Archive for July, 2008

Hurricane Dolly

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

As a massive storm prepares to do extensive damage to Texas and Mexico, Disney marketing is rethinking their decision to promote WALL*E’s love of “Hello, Dolly!” by having a hurricane named after the film’s title character. “We probably should have thought it through a little more,” said recently fired director of Disney weather marketing Stormy Klutz. “But the weather bureau called at the last minute and we had to make a snap decision. It was just one of those things.”

Only time will tell if this will become a fiasco on the scale of Bambi’s pro-NRA ads or premiering High School Musical 3 at Columbine High School.

Hello, WALL*E!

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Our good friends at Edison Square are now performing a new song about everyone’s favorite environmentally conscious robot, WALL*E, and they were good enough to provide us with a copy of the lyrics even before they appear on the Edison Square Web site.

The song, sung to the tune of “Hello, Dolly!” (what else?) goes a little something like this:

Hello, WALL*E!

WALL*E
Hello, Slinky
Well, Hello Twinkie
You’re so nice when I go home you’ll come along.
This is a swell, tea cup
These are a D cup
This one’s glowin’, this fan’s blowin’
They’ll all come along.
I am a bit lonely
And I wish only
That I had a friend who wasn’t just a roach.
So, crush that trash, WALL*E
Cannibalize some parts, WALL*E
WALL*E’ll never have a friend again.

EVE
Hello WALL*E!
Well, hello WALL*E!
I enjoyed when you put on that ancient song.
Hey what is that, WALL*E?
It’s a plant, WALL*E,
It’s still growin’, so I’m goin’
I must move along.
No more time for playin’
‘Cause I’m not stayin’
My directive says I must go home again, so

WALL*E
None of that, EVE
I’m gonna come along, EVE

Eve
I promise you’ll never be alone again

WALL*E
I flew away clinging on to a space ship
And through the atmosphere’s haze
I followed EVE through the maze of the space ship
Together we’ll show Captain the good old days

Humans
Those good old days
Hello, Well Hello WALL*E
Well hello, like my chair, WALL*E?

WALL*E
It’s sure nice but do you like my girlfriend’s gun?

Humans
Girlfriend’s gun

WALL*E
Please understand, Captiain
Can you stand, Captain?
AUTO’s gone insane, is over wrought, and glares like HAL

Humans
We can’t get thinner
If we drink dinner
So we must turn this ship Earthward once again
So…

WALL*E
This is grand, people
EVE finally held my hand, people

Humans
WALL*E’ll never be alone again

WDW Restaurant Reservations — Online!

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Those WDW guests who have suffered through having to set their alarm and get on the phone promptly at 7 a.m., 180 days before their vacation to try and snag a hard-to-come-by Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station reservation will be pleased to know that Disney is moving away from the call-in-only system. Beginning in October, guests will be able to log onto the Disney World Web site promptly at 7 a.m., 180 days before their vacation and make dining priority seating requests from the comfort of their own computer without having to deal with a friendly, helpful Disney cast member.

Not only will guests be able to decide what restaurant they will want to eat at in six months, they will also be encouraged to pre-order specific meals, schedule drink refills, and fill out surveys indicating how pleased they expect to be with service and how much of a tip they will leave. Guests who expect that they will encounter difficulty with a server may arrange to meet with a lead cast member at a specified time after their meal.

Fantasmic! (only not so much)

Monday, July 21st, 2008

In January, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will cut performances from five night a week to only two. We asked supposed DHS representative Francis “Fran” Tasia for an explanation of the cutback and she said, “There are a number of important safety, performance, and cost vectors at work here. First and most importantly is that Mr. Mickey Mouse is growing fatigued after so many years of performance. It is quite difficult, as you might imagine, to spend so many hours with your face frozen into the same happy smile day in and day out, and the ‘shooting delightful magical sparks from his hands’ meme has left him with what can only be described as something akin to the early stages of shell shock. An additional factor is the desire to close DHS — that’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios, not Disney Homekingdom Security, which is an entirely disjoint matter, bless their hearts — early on multiple evenings. This left many possibilities, and it was judged that it was not practicable to continue performing Fantasmic! on evenings after the park had closed early and there were no guests to view it. Additionally, having Fantasmic! dark five nights a week was a potential cost/energy savings but it was decided that safety concerns precluded performances without lights on. Not performing but leaving lights on was the only remaining viable option that was legal in the state of Florida.”

10 Best at Disney’s California Adventure

Friday, July 18th, 2008

As an adjunct to yesterday’s list of the best things at Disneyland (and to maintain editorial balance), we now list the 10 Best Things at Disney’s California Adventure (also mercilessly stolen from the Web site we mentioned yesterday and then rewritten beyond recognizability).

  1. Being the first to run to “a bug’s land” and see if Francis’ Ladybug Boogie is actually working.
  2. Riding The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror with an open bucket of popcorn.
  3. Running wind sprints through the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail and then visiting Brother Bear’s cave and telling everyone that your totem animal is “a sweat hog.”
  4. Activating Toy Story Midway Mania’s devistating “atomic bomb” secret target for a million points.
  5. Eating a gigantic lunch and then endlessly riding one of the moving cars on the Sun Wheel.
  6. Sitting in Playhouse Disney — Live on Stage! and pretending that you have the mind of a four-year-old.
  7. Visiting the Mission Tortilla Factory and asking why the tortillas have to be so flat and lifeless when the bread across the street at the Boudin Bakery is so nice and fluffy.
  8. Seasons of the Vine — possibly the most entertaining and instructional interactive edutainment on any Disney property; a true classic that will surely stand the test of time and be heralded as a delight to young and old alike (now closed).
  9. Using the computer in Disney Animation’s Sorcerer’s Workshop to see what Disney character is most like Hitler.
  10. $1.2 billion in upcoming improvements.

