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June 4th, 2007

01:58 pm - Grrr.
Cruising Jim Hill this afternoon and came across this:

One of the more intriguing ideas that's currently on the table is a total revamp of the theming of the Magic Kingdom's Adventureland section. Where this part of that theme park would basically become Pirate Land. And the Swiss Family Treehouse would be ripped out & replaced by a full-sized version of the Black Pearl that you could explore. And the long-empty Adventureland Veranda would then be changed into this Pirates-themed tavern that featured interactive entertainment. Where even the "Enchanted Tiki Room" would be reworked so that this Audio-Animatronic show would star pirate parrots.

Makes my blood boil! What? Retheme the entire land? If Walt had wanted a pirateland he would have put in a pirateland. I get the popularity and possibility for huge franchise dollars with pirates, but is it a fad? Probably. Though it could be said that the cowboys and space fads of the 50s are why we have Frontierland and Tomorrowland, so I should shut up about fads and acknowledge that they have some power. But to RETHEME an entire land to make it more piratey? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It was bad enough when POTC was rethemed at Disneyland to make the ride not just include POTC movie themes and characters, but actually made about them. The attraction as it stands now is about Barbarossa searching the town for Capt. Jack Sparrow as Sparrow darts about the town, hiding from him and pursuing the key to the Dead Man's Chest. I wasn't that upset about it as they were prepping it but when I saw that they had changed the entire point of the ride, it's very thematic inspiration, I really didn't like it. I don't think that ride needed a completely new story. Argh.

Add a pirate ride or modify an existing underperforming attraction (POTC pre-revamp could definitely NOT be called underperforming,) but not an entire land. Or take all this over to Treasure Island. Isn't crap like this what Downtown Disney is there for? Thank goodness this is just on the table for WDW and not DLR, cause there would be riots in the streets if they tried this in Anaheim. And I don't think it would just be me with my little sign.

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May 10th, 2007

01:04 pm - Disney Legends Panel at Imagineering Week
Marty Sklar hosted a panel of Disney Legend Imagineers this afternoon as part of the Disney Company's festivities celebrating Imagineering Week at the Studio Lot, leading up to tomorrow's three-hour Finding Nemo Submarine Ride extravaganza (I'll try to remember my camera.)

My recap got a bit long so I'll put it back here.Collapse )

All of them were fascinating to listen to. I can't believe that it was just there, for free on our lunch break at work, and anyone who wanted to could walk in and enjoy. I'm reminded everyday how lucky I am to be working here.

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May 7th, 2007

10:47 am - A cat with a big ear? Seriously?
We'll get back to the land by land food recs soon, y'all, though it's changed so much since I started that I should probably just start over again. We've got bigger fish to fry right now.

This is a government-sponsored amusement park in Beijing. Disney, Sanrio, and Dreamworks are just a few of the companies whose characters are being ripped off here. The part that bothers me most is the sign above the gate reading "Disney is too far. Let's go here!" How far is Beijing from Hong Kong? Is there a jail between the two cities for the man running this park who claims that it isn't Mickey Mouse up on that sign, but a cat with a big ear on top of his head?

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November 21st, 2006

01:15 pm - Day 21-- On to Adventureland!
Turn left at the Pin Trading mess that is the foot of Main Street and cross a wooden bridge into mysterious and tropical Adventureland. Oooh, Adventureland, where carved wood and pith helmets lurk around every corner, and every step you take may be your last (if you encounter Safari Sam, that is.)

Tiki Juice Bar-- Immediately on your left as you cross the bridge, do yourself a favor and go through those bamboo turnstiles. You won't be sorry. Now make a hard right and order a Pineapple Whip. Don't ask me why, just do it! Now enjoy. Order another if you want, or get a fresh pineapple spear if you're trying to be healthy (and if so, what are you doing at Disneyland?) The Tiki Juice Bar at the Enchanted Tiki Room is a Disney institution, and rightly so. Sip your melting whip as you wander the courtyard, taking in the pre-show animatronic Tiki gods and goddesses. Feel free to take it into the Tiki Room with you, just make sure to clean up after yourself! You think Jose and the French chorus are there to take care of your mess? I don't, and neither do they. Never anger birds that sit over your head. Just a hint.

Tropical Imports-- Just to the left of the World Famous Jungle Cruise (smack dab in the middle of the exit-- how convenient) is a large market stall selling fresh fruit, bagged chips, and cold drinks, including soda, water, and juice. Also a bit pricey a la Main Street, but worth it in July and August when nothing you do will keep ice in your cooler.

