Headless Halloween

September 22nd, 2014

We always enjoy the Halloween decorations at Big Thunder Ranch. We were thrilled this year to see the new “Headless Horseman” figure.

2014-0922_Headless-horseman

We aren’t entirely sure why he has two heads, but we suppose that just makes it all the easier to freak out wimpy schoolteachers!

 

As for the “Headless Ticket Taker” figure…

2014-0922_Headless-ticket-booth

…we have no idea what his deal is. Maybe Disney was just running short of pumpkins?

Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour review

September 20th, 2014

Last night, the entire DisneyLies staff took the Disney’s Happiest Haunts Tour at Disneyland. The tour is a bit pricy at $600 (90% off with an annual pass or AAA discount), but it does include rides on many attractions and several treats over the course of its six hours, so the cost is justifiable (particularly if you are fabulously wealthy). We don’t want to spoil anything, but we thought we’d share a few highlights with you.

The tour provides guests with both “tricks” and “treats.” There are four Halloween-style treats over the course of the tour, including a “fun size” candy pumpkin on a stick, a “ginger-psycho” man cookie, a candy apple with a gummy razor blade in it, and a commemorative pin (exclusive to the tour and containing an actual piece of ectoplasm).

There were also several tricks. We don’t want to reveal them here, but we will say that there was something a bit unusual about one of the tour’s hosts. Here’s a picture:

Disney's Happiest Haunts Tour hosts

See what makes one of the hosts different from the other? That’s right — she never smiles for the camera! Hilarious!

The most interesting and entertaining part of the tour, though, was the revelation of many Disneyland mysteries. Guests were taken to attractions and locations around the park, each of which had a “Halloween mystery” associated with it. They (and their associated mysteries) were:

  • City Hall: Why do guests sometimes here echoes of ghostly gunshots in the distance?
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room: What happened to Rosita?
  • The Haunted Mansion: Why are the Doombuggies full of guests when they leave but empty when they return?
  • Big Thunder Ranch: Why are we stopping here when it’s already closed for the evening?
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: Why are we going on this instead of Snow White’s Scary Adventures?
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale Treehouse: Why was it abandoned and left empty for all these years?
  • Disneyland Monorail: Didn’t this used to stop at the Disneyland Hotel?
  • Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy: What’s with the crabby space guy?
  • Walt Disney’s apartment: Why can’t they turn off that lamp in the window, no matter how hard they try?

We learned a few interesting tidbits over the course of the tour, including:

  • The Haunted Mansion only has room for 1,000 haunts, but it has accommodated many more since 2010 when it went timeshare.
  • Ray Bradbury’s Halloween Tree in Frontierland was named after the famous author Ray Tree.
  • Some cast members swear that, late at night when the park is closed and empty, they sometimes catch sight of a ghostly Peoplemover car sailing through Tomorrowland.

 

The Mermaid’s Many Moods

September 19th, 2014

The many moods of the Little Mermaid

The Avengers official synopsis

September 15th, 2014

Today, Disney released the official synopsis of the upcoming The Avengers film. We reproduce it here so you don’t have to spend a lot of time Googling for the real thing:

Disney’s Marvel Studios presents The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers, the herotacular sequel to the most thoroughly marketed action movie ever! When Tony “The Incredibly Profitable Iron Man” Stark tries to restart a long forgotten earth-destroying robot that looks interesting, things go haywire and The Avengers (including Iron Man, Capt. America, Winter “Bucky” Soldier, The Falcon, Thor, The Hulk, She-Hulk, Red Hulk, Red She Hulk, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Prince Namor, War Machine, Moon Knight, the late Jack of Hearts, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, and Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket) leap into action without spending a lot of time on boring back stories. When the horrifying Ultron (a distant cousin of Destroyer from Thor) shows up, The Avengers start destroying buildings like there’s no tomorrow, even before they’ve all learned each others’ names!

Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Mark Ruffalo. Also appearing on film but less importantly so are Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel Mother****ing Jackson, and Cobie Smulders. James Spader wrapped in tin foil and CGI plays Ultron, and the film introduces two new heroes: Elizabeth Olsen as Only Incidentally The Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Not Quicksilver For Legal Purposes. Paul Bettany reprises his role as Tony Stark’s House, but finds himself upgraded to Tony Stark’s Android Friend.

