This Monday, a piece of my heart will die a little bit. Carnation Plaza Gardens will close to make way for the new “Fantasy Faire”.
The historical significance of this place is enough to make any Disney enthusiast cringe at its removal. Since 1956 the Carnation Plaza stage has hosted the likes of Eartha Kitt, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich … just to name a few.
And while I respect and admire the history of this place just as much as any other Disney kid, what made Carnation Plaza my favorite place in the park was the magic that happened every Saturday night- the swing dance party.
For the past two years, if I was fortunate enough to be working on Mainstreet on a Saturday night, I would try to manipulate my way to Frontierland Bridge just to catch a glimpse of the party.
There, I would watch them all. The young and old. The single people and the couples in love. The seasoned dancers (that would own the floor with their grace and fluidity), and the awkward newbies (who also owned the floor, though in an entirely different way).
For me, Carnation Plaza was a kind of… testament. A testament that said that the things of are not completely gone.
People still dress up on a Saturday evening. They go out. And whether they are with their friends, their sweetheart, or their spouse of 45 years- if given a beautiful venue and some great music- people will dance.
I like that.
I’m not writing this because I have some kind of aversion to change. Time goes on and things change- it’s a fact of life that even Disneyland cannot escape. However, I couldn’t let my favorite piece of Disneyland go without a proper goodbye, so I hope this suffices.
Goodbye, Carnation Plaza. You have always been a piece of thriving nostalgia for me. Thank you.
PS- I hope you swing dancers dance your little hearts out tonight.