The Walt Disney Company remains one of the most proactively copyright and trademark protective companies on the planet. You never hear about McDonalds or Cocoa Cola lawyers ripping t-shirts off of crippled orphans who were unfortunate enough to receive a bootleg garment from a charity clothing drive, but as for Disney lawyers -- well, we've heard rumors.
It is a 100% fully supported, iron-clad fact that Disney has so many lawyers that, if they were laid out naked, handcuffed, and defenseless on highway 101 on Monday, there would still be enough of them left alive on Friday to sue a small license-infringing e-business into oblivion while continuing to lobby Congress to extend corporate copyright protection indefinitely.
Is Disney suing housewives? We have no definite information on this subject. However, when Janice McEllen -- a homemaker from Trenton, New Jersey -- wrote to us last week offering to sell us home-made CDs of Disneyland attraction sound loops cunningly hidden in the bottom of a box of fresh-baked cookies, her e-mail broke off in mid sentence with a startled scream and a hasty scrawl about someone kicking in her front door.
This may have been an isolated event, but in any case we won't be reopening the DisneyLies.com store any time soon.
Yes, but not in a good way. The new Disneyland management has been going all out to make the park presentable, but because the penny pinchers in accounting have not allowed them any additional funds, cuts have to be made.
In an effort to save money, Disneyland may be combining Adventureland and Frontierland in to Frontventureland. The new land's rides and attractions will be combined for further savings. Frontventureland will include:
If this venture proves financially successful, management may combine Critter Country and New Orleans Square, giving guests a chance to experience Davy Crockett's Splashes of the Caribbean, and The Many Adventures of Haunted Pooh.
It's easy to see where this rumor came from. Recently, Disneyland held an online auction for a single burial plot in the final graveyard scene of the Haunted Mansion. Attorney Cary Sharp won the auction with a bid large enough that it could have fed the entire population of a third-world village for ten years, with enough left over to give them indoor plumbing and a hospital. The proceeds from the auction will be given to the Digby O'Dell home for orphaned morticians.
Imagineers created a tombstone for Sharp's shiny new plot, which read:
We wish all lawyers
For obvious reasons, Sharp will not be occupying his plot immediately. In order to defray the enormous cost of this honor, he has decided to use it as a money-making venture until he is ready to become a permanent part of the attraction. Said Sharp, "I haven't decided whether to rent it out by the day or by the week, or if it would be better to treat it more as a timeshare. I'm also not sure whether to restrict its use to recently deceased Disneyland fans, just to keep the smell down. Parking and park admission aren't included. No pets."
There are no plans to make additional Haunted Mansion plots available. However, Disneyland does have a variety of other ways that you can be memorialized in the park. For a reasonable fee, you can have:
Is the animatronic Abraham Lincoln going to be removed from the Main Street Opera House? (10/26/04)
The rumor has been confirmed! It is well known that in 2005 "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" will be replaced by a multimedia show about how Walt Disney's dreams came true in the hands of current Disney management. However, before that, the show is going to receive a rapid reworking and, beginning November 5, guests will be able to experience "Great Moments with Mr. Incredible"!
Because there was little time for planning, the overlay is going to be rather simple. The audio portion of the show will remain largely the same, with key words overdubbed so that the 3D audio performance tells the story of a global super war, which a young superhero sidekick has been called to the Fortress of Incredible to discuss with Mr. Incredible himself. Other guests at the fortress include a famous holo-photographer and an activist who demands that mutant troops receive the same pay as non-super human troops.
After the 3D audio, the animatronic Mr. Incredible appears. This will be the original Lincoln figure, shaved, "bulked up" with Styrofoam, and dressed in a super suit. His moving, historic speech will be unchanged.
Are annual pass prices going up to $500? (10/23/04)
Yes, but don't panic -- they aren't going up that much all at once. Instead, Disney will be increasing the price for an annual pass by $10 each week until either people just give up and quit buying the things or Disneyland has all the money in the world.
Did there used to be a tree in Adventureland where a little man lived? (10/15/04)
At one time, there was a Little Golden Book titled The Little Men of Disneyland (by Louisa "Little May" Alcott) about Patrick O'March and his three brothers growing into young men in a tree in 19th-century Disneyland. The book did well enough that Disneyland visitors started asking to see the tree where the O'March family lived. A clever Jungle Cruise captain drilled a hole in one of the trees and told people that they could see the little people inside if they put their eye up to it. What guests didn't know was that the captain had ringed the hole with shoe polish, so that although they didn't get to see anything but darkness and sap, they would unwittingly end up with a black ring around their eye.
