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 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.

Juju Secrets: Juju #10 — Sacred Skull

August 29th, 2014

The most difficult to obtain Juju is the Sacred Scull juju.

Sacred Skull juju

During the first weeks of the Adventure Trading Company activity, guests could get a Sacred Skull by simply trading “one of theirs for one of yours.” All you needed to do was find something in the park that could be fashioned into the shape of a skull (antenna balls, wadded napkins, and the remains of things executed by feral cats were popular) and trade it at the Company for a Sacred Skull juju (after paying the usual “exchange fee,” of course).

This stopped when significant complaints started. It turns out that even though Disney was using only the highest quality, organic, free-range, locally sourced, hand-painted, artisanally shrunken skulls, certain people have an aversion to using human skulls for any purpose they see as “frivolous” or “blasphemous.”

That is why today the Sacred Skull juju is no longer available in the park, is illegal to bring across state lines, and can be found on eBay selling for upwards of $1,000.

Juju Secrets: Juju #9 — Trader Sam’s Recipe

August 28th, 2014

This is, by far, the most difficult of all the juju to earn. Before you can receive your juju, you have to gather the ingredients for Trader Sam’s famous punch. There are clues to the ingredients hidden around Adventureland, but after you discover what the ingredients are, you still have to collect them and then follow the instructions in a secret telegram* to know what to do with them.

To save you some time, the ingredients and where you can find them are:

  • 16-year-old scotch (from Merida in Fantasyland, obviously)
  • Hair of the Dug that bit you (found in Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, in DCA)
  • Bathtub jinn (obtained by putting quarters into Aladdin’s Other Lamp until you happen to interrupt the genie while he’s in the bath)

Once you have all of the ingredients, take them to Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar at the Disneyland hotel, show what you have collected along with a Disneyland hotel room key, and order the punch!

Trader Sam juju

A word of warning, the Tiki juju has a face expressing obvious disgust. You should take this as a clue before attempting to drink Sam’s punch.

*This is the only juju that requires a visit to a bar to redeem, and therefore is the only one whose activity is specifically geared to an adult audience. With that in mind, we have carefully censored certain adult-oriented portions of the telegrams for the benefit of our more sensitive readers.

Juju Secrets: Juju #8 — The Secret Code

August 27th, 2014

The Pineapple juju is not the most difficult to obtain, but it can prove to be a bit tricky for guests who do not have either a degree in cryptology or a handy enigma machine.

After paying your fee at the usual place, you receive an envelope on which are instructions we didn’t bother to read and in which is a map.

Pineapple juju map

The map has a message in the top left written in what Disney fans refer to as “AT&T Code.” To obtain a key to the code, you must either visit the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction in 1995 or go to a secret, unmarked place within the queue, put your map against the wall, and rub the map with a colored pencil until the key emerges or you are ejected from the park, whichever comes first.

Once decoded, the message reads:

Pineapple juju code

We aren’t sure what that means either. It’s supposed to lead you to another secret message, but we couldn’t find it. However, we did discover that if you go back to the Adventure Trading Post and say, “I tried to decode the second message and it didn’t make any sense,” they’ll give you your juju, so that must be what the second message says.