Written, directed, and inspired by the imagination of Joss Whedon, the film could not have been completed without the invaluable assistance of many other people who are far too not-Joss-Whedon to mention. Get set for a month of returning to the theaters repeatedly so that pundits don’t freak out and declare the whole thing a failure if the movie makes less than half a billion dollars when The Avengers return in Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers in 2015.

(True Marvel fans will want to wait until after the credits when, in a hint of things to come, Black Panther arm wrestles Ka-Zar!)

This post was viciously copied semi-word-for-word from the fabulous Planet Lilo website.

Actual true post: Win a skull juju!

September 11th, 2014

Ever have so many Disneyland skull jujus (juji?) that you didn’t know what to do with them? Neither have we. In fact, we know exactly what we are going to do with these beauties — give them away! That’s right, even though these are currently selling on eBay for $50-$100, we’re going to send them to lucky readers absolutely free of charge!

Disneyland skull juju

Here’s the deal: For some reason, we’re having trouble getting buzz going for our new book, That’s Not At Disneyland! We’ve emailed bloggers and podcasters, sent out review copies, handed out copies at Disneyland, and more, but nothing’s quite caught on. That’s why we’re asking for your help and offering a handy Disneyland skull juju or two as prizes for those who help us the most.

To win a juju, you just need to do three things:

  1. Help us sell some books by blogging, tweeting, sharing, facebooking, posting, advertising, or just plain talking about That’s Not At Disneyland! Whether you tweet to a thousand followers or just to one person who goes on to promote the book (on a podcast or something, for example), it’s the results that matter. Heck, if you just want to order a couple of cases and give them out for Halloween, that’s good enough for us!
  2. Let us know what you did. Send an email to liar@disneylies.com with all the juicy details.
  3. After the close of the contest on October 31 (we need lots of time so we can see sales figures), be randomly chosen from among the people who (in our purely subjective judgment) either helped the most or helped the most creatively, and we’ll send you a shiny(ish) Disneyland skull juju (along with the envelope that accompanied it)!

But didn’t we say there were two skulls available? Yes! If we manage to sell at least 200 copies of That’s Not At Disneyland! before the deadline, then we will give skulls to two people who helped us instead of just one. Hooray!

To help you promote the book, here are a couple of links you will find handy:

Any questions? Post them in the comments of this post (or email us if you prefer) and we’ll answer as soon as we can.

Thanks again for the assistance!

Disappointing costume

September 10th, 2014

We were at DCA yesterday doing research and saw the following:

 

Groot at California Adventure

(Apologies for the poor quality of the photos, but we had to snap this quickly as we walked by.)

It is infrequent that we have  a complaint about Disney’s costume department, because they generally do a terrific job. They really seemed to have made a misstep in this case, though. As much as we love Guardians of the Galaxy, this costume just doesn’t look that much like Groot to us.

Lightning secret!

September 8th, 2014

The next time you’re visiting the Haunted Mansion, instead of hurrying to your Doombuggie take few minutes to look for one of the attraction’s hidden surprises. Recognize this silhouette?

Haunted Mansion lightning window

That’s right, it’s the Evil Queen from Snow White, being fried by God, Thor, or whomever for her evil deeds. You may have to wait a few dozen minutes for the just the right flash of lightning, but it’s worth it!

There was a bit of an uproar in 2008 when it was decided that, during a lengthy refurbishment, Disney characters would be added to the Haunted Mansion. We have to admit they still seem a little out of place to us, but for those who want to look for them, they are (in order of appearance):

  • Professor Porter from Tarzan (middle figure of the stack of men in the stretching room).
  • The Evil Queen (as seen above).
  • Donald Duck (his face is on a chair near the hallway with the floating candle).
  • Various floating objects from Bedknobs and Broomsticks (in the seance room).
  • Captain Nemo (playing the ballroom organ in ghostly form).
  • Scary trees from Snow White, (in the graveyard).
  • Old Yeller (in ghost form in the graveyard).

Have fun looking for them, and let us know if you find any others!

Distilled What???

September 6th, 2014

Off and on for years we have heard rumors about what happened to Walt Disney after he passed away.  Some say he was frozen and put in a chamber beneath Pirates of the Caribbean, some say he changed his name and is living in a secret rest home with J.F.K. and Elvis, and there are even some people so crazy that they think the truth involves cremation and Forest Lawn in Glendale.

