Disneyland Dream

Parkeology is all about trying to find some little known fact or detail to talk about.  We try for truly obscure stuff, well beyond the standard Hidden Mickeys.  With all the die-hard fan sites out there, it’s hard to find anything that has never been written about in some shape or form, but we do our best.

For instance, did you know that the entire first level of the Magic Kingdom is an underground tunnel network called the Utilidors?  Amazing!

Every now and then, I’ll stumble onto something that seems completely obscure, and realize that it’s actually kind of well known.  That happened to me earlier this week with an article in the New York Times online site.

I don’t know how many of you are aware of this small publication, but I guess it’s a newspaper of some sort  in the northeast.  They have a pretty good Sudoku puzzle that you can play online, so I like that.  I’m not usually there looking for hard-hitting Disney park news.

But they had an article about the passing of a filmmaker best known for a little movie called “Disneyland Dream.”  Truth be told, I had never heard of this movie before this week, but it’s actually rather famous.  It was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2008.  The Registry contains only movies of historical significance, so on the list you’ll see things like “E.T.”, “All About Eve,” or “An American in Paris.”

And of course “Garfield 2”

What makes Disneyland Dream so special is that it is an amateur movie.  A home movie shot in 1956 by the winning family of a contest from Scotch Tape.  Basically, they won a trip to Universal Studios or something.  It is one of only two amateur movies in the Registry.  If you are good at deduction, you will figure out that the other is either the Zapruder film or the Star Wars Kid.

Our money is here.

The entire video of Disneyland Dream is available on Youtube.  Note that they really do go to Universal, as well as several other southern California sites before actually arriving in Disneyland.  Disneyland is roughly the last third of the movie (running time: 30min.)

It’s a real slice of Americana and imminently watchable.  In an age where everyone’s home movies are online, it’s astonishing in its innocence and in its ingenuity (no full-on double rainbow here). Plus, it’s a great way to get a look at Disneyland, unfiltered by the Disney publicity machine.

It’s also noticeable for the fact that a very young Steve Martin appears as a Cast Member, walking through a portion of the frame (see Wikipedia for exact specifics).

Or just look for the only white-haired 12-year-old.

For me, the real eye-opener was not the Steve Martin cameo, but something else about Disneyland that I never knew.  Granted, I am not a West Coaster, and I have only been to Disneyland four times in my entire life.  But I’m pretty decent at Disney history, and I have studied the park quite a bit.

So how come I never knew Monstro the Whale had a blow hole?

Shown spouting at approx. 0:33 on Part IV of the youtube video.

Comments (6)

  1. @DisneyFoodBlog, you raise an interesting point. In fact, what other Steve Martin movies might make the National Film Registry? Somehow I don’t think the Pink Panther remakes are gonna qualify…

  2. Thanks for pointing out that this film exists; it was news to me!
    It’s not just on Youtube; the wonderful website Archive.org has a version for download as well.

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