Archive for the ‘DL Tour’ Category

Disneyland Tour: Carnation restrooms

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Carnation restrooms

The restrooms discreetly hidden behinds the Carnation Café are simple, elegant affairs, decorated with an air of unpretentious quality and class. In keeping with the park’s relaxed, tourist-friendly atmosphere, they are black-tie optional.

As indicated by their gender-indicating signs, this location has facilities available for gentlemen and ladies only. Animals, children, slobs, and the generally rude or uncouth are explicitly unwelcome. No solicitors.

Coming up next: Blue Ribbon Bakery

Disneyland Tour: Carnation Café

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Carnation Café

The Carnation Café is a restaurant specializing in sandwiches, soups, and salads made with locally grown carnations. It is unique among Disneyland restaurants in that it is the only table-service restaurant without a roof (which is why some aficionado scallywags refer to it as “the topless restaurant on Main Street”).

Here’s a trivia question you can try on your friends who claim to be Disneyland experts: Can you list the eight Disneyland restaurants that have an accent in their name? Answer:

  • Carnation Café
  • Bengal Barbecü
  • Café Orleans
  • Blü Bayou
  • Stage Door Café
  • Village Haüs Restaurant
  • Tíki Juice Bar
  • Rédd Røçkett’s Pïzza Pœrt

(Note that the Bedouin Bakery — commonly misspelled with an accent — not only doesn’t have an accent, but it’s in DCA, not Disneyland.)

Coming up next: Carnation restrooms

Disneyland Tour: Custom watches

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Custom watches

At this desk, Disney artists create customized watches for guests who are willing to pay a little more to have a timepiece created to their specifications. Customization options include:

  • Size : micro, mini, women’s, men’s, pocket, bedside, rapper, grandfather
  • Case : in a variety of styles and materials (e.g. silver, gold, copper, platinum, radium, teak, and ancient petrified Frontierland redwood)
  • Works : battery powered, wound, self-winding, solar, fuel cell, atomic, or hybrid (with a selection of gear types and arrangements)
  • Hands : in more than two thousand styles, including equal-length, backwards-running, and made-of-string
  • Face : any text you desire within the limits of taste and intellectual property law, and your choice of Disney character or characters in the position of your choice drawn (whenever possible) by the animator that made that character famous on the big screen
  • Number style : Roman, Arabic, binary, hexadecimal, Atlantian, invisible, or braille, in any font desired (other than the Disney Corporate Font©)
  • Cover: plastic, glass, crystal, or diamond; hinged or unhinged; in a rainbow of colors from completely clear to goth-friendly impenetrable black
  • Band : cloth, kevlar, or any of a variety of leathers (cowhide, goat, calf, kid, snake, alligator, lizard, muppet, duck)
  • Presentation : bagged, boxed, gift wrapped, framed, misplaced

Depending on the options chosen, production time for a custom timepiece varies from as little as 30 minutes to as much as forever.

Coming up next: Carnation Café

Disneyland Tour: Fortuosity Shop

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Fortuosity Shop

Currently, the Fortuosity Shop is a fortuositer in name only, selling watches and stylish clothing. But back when the park opened, it was an actual traditional fortuosity retailer (sponsored by Leningan’s), complete with a dedicated fortuositer on site every single day. The fortuosities themselves were elemated by hand and assembled at a workstation by the shops window, so that passing guests could stop and watch. They were then permuted in a glass-doored hobash for two to four days before being set out for sale in either one of the display cases or in the customary “pemicade” masternauser near the register for those who wanted a more up-close-and-personal buying experience (using available disposable plines).

Changes in American style and eating habits (as well as new USDA regulations and the expense of having to keep a sampatino on hand 24/7) eventually made the sale of fortuosities at Disneyland unprofitable. The store officially changed to a watch shop in 1963, but for several years guests still stopped by wearing their finest fitules and precosities to compare waft and tine and reminisce about days gone by.

Coming up next: Custom watches

Disneyland Tour: Jewelry Shop

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Jewelry Shop

The Disneyland Jewelry Shop is a small business specializing in fine jewelry, with a particular emphasis on pieces made famous in Disney films. Here, at one time or another, you might find Disney High School Musical class rings, the Happiest Millionaire’s cufflinks, a ring that can turn a district attorney into an English sheepdog, Mary Poppins’ hat pin, Condorman’s tiara, Muppet treasure from Muppet Treasure Island, various cursed black pearls, a diamond that still smells like Herbie’s gas tank, the Little Mermaid’s fork, and the ring that the Seven Dwarfs disposed of in Mount Doom.

Coming up next: Fortuosity Shop

Disneyland Tour: Ethnic door

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Ethnic door

One door on Main Street marks the home of Dr. Benjamin Silverstein, a general practitioner whose mother — according to Silverstein’s official Disney back story — is very proud of him (not that he ever remembers to call her, but that’s alright because she’s sure a doctor has much more important things to do than call the poor woman who gave him life). Next to the door is hung a mezuzah, indicating that Dr. Silverstein is a practicing Jew. The mezuzah was not always next to the door. In fact, it was only added in the late 1990s when the fictional Silverstein decided to more publicly embrace the religion of his ancestors. He also is imagined to have fictionally threatened to pretend to sue Disney if a menorah was not placed in “his” window during the holidays. All of this took Disney rather by surprise, forcing them to take quick action, which is why the mezuzah hangs at an angle — in their haste to put it up, the maintenance crew forgot to ensure that it was straight.

