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PLEASE NOTE: This is a very very old page I originally had on my old GeoCities home page. It was put together in 1996 or maybe 1997. As you can see, it was long before the Disneyland Resort expansion. I thought I'd dust off this page and make it an official part of this site... Enjoy!

Disneyland VS Adventureland

When Disneyland opened in 1955, a new entertainment experience was created: the theme park. In the years that followed, amusement park operators would borrow many of the concepts that Walt Disney pioneered. The original Six Flags in Texas, for instance, had its own Main Street, themed lands, and a train running around the park.

When I moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 1995 (forty years after Disneyland opened) I visited the local theme park Adventureland. Let's just say that you can tell where they got their inspiration from. Here are some comparison photos I took many years ago...

Disneyland, CA A Photo Comparison: Adventureland, IA
Disneyland sign Both have light signs with "flags" above them. Adventureland sign
Disneyland entrance gates The entrance/exit gates are very similar. Adventureland entrance gates
Disneyland train station Both train stations have flower designs in front, and tunnel entrances to the left and right. Adventureland train station
Adventureland opera house Both have similar theaters to the right on "Main Street". Both have an animatronic person. Adventureland opera house
Disneyland main street Both Main Streets use forced perspective. Adventureland main street
Disneyland saloon And a musical western show in each park. Adventureland saloon
Disneyland archway And archways into various "themed areas". Adventureland archway
There are many other things at Adventureland which really make you think the owner was inspired by Disney. But do they go too far? At Adventureland, there is a rocking boat ride called the Galleon. When it first starts to rock, their sound system plays a bit of "Yo Ho" from Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean. (Note: I didn't notice any soundtrack on my visit this summer so perhaps they removed this.)

Adventureland's first area is called Main Street, and Disneyland has Main Street U.S.A. There is an area at Disneyland called Adventureland. Disneyland has a ride called the Mad Hatter's Tea Party involving spinning tea cups, while Adventureland has a less-themed ride they just call the Tea Cups. (Okay, so I'm pushing it here...)

At Adventureland's Outlaw Gulch area there is a Boot Hill style graveyard with three tombstones all of which are practically word for word the same epitaphs from stones in front of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.

[Tombstone#1] [Tombstone#2] [Tombstone#3]
"Good ol' Fred / A great big rock fell on his head." "Good friend Gordon / Now you've crossed the river Jordan." "Rest in peace cousin Huet / We all know you didn't do it."

For 1996, the park opened a new ride called The Underground with the storyline of how they unearthed it deep inside Adventureland, and details about how the guests can go explore looking for the treasure... Which reminds me, at least in vague concept, to a 1995 addition to Disneyland...

Coincidence? Well, these things do happen... I'll let you decide.

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