Esmeralda — “Disneyland’s original Miss Fortune” — has been a Disneyland favorite since the park opened in (approximately) 1955. She is an Audio-Animatronic device capable of sixteen degrees of motion and fourteen points of temporal astral sensation, letting her divine uncannily accurate fortunes for guests of any age, birth sign, or degree of stubborn skepticism.
When the park opened, Esmeralda would tell fortunes for a penny. Later, when attraction coupons became available, she was an “A” attraction, but difficulties with the primitive forgery-protection devices available at the time (Esmeralda frequently accepted Monopoly money or folded $5 notes as if they were A coupons) led to the return of coin-based fortune-telling services.
Many guests have reported on Esmeralda’s uncanny ability to see into their hearts and predict their futures. A few examples from the many compliment form received by Disneyland Guest Services:
- “I tried the Esmeralda fortune teller on Main Street and it told me that I am more sensitive than most people realize, I enjoy my hobbies, and I sometimes worry about particular things. All true! How could she possibly have known such deep truths about me?”
- “Esmeralda said that I would visit a magical place and have a fine time. It even correctly predicted that I was on vacation or was taking time off work or it was a weekend!”
- “Your Esmeralda machine took my quarter, moved a bit, but then didn’t give me a fortune. I was upset at first, but then nothing of particular note happened for the rest of the day, so it was right!”
- “My friends told me that if I put a quarter in the fortune telling machine I’d get a piece of card stock with words printed on it — and I did!”
- “I have to admit that I was skeptical of the Esmeralda machine, but I took a chance anyway. The robot Gypsy output a card that said if I would quit smoking, finally get the guts to ask my long-time live-in girlfriend to marry me, and make a clean break by admitting to my boss that I had been purposefully ‘losing’ some of the form 6A’s from department 12 just to keep my workload down, I would lose my job but then could go home with a clean conscience and find an old lottery ticket under my couch cushion that had numbers I should use on the subsequent week’s Powerball lottery. I did and I won $160 million, which I will invest almost entirely in Disney stock. Thanks!”
A bit of trivia, Esmeralda is so popular that the Gypsy character in Disney’s animated The Hunchback of Notre Dame was named for her.
Coming up next: Mutoscopes