In the early '60s, this was considered the height of humor.
Do cast member costumes include themed underwear? (10/2/04)
Yes, and it is regularly (though illicitly) available for sale on eBay. We've heard that used character underwear sells particularly well in Japan. Don't tell us why; we don't want to know.
How much per night does it cost to stay in the Tower of Terror? (10/1/04)
The Tower of Terror is a ride -- a ride. It is not a real hotel! You can't stay there! Or, at least, that's what Disney would have you believe.
If you are too smart to be smothered by the publicity department smokescreen, call (714) 520-5060 to book your vacation. Tell them DisneyLies.com sent you and you'll receive a 10% discount off of published rates when you stay in a "Creepy Concierge" level room. If they insist that rooms aren't available, just keep pestering them until they give in. And don't forget to bring seatbelts for your suitcases!
Are kids' heights measured accurately before they go on rides? (9/29/04)
Parents often go to great lengths (no pun intended) to make their children seem taller so that the kids can get on Disneyland rides that cruelly impose height restrictions on their most impressionable guests in the name of "safety" or some other obscure bit of corporatespeak. It's not unheard of for parents to give children their old circa-1964 platform shoes to wear for the day, or to have them stand on their hands during a height check to add an additional foot or two. One woman even tried to get her infant triplets on Splash Mountain by stacking them. Fortunately, cast members are trained to see through such duplicity.
In addition, Disneyland combats these misguided parental shenanigans by purposefully miscalibrating all height-measurement devices so that a 3' 11" kid won't get past a 4' height requirement unless he's on stilts. A similar scheme prevents parents from sneaking older children into Goofy's Bounce House by making them shorter.
How many real skeletons were used in the making of Pirates of the Caribbean? (9/12/04)
When are they going to build a new attraction for the submarine lagoon? (8/23/04)
Pending budget approval, construction on a new submarine-lagoon attraction should begin in 2005. The new attraction will essentially be a sequel to the hit Pixar film Finding Nemo.
In the new storyline, Nemo's father Marlin has gone back to his overprotective ways. In order to safeguard his son, he has built a gigantic atomic submarine -- The Anemone -- and won't let the boy leave its metal shell. The submarine is equipped with a ramming plate, which Marlin uses to sink surface ships, part of his revenge against all ships after one of them led to his son's kidnapping. In a particularly spectacular scene in the attraction, Nemo and Marlin's old friend Dory swims by to visit, only to be repulsed when Marlin electrifies the ship's hull. But because of her bad memory, Dory just keeps coming back for more!
If this attraction proves popular, additional ride revisions based on Pixar attractions will be completed, including overlays for the soon-to-reopen Superstar Limo (Monsters, Inc.), Indiana Jones Adventure (Toy Story), Autopia (Cars), and "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" (The Incredibles).
Why is there a giant tarp over Sleeping Beauty's castle? (8/14/04)
To keep the sun off.
Is Star Tours ever going to get a new film? (8/12/04)
Rumors of a new film for Star Tours have been bouncing around for years, but production has been delayed because of an ongoing feud between George Lucas and Michael Eisner (started when Eisner called the Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks "lame," and Lucas retaliated by calling Eisner, "the kind of short-sighted, self-centered, big-desk blowhard who didn't have a clue how to preserve the public image of intellectual property, couldn't get along without a board of directors that had the backbone of a bread loaf, would take a brilliant company and drive it into the ground all for the sake of his personal glory, and didn't deserve to so much as stand in the shadow of Walt Disney, a man who to this day was a better executive than Eisner, even though he was dead.")
To get around this problem, Disney is creating a new film without the cooperation of Lucasfilm. The new film, as yet unnamed, will have Starspeeder riders sucked through some kind of space anomaly while on their way to the ice planet of Hoth. As they approach the planet, they discover that the anomaly has caused their Starspeeder to slowly begin shrinking, and by the time they reach Hoth they have become so small that individual snowflakes appear to be the size of buildings. The shrinking process continues, with guests taking a wild ride into the snowflakes themselves. Disaster is averted when, just as the ship becomes small enough that individual atoms are becoming visible, the robot pilot fires a photon torpedo into the nucleus of the largest snowflake's main atom, starting a chain reaction that detonates the entire snowfall and catapults the Starspeeder back to full size.