10 Best at Disneyland

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

About.com recently posted a list of what it considers to be the 10 best attractions at Disneyland. In the interest of saving you from all the extra clicking that would be involved in you checking out the list on their Web site, we are reproducing it here (with occasional editorial adjustments for space or to completely change the meaning).

So, without further ado, we present the 10 Best Attractions at Disneyland!

  1. Singing along with “Welcome to the Jungle” on the Jungle Cruise.
  2. Standing near the entrance to Critter Country and watching the Splash Mountain flume to see if anyone lifts their shirt for the camera.
  3. Trying to catch people disposing of loved ones on the Haunted Mansion.
  4. Riding Pirates of the Caribbean and noting all the things that were better they way they used to be.
  5. Mercilessly heckling tourists who call the Matterhorn “Magic Mountain.”
  6. Buying chicken at the Stage Door Cafe, eating it in the Enchanted Tiki Room, and hoping the birds don’t notice.
  7. The free emotional counseling after you get stuck on “it’s a small world.”
  8. Wandering around Tomorrowland, speculating about what the Peoplemover track might be good for some day.
  9. Swimming out to Tom Sawyer Island and wondering what diseases you may have caught.
  10. Getting Mom to shell out for a churro and then whacking your little sister with it.

P.S. We’ll send a free copy of Liar’s Guide to Disneyland to the first reader who posts a comment listing all of the attractions that the experts at About.com named incorrectly on their site. Just post your comment and drop us a line (through the contact form) with your address so we can send you your book!

Remy Robot

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

An actual-size animatronic of Remy, the title character of Pixar’s Ratatouille, has been making surprise visits to Disneyland Hotel’s California Grill over the last week or so. The animatronic character scurries back and forth to the kitchen and occasionally squeeks at guests, presumably under the control of a hidden Imagineer.

Some guests were so convinced that the figure was real that they insist it count not have been a robot, and their feelings were somewhat justified when it was learned that the figure’s final appearance coincided with a visit from Ajax Exterminators.

Rumor roundup

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

As usual, there are many WDW-related rumors flying about the Internet. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting (sic.):

  • Are rising gas prices making WDW cut back on its fleet of busses? Recent guests have complained that busses are more scarce that usual, and that there is a marked increase in the use of “bicycles built for 64″.
  • Epcot is rumored to have a new attraction ready to premier in 2010, but there is no agreement on what that attraction might be. It might be as large as a replacement for the Wonders of Life pavilion (most likely a Wonders of Capitalism area) or as small as a new flavor of soda in Club Cool.
  • Does the upcoming Country Bears rehab herald there return of the Country Bears Christmas Hoedown? Disney isn’t saying, but did hint that the rehabed show might “have a segment with a song about a shopping maul”.
  • In a unanimous show of unity, all of Disney management came together to distance itself from the horrible pun at the end of the previous item in this list.
  • Because of Disney’s overwhelming need for expansion, the Pocahontas show at Animal Kingdom will reportedly be closed and its cast moved to a reservation of some kind.

Monorail Red Finally Running

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

The new Mark VII Monorail — known as “Monorail Red” to those of us who are tired of Disney naming all of their monorails “Mark” — is finally running at Disneyland.

The monorail was plagued by design problems from the start. The first monorail delivered by German manufacturer Der Wonderkin Monorailverks was underpowered, hard to control, low capacity, and H0 scale — not at all what Disney had in mind. Specifications were completely revised, fleshed out from a single sentence (“A cool new red one”) to more than 500 pages and an entirely new vehicle was fabricated.

When the new model was delivered, it looked great but proved to be almost as problematic as its predecessor. Said Disneyland monorail roundhouse supervisor Monorail Supervisor Fred, “We just couldn’t understand why so many poor design decisions were made by the vendor. Why was the steering wheel so big? Why was it oblong? And why did a monorail have a steering wheel in the first place? It was a mess. The cabins had no air conditioning and the windows barely opened so the cabins got suffocatingly stuffy almost immediately, and that’s when we found out that the designers had done all their research on west-coast American weather by visiting Seattle. Not very diligent if you ask me, but I will say that the Mark VII has excellent rain protection.”

The pluses of the new design — such as a top speed of more than 600 MPH and sleeping berths for long journeys — were not enough to convince Disney that Monorail Red would be show ready without significant modifications. The problems became such a joke at Disney that Pixar even included a passing scene of a broken red monorail near the beginning of their hit movie WALL*E.

So how did Disney finally get Monorail Red up and running? By taking matters in their own hands, that’s how. Said Disneyland’s chief railstock engineer Chief Railstock Engineer Brunhilda, “It was nothing you couldn’t fix with a chainsaw, duct tape, and a little paint.”

Haunted Mansion robots

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

In celebration of the immensely profitable new Pixar film WALL*E, Disney is moving forward with its “Hiring the Body Electric” initiative, which will see robots used much more extensively throughout the theme parks.

In this photo, you can just make out a trio of electronic cast members performing regular maintenance in the Haunted Mansion’s garden.

Robots of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion

In the future, expect to see robotic humanoids picking up trash, cooking food, repairing attractions, handling disruptions, enforcing line etiquette, punishing the rebellious, and generally keeping puny humans in their rightful place — the happiest place on earth!