02 September 2010

For protection

From the Hub of the Magic Kingdom the various lands can be explored, but what is it precisely that draws us in? The bridge to Liberty Square (and Frontierland beyond) doesn’t offer a view of Big Thunder Mountain or the Haunted Mansion, you cannot see the Spanish fort of Adventureland, the host of flying elephants is blocked by Cinderella Castle and the carousel beyond in Fantasyland, and even Tomorrowland only offers the briefest glimpse into the attractions of the future. Instead, we must rely on what can be seen right in front of us, or what we know to be beyond. In most cases, that means paying particular attention to the bridges surrounding splintering away from the Hub.

While some are modest, I can remember two bridges pulling at me as a child, the spire lined walkway to Tomorrowland and the tribally adorned planks leading to Adventureland. These days, with the white towers of Tomorrowland but a memory, I am drawn towards the Adventureland bridge, with its tropical vegetation, carved sign, and, of course, its shields.

Along each side of the thatched and hewn-logs passage are two shields, each covering a pair of crossed spears. In the center of each oblong shield, save one blank example, is a painted tribal portrait, in addition to the individual details and color schemes. I can remember these faces staring at me as a child, and having the urge to continue looking at my shoes. These days, they seem to be familiar friends, prodding me on to my next adventure.

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