Is it true that Disneyland is getting rid of FASTPASS forever? (8/10/04)
Rumors of FASTPASS's demise have been spurred by a number of recent incidents, including, 1) removal of FASTPASS from a number of attractions (including Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion during non-holiday seasons, and the intensely popular Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh), 2) the moving of Splash Mountain's FASTPASS area from its popular near-the-Haunted-Mansion to an obscure location in California Adventure, and 3) a report that stated that not a single guest has ever used FASTPASS for one of Disneyland's most popular attractions, Space Mountain.
The rumors are untrue, although FASTPASS is undergoing a bit of a facelift. The system is being removed from some areas of the park, but it is also going to be newly installed in several others where its need is more keenly felt. For example, before the end of the year guests should be able to obtain FASTPASS tickets for parades, fireworks displays, obtaining guest-assistance passes at City Hall, and end-of-day service at the Main Street candy store.
I heard that Disneyland hires an unusual number of employees with mild handicaps. (7/29/04)
Disneyland does indeed have a policy of hiring "differently abled" cast members whenever possible -- if two candidates are equally qualified and one of them is handicapped, Disney will generally hire the handicapped one. This isn't for reasons of "political correctness," but because of a park tradition started by Walt Disney himself. In fact, for personal reasons Walt Disney gave additional preference to people with paramanual myalga -- a condition that causes sufferers, who look "normal" to the uneducated, to have difficulty with their hands. Because of the additional preference, a large number of Disneyland employees have this condition. If you are curious about this (and, of course, do not want to invade anyone's privacy), walk up to a cast member and ask them to point out the nearest restroom. A cast member with paramanual myalga will point with two fingers instead of one, because the condition makes pointing with a single finger painful.
Is it true that Haunted Mansion holiday will be presented at Disneyland one more time, but after that it will move to Walt Disney World? (7/14/04)
This is sort-of, kind-of true. Haunted Mansion holiday -- in which Jack Skellington and friends take over the Haunted Mansion for the holiday season, transforming the stoic scarefest into a high-speed thrill ride including the world's only Omnimover vertical loop -- will appear one more time in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, and a version of it will be presented in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in subsequent years. However, the Nightmare Before Christmas gang will not be leaving Disneyland. Instead, in following years they will appear in different attractions all together!
For example, next year holiday-season Disneyland visitors will be able to experience The Scary Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, in which sea monsters fill the flood scene and Oogie Boogie tortures the "silly ol' bear" mercilessly. It is hoped that this event will help prop up attendance numbers for what one Imagineer called, "The worst thing installed in Disneyland since the House of the Future's experimental high-pressure bidet of tomorrow."
In subsequent years, the overlay will be applied to other attractions so that guests can experience the Tomorrowland Fright-o-rail, Jack Skellington's Holiday Explorer Canoes, and Night of the Living Tiki Room. There is even a rumor that at some point Disney will experiment with swapping the Haunted Mansion and "it's a small world" overlays, so that the mansion's ghosts will sing over-cutesy, horrifyingly repetitive holiday songs, and the small world kids will be given gifts of severed heads, eaten by giant orange snakes, etc.
Will Disneyland really be closed for a whole day in preparations for the park's 50th anniversary? (7/14/04)
Yes! On May 4, 2005, Disneyland will be closed for an entire day! On that day, several things will be done to make the park ready for anniversary celebrations that will commence on the May 5th, including:
Disney California Adventure will be open on the 4th, and crowd levels are expected to be such that it will seem to be closed, too.
Are Jungle Cruise skippers getting their guns back? (6/21/04)
At one time, Jungle Cruise skippers were issued handguns for use during the "attack of the submerged fiberglass hippo" segment of the attraction. In the 1990s, the guns were removed from use because a member of management who had never actually been on the ride was concerned that the loud noise might one day cause the animals to stampede. A segment of Disneyland fans and cast members have begged for the return of this part of the show for many years.
Although Disney has no plans to bring back guns for the skippers, they have authorized the employment of armed "river marshals" who will ride the Jungle Cruise all day long. These undercover marshals (a.k.a. "the guests in the three-piece suits") have been instructed to only use their weapons if a) someone attempts to hijack the boat and take it out into the open sea, b) a Westworld-type scenario develops, or c) a fiberglass hippo appears to be attacking.
