Muddy Waters

I gained a certain new respect for the Disney Imagineers on my recent trip to London. It was a simple thing and one that I probably would have gotten a lot sooner if I had grown up someplace else. See, I’m from Los Angeles, which is itself in a semi-arid zone and which has a lot of desert around it. The only other place I’ve lived for any appreciable amount of time is Phoenix, and Phoenix, of course, is very much in the desert. So while L.A. has a river (the Los Angeles river), it’s not one with a lot of water. London on the other hand, has the Thames, and the Thames is very much a river.

And the Thames, at least where and when I saw it, is exactly the color of “The Rivers of America” in Disneyland. And the water in “The Jungle Cruise” and a number of other “imagineered” bodies of water. In California we don’t have a lot of real rivers, we do have at least one, the Sacramento River, but I’ve not spent any real time looking at it. I’ve seen a lot of creeks up close but those don’t have any color. They’re clear. And of course swimming pools, and tap water and most of the lakes I’ve seen are all clear too. So I always thought that the waters of Disneyland were colored the way they were just to hide the fact that they’re only as deep as they need to be and no deeper; it just never occurred to me that they were the color they are because rivers actually are that color.

I pointed this out to God, pointed out how good a job of color matching the Imagineers had done and she gave me the same sort of look that you give anyone that points out the obvious. It’s probably the same sort of look you’re giving me right now, so I’ll just go away.

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