Sunday, March 25, 2012

Saying Goodnight to the Park


Saying Goodnight to the Park

It does not matter if you are a frequent guest at WDW and one of its four parks or at DLR and one of the two parks there I bet if you go often you have a “goodnight ritual” as you leave the park.

I know many people that stop and say goodbye to the statues at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland. Others make a favorite ride the last thing they do before heading out. I know many make a stop in one of the shops or at a favorite restaurant the final thing to do before leaving.

Disneyland is my “home” park. For years my husband and I would stop at the Gibson Girl for some ice cream before heading out of the park. If Gibson Girl happened to be closed we would hit the ice cream shop next to the lockers across the street or as a failsafe find any of the vendors selling ice cream from a cart. (No older and wiser we skip the ice cream.) No matter what we always take our time as we stroll down Main Street enjoying the last few moments in the park.

There is always one more thing we do before leaving. As we walk through Town Square we look up at the window above the Main Street Firehouse. The light is always on so it is hard to miss the window. That window was Walt’s window into the park. It is his apartment window. (The apartment has been kept unchanged since his death. Check out the interview with Diane Disney Miller in the bonus features on Lady and the Tramp BlueRay.) Walt would stand at the window watching people walking around on Main Street and often watched the Flag Retreat from there. As we pass Walt’s window we call out, “Goodnight Uncle Walt!” and give him a wave. You see legend says that when Walt was in the park he always had his apartment light on so Cast Members knew he was there. The legend continues saying as long as Walt’s light stays lit he will always be in the park. Cast Members never let the light go out. If the light blows it is quickly replaced.

So what is your “goodnight” ritual as you leave the park?

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