I just finished reading Amanda Jones' article on her trip to Tasmania and two other islands off Australia ["World's Edge," Jan. 11]. It all sounds wonderful; great wildlife (wallabies and wombats), hikes, sunsets, friendly people and terrific food. As a single woman, it also sounds accessible for me with the guides providing a structure to the adventures. Sign me up! Thanks, Amanda.
More tinkering with Disneyland
I enjoyed Brady MacDonald's article on Disneyland ["What Disneyland Could Be Like at 100," Jan. 11]. The Lincoln attraction should be replaced with the Hall of Presidents.
I agree with some of MacDonald's ideas on how the park will change by the time Disneyland and I both turn 100, but I'd like to add an international perspective. I grew up near the California park and have had more than enough of Florida's, but really like the other world Disney parks for their own merits. I one day see incorporating more international Disney elements into the original park, besides the outdoor concessions we have inherited largely from Paris, particularly in crowd control, marketing and ride quality. Fantasyland rides, like Peter Pan in Paris, should ride on the ceiling rather on the ground, thrilling adults as well as children. As in Japan and Hong Kong, specialty marketing of high-karat gold and various flavored popcorns and collectibles should be in every land. The French Alice in Wonderland maze should be considered, allowing an easy stroll through tall bushes, animatronic interaction and Wonderland live actors. Space Mountain is also an untouchable, but perhaps, as in Paris, should begin with a catapult shot. At least one campy '50s-era attraction should return, and the unanimous vote of my peers is the return of a blasting Flying Saucer ride, vice the empty motor boat lagoon, a regularly updated House of the Future, and the French Rockin' Rollercoaster, an easy "E" Ticket E-ticket ride.
The world Disney Parks offer a neat perspective in the flow of park entertainment from a changing perspective. With the coming opening of the Shanghai park, families seeking world-level education for their families should also consider cruise opportunities to the Disney Parks in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai, all of which can be done in a single trip and on a budget while seeing the real world outside of the parks as well. And every European trip can start easily in Paris, with a free bus ride from the airport to Disneyland Paris, and a rail station at the park entrance to whisk one off to trains all over Europe.
I hope they would improve the monorail so it could function as an effective transit service. It needs a stop at California Adventure and to provide more frequent service. The monorail at Disney World in Florida is a good example of how it should work.
Tom Sawyer Island needs to stay. My grandchildren love the unprogrammed exploring and the raft ride to and from the island. Future children would enjoy it just as much, perhaps even more as cellphones, etc., intrude into their lives.
OK, I'm guilty but it's not my fault that I haven't been to Disneyland in many years. Blame my 37-year-old son who grew up too fast for his own good. MacDonald's article brought back a lot of memories of trips to Disneyland with me waiting in line impatiently with my now-attorney son for the next ride.
MacDonald's take on what rides will survive with his untouchable and vulnerable selections may or may not be correct, but his choice of the Mad Tea Party as being untouchable is well supported by my take on the same ride. What kid in his or her mind would exclude the idea of spinning around so fast that once off the ride, walking a straight line is impossible?
In the late 1950s shortly after Disneyland opened, I saw Walt Disney on one of his teacups taking a ride and snapped a black and white photo of him. If it was good enough for him, then 2055 should plan for some heavy spinning at the Mad Tea Party.
Looking for a better escape
Your Weekend Escape section is becoming more tiresome. All it ever seems to do is tell me where I might lay my head, where to get a mediocre meal and, perhaps, where to find a bar to numb the pain of my ruined weekend.
Your last piece on Morro Bay did just that ["A Solid Anchor" by Spencer Spellman, Jan. 11], ignoring the wealth of recreational and natural opportunities that abound within the area, such as Montaña de Oro State Park just minutes away or the gorgeous rolling hills around the back of this lovely town, all packed with amazing campgrounds and hikes.
Remind me never to invite your writer to join me on a trip; it would end up being about as exciting as watching paint dry.