Where do dreams come true? “Disneyland!” squeal the indoctrinated masses. Sadly, the dream’s over for the exhibits of Yesterland, which is a photo archive of rides, restaurants and rodeos which are no more. Or, as Yesterland likes to style itself, “a theme park on the web.”
Looking at these photos, for me, has something of the joy of looking at snaps of my parents as freckled, gap-toothed tykes with wonky plaits and grubby ankle socks. They never went to Disneyland as kids but I did, along with 650 million others. I have a sneaking suspicion that even for those who haven’t walked down Main Street and awkwardly posed next to a Peter Pan who looks suspiciously like a woman (true story), the scene will feel oddly familiar. If it doesn’t, never fear – Yesterland means that you can visit Walt Disney’s “happy place… dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America” from the comfort of your own sofa. Yippee!
The website really is quite amazing. Preserved for our visual delectation by Werner Weiss are Frontierland and Fantasyland from the fifties, images of maps, menus, moms and pops, and heaps of information about it all. Even more fascinating is the way the site encourages you to “visit” all the attractions: “Whatever you do, don’t miss The Lion King Celebration.”
Take a trip back in time to a Tomorrowland which has no tomorrow.