The Austin Chronicle

Stories from the Midway

By Kate X Messer, May 10, 2002, Features

I've been to Walt Disney World well over 100 times. Needless to say, it informs my existence. So you'd think that I'd begin this section with some story from that once "Happiest Place in the World." Well, I can't. Having survived three decades of Disney-digm and witnessing the Scroogey manifest destiny of a once magical kingdom, I refrain. Consider it one woman's pathetic protest in the name of delusion, nostalgia, and simpler times.

Is it Dopey to have warm feelings for the promise of the "Florida Project" outlined so wistfully by Walt so many years ago on the Wonderful World of Disney? Is it naïve to feel disillusionment for something that has always been at its core about cash and cultural dominance? And isn't that true of all carnivals and amusments? As Goofy would say, "HuYup!" But interestingly, unlike theme parks, not much about carnivals and midways have changed in the past 30 years.

Look, there's plenty of fun still to be had at the mouse's house or here in Texas, under the six flags. This collection of vignettes proves all that. We hope you like this vault of memories from amusement parks past, from those places of escape that we can all still find if we really want to. And if you can't, well you are just too old. Ha ha! Just kidding! If you still can't find it, we've included a handy list of Texas amusements for you. Enjoy.

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