Archive for March, 2008

Ghost!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

While looking for interesting things to photograph, our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent spotted an out-of-the-way staircase on Pirates of the Caribbean and — risking life, limb, intervention by Disney security, and the ire of fellow guests — took a picture of it. But when she looked at the photo on her computer later that night, she made an amazing discovery…

Ghost in Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean

What is the billowing figure on the staircase? What could it possibly be?

We contacted Wendy the Disney Psychic and asked her to analyze the vibrations of the individual pixels in this digital image. According to Wendy, the figure is the animatronic spirit of the previous bridal inhabitant of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Some months ago, this pour soul was displaced from the attic by a “new and improved” bride, and because it was unable to pass into the next world (there are no automatons in Heaven) or follow its animatronic body into Imagineering storage (for union reasons), it has become trapped in the mortal plane of existence!

Why, you ask, would a spirit from the Haunted Mansion be found in Pirates? “Pirates is a great attraction,” says Wendy the Disney Psychic. “Even the undead love it.”

Statue of Young Walt

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

I recently was told by guest relations at Disney’s California Adventure Park that they will be soon creating another statue of Walt Disney just like the one in Disneyland but instead of an old Walt Disney a young one! This will be just one of the new additions made to California Adventure park.

This is absolutely true! In keeping with the new theme that is being imposed upon Disney’s California Adventure, a new statue is being created depicting the young Walt Disney visiting California for the first time. Because Walt first visited the Golden State on a family trip when he was five, the statue will depict five-year-old Walt in knickers, a long-sleeved shirt, and cap holding a lollypop that’s as big as his head.

In this fanciful depiction, Walt is meeting an equally young Mickey Mouse for the first time. The statue of young Mickey will be posed with pen in hand as he signs Walt’s autograph book.

Our mole in the Disney Placemaking department ensures us that great pains are being taken to make sure that the statue is historically accurate in every detail. Young Walt will have a slight bruise on one elbow, showing where he hurt his arm in a minor velocipede accident. Young Mickey will look less like the mouse of today, and more like a costume hastily borrowed from a low-budged Ice Capades production.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Monday, March 17th, 2008

Disneyland has a long tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Fans of the park are all familiar with the story of how Walt wanted to dye the Rivers of America green for the park’s first St. Patrick’s, only to have the dye leach into the river bottom, effectively coloring the water green permanently.

This year, Disneyland will celebrate the day with a special ceremony in Adventureland. Just after 1 o’clock, Goofy — dressed at St. Patrick himself — will visit Adventureland to drive the snakes out of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Don’t miss it!

A taste of Disney

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Any real Disney fan knows that there’s quite a bit of work that goes into creating magic, and much of that work goes on behind the scenes. Not too long ago, our Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent happened across one of those behind-the-scenes workers on the job at Disney’s California Adventure and asked what it was like creating Disney magic.

Disneyland Resort Food Rollout Quality Assurance Specialist Naomi de Plume

“Well, I’m an official Disneyland Resort Food Rollout Quality Assurance Specialist, which means that it’s my job to move through the parks incognito and sample any newly introduced food items to make sure that they meet pre-determined standards,” says Naomi de Plume, pictured here in one of her many disturbingly effective disguises.

“Today I’m trying a selection of special California-themed sweets that we’ve introduced into Disney’s California Adventure. I’m almost done with this Venice Beach Cruller, and although I admit it really does remind me of Venice, I don’t know that that’s a good thing. I think I’m going to recommend they do away with it. The La Brea Tar Pits Fudge, too. I like the Knotts Berry Farm Suckers, but I hear that there’s some problem in Legal, so they might not make it. That leaves the California Pine Scented Churros — kind of an acquired taste — and the Alcatraz “The Rock” Rock Candy, which is pretty standard.

“I wish they hadn’t had to abandon the idea for the Hollywood Walk of Fame Waffles of Fame, but it just took too long to make each guest a customized waffle with their name on it.”

