Monthly Archives: July 2011

MYWTM Greatest Hits

Every good band needs a greatest hits album*. Even the ones where you buy the “greatest hits” album and you have never heard of 3/4 of them and truly wonder what the standard is for “greatest” or “hits.”

*(yes, album. I mean, practically nobody buys CDs anymore either so we might as well go back to the original terminology, because it sounds all hipster-y retro)

Anyway, I’ve added a bunch of new readers lately (welcome!!) and I know it’s difficult to sit down and read an entire 6 months worth of past entries, so I’ve compiled a list of some of my most popular posts. Enjoy! Or enjoy again, if you’ve already read them!

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues…in which I describe rather frenetically what it was like to preview this totally awesome new ride (or I should say, new version of this ride).

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey…in which I forever traumatize my young son by forgetting how weird the story is and how terrifying the actual ride is.

My Awkward Social Situation…one of my earliest posts in which I describe how becoming a blogger also inexplicably turned me into a pathological liar.

It’s Snack Time–Popcorn and Churros!…in which I lay down an extremely compelling argument (or not) for eating these amazingly scrumptious treats. Especially churros.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh…the search terms people use to find this one are a little disturbing.

The Little Mermaid–Ariel’s Undersea Adventure…climb into your clam shell and take a brief ride through this newest of Disney California Adventure attractions.

Fruit Carts, Lockers, and a Surprise!..in which I write about the fruit cart, lockers, and a surprise on Main Street.

Jedi Training Academy Part 1–Selection and Training…kind of self-explanatory, but wondering how you can get your kid into the Jedi Training Academy? Try my tips here. And you should check out Jedi Training Academy Part 2: Confronting the Dark Side as well.

Wonder where you can catch a Princess for a meet and greet that isn’t crowded? Try the Castle Secret Passages Part 1: Frontierland and Part 2: Tomorrowland.

Have you ever taken some time to just Look Up?

Okay loyal readers–what are some of YOUR favorite entries? Leave a note in the comments!

 

 

 

 

South Seas Traders

As commenter and former cast member Jamie pointed out, the South Seas Traders store is located in between the Middle East (Bazaar) and Africa (Indy), which makes Disneyland’s conceptual geography even more…creative.

Fake apartments up there, too! They're everywhere!

So I’ll admit it, I didn’t really have a grasp on where the South Seas supposedly are. I mean, I thought they were in the Pacific and obviously south of here, but that was about as far as I got. So I used my Standard Research Methodology (3 minutes on Google) and found the following definition on the always-reliable Wikipedia:

South Sea or South Seas may refer to:

Geographic region of the Pacific
  • The Pacific Ocean south of Panama
  • South Sea Islands (Polynesia)
  • Oceania, east of Australia

On a side note, I’m currently working on my critical thesis for my graduate program and I’m really trying to use as much Wikipedia material as humanly possible, since it’s such a reliable, fact-based source. What could possibly go wrong with that approach?

Kidding.

Anyway, so it looks like the definition of “South Seas” is, um, very large. I mean, there’s a whole lot of “Pacific ocean south of Panama.” That’s like saying “Yeah, I’m going to tour the Southern Hemisphere.” Confusing things even more is the “South Seas Island Resort” located in the Pacific ocean south of Panama  South Sea Islands (Polynesia)  Oceania, east of Australia  Captiva, Florida.

Hunh.

Well, the Disneyland version also seems to have a bit of a geographical identity crisis in addition to being situated between the Middle East and Africa. Some of the decor hints at vaguely Polynesian-themed items:

The sign for "assorted tropical fruit" is a lie. They do not sell assorted tropical fruit in this store.

The cash register area seems to suggest some sort of aboriginal flair???

Aboriginal where?

I have no idea why I took this picture:

This doesn't even really SHOW anything except a rather awkward angle of a cast member

There’s a fake boat rental window, which is probably good because I’m just not sure I’d want to hit the Pacific Ocean south of Panama in a boat that came from here:

Are there any schooners available? No? Damn.

Disneyland all but admits their difficulty in pinning down where exactly the South Seas are by decorations like this:

What is this even supposed to be?

