Archive for March, 2010

DisneyLies Official Best & Worst: Disney Memories

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


  • Walking down a deserted Main Street after the park had been evacuated for some false alarm or another.
  • On a cold night, the smell of a warm churro purchased with your last $15.
  • Meeting Walt Disney himself in the park, shaking his hand, suggesting that he open an inexpensive, state-themed park where the parking lot currently was, and then listening for an hour and a half as he detailed all the problems with that idea.
  • Being able to look at a few seconds of some ancient movie for only a penny.
  • A five-hour Jungle Cruise on which skipper John Lasseter explained in brilliant detail the back story of every single creature we passed.
  • Laughing so hard at the wacky antics of a costumed character that an ambulance has to be summoned.


  • Going to Disneyland alone for your birthday and asking the park photographer if they can insert someone else into the photo so you’ll look less pathetic.
  • Standing for an hour in the Matterhorn queue only to find that you’ve somehow circled the mountain and ended up back where you started.
  • Fifteen painful minutes desperately trying to locate the Innoventions restroom.
  • Getting caught shoplifting from the Emporium and having to choose between prosecution or two hours on Star Tours vomit-cleanup duty (we chose prosecution).
  • Accidentally referring to the Matterhorn as “Magic Mountain” in front of a tour group from a Disneyana convention.
  • Years of therapy bills after the kids happen to catch a glimpse of one of the costumed characters (Alice) with her head off.

DisneyLies Official Best & Worst: Disney Guests (from a cast-member perspective)

Monday, March 29th, 2010


  • A family of well-adjusted individuals who have had plenty of rest, know what they’re doing, have intelligently budgeted both their time and money, and actually exist.
  • The friendly man who, for his 80th birthday, celebrates by buying churros for everyone then goes to City Hall and files a report about how wonderful all the cast members have treated him.
  • People who ask questions that are reasonable and that you actually have a chance of knowing the answer to, but that you haven’t heard every minute of every day since you started working at the park.


  • Kids who think that costumed characters are robots and/or unable to feel pain.
  • The guy who shows up at Jedi training with his own sword.
  • The snooty woman who throws a piece of trash on the ground and then checks how long it takes a cast member to pick it up.
  • Relatives that you signed into the park who then expect you to do them special favors and give them big discounts all day.
  • People who fall asleep dreaming of massive insurance payouts and visit the park hoping against hope that they’ll be injured.
  • The man in the bathroom who asks where the nearest bathroom is.
  • The screaming, abusive, anti-social lost child.
  • That child’s screaming, abusive, anti-social parents.
  • Annual pass holders who are such know-it-alls that you wish they’d just stay at home and annoy people on the Web.

DisneyLies Official Best & Worst: Disney Sequels

Friday, March 26th, 2010


  • Toy Story 2
  • Toy Story 3
  • Toy Story 4


  • Old Yeller II: The Search for Yeller
  • The White Hole
  • Herbie Goes to Rehab

Snack wars!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Yesterday at Knotts Berry Farm, the park tested a new snack item — bacon and chocolate funnel cakes — to see how well guests liked them. Apparently they were very well received — so much so that management at Disneyland, only a few miles away, became aware of it.

“Is this the beginning of a snack-food arms race? Could be.” says Traci Ranksmeller, a little person who lost her bus fare and now lives inside a Disneyland concessions cart. “This morning, Disneyland began selling a new product, Chocolate Churro Turkey Legs. I don’t know if it’s a permanent offering or a test, like Knotts, but it definitely seems like a response. In any case, I predict that they’ll be more popular than last Christmas’ Peppermint Chimichangas.”

DisneyLies Official Best & Worst: Disneyland Souvenirs

Monday, March 22nd, 2010


  • Photo of you in front of the castle just as the sun begins to glint off the gold filigree (available seasonally).
  • Getting Tarzan to autograph your chest (ladies can ask for this too!)
  • Piece of an original Electrical Parade vehicle (a friend of ours got a fire extinguisher!)


  • Piece of an original Imagineer.
  • Disneyland 50th Birthday Cake Pin (made from real cake).
  • Do-it-yourself deep-fried churro kit.

Another title change

Friday, March 19th, 2010

On the heels of the gigantic fiasco that arose recently when Disney, going against hundreds of years of tradition and the will of the people, decide to change the upcoming animated feature’s title from Rapunzel to Tangled, rumors have arisen that Pixar may be about to make the same kind of devastating unprecedented flip-flopping reversal.

According to someone who heard something on some blog somewhere, Pixar’s The Bear and the Bow (the touching story of a princess who wants to stop training with her Bowflex and just sit around watching Brother Bear) may instead be released with the title Brave. Scandalous as this may seem, there are actually some reasonable reasons for making such a change. For example, shorter titles are easier to remember and to spell, and don’t take up as much room on the Internet. The title also has some historical precedent — those of us who are Americans of a certain age can remember the days before the 28th amendment when we used to stand with our hands over our hearts at baseball games while someone sang about “the land of the free and the home of the bear and the bow.”

