Posts Tagged ‘Alice in Wonderland’

Disneyland Tour: Refreshment Corner hyperactive pianist

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Disneyland Tour: Coca-Cola Corner hyperactive pianist

The inclusion of a “high-speed” piano player outside the Coca-Cola-sponsored Refreshment Corner is an excellent example of what Imagineers call “placemaking.” Speedy piano playing and high-sugar caffeinated beverages go together like uncontrollable twitching and adrenalin.

Rod “Rod the Pianist” Miller played piano here every day without fail or vacation for some three decades. His inhumanly accelerated ivory tinkling was so hard on pianos that they had to be tuned every night and completely replaced every three days. The friction generated during a particularly intense performance of “Maple Leaf Rag” was enough that after the piece’s conclusion, you could actually fry an egg on the piano strings (an act which goes a long way toward explaining why the pianos had to be replaced so often).

This location is also used for “The Mad Chair Party” — a daily game of Musical Chairs hosted by Alice in Wonderland (shown above doing her imitation of the Alice in Wonderland fashion doll). The game is great fun for kids, but is really just an excuse to get a bunch of guests to clean up the restaurant’s seating area without being paid.

You will notice that the piano player is dressed in typical turn-of-the-twentieth-century pianist garb. All Main Street cast members are required to dress and act as if they are people from another age. In fact, this is where the phrase “to act one’s age” comes from.

Coming up next: Penny Arcade faux entrance

Making life safe for Alice

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Disneyland announced yesterday that the Alice in Wonderland attraction would be closed for a few days so that they could install handrails on the recommendation of OSHA (which, according to a tearful blond child in a blue dress who was on the scene, stands for Overlords of Satan’s Hateful Anklebiters). Apparently, there was a complaint filed by the mother of a young girl who, while walking up the winding path of “leaves” outside the attraction in pursuit of a rabbit, fell down a rabbit hole and (likely due to a blow to the head) suffered from delusions of fighting living cards and chess pieces and meeting Johnny Depp. Later the mother admitted that her daughter had often dreamed about Johnny Depp before the accident as well, but Disney decided to go ahead and install some hand rails, just in case.

Alice Opening a Disaster for Disney

Monday, March 8th, 2010

In its first weekend, Disney’s Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland raked in an estimated $210+ million worldwide, causing an uproar in Disney’s corporate offices.

“It’s an unmitigated disaster,” said Penny Pinscher, Disney’s marketing department’s Chairman of Deniable Quotations. “Profits like these for a first weekend are almost unprecedented, and the ramifications are so terrible and widespread that it’s hard to know where to begin. First and foremost, it’s an embarrassment for the Walt Disney Company as a whole. If the film isn’t stopped — and quickly — it might end up lingering at the box office like Avatar, which, in case you haven’t noticed, has been hanging around the box-office top 10 like a creepy old uncle who doesn’t know when to leave. I mean, the thing came out months ago and it’s still in theaters? Who wants that? We’re going to put the DVD release of Alice into high gear and, hopefully, cut its theatrical run short before it becomes any more humiliating.”

Part of the problem with the film’s success is that it gives even more power to Alice’s star, Johnny Depp. Said Percy Filmpackager, Disney’s motion picture department’s Director of Baseless Information, “We’ve about had it with Depp around here. Already he’s pressured us into making a fourth — that’s right a fourth — Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and frankly we’ve been ready to move on to other things since #2. Now we’re getting word that he has set his sights on playing the title character in a remake of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which is problematic because we hadn’t planned on remaking that film, don’t own the property, and had already offered the part of the Child Catcher to up-and-coming entertainer Johnny Weir, and that’s a whole other kettle of fish because the original Child Catcher was played by Robert Helpmann who played the Mad Hatter in an Australian version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which sort of brings the whole thing full circle, so you can see what a problem it is.”

“And don’t get me started on Tim Burton,” Filmpackager continues. “We’re fine with his plans for a live-action remake of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which, as I understand it, will be much darker, in keeping with the original books — imagine the 100 Acre Woods being more like the forest Snow White runs through before she finds the dwarfs’ cottage, and you get the idea. But now that Alice is such a hit he has ‘suggested’ that Disneyland should do an overlay of its Alice attraction to make it like the new film. This would just involve making the red queen’s head bigger, aging Alice a bit, and putting a few severed heads here and there, so it’s not a big deal and we’re going to go ahead and do it, but really, it’s the principle of the thing. Who does the guy think he is? Pixar?”

Stay tuned to the for more on this disaster as news develops.