Yosemite Yearnings

I recently returned from a week in Yosemite National Park. While I enjoy Disneyland and Walt Disney World it’s Yosemite that is my “Happiest Place on Earth”. 🙂 It was a great week for me – I wish I was going back a lot sooner than I am.

But now to somehow tie that to Disney…it occurred to me that there are a number of places where Disney has incorporated Yosemite (or elements of it) in their attractions/resorts:

The American Adventure at Epcot features a scene with John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt in Yosemite. Though that scene always makes me laugh, since it features a place that doesn’t exist – they appear to be on top of Sentinel Dome (with the famous Jeffrey Pine on top), but Teddy is standing on a rock outcropping that looks like one known as “The Visor” and that’s on top of Half Dome – yet Half Dome is visible in the background. Nevada Fall (visible from neither Sentinel Dome nor Half Dome) is also in the background.

The Golden Dreams movie at Disney’s California Adventure has a scene with John Muir in Yosemite. John Muir is portrayed by actor Lee Stetson, who has been performing a one-man show as John Muir in Yosemite since 1983. It’s a great show – I’ve seen it lots of times. (Though not this year…my choice was John Muir or a hot fudge sundae…and I went with the hot fudge sundae!)

In the “Soarin'” attractions at both Epcot and DCA we get to soar through Yosemite Valley…we fly towards a majestic Yosemite Falls, leaping from the canyon walls in all its springtime glory, and then make a right turn towards the distinctive monolith that is Half Dome. I love that scene.

I find that both the Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World and the Grand Californian at Disneyland remind me a bit of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite – it’s quite spectacular. Lots of stone and enormous wooden beams. We had breakfast there last week – the dining room is very large and has these huge high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Fortunately it does not have the noise level of Whispering Canyon, though. 🙂

So did I miss any Disney/Yosemite connections?

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Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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