Monday, April 11, 2011

On Temporal Reality at Disneyland

If you don't get to Disneyland too often, your sense of the passage of time may be fairly conventional. Sure, Daylight Saving Time will mess with your head twice a year, and leap seconds and leap days crop up as a curiosity (no offense intended to those born on February 29). But at Disneyland, time is elastic in a way that is frankly not possible elsewhere in the universe. Perhaps this is why so many Disneyland obsessives also love the Back to the Future trilogy--anything is possible at Disneyland.

This was brought home to me today while visiting the Resort. The first such instance was at Innoventions (which currently has some reversed traffic pattern I don't fully understand). On the second level is one of three "Fun Phones" installed in late 1999 and early 2000. The phones (the others were outside the Indiana Jones Adventure and in Mickey's Toontown) would play a brief, humorous audio clip when a Guest picked up the phone. The Innoventions one had a hilarious take-off on the Adventure Thru Inner Space spiel ("For centuries, man had but his own two ears. Then he invented the telephone, a mighty ear") voiced by Paul Frees sound-alike Corey Burton. I believe the other phones were taken out before too long; the Innoventions one has been broken for years and years and years. That is, if you live in the real world.

Here's what the Fun Phone looked like on April 11, 2011, probably untouched (including the dusting--is that really so hard?) since they removed the AT&T logo from the cone:

Getting in a little closer:

That's right, we see that this is only a temporary inconvenience. Much like the Carousel Theater was closed for ten years to Imagineer a brand new attraction, or like Light Magic went on a two-year hiatus, or the return of the Rocket Rods is just around the bend, the Fun Phones aren't really gone (although I am sure that sign has been there multiples of time longer than the Fun Phone was originally operational). But the sign doesn't promise a definitive return date.

The Disneyland Hotel, on the other hand, in the midst of a major renovation, has some confusing signs up. Adorning the construction walls are reproductions of a few attraction posters and some signs advertising the changes to come:

Coming Spring 2011! Coming Spring 2012! Coming Soon! It is correct that everything in the top photo (that is, the Monorail slide) should be opening in Spring 2011. But most of what's in the bottom image (the Spring 2012 sign) should be opening in Spring 2011. I guess they are underpromising, but I would certainly be confused if I were a casual visitor. (In fact, I began to question what year it is.)

So, the next time you visit, and Security is trying to usher you out because the Park has "closed," just remind them that at Disneyland the temporal is flexible--and please let me know how that goes for you.

1 comment:


I'm sure Disneyland is well aware of the target opening dates! How could they be wrong?? "DISCOVEY BAY OPENING 1982", "THE WESTERN RIVER EXPEDITION OPENING 1974! -WATCH FOR MORE NEWS FROM THE FRONTIER!!!", "LAKE BUENA VISTA PEOPLEMOVER to open in 1975!", "ROCKET RODS IS CURRENTLY NOT OPERATING--PLEASE WATCH FOR A SPRING RE-OPENING............"