We asked Naomi what she really looked like. “Don’t you wish you knew! Seriously, though, I can’t let cast members see me out of disguise or they might try to make sure I get something better than what guests are getting. Everyone wants to fool the quality-control woman. So sometimes I’m a tall black man, sometimes I’m a short Latina woman, sometimes I’m a nondescript Asian-American grade-school student, sometimes I’m a talking trash can, and sometimes I’m the rugged man of distinction you see before you now. You never know — and neither does anyone else!”

Danger! Danger! Danger!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

A DisneyLies.com blog reader sent in the below photograph of Disneyland’s entrance, noting the strange glowing spots coming from the Mickey floral display.

Radioactive Mickey floral display at Disneyland

What could the glow be? Certainly, standard floral display plants do not emit this much radiation. With a little research, our reader discovered that on the morning she took the photos Disney had been testing a new Disneyland Railroad engine. This engine, designed to reduce carbon emissions, generated steam using not coal but rather enriched uranium. Apparently, the engine’s nuclear power plant was not well sealed, and as it idled at the Main Street station, it spewed quite a bit of radioactive material from its smokestack. This material settled all around the station, irradiating guests and, even worse from a show perspective, defacing the Mickey floral display.

We will return to this story in coming months to see whether or not Disney has cleaned up their mess!

We were very pleased with our reader for sending us this ground-breaking photo and have asked her to become the Official DisneyLies Photo Correspondent. Watch for more photos from her in coming weeks!

Happy “Hub Day”!

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Here’s a bit of trivia for you. Many years ago, workers at Disneyland discovered that if you take the distance around the park’s hub and divide it by the distance across the hub you get 3.14. And since 3/14 is March 14, that day has been referred to as “Hub Day” by Disneyland employees ever since!

So happy Hub Day, everyone!

Culture Shock, Block Party Style

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

After a long journey, the Block Party Bash parade has arrived in Florida and is being prepared to premier at Disney’s Hollywood Studios later this month. But already there are hints that the move from California to Florida was not as smooth as it could have been. Apparently, the parade performers, all native Californians, are having trouble adjusting to their new Florida home.

“There’s like, all these old people in this state,” says Krissi Taylor, a trampoline artist who has been with the Bash since its inception. “Even in the store they’re all like, ‘Don’t chew gum so much,’ and I’m like ‘Whatever.'”

“I’m not down with the bugs,” adds Duane Brown, who (ironically) works on the parade’s Bug’s Life unit. “Don’t they have Raid here?”

Staci Pennington adds her voice to the chorus of the annoyed, “It’s easy to get a tan, which is cool, but there’s like noplace here that sells organic and it’s like they think co-ops don’t even exist. When I’m at work it’s like, okay, smile, dance, and be happy, and it’s just like back home, but after work it’s all weird with too many swamps and not enough malls.”

Only time will tell if they will be able to adjust.

What’s With the Buildings?

Thursday, March 13th, 2008

Several readers have written to ask what the small wooden structures being built on DCA’s Paradise Pier are. Sorry to disappoint, but it’s nothing too exciting. It’s just the low-cost housing for Disney cast members that has been in the Orange County press so much in recent months.

Another Restaurant Idea Shot Down

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Fans of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom may be disappointed to hear that the plan to replace Tony’s Town Square restaurant with Ratatouille’s Rodent-Infested Rotisserie have been canceled. Apparently, both focus groups and the department of health were put off by the concept of a French rotisserie.

Correction: The Aristocats

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Correction

In an earlier post we announced that “The Aristocats Special Edition” DVD was overpriced and that readers should consider purchasing “the plain old The Aristocrats DVD instead.” It turns out that “The Aristocrats” is a different movie entirely, and we received many e-mails from parents who mistakenly followed our advice (to the delight, amazement, and/or confusion of their children). Sorry ’bout that!