Observant guests might notice that the welcome mat that originally stood outside this door is now gone, having been worn away to dust by the tens of thousands of guests who step up to the door each day to take a closer look. The wearing out of the welcome mat in such a short time became a bit of a legend around Disneyland, and it is where we get the phrase “to wear out one’s welcome.”

Coming up next: Jewelry Shop

Disneyland Tour: Crystal Arcade

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Crystal Arcade

The Crystal Arcade (named for Walt Disney’s young friend Crystal Arcade; twin sister of Penny, for whom another building on Main Street is named) was once a small area in which children could bring their pennies to play popular arcade games replicated in crystal. The idea was novel and the sight magical, but the crystal pinball machines often wouldn’t make it through an afternoon intact and an innocent “tilt” might lead to a spray of razor-sharp shards,so the whole business had to be scrapped. Today, the Arcade is used to sell stuffed animals and other less breakable wares.

Coming up next: Ethnic door

Disneyland Tour: Disney window

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Disney window

If Disneyland is set up to be like a movie, then outdoor vending carts are concession stands, the entrance newsstand is the newsreel, Main Street Cinema is the cartoon, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is a short subject, the other lands are the main features, shows and attractions are scenes, music played throughout the park is the soundtrack, what cast members say is dialogue, what they wear is costumes, how they walk is choreography, buildings are sets, weather is special effects, lights are lighting, someone changing a light bulb after hours is a grip, the guy emptying a trash can is a gofer, and noisy teenagers who are ruining everyone’s good time are noisy teenagers who are ruining everyone’s good time, which leaves the names written on the windows on Main Street as the movie’s credits.

Putting the names of contributors to Disneyland on park windows (such as this one for an Elias Disney, who we are apparently supposed to believe was some kind of mob boss who put “contracts” out on people) seemed like a neat idea to Walt Disney. It was a way for him to honor his employees, inspirations, partners, and dentists without distracting from the park’s show. One problem that arose early in the park’s history was that guests were preconditioned by movies to react to a list of credits by getting up and leaving. To counteract this reflex, Disney had large gates constructed across the front of the park, which forced guests to stop and think about what they were doing before they got back to their car. Another problem was that females honored on the windows kept getting married and changing their names, necessitating expensive window updates. This is why, as a cost-saving measure, windows on Main Street are almost always named after men.

Coming up next: Crystal Arcade

Disneyland Tour: Souvenirs and Novelties

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Souvenirs and Novelties

The Souvenirs and Novelties store on Main Street is a tricky bit of Disneyland marketing magic. Guests who visit the Emporium and then stop in the Souvenirs and Novelties shop for additional browsing may notice, if they are paying attention, that this shop and the Emporium are very, very similar. In fact, they are so similar that they are — according to Kant’s theory of naturally defined identity — considered to be identical by professional metaphysicians! Few guests are trained in the finer points of philosophy, so they generally don’t notice this subtle trick and end up spending twice as much time shopping in the Emporium as they originally intended!

Coming up next: Disney window

Disneyland Tour: Autograph book

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Disneyland Tour: Autograph book

In recent years, some guests have begun collecting autographs from the characters found in the parks. These are unique souvenirs of the guest’s stay, and are quite popular with young children, obsessive adults, and licensed Disneyphile forensic graphologists.

The popularity of autographs offered Disneyland both opportunities and difficulties. Disney quickly took the opportunity to offer guests themed autograph books, such as the one pictured here for sale in the Emporium. Many of autograph books have expiration dates (this one expires in 2011), giving guests impetus to fill the book as quickly as they can. (By the way, Disneyland is no stranger to fads, having happily catered to the whims of public desire by creating merchandise to leverage the popularity of princesses, pin trading, postcards, floater pens, mouse ears, stickers, pressed pennies, hula hoops, and frontier-style fur hats, and is poised with a whole host of offerings for 2012’s highly anticipated “churro mania.”)

But autograph hunting has a Disney downside as well. The demand for autographs made life difficult for the characters who once wandered the park seemingly at random. Instead of chasing each other about, pantomiming for guests, and performing impromptu feats of hilarious slapstick and vandalism, they were mobbed by autograph hounds like frozen-faced, fur-covered Beatles. This necessitated the creation of special character meeting spots so that autograph seekers could be corralled and controlled. The desire to keep the character experience pure was also challenged by the fact that young guests were comparing autographs, and their parents were complaining loudly at City Hall if siblings “comparing their Poohs” found significant differences. This lead to the “one cast member; one character” policy, under which only one cast member is allowed to play each character, leading to massively long work weeks for some of the most popular characters (Mickey, Alice in Wonderland, Abraham Lincoln, etc.), but ensuring consistency of autographs for the length of a guests’ stay.

Coming up next: Souvenirs and Novelties