What do you think of when you hear the phrase “Mother Goose?” A kindly old woman telling stories to children by the fire? An actual goose with anthropomorphic qualities? Just an image of a book of nursery rhymes? Well, no matter what comes to mind, you’re undoubtedly familiar with the phrase. It does, however, prompt a highly specific question: Was Mother Goose a real person?
Theme park history is fascinating enough on its own, but Disneyland history is especially fascinating. Why? Because, as these incredible—and, in some cases, almost unbelievable—former Disneyland attractions underline, the early years in the park were wild. Live mules! Real fishing! Actual mermaids! Can you imagine the careful, safety-oriented Disneyland of today launching these kinds of attractions? Nope. But when the park had just flung open its gates to visitors, all these and more could be found within its borders.
Amusement parks are generally viewed as cheerful, happy places—but if you look below the bright and colorful surface, you’ll often find something a little spookier. For example, there are loads of haunted theme park attractions in the world—or at least, allegedly haunted attractions. Many of these ghost stories are just that—stories—but sometimes, there’s a kernel of truth to be found there, too.
From the aliens of Toy Story to The Flintstones’ Great Gazoo, images of extraterrestrial beings—no matter how wide and varied they might be—often have one thing in common: Their bright green color. But why do we call aliens “little green men” at all? Why have we so frequently imagined them as that single shade for so long? The answer, it turns out, is more complicated than you might think.