Mrs. Dude is quite fond of ghost shows; me not as much although I occasionally watch them. I neither believe nor not believe in ghosts. I’ve never seen one, but when you have such a preponderance of tales told over the centuries of their existence one does wonder a bit.
Anyway, Mrs. Dude is even more fond of Disneyland, a place we frequent whenever time and money permit (i.e., not nearly as often as we’d like). It’s a nice place to get away from it all; escape the everyday world, soak up the ambiance and relax. And occasionally ride a ride or two while, albeit not simultaneously, scarf junk food.
Occasionally we stay at the Disneyland Hotel. Originally it sat across the street from the park, with getting to it from the Happiest Place on Earth accomplished via either riding the monorail or a tram from the park’s parking lot. In either case, you were deposited in front of the original hotel building, which over the years grew to be a quadrangular mishmash of a few rooms, a check-in area and assorted shops and restaurants.
The main store was Mickey’s Corner, where you could get most everything that was also in the park. It was a bit of a topsy turvy layout, but it had warmth and charm; an atmosphere far more conducive to leisurely shopping than the frenetic, mobbed stores in the park. Not necessarily the main restaurant, but our favorite nonetheless, was the Monorail Cafe which features ’50s diner decor and a menu to match. Great place for a root beer float on a hot day.
Sometime in the late ’90s, Disney decided to tear down the perfectly good park parking lot and on its location build Disney California Adventure, with the idea being that a park featuring replicas of the not-so Golden State’s assorted charms would pack ‘em in like sardines. It didn’t, and making matters worse was how the park was designed and built at a time when those in charge saw only dollar signs instead of pixie dust, thus doing everything on the cheap and for maximum merchandise sales. Thankfully, since then more magic-minded minds have taken control and the park is currently undergoing a massive renovation which by the middle of next year will reveal a ’30s themed main area, the idea being to replicate Los Angeles when Walt Disney first arrived there even as Main Street USA in Disneyland is patterned after his home town of Marceline, Missouri when he was growing up. And (yay!) Cars Land, based on the movie.
At the same time as Disney California Adventure was built, along with a massive parking structure Disney also decided that what people also really wanted was a lengthy stretch between the now two parks and the Disneyland Hotel of semi-yuppie shops and restaurants. The street between the parks and the hotel was turned into an underpass, the old hotel quadrangle was torn down and Downtown Disney was born.
To replace Mickey’s Corner, a new massive store dubbed World of Disney was built. The “world” part comes to mind whenever entering the place, as it is seldom not utterly mobbed by what seems to be half the world’s population. Even when empty the store’s layout flows like molasses in January (for you city slickers, that means slower than all get out). Its feng shui is frenetically sucky. We go there, but it’s nowhere near as enjoyable as Mickey’s Corner.
Several years before the original hotel was torn down, three large towers were built behind it to become the main hotel. If you exited the main tower from the rear, you had a clear sight line to the quadrangle area where Mickey’s Corner was located. Now, the same view reveals the hideous ESPN Zone restaurant and past it Rainforest Cafe.
Most of the time.
More than once, as I’ve exited the main tower and looked to the left I swear I’ve seen the old quadrangle clear as a bell. It’s only for a moment, but it’s vivid. Then, and only then, the current buildings come into view. It’s quite odd (yeah, I know, so am I), but it’s also an experience about which I have no doubts.
Which leads to the question:
Do buildings have ghosts?
I’m not so sure they don’t.