Well, the last time we were at Disneyland, we spotted this in the Indiana Jones queue:

Distilled Walter

We don’t know if this answers any more questions than it raises, but we’re putting it here for your comment.

(By the way, if you want to see more pictures of dubious providance, our new book That’s Not At Disneyland! is available at Amazon or you can find it at Lulu for 30% off.)

What If?

September 3rd, 2014

Randall “If That’s My Real Name” Munroe, author of the xkcd website, recently released a book titled What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions About Disneyland. In the book, Munroe (who has degrees in both rocket science and artistic minimalism) takes a serious look at what some might consider to be frivolous, science-centered Disney questions.

A few of our favorites include:

  • What would happen in the Mark V Monorail was accelerated to relativistic speeds?
  • What would happen if guests maintained their rotational velocity after exiting the Mad Tea Party?
  • If the Monsanto House of the Future were built today but everything in it was still projecting the same amount of time into the future, what would it contain?
  • If every teenager at Disneyland on a typical grad nite had a straw, how long would it take them to drain all of Disneyland’s water features?
  • If all of the Disney parks went to war with each other, which would win?
  • What if Disney’s Animal Kingdom was, in every possible literal sense, a half-day park?
  • How much additional ink would be used over the course of all history if Disney used capital letters when referring to “it’s a small world”?
  • How many neutrinos has the Matterhorn absorbed during its entire existence?
  • If the perimeter of all Disney parks lengthened by 1% every hour, how long would it be before everyone was living in Disney World?
  • If all of the Autopia cars were merged into one super Autopia car, how fast could it go?
  • Would the economy of Liberia be improved or harmed if all Liberian dollars were replaced with Disney dollars?
  • If all Disney World attractions were removed and nothing but Ellen’s Energy Adventure copies built, how many copies could there be without necessitating changing any of the parks’ footprints?
  • How much additional damage can a human in a Winnie the Pooh costume take compared to a naked person? What about a princess dress? Tinker bell?
  • How hard would a child have to hug Mickey Mouse to compress him enough that the tidal effects of his personal gravity field became significant?
  • How would Mission to Mars have been different if it really went to Mars?
  • How long could an optimally designed and constructed animatronic Abraham Lincoln operate without human interference if elected President?
  • What if there were rifts in the space/time continuum such that each non-Fantasyland/Toontown Disneyland land actually existed in the time period it represented?
  • What would it cost to replace all the world’s birds with Tiki Room birds?
  • How long a strand of DNA would it take to encode the entire Carousel of Progress show (current version)?
  • If all of the energy used to produce Disney fireworks displays around the globe was turned to curing disease instead, how many lives could be saved?
  • How would the world be different if the rate of computer-science innovation was equivalent to the rate of Jungle Cruise joke innovation?
  • What would happen if one person ate the most expensive adult meal on the menu at every Disney World restaurant within 24 hours?
  • What if everyone who had ever visited Disneyland visited tomorrow? Including the dead ones?
  • What current Disney attractions could be built and operated in Disney Antarctica?
  • If everything proceeds just as it has been for the last ten years, at what point will Disneyland tickets be worth more than gold?
  • If one child’s smile is one “awesome unit,” how much more awesome is Disney than Universal?

Latest Disney news

September 2nd, 2014

Too many Disney news stories today to keep track of! Some highlights for those of you who don’t have time for actual news sources:

  • There’s a new Frozen short film coming! In “Frozen Fever,” Anna catches a cold from building a snowman with her sister and, in a state of fevered delirium, leaves Kristoff for Olaf.
  • A few days ago, Disney fan Brent Dodge set a record by visiting every attraction at every park in Walt Disney World every day for 365 days. Said Dodge, “I’m tired.” Several groups are protesting his record, contending that he cheated by not seeing all shows and parades and deliberately not counting attractions that were closed for refurbishment.
  • Disney has officially announced a trademark lawsuit against mouse-themed music creator Deadmau5 over his use of a logo that looks suspiciously like the famous Disney Mickey Mouse silhouette a fraction of a second after a stick of dynamite exploded in Mickey’s mouth. Deadmau5 responded to Disney’s lengthy legal complaint by cutting it into bits and mixing it with a complaint of his own creation so that it was easier to dance to.