Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Petrified Tree, August 28 1965

Many people know the story behind the petrified tree that can still be seen in Frontierland. Walt Disney bought it as an anniversary gift for his wife. What a smoothie! There's nothing like a 5-ton chunk of silica to win a girl's heart. Sure, the thing looked good in their living room, but she wanted to share it with the world, and so she donated it to Disneyland. Because that's the kind of gal she was.


Other anniversary gifts from Walt to Lillian: a weed-whacker, a 16-pound bowling ball, and a vacuum cleaner. What, no audio-animatronic butler?


9 comments:

Chiana_Chat said...

Gosh. I just love the lovely day and scene in that top photo of it. If I were a petrified tree, I think I'd like to be there. ;)

TokyoMagic! said...

I always laugh just a little whenever I see that petrified tree. It's just the whole idea of Walt giving this as an anniversary gift and then Lillian turning around and donating it to Disneyland. I wonder how much time elapsed between the moment he gave it to her and the moment she came up with the idea? Minutes?

There appears to be a canoe to the left of the petrified tree. Everyone in it seems to be just sitting there with their paddles in the canoe except for maybe one person who doesn't seem to be straining himself too much.

Progressland said...

Nice photo of the sign!

Connie Moreno said...

Something I always walk by and never pay attention to...I wonder how many other things in the Park I miss?

Katella Gate said...

I suspect that this petrified tree was a classy way for Walt to get his wife's name into Disneyland. No doubt she made significant contributions (if only in the form of patience, support and *not nagging*)and he wanted to show he recognized her role.

BTW, her "name" is listed as "Mrs. Walt Disney". Feminists like to portray this as a sign of ownership by the husband, but I always saw it as a way to screen the wife from over-familiarity. It's kinda hard to put the make on somebody you only can call "Mrs. Disney" because you don't know her first name.

I have a boyish recollection that petrified wood was *the thing* for kids back in the 50-60's, it was discussed a lot in scouting, science classes (when America actually had a space program) and just general culture.

Orange Co Native said...

That is what is so neat about Disneyland. The park has these little details and unusual things scattered around the park.

A few of them are now gone like Cascade Peak, the wreaked train that use to be part of the old Mine Train attraction and of course Mineral Hall.

I'll need to make sure I photograph this tree next time I go to Disneyland.

The colors on the photograph are great. It makes one think. This picture was taken 46 years ago. It looks like it could have been taken yesterday.

Orange Co Native said...

Of course. I mean wrecked and not wreaked.

Nancy said...

for the girl who has everything....

and its not every day you get such an unusual gift. do you think maybe it was in Walt's mind that it would become part of Disneyland when he bought it?

Chuck said...

Connie - I understand what you mean. You get focused on getting to other attractions or you're distracted by a moving shiny object like the Mark Twain ("squirrel!") and cool details like the Petrified Tree just become obstacles to go around. I don't know how many times I rode it's a small world before I noticed the caged corpse hanging from Tower Bridge in the England tableau.