In an earlier post I expressed my disappointment upon realizing that when The Great Escape announced they were to bring back some of the old Storytown relics, they meant as roadside scenery to the fifteen minute train ride. Well, tonight I found a video clip of that ride, featuring the Storytown relics.
It has literally been decades since I have ridden that route on any Storytown train. During my last trip, the person I was with and I were all set to ride it, however, her ten year old son was about to ride solo on the Boomerang and I kept saying things like, “You’d never catch my ass on that thing”, “I wonder how often they do safety checks”, and “Have you ever visited that site where they report all the amusement park accidents and deaths?”. After that she pretty much yanked me out of the line because she was all concerned for her kid. I can’t imagine why.
What it is, to be exact, is a final farewell to the original park and it’s legacy. At least, that’s how I see it. First, Storytown USA, some of the fairytale monuments which used to reside where Timbertown now is. Then it’s Ghost Town, some scattered about wagon wheels and buggy parts and an old stage coach replica. Lastly, it’s Jungle Land.. which I have to say, pains me the most.
You might want to keep watch on the young girls who can be seen throughout the video sitting in front of the camera man. They look at the relics in wondrous curiosity, never to know where they truly came from or what they mean to people like myself. They will never have the pleasure of climbing on PoPo or standing in the mouth of a giant whale (who sadly is not seen on this train ride with his friends). They will never have to worry about Humpty Dumpty falling down or seeing mice run down the clock. They won’t be scared to walk through Jungle Land because there aren’t any animals there anymore. Ironically enough these previously animated and joyful creatures have been taken from their natural environment and reduced to depressing, motionless, silent statues. Just like the animals in the circus.
I had forgotten just how isolated the ride is from the actual park. It’s not only creepy but it also seems fitting considering the Storytown relics which have been sequestered there, like artifacts in a museum. Look but don’t touch and before you have a chance to really see them, they disappear before your very eyes. The only way to see them is to ride the train (or swan boats I imagine), like a time machine, taking us back, if only for fifteen minutes, reminding us that “nothing gold can stay”.
Perhaps I am too sentimental over things like this. But without sentiment, life would be somewhat unbearable. Maybe I should just be grateful these relics still have a place in the park, no matter how hidden away they are. Without them, The Great Escape would also be somewhat unbearable.