Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Curiouser and Curiouser...

I'm curious: Just how many tea cup rides are there in the world? When Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" was released back in 1951, it was one of the films in the Disney arsenal which inspired many a Disneyland ride and attraction: the "Alice" dark ride (which, at that time, also included the "Upside Down" room, now long gone. Notice next time during the first half of the ride; you'll see that the track splits off at one point and a phantom track leads to nowhere),a small portion of the Storybook Land canal boat ride (you know - you board your mini seafaring vessel, drift through Monstro's open maw (which frightens the kiddies and a certain 40-something author of a vintage amusement park book) and float by the teensy structures and the tiny topiaries), and the time-honored favorite, the Mad Tea Party tea cup ride.

While Road Tripping, I've encountered a number of tea cup ride impersonators, but none with the swagger to actually summon up the source material in its welcome sign. Knoebel's comes right out and boldly announces its similarity with Disney. And I think that's just fine -- because imitation is often a most sincere form of flattery. And the tea cup ride is a swirling, spinning vessel of fun, bringing families around its central spinning hub for decades, creating millions of laughs and whoops, cementing memories (albeit often a number of queasy ones) that are shared in stories and home movies for years later.

Lewis Carroll must be sipping a cream tea somewhere, and quoting himself: "Oh, 'tis love, 'tis love that makes the world go round." And sometimes what goes 'round and 'round helps to add to the love.

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