Oh, wait a minute…hold the phone! So it looks like in the back of this inexplicable display there’s a sign for a ferry to Antigua, Barbados, and Curaco, as well as what looks like “Caribe” (the Caribbean) at the top.

I mean really Disney, geography was never my strong suit, but I’m pretty sure that the Caribbean Islands are located in the Caribbean Sea, which is definitely NOT in the Pacific Ocean, nor is it on or near the South Seas Islands aka Polynesia, or anywhere NEAR Oceania and/or Australia. And they are certainly not south of Panama.

I’m so confused.

Adventureland Bazaar

So right next to the Indy Outpost (connected even) is the Adventureland Bazaar. Now the Adventureland Bazaar is closest to the now closed Aladdin’s Oasis Dinner Show. First, I never attended the Aladdin’s Oasis Dinner Show which, according to Yesterland, only ran for a couple of years. Those years I happened to be living in the Midwest and completely missed it.

On another note, I completely missed the Rocket Rods too–a ride using the Peoplemover track. But I heard it wasn’t that great.

Anyway, now Aladdin’s Oasis seems to be just a meet and greet for Aladdin characters. Which I very rarely see open, so I think getting in there is going to be a challenge. It’s really too bad because apparently the Oasis shares a kitchen with the Plaza Pavilion, another waste of space in the park–formerly a restaurant, currently useless. Anyway, it did inspire the Adventureland Bazaar, and that’s what I’m going to talk about today.

How bizarre

The Bazaar, representing the Middle East, is rightly located and connected to the Outpost, representing Africa. Because Disney is all into truncated geography like that.

The Bazaar is actually on the corner part of the store area.

You know, the corner part. Cause that makes so much sense to someone who hasn't been there.

There’s lots of different details around there, in true Disney fashion.

Adventureland "Traders"--quotes used correctly since they don't actually trade there, unless you consider money to be a trade

Like Indy, there are “apartments” above the Bazaar. I particularly love this window:

Because when I think about the Middle East or Africa or anywhere, really, I always think "Tattoo parlor and banjo lessons in the same building? Genius."

I guess it does say “Oriental tattoo” which makes it better? Or not. Check out Hanzi Smatter. But I can’t help but wonder what an actual Disneyland tattoo parlor would look like. I mean, getting permanent, real tattoos at Disneyland. I bet there’d be a big market for that, really, given how popular tattoos are these days, and I do see a lot of Disney-related tattoos on people at the park. It would be all guaranteed to be hygienic and stuff and then people could brag that they got their Disney tattoo at the Mouse and not some friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend guy working out of his “apartment” on top of the garage of his parent’s house while they were totally inebriated. I’m thinking it’s a solid idea!

Too bad Walt would personally and forcefully rise up from the grave and kill whomever allowed a tattoo parlor in his park. Making that even more complicated is the fact that Walt was cremated. But I’m sure he would be so offended by such a thing that he would go all Mummy or whatever and swirl his ashes back into a corporeal form to express his outrage.

And no, he was not cryogenically frozen.

But I digress.

You can also buy a magic carpet at the Bazaar, or so the door claims, though I wasn’t able to find any actual magic carpets for sale.

Did I really need two pictures of this doorway? What was I thinking?

The Bazaar is pretty intricately themed. Here’s an elephant on top of a squished penny machine.

Elephants are nice.

I used to love the squished penny thing. Actually, I can remember being a little kid at Knotts and you could clandestinely put a coin on the railroad track and after the train went by you had your very own squished coin, but I believe those days are long gone.

Some of the things for sale are more Adventureland-ish than Bazaar-ish, like these drinking vessels.

What's with the zebra print? Do people really buy these?

I love the totally authentic Panda bears. They’re Disneyland’s version of a Pillow Pet.

"Mommy, I want a panda to symbolize my visit to the Middle East/Africa section of Disneyland!"

Theo got a pillow pet for Christmas this past year. Great-Grandma saw a commercial for it and went out to find one. He has the doggie one–it’s really cute! And very soft.

Anyway, the Bazaar has some great theming around the ceiling and over the doors.

