the faintest idea where we parked. Well, we had a vague idea... maybe somewhere near the center, on the western side. We wandered around for at least fifteen minutes. I don't know that we had any particular strategy--just moseying 'round and 'round. When it felt like our search was futile, we finally spotted it in the next row over! Our journey its direction coincided with the arrival of Security. If you can believe this, they wanted to know what we teenagers were doing wandering around the parking lot with a giant rock! Well! I'm not sure the Security Officer entirely "bought" that I just wanted a piece of the parking lot. I think our saving grace was actually locating our car. He might have been satisfied with us driving off, whereas if we continued wandering, I might have had to forsake my souvenir.

But the post wouldn't be complete without a few shots of the destruction that made my traumatic experience possible. I'm unsure of the exact date of this photo, but it was taken around the time of my story:

I got my license on January 20, 1998. Two days later, they closed the parking lot!


Major Pepperidge said...

I remember how excited I was at the thought of another park being built right next door to Disneyland. The possibilities seemed tantalizing to say the least! Little did we know that it would be built "on the cheap" with very little of that magic that we keep hearing about.

Unknown said...

So, where do you keep it and how much does it weigh?

That is, by far, the strangest collectible I have seen!

Very cool...

mistryl said...

haha! I never knew the part about security. I could see why he would be concerned!

Is it wrong to miss a parking lot? I can't say there are any other parking lots that I miss, or would be disappointed that they took away. It was better than DCA! Of course, I reserve the right to change my opinion in a few years. :)

Anonymous said...

Gads, I thought I was the only one that did that kinda thing...

Before the Tiki Room when in for it's big rehab a few years ago, the decking in the Enchanted Garden was looking really sad ... It was laid with a veneer of mosaic pebble tile that was the cat's meow in the early 60's (I know cause I was there too...)

Anyway the slab had cracked in a few places and these tiny floor tiles were poppling up ... so I scooped up about half a dozen and took them home with me.

Now if I could only figure out how to get Maui out of that fountain, I'd be set.

-Katella Gate.

PS, pound for pound your asphalt slab *is* more fun than DCA. I think the only thing more disappointing than DCA following Disneyland was when Phantom Menace followed Return of the Jedi.