Monthly Archives: October 2011

Entrance to Adventureland

Why the entrance? Well, Disneyland doesn’t spare any detail, no matter how lowly the passageway might be.

Of course, the entrance to Adventureland  is anything but lowly. It has an impressive arch across the bridge.

Impressive!

The arch even has an A

A fun architectural detail

The right-hand side is filled with exotic looking tribal looking masks. I do not believe these are supposed to represent any particular culture.

I will scare you!

Over on the left-hand side is the Enchanted Tiki Room. Now this is an attraction that doesn’t get as much love as it should. It was one of Walt’s favorite attractions (he was really big on the audio animatronics) yet it’s just not popular these days.

In the tiki tiki tiki...well you know

What IS popular, however, is the Dole Whip window attached to the Tiki Room. Here you can get pineapple juice and the infamous Dole Whip. Well, infamous if you happen to have heard of it before. The Dole Whip is not ice cream, nor is it frozen yogurt. It is a frozen dairy product all of its own making. And the people who love Dole Whips REALLY REALLY love Dole Whips. As for me, I’m only mildly excited by the Dole Whip and only get them on very rare occasions.

The Dole Whip counter

Now this is a VERY important point, so I hope you’re paying attention. The Dole Whip counter usually has quite a line.

Nothing will stand between me and my Dole Whip, except the people in line in front of me

Here’s the important part: some people will accidentally mistake the line for a Dole Whip to be a line for the Tiki Room. This is not the case! Only on very rare circumstances does the Tiki Room have a line. If you are interested in seeing the Tiki Room and you find yourself in line, it would behoove you to check and make sure you’re not standing in line for a Dole Whip.

And incidentally, if you want both a Dole Whip AND to see the Tiki Room, there is a Dole Whip window inside the Tiki Room waiting area.

And finally–one more very important feature of the Adventureland Entrance is the bathrooms.

They're roughly in there

I honestly believe that these restrooms are the most crowded restrooms in the entire park. Seriously. I am not a fan. I really think you should either hit the one behind the Carnation Cafe (my personal favorite) or the one in New Orleans Square by the French Market. And of course, if you have a baby, use the Baby Care Center.

And speaking of restrooms, the Happiest Potties On Earth is a great rating system for all Disneyland restrooms.

 

Disney Showcase

Over on Main Street there’s the Emporium on the left if you’re standing in Town Square and looking at the castle. Over on the right, across the street, is a store called the Disney Showcase.

It's All American or something

However, The Disney Showcase is not marked with BIG GIANT LETTERS if you’re actually ON Main Street:

It's sort of unassuming and big at the same time

The part on Town Square is where you’ll find the Straw Hatters when they’re doing their whole show with Donald, Pluto, Mickey, and Minnie.

And also a great place to look for characters

The Disney Showcase contains clothes and some Disney knick knacks

Shirts, knick knacks

If you look up, you’ll see some very cute above-shelf decorations

Like these

There are also a couple of hat writing machines.

Oh yeah, and hats

Now let me take a moment to bid a fond farewell to the old hat writing machines. The old machines were sewing machines that only sewed in two directions–I believe down and to the left. The hat writer was a cast member who had to flip the hat inside out, fit it into the machine backwards, and then write the name on the hat by moving the hat around by hand. And also do it in the correct handwriting-look font. I mean seriously, that was a SKILL. Now hat writing is done by automatic machine. The advantage is that you have more options–the traditional font or a couple of others if you want to pay more, different thread colors, and more room for two lines with one font. The downside of all of these choices is that hat writing now takes for.ev.er. Especially if you get a backup of several people. Oh my gosh, for realz, you could go get a churro and come back for your hat. And I do recommend the churros you know.

Anyway, the Disney Showcase also includes one of Kevin’s least favorite merchandise items: Duffy the Disney Bear.

And his various outfits

As the story goes, Minnie Mouse gave Duffy to Mickey as Mickey traveled the globe so…he wouldn’t forget her? Something like that. Duffy actually has a Mickey Mouse shape on his face–a fact I just now noticed. Anyway, you’re supposed to take Duffy on all of your travels and take pictures of him in various places like a gnome. Duffy also show up at the Mouse-Next-Door for a meet and greet. It does seem weird that out of all of the characters Disney has in their cartoons and movies, they had to invent a new one for this purpose, but there ya go.

And that’s the Disney Showcase! My final piece of advice is don’t wait until the end of the night to get your name on your hat.

 

 

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

One attraction that many, MANY people don’t know exists is the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. We all know what Sleeping Beauty’s castle is, but did you know that you can actually walk through the whole thing? And that it’s a big diorama of the Sleeping Beauty story?

Well you can, and it is.

You've probably walked right past this

The entrance is right next to the secret passage to Frontierland. You can see in the bottom left of the picture that there’s a lovely open book. I should have taken a picture of this, but I didn’t realized its significance, and by the time I was done I didn’t realize I hadn’t taken a picture of it.

My life is very hard.

Anyway, the walkthrough alternates between book pages and diorama scenes. The book pages tell the story

The first page was downstairs and I forgot to take a picture of it

The dioramas were very cool and illustrated key points of the story

OMG FIRE!!!

