April 30, 2012

Daily Photo Tour - Last Dance


This is not a picture of the literal last dance at the Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage, which took place last night. This dance was one of the last from the weekend before, the last weekend for Stompy Jones. Watching Twitter last night, buzzing with twit pics and sentimental journeys down memory lane, I was struck at how deeply we grow attached to things. Jumping and jiving near Sleeping Beauty Castle has been a Disneyland staple since near its start. Big band legends have graced this stage. Walt himself danced on this floor with his wife Lillian. Tomorrow marks the beginning of the transition that the historic Carnation Plaza Gardens will make into the Princess Fantasy Faire. I feel it's important to state that Disney has said that the stage and the dance floor will not be changed, but rather the canopy to fit in with this new fantasy theme. This project, slated to open sometime next year, has displaced what may be the longest running swing dance event in the world to Downtown Disney. I have every confidence that swing dancing will return to this very stage and dance floor once construction has concluded and that it will do so with fervor and style.

The very nature of the Park promises change and at times change asks us to let go of some things we have enjoyed. This change seems to be asking us more to hold on than to let go. Hold on and see what the Imagineers have in store. I'm not a princess fan. I do have skepticism about an area dedicated to them. But I look at Buena Vista Street in awe. I marvel at Cars Land from a distance. Trader Sam's is the most enchanted bar I've ever seen. I'm thrilled with the progress and improvements that seem to be taking place all the time around the Disneyland Resort. All these developments tell me that Disney is making progress and moving in the right direction. Walt loved nostalgia and hoped we never lost some of the things of the past. He was also one of the most progressive men in history. Finding a balance between those two ideals of preserving the past and pressing firmly into the future has never been an easy task.

What stands out most for me about getting to observe some of the final dances here is the unity. The mutual appreciation between band and dancers, skilled and novice, experienced and young. I'm grateful to have witnessed such an event. I'm grateful that so many made it here for one last dance.


Last Dance at Carnation Plaza Gardens Stage
Photo by Matthew Hansen

Comments (7)

On April 30, 2012 at 9:36 AM , Davelandweb said...

Beautiful capture of this very special spot at the park.

 
On April 30, 2012 at 8:16 PM , Terry said...

I'm happy to hear that the floor and stage will remain. Knowing that Walt and Lillian danced on that floor, it would be devastating to lose it. Thanks for sharing your insight and feelings. Your words soften the feeling of loss of such a special place. Hope the Three Amigos danced a last dance.

 
On May 2, 2012 at 12:41 AM , Anonymous said...

Awww... you just made me cry. I never realized how special a place it was (other than my own memories of sitting there waiting for frontierland to open)until Disney announced plans to change it. I never even knew they held dances there. I hope that someday the swing dances with return, much like the orange bird has returned to WDW, and I will be able to enjoy it with my future boyfriend or husband.

 
On May 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM , Marlene said...

I love the work you all do. Please continue to provide the world with your knowledge and amazing photos.

 
On May 2, 2012 at 6:45 PM , Jim said...

Danced the Surfer Stomp with my best friends to a Beach Boy's cover band, during at Grad Night in 1985. The Carnation Gardens stage always makes me remember some very wonderful people and less complicated times.
Thanks for the memories.

 
On November 15, 2012 at 1:26 AM , Kelsey@TheLostBookReports said...

some of my favorite memories at Disneyland are going to the the swing dances here with my Dad, when I was about 8.

 
On November 15, 2012 at 1:30 AM , Kelsey@TheLostBookReports said...

Also, Although I am very sad that to see The Carnation go.. I actually think it a very wise move, to move the Princess area closer to the the Castle and Fantasyland. It didn't quite fit where it was.