12 September 2007

Lower your head and watch your step

I’ve always had a fondness for the trams in Walt Disney World. Sure the openness has caused the occasional accident, and trying to cram on at the end of a marathon day may not seem like fun, but to me they are classic Disney. From the rough sandpaper seats to the reeking odor you are forced to endure every time the driver speeds up and the tram burps out a black cloud, I love the trams. Okay, so from those descriptions I’m sure you cannot wait to jump on one, or off of one and sustain a serious head injury, but stick with me on this one.

If you’ve ever driven to a park then you know that the parking lot trams are the first time you board a moving vehicle that is entirely out of your control. And that can be a bit frightening, but to me it is exciting. You are free from the rest of the world, and this is your first push. Not to mention how much you can let your imagination run away with you if you allow it in the parking lot.

As a child I used to read off the parking lot names, back when there were only two parks, as we approached the gates. Thinking back, I’m sure my parents thought it was just excitement bubbling over or a roll call of all the things to come, but to me I was immersing myself in something special. As a matter of fact, I still do this every time I drive to the parks, which is less often than I’d like these day. I was immersing myself in meeting old friends in the Magic Kingdom, friends like Minnie or Goofy or Chin and Dale, immersing myself in the discoveries I was about to make in Epcot, from Harvest and Energy to today’s Wonder and Amaze, in Disney-MGM Studios it has always felt like the butterflies before a performance on Stage or Film, and in Animal Kingdom I was finding my connection to, my place in, the world around me through Giraffe and Dinosaur.

The trams were my vessel through these daydreams, or preludes to dreams I suppose. To take it a step further I would say this is what the goal of the parking lots were, not just an easy way to remember where your car is amongst thousands of others, but a preview, a way to tempt your palate. After all, the Magic Kingdom was always meant to be a show from the curtain of the Main Street Station to the final reveal of Cinderella Castle. Why then wouldn’t the names of the parking lots give you the same glimpse into the worlds you are a bout to visit than the wienies on the horizon of the Seven Seas Lagoon. And really, would you notice the lot names as much if you had to begin your day with a long trudge to the Transportation and Ticket Center, as you would as you were being whisked away to your adventure aboard a tram? No matter what the air smelled like?

1 comment:

theDisnerd said...

I love the trams too!! They just help build up the excitement and are classic Disney the same way the monorail is!