March 28, 2014

Island Escape at Disneyland

Want to run away to a tropical paradise? You can at Disneyland! Long ago, before Trader Sam's bar at the Disneyland Hotel...

Way back in 1967, Imagineer Sam McKim did this wonderful rendering of the upcoming Tahitian Terrace at Disneyland. You can enlarge it to see what a beautiful piece it is. The end product built in steel and concrete was just as amazing as the art, in some ways even better. Too bad it no longer exists in its original form. Aladdin's Oasis just doesn't cut it.

I spent more than a few evenings of my youth hanging out and having dinner at the Terrace over the summer evenings. The food was great, and let's be honest- as a teen, the lovely lady dancers were an attraction themselves!

The feel of the whole experience came together as something only Disney could do. With the Enchanted Tiki Room off to the side and the launches of the Jungle Cruise rounding the bend, it was as close to Polynesia as I would get until my first visit to Hawaii many years later.

Certainly this version of Adventureland initialized and fed my love of locales tropical. Hawaii, Bahamas, Tahiti. The list is almost endless. With Denver's upcoming snowy season almost gone (it's always too soon to call it until mid-April!), for now the islands are just a daydream!

(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company)

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