Disney’s version of Old West doesn’t compare with real thing

24 Oct

Eureka City Hall is one of a handful of buildings still standing in the Tintic Mining District. (photo by Clint Thomsen)

It was high noon in the desert. I leaned against a log fence, looking toward a mountain draped with rickety railroad tracks. In the distance, the quaint facades of a small mining town lined the tracks and a harmonica tune echoed off the canyon walls.

My son Weston and I were alone — at least that’s how we were supposed to feel as we waited to board the mine train. Yet the scores of tourists surrounding us and audio warning spiels — in both English and Spanish — somehow detracted from the scene’s authenticity.

If you haven’t already guessed, we were standing at the foot of Big Thunder Mountain in the Frontierland section of Disneyland Park. Our wild ride was thrilling, to be sure. But with all due respect, Walt Disney’s thoughtful Old West replica doesn’t hold a candle to the real McCoy back home.

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2 responses to “Disney’s version of Old West doesn’t compare with real thing

  1. Curt Hall

    October 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    I was just there this past weekend. We took the tour of the museum, and explored Knightville. I highly recommend it. (You have to call ahead) You actually get to go in the old city hall. they have a lot of history to show, and our guide, June Mcnulty, was great, he was actually born in Silver city.

  2. Tom Sorenson

    October 24, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Absolutely awesome – I love exploring ghost towns and even not quite yet ghost towns – the history of such places is so intriguing to think about. To this day my wife laughs about when, on our honeymoon, we floated the Colorado from Glenn Canyon Dam to Lee’s Feery – we hit Lee’s Ferry, I made an immediate beeline for the old buildings still standing as I proclaimed all I’d read about the buildings. Of course I’d been awed by the awesome spectacle we’d just drifted through, but this – oh man this was history still standing!

    Love the recommendation on a new route, too – my wife and I love traveling to Page, AZ and have always taken 15 South till just before Cedar City – and from Cedar City to Page is a lot of cool historic buildings and stuff – but I’ll have to check out the other places you wrote about. Nothing like the real deal, right?!


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