Will Disney California Adventure be adding a new Western Gold Rush Expedition attraction based on Marc Davis' 30-year-old plans for a Western River Expedition attraction? (5/26/04)
Yes! The massive new attraction will displace a few current attractions at DCA (namely everything from Ariel's Grotto, through the Orange Stinger, to the dinosaur with the sunglasses, but not including California Screamin' which will be retained but given a Hopalong Cassidy theme) and cost almost a billion dollars to create. The cost of the attraction will be recouped by raising the DCA admission price to $175 for adults, $174.50 for children. See the Disney California Adventure Future Attractions page for more details.
Is Mel Gibson trying to take over Disney? (5/10/04)
A rumor has been floating around that Mel Gibson, along with a group of European investors, may attempt to purchase the Walt Disney Company. Could it be true? This one is hard to call -- Gibson is still hiding from the media in the wake of the whole embarrassing "they should be speaking in Greek, not Latin" fiasco surrounding his film The Passion (which also drew ire for its poster tagline, "Based on the best-selling book.")
It's hard to say how Disney might change if purchased by Gibson. The biggest concern is that Gibson may be influenced by his father's rather unorthodox (pardon the pun) philosophical beliefs. The senior Gibson believes that Disney should be run as originally intended by Walt Disney, regardless of how times have changed. This would mean keeping the parks clean, encouraging creativity, trying to make the best films possible, protecting the company's reputation, and remembering that the heart is just as important as the wallet. To a person of modern sensibilities, these ideas may sound completely wacky, so it is understandable that Disney's board of directors and CEO would be very resistant to this kind of anti-progressive takeover.
Will Superstar Limo be reopening? (03/14/04)
Yes! Superstar Limo will be reopening about a week after the official opening of the new Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The theory is that guests who are either too young to go on Tower (that is, preschoolers) will enjoy Superstar, and that others will have had their brains so shaken by the new ride that they won't have any idea whether they enjoy it or not.
Word from Rumor Central is that the ride will be open for about six months before it is closed down and replaced with a Monsters Inc. ride or a Muppet ride or The Great Movie Ride or The Hollywood Plastic Surgery Experience or something, or reworked in some unspecified way so that it is not so lame. In any case, we expect sales of our I Survived Superstar Limo shirts to skyrocket.
Will California Adventure's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror be as good as the Disney/MGM version? (02/13/04)
No -- in fact, it will be deficient in a number of ways. Namely:
If my top priority is low crowds, when is the best time to visit Disneyland Resort? (01/14/04)
There's always a tradeoff between how many people are in the park and how much there is to do in the park. For example, during the holidays, operating hours are longer and most rides are open, but crowds are huge (as many as 90,000 guests in a single day, with approximately 50% of them in line for Indiana Jones at any given time). In the off season, the park is open less hours and more attractions are closed for refurbishment, but crowds are small (the off season for Disneyland is September through the first part of December; the off season for Disney California Adventure is year-round).
If your #1 priority is visiting the park when the crowds are at the lowest and you don't care about operating hours or rides being down, then I suggest visiting after 9 p.m. on a day the park closes at 8 or earlier. If, on the other hand, you don't care about crowds but want everything to be operating, then you should probably visit during the first 45 minutes after park opening on July 17, 1955. It was incredibly overcrowded, but to my knowledge that's the last time all attractions were officially listed as open simultaneously.
Why did Disneyland change its policy of providing front-of-the-line passes to people with special needs? (01/03/04)
Until earlier this year, people with disabilities could visit City Hall on Main Street (or whatever the equivalent is in California Adventure) and receive a special line access pass (SLAP) that had several benefits associated with it, including:
Disneyland did not require people to say what kind of disability they had, or to even prove that they were disabled. In fact, a group of rowdy teenagers could storm into City Hall, ask for SLAPs all 'round, and get them, no questions asked (not that anyone would do such a thing). Unfortunately, the convenience of this pass caused large crowds at City Hall, and at times the line of disabled people waiting to get to the front of the line at popular attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean could be several hundred people deep. The influx of disabled people caused a wheelchair shortage that was so bad that one some days whole groups of young guests could be seen having to take turns sharing a single wheelchair, with two or three former wheelchair riders having to run to keep up with the current rider as they zipped through the disabled queue to the Indiana Jones loading area. It was a sad, tragic, state of affairs.
Now, the Disneyland Resort has a "new and improved" SLAP program that only provides minor benefits (like not having to wait in line or go up stairs) and is only given to disabled people accompanied by two physicians and a notary.
So, to answer your question, "Why did Disneyland change its policy of providing front-of-the-line passes to people with special needs?" In the simplest of terms: Disneyland changed the policy because Disney hates disabled people.
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