Given the fact that the hotel was only a few blocks away, and it was just so dag-gum beautiful outside, I decided that instead of driving a short block, searching forever for a parking spot and paying out the wazoo for it, I would walk to the park. And it was a great walk, a perfect 70 degree climate, palm trees, people outside, etc. At the gates, you can hear all the music on the horizon. Yes, the goth kids were there, and already generating some buzz. Confused moms were hypothesizing that it must be someone's birthday or something. First there was a baggage security check. And then after that, there was the plaza, where guests could choose between either Disneyland, or Disneyland California Adventure, which Im assuming is the EXTRA hip and modern disneyland.
As I mentioned, the ticket-scanners played this disturbing, mechanical chime every time a ticket was scanned. Hearing it once was a cute novelty. Hearing it twice was curious. And Hearing it more and more and more became creepy and maddening. I hope those ticket scanners make good money, because I sure as hell couldnt stand working that job.
And right when you walk in, it hits you like a syringe of pure sachrine straight to the chest. Main Street USA, complete with Pastels, Flower Gardens, Candy Shoppes, Train Stations, etc. Like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Pink and White. I decided that the 1st ride to take would be the train ride around the park, being a good way to get the lay of the land, so to speak. I found it impressive that the trains were actual Steam Locomotives, and were named after some of the old Disney Animators (which is the least they could do, I imagine... I dont ever remember seeing anyone's name except Walt Disney on any of the old cartoons...). It was a nice, scenic trip. One think I thought interesting was that behind the building, there were some abandoned animatronic heads and torsos (which would have made for some great pictures. And also we passed through the "Its a Small World" Topiaries, which were impressive. I heard at least one parent within my earshot say "stranger danger." Then off to the grand canyon, where it was just a tunnel with painted scenery with taxidermied animals, with the voice on the speaker, a typical friendly ol' grandpa type, talking about the grand canyon... then all of a sudden, out of no where, look out, DINOSAURS!!!!! Dinosaurs?!? WTF did THAT come from, going from Grand Canyon to Dinosaur scenery as seen in Fantasia?!? Which led me to some important first impressions about Disneyland. One, All sorts of Bizarre non-sequitors that make no sense. Two, Yes, its magic, but its a very superficial artificial and controlled magic. I know, I know... all magic is fake, but hell, its not supposed to LOOK fake though. Nor superficial. Anyway, getting off the train station, there was a traveling "city band" with an announcer with a mike, given an overview of the small town band, and playing all sorts of marching band classics in that typical TV-show announcer voice. But I must say, I did find it impressive how they delivered, not so much as a random bit of entertainment, but also as a kind of educational review about small town band composition and instrument selection. I stopped by a theater for a short film hosted by Steve Martin and Donald Duck (who, even as a kid, I could never stand, what with him being such a unintelligbly angry-for-no-reason manic-depressive jackass. I mean, yeah, so was Daffy, but at least with Daffy you could understand just what the hell he was saying, and even relate to him and his stress to some extent. With Donald, its just like putting up with some drunken ass at a local bar.) it wasnt a bad film with some interesting highlights about the history of Disneyland.I stopped off at a corner shop for a bite to eat (and predictably, food prices were high, but not too unreasonable, all things considered.) There was a "ragtime pianist" complete with bowler derby and pepermint-stripe vest bobbing up and down on the piano bench, playing ragtime versions of disney hits, with the creepiest and most pathetic grinning expression Ill probably ever see in my life, as if he had to smile as if his life really depended on it, and there are snippers aimed right at him if he doesnt.
Towards the center, there was the Walk Disney statue with the famous castle in the background.... and the Bats Day group taking the final picture. and I missed it. Drat. It would have been nice to have been a part of the whole deal, but it was still impressive to see such a large gathering. I wandered around for a bit, took a few pictures of the crowd, and headed off for tomorrowland. Tomorrowland, like the rest of the park, had its foundations in that bizarre optimistic retro-futurism of the 50s, with bullshit predictions of flying cars, robot housekeepers, and fully automatated households. So whats the world of tomorrow like today? Well, the closest thing to retro-futurism is a short 3d film of Honey I shrunk the kids. A film that was popular when I was back in the 2nd grade. almost 18 YEARS AGO. Starring Rick Moranis and Eric Idle. So yes, Tomorrowland started off with a 18 year old 3D short film. But, in all fairness, it was pretty impressive and a fun trip. Then, it was off to the tomarrow dome, for the house of Tomorrow! It started by stepping on a slowly revolving porch, with a video of a talking robotic automatron with all sorts of cheesy wackiness to appeal to young hip children. Then, a melodramic countdown, then the doors opened, then, the animatron from the video greeting everyone at the door "in person", so to speak, singing an equaly melodramtic operetta about the future. After walking down the hallway, there is another slowly rotating porch, with a nice young attractive teenage girl on a stairway to a typical suburban house. And there, she was talking about her soccar team just beat china in some international world class soccar contest or whatever, and that her father (who happens to be some sort of scientist) is inviting everyone over to their house for a houseparty to celebrate, and how excited she was because she got to invite anyone she wanted, and etc. Then, she opened the door, and the group got in, and we got to walk around. And what's the house of tomorrow look like? Well, it looks strikingly like the house of Johnson COunty. After a shopping spree at Best Buy. Just a regular upper-middle class household, but with FLAT TOUCHSCREENS! And digital picture frames! And instead of mirrors, there are video displays! And an entertainment center that looks alot like the one on display in most best buys! And XBOX 360s! In one of the bedrooms, there was a fun little storytime sit-ins where the soccarcoach (played by a typical preppy go-getter high school kid) read an abridged peter pan story. And the sad thing is, I had no idea if the whole soccar-team premise was bullshit or not. Even when discussing "shop talk", they addressed each other in family terms (older employees were addressed as "aunt" and "uncle" by the younger employees, for example). Upstairs, was slightly more interesting. There were a few demonstations on science and technology in health and medicine, and a few flight and driving simulators. And there was a closed exhibit on ASIMO
, which I was a bit disappointed that I didnt get to see. But all in all, it seemed that the House of Tomorrow was less of an entertaining exhibtion of bullshit preditions of the future, and more of a commercial showcase advertisements of all sorts of products that your kids can see, and spend the next 10 years pestering you to buy for them.
