Over at Yesterland, the great site led by Werner Weiss, I've really enjoyed his posts which compare photos of the park over the decades. This one post discussing Fantasyland was of particular interest. Werner had several shots showing the favorite attraction designed primarily by Imagineer Mary Blair, the classic It's a Small World.
Upon more thought, I realized I had taken a photo of a "missing link" in the progression. It was in 1994 when the suits decided it was time to refresh the exterior by adding some color- making it more like the exteriors at Tokyo Disneyland and later Disneyland Paris. I was struck by the transition from what I knew and snapped a shot. So glad I did!
Truth be known, I love both the original white and gold and the rose colored scheme. In fact, I just love the attraction period! I love it in California. I love it in Florida, and I love it in Paris as well.
Walt Disney himself tended to see the world in through rose colored lenses- and I always loved that about him. He was unabashedly sentimental and patriotic. Although a successful business man who had seen the harder and seedier side of life, there was a child like innocence that was part of him as well. Maybe that's the piece of Disney and Disney parks that brings a warmth to my heart. It goes right along with Jesus' words reminding us that we must be like little children to enter the kingdom of God.
With all the refurbishments going on at Disneyland for the 60th Anniversary celebration and the recent small fire at It's a Small World, it only seemed right to present this photo. It is a Disney treasure regardless of how you present it.
(Photograph copyright Mark Taft.)