Now to back up a sec, King and Queen have this daughter and she’s all born and everything and then fairies come to give her gifts and one party crasher, Maleficent, who incidentally is the worst kind of party crasher, and I’m not talking about the one who eats all your Doritos and falls asleep on your couch. She’s the kind who puts an evil curse on things. And she curses Aurora (the baby) so that she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel and therefore die. Happy birthday! So anyway…

That’s where all of the spinning wheels were burned.

Post-burning, the three good fairies fly around, which makes it easy to get pictures like this:

I AM AN AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER!

As the story continues, Aurora is drawn to the tower by a mysterious green light

That kind of looks like a Glow Worm

She pricks her finger, blah blah blah, and then hits the ground!

I hate it when this happens

Good news for Aurora! She’s not dead, just sleeping!

Quick thinking, fairy!

Then the fairies naturally do the next obvious thing, which is to put everyone to sleep.

How exactly does that work, anyway?

While everyone else is sleeping on the floor, and that can’t be good for your back, Aurora gets a bed.

That's hardly fair

Oh, there’s also this part about the true love’s kiss and Prince Phillip and he’s going to wake her up and everything.

In a lovely silhouette

But life is hardly that simple, right? Because then Maleficent gets All Pissed Off and summons up the flying monkeys or whatever to intercept Phillip.

I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!

This is what demon-summoning looks like

And then, never one to outsource, Maleficent turns herself into a dragon.

Before...

Seriously, the camera ALWAYS adds 50 pounds

But there’s our plucky Prince Phillip, who takes on the dragon!

The book kind of sums it up here

And then Phillip climbs over the overgrown rose bush to deliver said kiss

"Right after this, we're getting a gardener"

And they lived (let’s all say it together) Happily Ever After!

Ahhhhh

So next time you’re at Disneyland, take a walk through the castle and feel Sleeping Beauty’s story!

Main Street Vehicles: Omnibus

When I think about the word Omnibus, I think about Charles Dickens. No joke. I took this class in college called “Dickens and London” and it was an entire class about Charles Dickens and once we started to read fascinating classics like “Bleak House” I knew I was in the wrong class but it was too late to transfer to something more exciting. Which would have been pretty much anything. The only thing “Bleak House” has going for it is that one character dies of spontaneous human combustion, which is actually kind of cool. What’s there not to love about spontaneous human combustion?

And what does that have to do with Disneyland? I’m getting there. In Charles Dickens  the characters would often ride in omnibuses. They were new-fangled double-decker vehicles that in Dickens’ time were pulled by horses. You can read about characters who take an Omnibus to work or sometimes someone will get run over by an omnibus and that’s a hint to the reader that the character is totally toast, because while someone might survive getting run over by a carriage, nobody survives an omnibus. It’s like shorthand for “too bad we don’t have 911.”

Well Main Street, U.S.A. represents the turn of the century and by that time, omnibuses were no longer pulled by horses and–AND–you can ride one. Yes! That’s right! You can hearken back to the days of Dickens riding an omnibus minus the horse!

This has absolutely nothing to do with Charles Dickens AT ALL

The Disneyland Omnibus is one of the Main Street Vehicles that I have never ridden before. That’s right–a first time here on MYWTM! The omnibus offers a one way trip from Town Square to Central Plaza, or strangely enough, from Central Plaza to Town Square.

And did you know that all of the Main Street Vehicles are sponsored by National Car Rental? I didn’t know that until just right now! Go figure!

Anyway, the omnibus has two levels so obviously I rode on top.

A spiral-type staircase

According to Disneyland.com:

Get a vintage vantage point from this Omnibus as it tools gently on a one-way trip down Main Street, U.S.A. Modeled after a 1920 New York City double-decker, this 45-passenger bus stops in Town Square and near Sleeping Beauty Castle in Central Plaza.

This is only slightly problematic because Main Street, U.S.A. is supposed to be the early 1900’s, so if the omnibus is modeled after an 1920 bus, shouldn’t it belong in Tomorrowland?

Looking out the front

Another thing with the omnibus is that the foot space is very odd. I’m going to post a picture here that will seem like some kind of bizarre angle and be completely meaningless:

Weird angle. Meaningless?

But the black rubber is the ground and the wood is a panel right beneath the seat. My heel, which is clearly seen is being blocked by the wood panel, shown in the bottom of the picture. And hey, nice shoes!

Which is a very long and bizarre way of saying that when you sit down, your heel has nowhere to go since the panel blocks under the seat.

Let’s just move along, shall we?

The omnibus gives you a bird’s-eye view of Main Street, if you were a very low-flying bird.

Ah-ooo-ga! Ah-ooo-ga!

You’re roughly on the same level as the top of the Emporium, which includes jack o’lanterns in almost every window.

How cute!

As you drive along your driver gives you a little history lesson about Main Street and omnibuses, although glosses over the little part about how the omnibus is modeled after a 1920 vehicle (they do tell you that) and Main Street itself is turn of the century. Oh, it’s the little things that trip you up.

However, you do get an awesome view of the castle as you travel down Main Street.

It's very cool to see it from a height

I actually really enjoyed my omnibus ride! And I recommend the Town Square to Central Plaza route because of the castle.

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