I have no idea what any of these things are. Xylophone? Maraca? Whatever--I'm sure they're authentic

Even the register area is exciting.

Exciting!

And then in the back of the store, I came to one of those things I never knew existed–Aladdin’s lamp!

OMG it's a genie lamp!!!

It was actually pretty cool, tucked away in the back there. The banner reads:

"Whosoever rubs the lamp (and places coins in the slot below) shall receive the wisdom of the GENIE and have their future revealed"

I mean wow, how cool is that? I was all ready to place my coins in the slow below and receive the wisdom of the GENIE, until I saw this.

Out of order??? What, is the GENIE on vacation or something???

Bad show, Disney. Bad show! There was the one free coin slot but I was a little nervous to place my coins in it lest that one be out of order too and just not marked. I didn’t want to waste 50 cents if the GENIE wasn’t going to pony up my future. So I’ll have to go back and check it again.

Anyone gotten a fortune from this machine GENIE? What did it say?

Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost

I don’t do a whole lot of shopping inside the park since I’m generally not buying souvenirs much and the things I do tend to buy (like ears) I find either at the Mad Hatter or general merchandise stores like the Emporium. So needless to say, I’m not sure I’ve ever actually been inside the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost before now.

Well, “now” as in when I took these pictures a  few weeks ago, but you know what I mean.

Anyway, the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost store is located (shockingly) across the way from the Indiana Jones Adventure ride. It’s right in the bottleneck area of Adventureland, which is another reason I’ve never gone in–I’m just trying to get through the bottleneck in Adventureland.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Although there is one advantage of being on such a slow-moving pathway, which is that it’s extremely easy to catch shoplifters. It’s not like they’re going anywhere fast.

The Outpost is easily identified by its stylish straight-out-of-the-80s Indiana Jones logo accompanied by two fake miniature skulls.

I think there are supposed to be fake apartments up there

Except the fake apartments don’t really look very Indiana Jones Adventure-y. They’re kind of more like–yeah, I don’t know. Forget it.

The big theme in the Outpost is Indy’s trademark hat.

"Excuse me, do you know where I can find an Indy hat?"

Indy’s fedora is positively iconic. I didn’t check to see how much they were, but I’m pretty sure they’re less than the $99.99 that ThinkGeek is charging for theirs.

Although ThinkGeek attempts to lay out a pretty compelling argument for their $99.99 hat by saying that there were 3 (or more) hats used by Indy, but the fur felt one was the stylish one used for closeups and non-action scenes, and while other Indy hats are wool felt, the $99.99 hat is fur felt. I’m not sure exactly what fur felt is, but it must be costly. Anyway, I love ThinkGeek so I will forgive them for this. I mean, they have an entire category for Zombies and Bacon. What’s there not to love about that?

ThinkGeek is definitely right about different hats being used because one you step into the Outpost, on the back wall there are different hats than the one on the hat tree at the entrance.

These are, like, a darker green maybe?

If you have a child who wants an Indy hat, don’t despair! The Outpost has an entire Indy set for your young archeologist.

Including toy machete!

Another cool thing about Disneyland is that even the stores are themed pretty extensively. I thought I got a bunch of pictures of the Outpost theming but as it turns out, there’s just this one:

More hats on the back wall--brown this time

Although I found this to be very cute:

Return Address: 1313 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92802

Did you know that the American Film Institute rated Indiana Jones #2 in the Greatest Screen Characters (hero category)? I was a little taken aback by that. I mean, I love Indy and all, but number 2? And lucky Harrison Ford shows up again at #14 for Han Solo. The list is kind of wacky, actually, including Lassie (#39), Marge Gunderson from Fargo (#33), and “Juror #8” from 12 Angry Men (#28, played by Henry Fonda in case you’re not up on your 12 Angry Jurors).

#1 is Atticus Finch. That one I have to agree with. Of course, Digory’s middle name is Atticus, and our dearly beloved late Scout Dog was of course named after Scout Finch herself.

How far off the track have I gotten from Disneyland? Very far.

So go see the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. If you want a fedora.

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