So this week Disneyland touched me, even though I have not been there physically since 1979 😮 It touched me with the lovely Lisa Breckenridge’s trip with her family and also because it is in my first chapter of my upcoming action suspense novel.
I have to go back in time to a younger time when I was a kid in school, circa 1968. We had a class and a very pretty blond haired teacher, kind of reminds me of a young Debbie Reynolds at that time.
Turns out her hubby was an exec at Disneyland Anaheim back then and she decided to make it a field trip and took ten of us in her brand new shiny red convertible 1968 Ford Mustang.
Not sure how, but ten of us plus her in the open convertible, wind blowing from the SFV to Anaheim that morning. I remember hearing the Fifth Dimension singing Beautiful Balloon, up, up and away.
So we got to Disneyland and the excitement built. Now there were my classmates and friends. One was Aaron sort of a nice muscle guy in the group and then there was my super bright genius friend David. His uncle played Chip Morton on the then popular Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea.
So we got inside Disneyland and I got to ride one of the main street vehicles with the class and teacher whose name long escapes me on a double-decker Omnibus. Was fun then but I do so hate that we missed most of main street. Back then it was still ticket books, but the teacher had given us badges and those were good for anything in the park, courtesy her significant other.
We visited Tomorrowland first, did the Matterhorn, Small World which also was fairly new back then and then we got to Fantasyland and split up in groups. Aaron and David and I were inseparable. We all took our Tea Cup cars and off we were. The teacher and all of us had a blast spinning faster and faster.
Finally we got off that ride and rested by the Fantasyland snack area and that’s when the real adventures for the class were born. Almost everyone except David and I got napkins and straws. Aaron got them too. One of the newer areas in 1968 was called New Orleans Square and featured two brand new rides. A pirate ride and a Haunted Mansion. We went on the new pirate ride and most of us were sing yo-ho-ho…
The Haunted Mansion was very different. We all went through the ride and low and behold got to a moving ramp with hooded cars called Doom Buggies.
So we got in em with David Aaron and me in between my friends. The teacher was the very last car because she wanted her class ahead of her to watch em. Well we got going and that’s when the war broke out on the ride. Some kid took a piece of napkin in his mouth and made a spit wad. Took his straw, pushed the spit wad into it with his tongue and suddenly there was piff followed by an oww!
The war was on and the doom buggies turned and as they turned, so did strategic positions with us ducking as the cars behind and ahead of us were really going at it. I remember a purple ghost on our right shot up and about 6 shots nailed it. Oh my heavens one even hit the car with that teacher and her jaw dropped. I’ll never forget it, it was dark but just light enough for me too know people were in deep doo doo and that wasn’t the half of it. Everytime those cars turned, the reverse attacks were going. David and I convinced Aaron not to use his straw and that would soon be something he was thankful for.
As the ride progressed everyone departed the cars and onto an elevated ramp where you got to see ghosts with you in the mirror. Now remember, this was 1968, right? Okay!
We get to the top and began exiting the mansion and there was a big black and also a big white gentleman dressed in business suits and ties with walkie talkies and some of the kids that were ahead of us. The black guy pointed, you, you, not you to David, not you to me and not you to Aaron, you you you and you followed by an angry teacher.
Seems security is massive and tight in there. The Haunted Mansion in 1968 had massive security and most of my classmates except us and the kids in the car directly behind us, were hosed big time. We were going to meet the teacher’s beau. So she got us all released by security and took us to Main Street then down an alley, through a locked gate she had a key to and then to office buildings. We all boarded a nice elevator and went to a second floor and there he was. Evidently from what I do remember looking back, he reminds me of the late great actor Gig Young.
Mr. Big, I forgot his name too, but he was very important at Disneyland and he looked at the class as she took him aside and filled him in and he wasn’t too happy at what transpired. Five of us were good and we got all sorts of free souvenirs too, the rest of the bad class got a flunked grading on the field trip. As for the damages in the Haunted Mansion, not sure, but when you are a big shot, you can make most things happen.
I guess, this is probably the most adventure I had ever had at Disneyland. Well stay safe folks, enjoy the vids. 1968 is a very long time ago, almost half a century, but at least I can say I was there and had fun too.