Announcement

Collapse

Your Assistance Please

We need your help to battle spammers and also to keep our community user friendly.
PLEASE BE KIND TO OTHERS - Refrain from personal attacks. Avoid politics and harsh language whenever possible. If someone is violating our simple rules, DO NOT confront them, simply report the post.
STOP SPAMMERS - Report the post. DO NOT respond to them.

2017 is a year of renewal for us, we have lots of exciting changes on the way for you, but we don't have time to deal with trolls and spammers. If you find yourself suspended and need to plead your case, you will need to do so after your suspension. We are happy to address your concerns if you made a simple mistake. However, please note that those with a history of bad behavior and pushing our rules to the limit will not be given the courtesy of a reply.

MiceChat offers a number of ways for you to communicate and get involved. We offer Facebook Groups and Pages, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts. We have a front page filled with amazing content. We offer weekly meetups in the parks. Meets and events all over the world. Podcasts and videos. And we continue to maintain forums for your posting convenience. But with all those options, we can't be everywhere all the time. We need YOUR help. Please don't poke the trolls. Report posts and leave reputation. We'll do our best to keep the forums clean and active, but we can't do so without your help.

Thank you for your support folks, it's going to be a really fantastic year in the MiceChat world.
See more
See less

Charles Phoenix DL Tour of Downtown LA (no pictures)

Collapse

Ad Widget

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Trip Report Charles Phoenix DL Tour of Downtown LA (no pictures)

    I don't normally do trip reports, but in my continuing quest to find an "old style DL" experience, I found Charles Phoenix's DL Tour of Downtown LA. Mr. Phoenix has been discussed here many times. He only gives this tour a couple times a year and it usually sells out. Apparently, he's tried to retire it several times, but the public won't let him! There were several people on the tour who had taken it before.

    The group gathers at Union Station, where you check in w/ Charles' lovely assistant, who gives you a monorail (Gold Line) ticket, a tour program, and a nametag. Charles writes your name on the nametag w/ a flourishing calligraphic script and you're all set!

    At the beginning, Charles explained that his original plan was to do a straight historical tour of downtown, but as he started planning it, he realized that most of the stops he chose had direct parallels to the lands of DL! That was the biggest takeaway message I got from this tour: that DL was an extension of popular ideas and cultural tropes of its time. It really put the park in context for me.

    After touring Union Station, we took the Gold Line into Adventureland (Chinatown), a themed environment dating back to the 1930s. That was a surprise. You mean there was theming before DL? We noshed on egg rolls and threw pennies into the wishing well while Charles told us about the restoration of Chinatown's neon.

    After that, it was off to Frontierland (Olvera Street), where we saw three of LA's oldest buildings: a firehouse, a church, and a residential adobe built for the Avila family in 1818. We strolled through the mercado and noshed on taquitos w/ avocado sauce. (There was a lot of noshing on this tour.)

    Then lunch in the 1940's. Yes, I know it wasn't really the 40's, but you could have fooled me. The uniforms, the decor, and the fare at Phillipe's haven't changed since then.

    Lunch done, it was off to Main Street (Historic Core/Bunker Hill) for a look at the Bradbury Building, Million Dollar Theater, and the Broadway Arcade, which was LA's first indoor mall. After that we hopped a ride on Angel's Flight.

    Tomorrowland was represented by a trio of buildings. First was the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which Charles called "a building in a blender." This was followed by a pair of exquisite midcentury modern buildings: the Department of Water and Power and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. It was especially interesting to compare the Chandler and the Disney. Two buildings, built for the same purpose, 40 years apart, both considered the height of modern architecture at the time.

    Then we went to Carroll Avenue to see all the old Victorians. This doesn't really correspond to anything in DL, although Charles did try to call it "the residential part of Main Street." There were a couple of unrestored houses which could easily have stood in for the Haunted Mansion.

    Last stop of the day was Fantasyland (Bob Baker Marionette Theater). Unfortunately, we only got to see an abbreviated show, but the highlight for me was getting a few minutes to speak to Mr. Baker, who as it turns out, did special effects for one of my favorite Disney movies, "Bedknobs and Broomsticks." In the scene where Angela Lansbury's character casts a spell on her clothes to bring them to life, those clothes were all strung up like marionettes and being operated from a catwalk above the set! Fascinating! And we all noshed on cake and ice cream.

    Then our tour bus took us back to Union Station for the end of the day.

    I would unreservedly recommend this tour to anyone who wishes they could have been there for the early years of DL. Not only do you get to see all the wonderful sights and taste the great foods I mentioned above, but you also ride in an old LACUSD bus. There were moments where I really felt like I was in 4th grade again, taking that "let's learn about our city's history" field trip.

    It costs about the same as a 1 day pass to DL and the tour is an all day affair. If you ever get tired of going to DL and pretending to be somewhere else, you can go to LA and pretend you're in DL!
    Disneyland Historic Preservation Society
    Charter Member

Ad Widget

Collapse
Working...
X