Today is Father's Day. Sitting here at home and thinking about it, I was trying come up with a way to tie Father's Day with Disneyland. I didn't have to try very hard. Sure, Disney all this week has been sending me messages via Twitter about their special Father's Day offering for dads at the Blue Bayou - a bone-in rib-eye steak for $43.99 but I think we can move beyond something like that.
My dad passed away many years ago. I was still a young teenager (13 to be exact). It was so long ago that many of the memories I had of him have now been lost. But I do know he worked hard for his family and on two occasions that I recall, he took his family to Disneyland. Now, I don't have real specific memories of our visits but I know we were there. I remember the Skyway; I remember the People Mover; I remember the subs back when they were still gray; I remember the train ride. But here is what I remember most - sitting with my mom and dad inside the Enchanted Tiki Room and in the Disneyland Opera House to see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. That is why these two places are so important to me now. They tie me back to a specific time and place I sat with my parents and had a good time.
It's sad to walk into the Tiki Room sometimes now and see it less than half full. The only time it seems to get a close to a full house is when it's really hot or really crowded. Most of the people are there for the pineapple ice cream. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is worse than that as people virtually ignore the place while they race right by it to get to Space Mountain. I sat in there with my mom and dad. When thinking of the legacy of Walt Disney, those are the kind of things he wanted passed down - families spending time together enjoying the memories of his park.
I never had a son of my own but I was privileged to get one through marriage. That's him in the tea cup at the top of this posting in a picture taken in 2002. He's a young man now ready to start a life of his own. We haven't been to Disneyland together for a number of years now but looking back on it, I think we made 4 or 5 trips down there since he and his mother came into my life in 1998. I'm sure he doesn't think about those trips a whole lot these days but my hope would be that in 10, or 20, or 30 years from now and he, hopefully, is able to take his family to Disneyland, that he remembers the times we spent together there as a family. This is what Disneyland is all about.