Carnations Plaza Gardens is an area of Disneyland that is close to its heart. It is literally adjacent to the hub and figuratively one of the places that was blessed by Walt and personally enjoyed him and Lillian Disney. Many of the couples who danced at the plaza, even through the late 2000’s, had met Walt personally and shared stories of how he felt swing dancing should always have a place there.
The Plaza started as Magnolia Park and was basically a place for Disneyland to store that gazebo that was blocking the view of the castle from Town Square. The band would occasionally play there and the idea formed to turn it into a more permanent grandstand. Since 1956 millions of guests have danced, performed, or just enjoyed a quite mid-day moment in the Plaza
Now Disneyland has announced that as of April 30th, the plaza will be no more. It will eventually be replaced by a character meet and greet area called ‘Fantasy Faire.’ This strikes me, and many others, as a poor use of space so central to the park.
Rumors had been circulating that it had been removed from the chopping blog, but it is not to be. Yes, Fantasy Faire will contain an area for big bands and dancing at night. And, as long as swing dancing returns to the park, it is probably a more efficient use of the space, but it is also a 55 year bit of history just being thrown aside when other other space in the park exist that might be better for meet and greets. Swing Dancers who remember Disneyland’s history of treating them poorly, hope that the temporary location in Downtown Disney is just temporary, instead of a permanent relocation.
More at the OC Register.
Previously: Rose & Dubby, swing dance couple, join Walt.