But the important thing to remember here is that Disney often creates films under working titles that were changed before final release. A few examples:

Release Title Original Title
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Snow White and Dopey, Doc, Sneezy, Sleepy, Grumpy, Happy, and Bashful
The Jungle Book Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (Highlights)
The Black Cauldron The Negro Cauldron
The Great Mouse Detective Basil Who Lives on the Same Block as Sherlock Holmes
Lilo & Stitch Lilo & Stitch & Ted & Alice
Home on the Range Where the Deer and the Antelope Play
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Who Censored Roger Rabbit?; Who Shot Roger Rabbit?; Who Strangled Roger Rabbit?; Who the Heck is Roger Rabbit?
James and the Giant Peach A Clockwork Orange
Tron Ron

DisneyLies Official Best & Worst: Disney Film In-Jokes

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


  • During Beauty and the Beast’s “Gaston” song, one of the heads on the wall is Bambi’s mom.
  • In The Rescuers, while the heroes are rushing past an apartment building, for a few frames you can see an adult Ariel, formerly the little mermaid, standing at a window.
  • Snow White’s seven dwarfs are named for the seven types of theme-park guests.


  • In Oliver & Company when Oliver says, “Yes,” that’s a direct quote from The Absent Minded Professor.
  • The third guy from the left in the background in frame 217,143 of Chicken Little is the head of Disney animation’s gardener’s cousin.
  • If you play Toy Story backwards, Buzz Lightyear is the embodiment of Michael Eisner’s career.

Main Street: Legacy

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

In honor of the upcoming Tron sequel Tron: Legacy, Walt Disney World will be celebrating by converting the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A., into Main Street, MCP! The transformation will take place just before the highly anticipated film is released this December, and will remain in place until 3-5 weeks after it has worn out its welcome.

According to virtual Disney cyberfan and FPS LAN party aficionado BuZZedLiteYear, the transformation will include the following:

  • A new paint job and neon lights for all Main Street vehicles (including horses).
  • A transformation of the Main Street Cinema from a turn-of-the-20th-century movie house that sells Disney art into a turn-of-the-22nd-century hyper-5D “sensua-immersion” theater that sells Disney art.
  • Occasional impromptu performances by a group of cast members who will hop off the “Tron Trolly” and sing “The Light Cycle Song.”
  • Hula-hoop playtime for children will be replaced with “flying disk battles” in which young guests can try to “de-rez” each other with special glowing Frisbees.
  • The Dapper Dans will be replaced by The Space Paranoids.
  • Because Tron: Legacy is a holiday release, Main Street, MCP’s holiday decorations will have a futuristic tone, with a gigantic procedurally rendered fractal tree as it centerpiece. There will also be visits from Tron Santa (as portrayed by Jay Maynard).

The many adventures of George Kalogridis

Monday, March 15th, 2010

There was an article in yesterday’s Orange County Register (“All the news that’s fit to register a county orange”) about Disneyland Resort president George “George” Kalogridis. It’s a pretty glowing article, with a focus on how Kalogridis — who began his Disney career as one of the “mole men” working the tunnels beneath Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, never seeing the light of day or hearing a kind word — hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to be a front-line cast member.

“Kalogridis spent last Thanksgiving in Disneyland, working as one of the park’s many irreplaceable but oft-forgotten balloon polishers,” says the article if you listen closely enough. “He ended the day with tired fingers, a face bruised by exploding vinyl, and a big smile. It is Kalogridis’s goal to try every job in the park, from ticket seller to Imagineer. ‘I’d like to design a roller coaster,’ said Kalogridis, ‘and then be one of the guys who builds it, and then a cast member who runs it, and then an EMT who helps guests who rode on it, and finally an inspector who chastises me for not building it to code. That would be quite an adventure! Too bad that, as a manager, I’d never hire someone as inexperienced as me to design a Disneyland attraction, and even if I did, acting as a member of HR I’d have to fire myself for incompetence.’ As part of his quest for job experience, guests in Disneyland next week will be able to find Kalogridis playing Mary Poppins in the noon parade.”

A new plot for Rapunzel

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Disney’s upcoming Rapunzel animated feature has gone through a number of pre-production changes of late. Apparently, some of the creative forces behind the film were concerned that it was turning out to be too much of a “traditional princess tale,” and thought that a stronger, more modern main character would be more popular with audiences. The film was renamed Tangled and its story was completely reworked.

According to an official Disney press release that was channeled to us from a local astrologer, “Tangled will be the story of Rapunzel, a woman who took a nazarite vow at birth that has made her an amazing warrior. After an incident in her youth when she burned down an enemy’s field by setting local animals on fire, she was locked in a tower for fear that she would destroy the town if let free.

“As a teenager, Rapunzel is visited by a young man, Delilo, who speaks to her while standing at the base of the tower. Delilo is from Philistia, a town that is the historical enemy of Rapunzel’s town. Even so, they fall in love. But the inhabitants of Philistia are enraged when, at Delilo and Rapunzel’s wedding, she beats thirty of them to death for guessing the answer to her favorite riddle. They tie her up, intent on taking her back to her tower, but she breaks free and kills a thousand more, using the jawbone of her funny talking animal pall ‘Donkey’ as a weapon.

“Things go downhill from there. Delilo is upset by all the violence, and uses his manly wiles to get Rapunzel to tell him that the secret of her strength is in her hair. In the night, Delilo cuts Rapunzel’s hair and then lets in her enemies, who poke out her eyes with swords. Rapunzel, blind and powerless, is bound between two pillars on the steps of the capital of Philistia. Gathering her will, Rapunzel miraculously grows her hair out to its full length in an instant, pulls down the pillars of the capital (causing it to collapse and crush the elders of the town), and beats the living daylights out of everyone within reach.

“In the end, Delilo sees the horror brought by his treachery. He sings a happy love song to Rapunzel, who responds in kind. They renew their wedding vows in a lovely ceremony at the base of her tower, attended by all the creatures of the forest. Rapunzel opens a blacksmith shop, and they live happily ever after.”