Official Report: The First Annual DisneyLies.com Disneyland Get-Together
May 5, 2005
The First Annual DisneyLies.com Disneyland Get-Together took place yesterday, and it was both a big success and a bit of a disappointment (depending on how you look at things).
Only five couples and individuals purchased tickets, which was well short of the 15,000 couples we needed to break even on the event, but we were determined to make the best of the situation. Heck, it just meant that there was more fun (and food) for the rest of us! The other disappointment was that Disneyland let other people into the park -- apparently there was some kind of media event going on. We tried to do our best to just ignore this stuff and have a good time.
Some highlights of the DisneyLies get-together:
The lunch buffet was very nicely done by Disney's culinary staff and included enough prime roast beef, grilled vegetables, and hand-crafted deserts for the 30,000 guests we had originally anticipated. Because there were so few of us, we were all given enormous "Pluto bags" to take home for later. The remaining food has been put up on eBay to help us defray costs.
Actor Kelsey Grammer showed up unannounced at the beginning of our lunch-time entertainment and got up on stage to say "hi" to his fellow Disney fans. He told a couple of jokes and then fell off the stage flat on his face. It'd be funny if it weren't so sad. We recommend AA.
Michael Eisner impersonator Marlene Resine gave an impressive performance. She did an incredibly funny pantomime of someone trying to get Michael Eisner to put on a pair of 50th anniversary commemorative golden Mickey Mouse ears, with Eisner protesting "What, do you want to make me look like an idiot?" and "Why don't you make the new guy wear them." Funny! Unfortunately, Disneyland security broke up her act after only about ten minutes. It turns out that there was some concern that allowing an outside performer to imitate Michael Eisner might confuse guests and interfere with the real CEO's ability to maintain authority. Marlene made the best of it, commenting as she was dragged off stage about how this was just a "preview of things to come" since Einser was such an "outgoing" individual. To make up for the inconvenience, Disneyland provided all of our guests with free tickets to see Push the improv-comedic trash receptacle's one-can show, "What a Waste."
Apparently some kind of new parade was premiered coincident to our get-together. We didn't bother to see it -- we've seen parades before. There was a new fireworks show, too, and it ended up annoying us a bit as it took place while we were in the Matterhorn. It's hard to hear yourself shoot hoops with all that exploding going on outside.
We had a really weird experience when the entire DisneyLies.com group took a ride on the new and improved Jungle Cruise together. The new effects were neat, but our skipper was animation guy John Lasseter. Is that weird or what? Apparently part of Pixar's new negotiations with Disney involve Lasseter working his way up through the company from "cast member" to "animation production partner." Rumors are that in return Michael Eisner has to go far, far away and never, ever be seen again. John's a nice guy and has a lot of energy, but he just looks wrong holding a gun and he blew the "backside of water" joke, if you can imagine!
The Cynthia Harris Memorial Dunking Booth raised $37,228 (at a nickel a throw), with some Disneyland employees coming back twenty or thirty times during their breaks. One guy named Matt spent more than $50 all by himself.
Some old guy named Art kept hanging around our group. He was going on and on about "when I met Walt" and "I used to sell film here" and blah, blah, blah, blah. Seriously, the guy had to be 100 years old, and to hear him talk he had been at Disneyland since day one. Boy, these annual passholders can sure get annoying!
Disneyland Resort president and recent nominee for Disneyland sainthood Matt Ouimet stopped by to help us all learn how to spell his name.
The musical entertainment was a mixed bag. The Vandals didn't show up. Weird Al Yankovic was there, but he thought he'd just been invited to attend and didn't bring his band (he tried to make up for it by borrowing a guitar and treating us to his new song, "Hey, Hey, We're the Jedi," which was cool). Edison Square, the Disney-fan rock band, pulled out all the stops. They started with their hit single, "Simply the Incredibles," and then moved on to a Beatles parody written specifically for our get-together -- "Back in 1955." It was a cool, nostalgic song about Disneyland that was, unfortunately, interrupted about half way through by Disneyland security. It turns out that there was some concern that allowing an outside band to play songs about Disneyland might confuse guests and interfere with Disneyland's ability to entertain guests themselves. To make up for the inconvenience, Disneyland provided all of our guests with free tickets to see the same Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show that we'd all seen earlier in the day.
On a related note, the official DisneyLies.com mistaken-trivia-filled tour of the park was halted within 30 seconds of the group getting together. A security officer told us that their excellent response time to blockading unauthorized park tours is due to copious recent practice.
An unexpected treat was an impromptu walking tour of the newly drained Submarine Lagoon. Our tour guide -- whose name we didn't catch because he didn't have a name badge -- let us in through a door in a construction wall that "just happened" to be left open. We got to see the old, faded fake sea life up close and personal, and our guide let us keep anything we found that had fallen into the water (we collectively found 15 hats, two sets of keys, several water-damaged cameras, a pair of contact lenses, the skeletal remains of a woman with a long-hair wig and a fake mermaid tail, a lot of beverage containers, and about $75 in coins). The tour ended abruptly when security appeared and our guide ran off. Boy were we getting tired of seeing those guys.
Over the course of the day we ran into several celebrities, including Disney film historian and vaguely effeminate Song of the South promoter Leonard Maltin, ex-nanny Julie Andrews, craggy author Ray Bradbury, hiding-in-a-character-costume Michael Jackson, animated action heroine Kim Possible, and a disguised Roy Disney holding a forged admission ticket. All of them helped themselves to the DisneyLies buffet without paying us a cent.
Aside from the cost, almost nobody showing up, the unexpected crowd, and most of the entertainment being canceled, the event was a big success. We want to personally thank everyone who attended, and apologize to the seven or eight hundred people who wrote to tell us that they showed up at the park on the morning of the event, discovered that tickets were not available at the gate, and had to spend the day at Disney California Adventure.