Tag Archives: My Year With The Mouse

Fortune Red

Before I started this blog, I would have told you that there’s only one fortune teller in Disneyland and it’s Esmeralda at the Penny Arcade on Main Street. But now I know better! Not only is there the genie lamp in Adventureland (who told me I was going to win the Superbowl–I want my 50 cents back), there’s also Fortune Red in New Orleans Square. He’s an old pirate hidden away by the Pieces of Eight shop.

The skull on the top is my favorite part


Fortune Red looks pretty much exactly like the other pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean, if the other pirates in Pirates of the Caribbean were unceremoniously chopped in half and shoved into a glass box.

"Yar, it's a little claustrophobic in here"

Just like the other pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean, he fixes you with his unearthly stare as his head kind of moves back and forth with no apparent purpose other than “thanks for putting 50 cents in!” His finger hovers over his map and makes hasty jerking motions, as if he really wanted to tell you where the treasure is but he can’t quite remember himself. And over all this, a short version of “A Pirate’s Life for Me” plays.

It’s all kind of odd, really.

And then your fortune pops out.

This reminds me of a parking ticket dispenser


I used my cell phone to take a picture of my fortune:

"In your future, I see you typing all of this out for your blog..."


It says:

FORTUNE RED has this to say: Ye sails yer ship with a steady helm and a weather eye out fer the luff o’ the sails. Though lackin’ in formal book learnin’, ’tis with a will ye worked to develop a keen mind. Ye would leave no sail furled to help a mate in need, and the deeds o’ yer generous nature sparkle like the twinklin’ lights at Disneyland on a warm summer night. Devoted, ye be, to yer kin–but b’lay! Ye may be generous to a fault. Mark well me words: Generosity consists less in givin’ much, than in givin’ wisely.

I’m not 100% sure what this is, but I think I’m flattered? I sail my ship with a steady helm, okay. I’m lacking in formal book learning–hmmm, I have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, and will complete another master’s in July (provided I survive to the end of the semester), so I’d say Mr. Red has some pretty high standards there. Also I’m a snob and an elitist. And also, I’m helpful to friends in need and my generosity lights up the night like a million iterations of the Main Street Electrical Parade (paraphrasing). However, perhaps I should give less and give wisely.

I’m trying to think of something profound to say here, but Mr. Red has left me kind of uninspired.

But just when I was tempted to regret spending my 50 cents, I flipped the card over:

A brief history of pirate flags

Yes, in case you’re not satisfied with your rather ill-suited fortune (except the part about my generosity lighting up the sky like the 9:25pm showing of Remember…Dreams Come True) (paraphrasing), you get a brief lesson in the Jolly Roger. Or as the card puts it, the JOLLY ROGER. From the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.

And also some pirate quick tips:

When the skull and crossbones flew from the maintopmast of a pirate ship, it was an indication to the intended victims that they were willing to give quarter. If they were opposed, it was replaced with the bloody red flag which meant: No mercy.

So no red flag means you’ve still got a shot. And also, how much do I love the word “maintopmast”? Can we bring that back into standard usage, please?

What Makes Disneyland So Magical?

So back when I solicited questions, Kristin wrote this:

What do you think it is that makes Disneyland so friggin magical? Because it is! We fight the crowds, wait in long lines, pay a ridiculous amount of money for tickets/passes, make a visit in a heat wave and/or rain, etc., etc. all for that little piece of magic you just can’t get anywhere else. How the heck do you think they do that?!

I know, you probably thought I was ignoring her, but actually I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And I mean a LOT. As in “Le Fou, I’m afraid I’ve been thinking–a dangerous passtime–I know!”

Because it’s actually a really, really good question. I mean it’s true, through wind or heat or rain or crowds or price, we’re still willing to go, and we still love it. Well, I still love it. And I’m assuming if you’re reading this blog you love it. Or want to love it. Or are trying to convince someone else to love it. Or typed something like “Home coffee bar” into Google, clicked over here, and decided to stick around.

But regardless of how we got here, the fact is that I’m spending a tremendous time at Disneyland after having already spent a tremendous time over the last few years, yet I still can’t wait to go again. I still get a little catch in my throat when I come around look down Main Street, and see the castle. The fireworks still make me teary. And the churros…man, the churros. You KNOW how I feel about those.

But why? Is it because the park is clean? Yeah, that’s definitely a great part of Disneyland, especially when you walk around something like the county fair and feel like you’re wading in litter. Is it because the rides are awesome? Yeah, that’s another great part about it. Is it the theming? Sure, definitely. I love some good theming. And attention to detail? Yep, that too. Happy employees? Absolutely–the Cast Members are fabulous. Nostalgia? Holy heck, yeah.

But all of those explanations feel…I don’t know…lacking. A clean park with detailed theming and happy people just doesn’t seem to cover it when thinking about Disneyland Magic. It’s something different.

Something more.

And you know what? I wanna figure out what it is.

So let’s do it! Let’s do everything there is to do at Disneyland, and MORE. What makes Disneyland so magical? I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.

Will you join me?

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