30 December 2011

2011 Best in The WDW Record - That California trip

I am always afraid I am going to run out of little details to discuss in The WDW Record. There have been many panic stricken moments when I feel as if, with the tens of thousands of photographs I’ve collected over the years, I am not going to be able to find a name or artifact that requires explanation. It is in these moments that I wish my future self could come back and smack me in the face, because there is always some new layer to uncover in Walt Disney World.

That California trip gave me a reason to break through the berm of Walt Disney World and venture across the country, if only in my mind. In my own lifetime, I have only spent a few moments here and there along Route 66, but I love imagining it in its heyday, which I am allowed to do, however fictionally, along Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This road sign signifies more than just a route the zigs and zags across the United States ending, or beginning depending on your point of view, in California. US 66, more affectionately known as Route 66, is an intricate part of our country’s traveling spirit. Before interstates, Route 66 was the main thoroughfare running from Chicago to Los Angeles. It not only connected major cities to one another, but it featured a variety of roadside attractions, shops, dining and lodging. Route 66 added to local economies, sometimes it comprised the entire livelihood of towns it passed through. It was such an important part of our coutry’s heritage that Disney-Pixar even made a movie about it. You may have heard of it, a little picture called Cars.

So, what does that have to do with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Sunset Boulevard, where this sign and baggage reside, in front of Villains in Vogue? Well, everything. On the outskirts of Hollywood, Route 66 merges with Sunset Boulevard for one of the road’s final legs. Meandering into Los Angeles, Sunset and Route 66 take motorists straight into the heart of the city, Olvera Street and the Plaza de Los Angeles State Historic Park.

Most visitors to Disney’s Hollywood Studios see the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, in the form of an opulent hotel and swanky boutiques, when they turn to motor down Sunset Boulevard. Little do they know, they are still adding to the narrative of one of America’s most storied roads, Route 66.

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