It's already the day after tomorrow.
The startling reality hit me square in the face at Disneyland last summer as I walked out of Sleeping Beauty's castle onto the drawbridge heading for Main Street, U.S.A.
There on my left between the castle and the entrance to Tomorrowland was the irrefutable evidence -- or unevidence as the Mad Hatter would say.
The House of the Future was gone. Vanished. Kaput. All that remained of Monsanto's cross-shaped, single-story, plastic structure that used to float on a pedestal over a garden is a flower bed.
I remember going through the house as a kid in 1957, a couple of years after Disneyland opened. It had a dishwasher with a glass top and you could see the water splashing against the dishes, sanitizing them before your eyes.
In those days, Walt Disney had a way of organizing our dreams into safe, easy-to-relate-to little packages -- Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Adventureland, Main Street.
Frontierland with its paddle-wheelers and mine trains seemed so long ago; Adventureland with its jungle boats seemed so far away; Fantasyland with Peter Pan and Mr. Toad seemed so innocently happy and Tomorrowland with its house and rocket ships seemed so far off.
What's more the Disney magic could make you think that the simple order of things would last that way forever, even though you knew that wasn't even close to possible. You could put it a shoebox, stuff it in a closet next to your old baseball glove and it would still be there unchanged years later when you went back for it.
Last summer, I stumbled over that old shoebox when I took my family to Disneyland, the first time I'd been back to the park in nearly 30 years. I hadn't planned on rummaging through old dreams; my wife and I just wanted to show the kids a good time.
But once inside the park again, I couldn't help noticing what had changed and what had not. I found the old magic still holds up well, but that time has worn away parts of the childhood dreams. I felt older than I ever had before.
The disappearance of the House of the Future was perhaps the most striking concession to time. Had the Disney people kept it, they would have had to move it to Frontierland.
But there were other changes in Tomorrowland. Remember the flying saucers? They were the size of little cars big enough for a single rider and they floated atop a cushion of air. They're gone too, replaced by the electric Space Mountain roller coaster ride.
So is the rocketship to the moon decorated in white and trimmed with the red logo of Trans World Airlines. The ride is still there, but it doesn't go to the moon any more. It goes to Mars. And in a concession to the Star Wars era, it goes through hyperspace to get there.
The Monorail is still in place hauling people over to the Disneyland Hotel and back gain. But it's lost its futuristic glamor. After all, transit systems all over the country have tossed it aside because they found the switches cumbersome.
And the PeopleMover seems positively archaic. A first-generation version of the movers now used at airports nationwide, it creaks along on ledges threading through Tomorrowland. You'd have to allow two hours to change planes if airport designers had installed this version.
There are concessions to changing times elsewhere in the park, too. In Frontierland the Mine Train, based on Disney true-life adventure films and featuring 200 animated birds, reptiles and animals in their natural habitat, has been replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a roller coaster. Affluence, the automobile and jet travel apparently made the adventure pedestrian.
Over in Adventureland, the jungle boats still head off into the deepest parts of Africa. Like so many of the Disney adventure fantasies the jungle trip used to make me dream of going to see for myself some day. I still feel that way but not because of a reprise on the Jungle Cruise. The cruise seemed so much more contrived than I had remembered.
But while the dated or demolished attractions surprised me, they were more than offset by the rest of the rides and by the design of the park itself.
I marveled that once inside the park, I never saw or heard a hint of the problems outside, like the infamous two-hour tie-ups on the Santa Ana Freeway, for example.
Unlike many of today's amusement parks, the rides and attractions, especially the new ones, still offer the element of surprise because of the way they have been artfully placed underground or completely enclosed in buildings. I never heard a scream or music or glimpsed a scene before the Disney people wanted me to.
The special effects and the attention to detail are so astonishing, I walked away from one ride after another wondering how the Disney designers had pulled it off. The Haunted Mansion, now several years old, is an example. It includes what appears to be the head of an ashen-colored woman talking from inside a crystal ball. She was so lifelike you would swear she was real.
My 6-year-old daughter loves to talk about the Snow White ride and my 10-year-old son now plays the part of Captain EO when he isn't playing himself.
But for my money, the best experience in the park is the newly opened Star Tours space voyage that Disney Productions and Star Wars creator George Lucas collaborated to build. There is no ride in any amusement park that even comes close. The lines were never shorter than 45 minutes and often were two hours.
Both cerebral and thrilling, Star Tours is a spaceline with a fleet of spaceships that flies regularly scheduled and charter flights to a variety of planets in the heavens.
The ride, really two rides in one, starts on the ramps and in the waiting rooms of the Star Tours spaceport. Robots from the Star Wars movies, including R2D2 and C3PO, engage in several minutes of humorous dialogue on either side of the ramps leading to the departure lounge.
A giant screen announcing arrivals and departures even makes pitches for tours to planets like Hoth, where it extols the snow skiing and even suggests tourists can take a ride on a Ton Ton, a giant kangaroo-like creature that bounds across the frozen tundra.
Finally, 50 or so of us were strapped into our seats in our spaceship. The ship pitched up and down, from one side to another, as it negotiated a takeoff, crashed into meteors and engaged in combat in the narrow valley of some far-off space station. All around me passengers were alternately screaming and laughing as they gripped their armrests.
After leaving the spaceship, I made a note to myself to make room in my shoebox for a new addition.
For more information about Disneyland, contact Disneyland Guest Relations, 1313 Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, Calif. 92803, (714) 999-4565.
Bill Bancroft is a free-lance writer based in Dallas.