Bengal Barbeque-- A shining star in Disneyland health conscious eating, if you order correctly. The big plus in this stand's favor is that nothing is fried! The meats and veggies are all grilled, and that puffy snake bread thing? Skip it. Expensive for what it is and the only disappointing menu item. Get lean beef grilled and slathered with either sweet or spicy sauce (too much sauce, but there are napkins,) chicken with the same options, grilled veggies, or the piece de resistance: grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon. Bacon, used sparingly, isn't the big bad boogeyman. It's a flavoring, and a fat, which actually, your body needs to function in the first place. So just enjoy your veggies wrapped in happiness and think of the 5 - 10 miles the average person treks in a single day at an amusement park. You've earned your bacon darn it, so enjoy it already.

River Belle Terrace-- This is contested territory, because it's not really Adventurey, and it's billed as "overlooking the Rivers of America," so perhaps this is supposed to be considered solely Frontierland. Tom Sawyer was into adventures and all, but that's not really Adventureland theming either. But if they didn't want it to be in Adventureland they shouldn't have put its most used entrance in Adventureland, and right in the most congested intersection of The Park (which could be why this restaurant and Bengal Barbeque are reported to be on their way out. Dig 'em while you can!) The River Belle is the place for Mickey Mouse pancakes. Bolding implies importance. This is it. The cherry-eyed, raisin-nosed, pineapple-mouthed mouse you remember is here, alive and well. Come get some if you need a kid fix or you have munchkins of your own to wow. Decent "Southernesque" fare at lunch and dinner, including far too sweet bbq sauced ribs, potato salad galore, and fried chicken (That's 2-0 on the fried chicken in every land count so far. Try to keep up.)

That's it for Adventureland. They're more into the adventure in those parts, not so much the eating. Tomorrow, we explore the plush restaurants and seedy back alleys of New Orleans Square!

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November 20th, 2006

04:10 pm - Day 20-- What to Eat on Main Street
On a suggestion from gypsy_pie I'm taking this week to explore each land of Disneyland in a little more depth to see what's on offer in each one, foodwise. Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start, with the turn of the century hometown you enter just after walking though the lobby: Main Street.

Since your day begins and ends on Main Street, there aren't many serious food options here. There are a couple of places to grab something quick, and some shopping outlets, but since this is largely a pass-through area and not where Disney expects you to spend the bulk of your day, you won't find the options and variety on offer deeper in The Park.

The Market House-- A quick and simple coffeebar set in a general store filled with mugs, dishes, and drinkable products to take home. All hot drinks at Disneyland are by Nestle, so if you like their cocoa, instant coffee, and plain tea, you'll be happy, cause it's the same stuff everywhere. If that's not your cup of tea, bring some from home and stash your commuter mug in a locker once you're done with it, cause you're not going to find anything else. Also tasty cookies and baked yummies, good for taking with you as you march into the park. There's usually a fruit and drink stand out in front of the Market House that's just the place to find that $3 banana you've always been looking for. If you have kids, bring your own juice boxes in a cooler, don't bother paying $2 for one here.

Carnation Cafe-- Small and simple collection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. If you're exhausted and leaving the park, Disney hopes you'll stop here for lunch on your way out. Used to be great for late-night on the way out of The Park ice cream sundaes. If they still serve ice cream, it's probably your best bet for avoiding the hour plus lines at Gibson Girl, but you won't get options at the Carnation like you've got at Gibson Girl.

Blue Ribbon Bakery-- The cookies are usually too sweet, but they're pretty and occasionally have Mickey's face on them. Often too long a wait for what it is, but crusty puffy things sprinkled with cinnamon can be lovely sometimes.

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor-- I was not kidding about the hour wait mentioned above. And that's on a day when things are moving along at a swift pace. It'll give you plenty of time to decide which ice cream based decadence to enjoy, choose from the over twenty flavors of ice cream offered, and pick among the many topping options. The folks behind the counter are usually smiling and happy to be there and the whole place smells wonderful cause hello? It's full of ice cream! Go with people you like and don't mind standing and chatting with for the wait, or stall til really late when all the munchkins have gone to bed and the line goes down.

