20 October 2009

Under new management

There are two major differences between Adventureland of 1972 and the Adventureland of today. One, the footprint the land occupies, and two, the variety of dining experiences available in the area. Attractions have new management, shops have been renamed, and sponsors have shifted, but the Adventureland still speaks to guest with a voice that bellows, “You are nowhere near home.”

In 1972, guests would cross the tribal bridge into a village reminiscent of any colonized outpost. As they moved past the tropical treats and dining halls, traders’ stands, daring homesteads, and boating voyage until the reach the Sunshine Tree Pavilion, which is where the world of Adventureland ends. In just a few years Caribbean Plaza would extend the land’s borders, complete with its cruise through the lives and times of the pillaging Pirates of the Caribbean.

When hunger grasped those who were trekking through the jungles of Adventureland, the Sunshine Tree Terrace, complete with its Little Orange Bird, and the Veranda Juice Bar, now known as Aloha Isle, offered specialty snacks of a fruity nature. For full meals, the Adventureland Veranda, located in the colonial immediately on the right past the Adventureland bridge, once offered Polynesian and South Pacific fare. Though the shutters have been, well, shuttered, for a number of years now, the other end of Adventureland now offers Mexican and Spanish provisions at El Pirata y el Perico, when it is open.

In the past 37 years very little has shifted along the shores of the Jungle Cruise and Swiss Family Treehouse. The Tropical Serenade, showcased in the Enchanted Tiki Room, has been under new management since 1998, but guests can still sing like the birdies sing. The unobstructed view of the Sunshine Tree Pavilion available in 1972 can now only be seen in glimpses between the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Live entertainment, including the Safari Band and the Adventureland Steel Drum Band, has been replaced by character meet and greets and Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial.

Bringing home a piece of Adventureland, whether it was from a Polynesian port of call or a piece of African handicraft, could easily be collected from the various market stands known as Tropic Toppers, Oriental Imports, Ltd., Tiki Tropic Shop, Traders of Timbuktu, and The Magic Carpet. These days the true treasures rest alongside surf sundries in shops such as Zanzibar Trading Company, Island Supply, Agrabah Bazaar, Bwana Bob’s, and Plaza Del Sol Caribe Bazaar.

The experience that is Adventureland has altered its face many times since 1972, but it still offers a home for the armchair adventurers. Every dream, fantasy, and preconceived notion of exotic locales is realized with just enough of the real world to give this land the feel of a true life adventure. Guests have always found mystery and amusement in Adventureland, and that essence has never been far off the beaten path.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love your blog! Keep writing the awesome posts!!