GILBERTINE & THE EXCHANGE (Volume One) — Chapter 6: Disneyland (Part 4)

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Maybe familiarity breeds contempt, but Main Street, which we went to next, didn’t impress me all that much.

Stan, if you remember Harrington — the ‘glad town’ when we saw ‘Pollyanna’ — I think Main Street is sort of like this — a small town street right out of Walt Disney’s own childhood at the turn of the century.

Maybe that’s the problem.

Excerpt for the Fox Theatre, the entire north side of Chadbourne Drive in Old Town – the original centre of New Danzig/Valle Linda — looks like this.(so does the south side, east of Fourth Street). Storer’s Soda, Ice Cream & Candy Shop and Pepino’s Restaurant still have most of their turn-of-the-century interiors and fixtures. and so does Grimshaw’s Record Emporium (except in the jazz loft).

It seemed redundant here.

But, I did enjoy all the historic bits, little bits of what would have been daily conversation back then, planted between the shops, like so many Easter eggs – particularly a less concealed but thoroughly impressive animatronic Abraham Lincoln, giving a speech in the town theatre.














The smell of food, particularly ice cream, candy and popcorn, is everywhere there, and we did indulge a bit in all three. I also had a silhouette done of me while I was there (which I have to this day,  and had fun watching early (mostly silent) Disney cartoons at the Main Street Cinema, even if it was a bit strange having them all run at once on various screens.






In late afternoon we caught the fascinating Inner Space

attraction, where you find yourself in the

world of the cell, the molecule and even the atom.


It began with a flurry of snowflakes before settling on a single one — a single crystalised drop of water with hundreds of crystalised molecules.

Then into a single molecule, with its atoms of hydrogen and oxygen.

Until we were at the nucleus of the atom, with electrons orbiting around. Then we were brought back, as the snowflake began to melt, and the water molecules started to be more active.


And we saw the eye of a scientist peering in from the other end of the microscope.

We also caught ‘The Art of Animation’ in Tomorrowland,



as well as Bell Telephone’s attraction on the telephone’s evolution and future, the latter interesting, if lacking in whistles and bells.

From there, we went to the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse,

starting with its kitchen, dining area and library.

Then went upstairs to the parlour and bedrooms.

A beautiful sunset was visible at the top, spoiled just a bit, by a view of construction going on at what will ultimately be New Orleans Square – complete, we’ve been told, with a haunted house and a pirate ride. On the way down. I was fascinated by the water wheel and water retrieval system than ran throughout the tree.

At dusk, it was an island dinner show at Tahitian Terrace.













Then, we lumped it with everyone else to catch Skyway

(though we were lucky enough that our gondola

paused as castle fireworks started),

It’s a Small World (the wait charming and diverting

as we watched its outside clockwork beings)


and finally, the Monorail (finding that the Magic Kingdom at night was magical itself).

The entire day was without incident, though next morning, I saw lights circling around my head again and had to have a lie down. It put us right next to the check out deadline and, though Mum had fixed us pigs in blankets in the motel kitchen, I was obliged to eat my portion in the car on the way home.

Thankfully, it was the new car. Uncle Roddy fixed up the Minx and sold it as a classic car before we left, keeping half the proceeds for himself, giving the other half to Mum and Dad. We brought over the Anglia, which Dad drive to work, but Dad and Mum used proceeds from the Minx as a substantial down payment on a new ’64 Chevy Impala they picked up on a clearance sale.

The car feels like a boat, and I had plenty of room to eat in the back seat going home; I just had to be careful not to spill anything on the carpet or upholstery.

But, I wasn’t as fully recovered as we thought I’d be, and by the first glow of sunset, I’d already fallen into bed, skipping Bonanza, Ed Sullivan and even the Wonderful World of Color for some much needed rest.

Been to Charlie’s house twice this week. Not a patch on all of you, but he’s fun, and it’s nice to finally have someone to hang out with. Caught a horror double-feature with him& his mum this week – both of them banned in England!

Amazing stuff!!

Well, the stack of singles just finished, and I’m switching from the record player to the radio. Have to get to those individual letters, so will close this one for now. Hope you’re all doing well.

Friends, mates and comrades forever,



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