Candy Palace & Candy Kitchen-- Peer through the giant plate glass windows of the Candy Kitchen at confectioners in red striped aprons making brittle, dipped strawberries, fudge, or any of the other many handmade candies on offer at the Candy Palace. There's pre-packaged stuff featuring Disney packaging, bulk goodies you can measure out, unusual treats, and a good old fashioned wooden counter with stacks of yummy things made just a few feet away in the Candy Kitchen.

Coca-Cola Refreshment Corner-- Grab a hot dog or hamburger and keep moving, nothing to see here. Also nothing to eat here, if you're interested in taste and actually enjoying what The Park has to offer your tongue instead of just using food as fuel.

Corndog Stand-- Located at about 4 o' clock on the hub between the Plaza Inn and the Main Street Photo Supply Co., this little red cart serves the best corndogs known to man. I will not hear or believe any differently. I don't recommend being there right when they open at 11, cause the first dog of the day tends to turn out a tad extra crispy, but these are huge and filling and all you need for lunch (or a late breakfast.) Highly recommended!

The Plaza Inn-- One of the most popular dinner spots in Disneyland, and with good reason. The menu's not very large; just chicken, pot roast, a couple pasta dishes, salad, and your standard desserts, but there's always a line and often a search to find a table. Why? Because they have the best fried chicken at Disneyland. And this is a chicken-rich park, so that's saying something. You can get it in almost every land, but nowhere else do they do it as well as at Hills Bros. (former sponsor of the Plaza Inn.) Convenient cafeteria line-styling lets you direct the server on just the amount of gravy you want on your mashed potaoes. This is also the spot for Disneyland birthday parties (including a mini-cake and themed bucket) and character breakfasts (Buffet in the Park With Minnie, anyone?)

Tomorrow: Adventureland in our clockwise culinary tour of Disneyland!

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November 17th, 2006

03:13 pm - Day 17-- In Honor of the Season
This one needs no introduction:


It is too already Christmas. Stop it. Don't rain on my parade. Specially when it features wooden soldiers and girls who look like Annette.

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November 16th, 2006

03:49 pm - Day 16-- Wherein I Steal

See? Everyone loved Walt, even the nonhumans.

Pic stolen from Didier Ghez for whom I would have gotten a copy of Neil Gabler's new Walt bio if I knew him any better (or at all.) I just got one for Dad and a short pleasant little chat with Mr. Gabler. I will, of course, read the entire thing before Mom & Dad visit for Christmas. Don't worry, Dad already knows.

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November 15th, 2006

02:24 pm - Day 15-- It's no "Nude Duck Decending a Staircase"...
but it'll do.

I'm talking, of course, about any of the outrageously priced cels featured here: A List of Animation Cels That Cost As Much As Houses. Nice Ones. By The Beach. Ok, so that's maybe just the top couple and it would be a beach not in California, but still. All the same, I would gladly hang any of them in my house, but especially any of the top four, just in case anyone's doing a little Christmas shopping and would like to ensure my eternal love and devotion, including any time they need help moving and whenever their large and unwieldy pets need to visit the vet's office. And yes, that was in fact the original full name of the list, but the page creator decided to scale it down a bit (jury's still out on whether he's British.)

Interesting that every cel on this list is Disney. Are WB fans slackers or just poor? :)

I wonder where my mom's cel would be in this list. Given that Evinrude's not very popular (or even well-known-- truly one of the great injustices of twentieth century entertainment) odds are it wouldn't even make the top 500. But it was done by Frank Thomas so it is a family heirloom to be treasured.

Just in case you're wondering, the painting mentioned in the title is pure Chuck Jones genius. See?


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November 14th, 2006

04:06 pm - Day 14-- News from the lot
Neil Gabler will be on the lot Thursday signing his new Walt Disney bio. Anybody want me to pick them up a copy?

Dad, don't bother replying. Your request has already been received via brainwaves and genetics.

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November 13th, 2006

04:03 pm - Day 13-- Weekends Remain Difficult
I'm not apologizing anymore for missing weekends on the NaBloPoMo challenge, cause it's just not going to happen. The challenge is hereby amended for me to be weekday specific only. What can I say? The wireless internet at home hates me!

Who else here is sorry that they missed this?

Bummer, man.

Anything else that's gone on to the big Yesterland in the sky that y'all particularly miss? In spite of the very good points about The Park changing with the times made by lickety_split I still wish the Swiss Family Robinson had their treehouse and I look forward to visiting them again when I hit WDW in Florida sometime in the near future (though definitely not soon enough for me.)

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