Monday, November 12, 2012

Plaza Gardens, 1996

Carnation's Plaza Gardens was a part of Disneyland's history since 1956, but it's gone now - a new princess-themed "Fantasy Faire" is being built in its place. I can't get very excited about another "meet 'n greet" but who knows, maybe it will be delightful once we see it. Fingers crossed!

Anyway, back in 1996, my friend took some nice pictures of the entrance to the Plaza Gardens. Like this daytime shot from July 1! This area was often deserted; was it empty because the food service counters were seldom open, or were the food service counters seldom open because nobody ever went there to eat?

Here's a beautiful night photo from November of '96.

From October, we have the next two images, taken at dusk. I post so many vintage photos that it is weird to see one of the "hoodoos" from Big Thunder peeking up over the trees. The tent to our left is where so many legendary big bands performed for decades.

Goodbye, Plaza Gardens!


Nanook said...

Goodbye, indeed. As they say: The only constant in this world is change - even at the Happiest Place on Earth. And with so many things in life, it isn't the change itself that's necessarily the issue - it's often what replaces the old and familiar that becomes the disappointment.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that the new 'change' is something we can all enjoy, and won't groan every time we think about, or walk by it.

TokyoMagic! said...

I miss it already!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

What I wouldn't give to sit there one more time and enjoy a concert (even a house band) with my dear departed parents. They loved that place the most. I'd even enjoy (somewhat) one of those shoe leather hamburgers they use to serve.

Rich T. said...

Argh, this post has me teary-eyed!

I have to agree that the space will probably get a lot more traffic now, but I sure hope the DL brass keep their promise about live music remaining a part of that corner.

K. Martinez said...

To me it was probably the most romantic spot in Disneyland.

At this point I have witnessed so many changes to Disneyland for about half a century that it doesn't really phase me anymore.

There are attractions that are for older kids and adults exclusively so it doesn't really bother me that the Fantasy Faire is going to be there for the kids.

APH, I've eaten quite a few of those shoe leather hamburgers from Carnation Plaza Gardens. Mmmmmmm!

Tom said...

Wow. I didn't even know they had food service back there. It was always deserted, every time I visited. But it made a nice place to sit and recharge around mid-day. I'm glad I got a few pictures of it myself before they decided to tear it out.

Chuck said...

My wife and I spent many a fabulous Friday night here as newlyweds in the mid-90s, practicing skills we'd learned in a ballroom dance class we'd taken together in college.


Why must you make me cry, Major? Why?

Rick West said...

Not at all a blatant plug or anything. We did attend the final night of Carnation and created a video for those interested to watch. Very sad, indeed.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am trying to stay positive. Maybe the area will be great... we can only hope!

TokyoMagic!, it's another part of Walt's Disneyland that has been removed...

Alonzo, part of what I liked about the area was that it was often quiet, but amusement parks don't make money from quiet spots.

Rich T., I choose to believe that there will still be live music, but we shall see.

K. Martinez, you are right about the stuff that is for older kids and adults, but I always felt that those attractions were things that little kids couldn't WAIT to experience - someday, when they grew a few inches. Whereas I have no real desire to say hello to Belle or Ariel ever.

Tom, they usually did NOT have the food service counters open over the past 10 years (or more).

Chuck, I made you cry to be certain you were not a cyborg sent from the future. You passed. Barely! ;-)

Rick, you were lucky to be there the final night. I'll be sure to check out your video later today!

Nanook said...

Rick- Thanks for posting the link to your video-! I'm certain the energy in the air that night could almost be seen with the naked eye. What a nice tribute - complete with the Date Night Theme.

Again, we'll keep the good thought. But when corporate heads only real "talent" is figuring out FIRST how to increase 'sales', but not possessing any original ideas themselves - the sort which not only provide fun, entertainment, excitement, etc., but also bring-in the $$$'s (surprise, surprise) - expecting results that can satisfy us all is one tall order.

Nancy said...

Too sad

When we first get to Disneyland we would eat here (it is normally around 4 pm since we are coming from the east coast). Next time it will be different...

lucky to have had the chance to enjoy a meal here

Anonymous said...

I agree with all the sadness about the loss of CG, even though it wasn't a top destination for me. It hurts to lose a favored spot to remodeling.

So, let's stop a moment instead, and think about the future memories of the kids who will visit the replacement attraction here. I hope they will have the same kinds of good memories about visiting Disneyland with their parents in this new attraction that I have gained from visiting Small World, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, etc. with mine. I know my kids appreciate their early memories of Toon Town, Roger Rabbit and DCA from visits with Mom and me, so every generation has their Disneyland.

Today's little ones are going to grow up to be old like we are now, and won't it be grand for them to love their Disneyland the way we love ours? I guess all my memories will make way for theirs, eventually.

Major, thank you for the wonderful pictures. I will always remember CG as my friends have described it, thanks to you.