25 January 2013

The Lost City of Cibola

At Coronado Springs, the pool area is known as The Dig Site, and while it is pretty obvious what is being dug up by the massive pyramid emerging from the center of the recreation area, there is so much more to discover here. The Dig Site is, in fact, home to myth and legend and the lost city of Cibola.

In the 16th century Spaniards who occupied Mexico, then known as New Spain, heard tale of villages to the north that were known as Cibola. As the legend presented itself Cibola was actually a grouping of several cities, known the Seven Cities of Gold, and they were filled with more gold and wealth than one could imagine or use in a lifetime. Several expeditions, based off of the tales of shipwreck survivors, were mounted, but it was conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado who finally found Cibola in 1540.

When he arrived, however, there were no cities overflowing with gold and the site was days away from the coastline, not perched upon it as suggested by a friar from a previously failed excursion. The adobe pueblos did gleam under the fierce rays of the sun due to the copious amounts of mica found in the clay, but the lack of treasure did not stop Coronado from finding a use for Cibola. He would use it as a staging area for future exploits. Meanwhile, the stories of Cibola and the Seven Cities of Gold were so enticing that they would linger on into present day.

For Disney’s part, Cibola has been utilized in several media forms. In 1954’s Uncle Scrooge comic book, issue 7, Carl Barks sends Scrooge and his nephews after Cibola in a story entitled The Seven Cities of Cibola. This same tale was later reworked as the pilot episode of the DuckTales cartoon series, but was retitled Treasure of the Golden Sun. In a more human form, Ben Gates and crew eventually unearth Cibola in the second National Treasure installment, National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

Back at Coronado Springs, guide maps for the popular pool area, The Dig Side, include a crest for The Lost City of Cibola. Whether taking a plunge down the Jaguar Slide, swinging on the ruins or battling giant spiders in the Explorer’s Playground, or simply lounging with a beverage from Siestas, The Dig Site is filled with nods to the ancient tales of Cibola. And you may just find that a little bit of relaxation is better than all the gold in the Seven Cities.


KJ @ PlustheMagic said...

Great post- I love Coronado Springs, and I haven't been able to make it back there in a few years. Thanks for the reminders about this awesome digsite!

Andrew G. said...

That's really cool! Are guests allowed to climb up that pyramid?

KJ @ PlustheMagic said...

Andrew, you can get up the first five or so steps, then the giant vine blocks your way!

Ryan P. Wilson said...

KJay, glad I could reinvigorate the memories!

Andrew, as KJay said there are a few steps, but they prefer you not climb. Kind of similar to how you can't really climb the pyramid of the Mexico pavilion.