After getting out, there was also some stage performance of what has to be the most pathetic franchising of Star Wars since the Clone Wars Movie. Here, typical actors in cheesy costume lip sych over pre-recorded dialog of the voices of Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Darth Maul, and a few non-destript stormtroopers, as they mime, play with plastic light sabers, and tell horrible pun jokes, and etc. I had to leave before the blood vessels in my face burst from the embarrassment.
At that point, my camera's memory card started getting full, so it was time for find a new memory card. I also took some pics on the g1. Here they are. ( Read more... )
And at this point, are the pictures I DIDNT loose.
Then, it was off to fantasy land, a place even more sugary a sacchrine than main street. A place clearly for the girls, where they are taught from a young age that they can be wonderful princesses and live to get out from under their wicked circumstances enforced upon them by ugly people, get resuced by prince charming, and live hapily ever after. Which Im sure is all well and good, but is bound to cause all sorts of psychological problems in their teen years, and massive self-entitlement issues in their adult life. But, it was kinda fun and cute to see the little kids running around and having their fun, and some of them even in full princess costume. And the music everywhere, like that weird flute music from the Alice and Wonderland film. At this point, the rides, including the Nemo Underwater Submarine Adventure, where just too long to wait in line, and if I were to get through the park in daylight, I didnt have time to wait for all of them. So I did skip out on just about all the rides in Fantasyland. And then, came the spontanious demonstation of party workers voicing their gratitude and joy: They Wishes Come True parade, celebrating all the dreams that come true (which is a theme of Disneyland that I am incapable of understanding... because who in their right freakin' mind actualy dreams of all this crazy brain-cavity-enducing shit "coming true"?)
First, came the enductment of "The Latest Memeber of the Disney Family, BOLT!" And thus, like a conquoring nation parading through town to let everyone know that they're here to stay, comes the Bolt float, with accompying music by Miley Ray Cyrus (whom, Im patiently waiting to cover Achy Breaky Heart
). I would love for someone with video-editing skills to be able to take the video, and dub it over with some sort of crazy Leni Rheifensthal-style marching music.
And then, the main segment of the parade, that makes most even the most nationalistic authoritarian nations look modest.... Disneyland started giving me the impression of a George Orwellian dystopia... where instead of the vision of the future being a boot stomping on a human face, its a smile and a hug for everyone. And yes, THEY ARE WATCHING YOU. God help you if you dont feel like smiling. See? The queen of hearts, she's out to put a smile on your fucking face, or its off with your fucking head, motherfucker.
But the parade wasnt all bad. There were some nice things to meet the eye...( ALL HAIL EMPEROR MICKEY! )
so yes, with the Parade subsiding, it was off to view more of the park. here are some random fantasy land pics. The Small World ride was appearantly closed for the rennovations, which is just as well. Some say that one might go mad having to endure that ride.( Read more... )
Next stop was toontown.
Look! Its Goofy Water! Cant you just feel the goofyness?!?!
Now THIS was something I wanted to see. Not only because this was where I would be able to buy the hat for my Bats Day Bat-ear hat, but also because, as a young kid, one of my favorite films was who framed roger rabbit, and even as a grown up, I can apprecaite the crude, wackey, and racey humour of it, and the appreciation the film has for the golden oldies cartoons. The scenery was actualy really nice... the sky looked fake, but in that soundstage-cartoon sorta fake. Yes, with the exception of the benny the cab ride, Toontown didnt resemble the film at all. But all well. In the toontown store, I got to meet some of the Batsday attendants, had a few nice conversations, and met someone who claimed they knew yogamary
, only to be eventualy debunked (which was probably just a case of mistaken identity). Being midway through the park, at this point, I decided to go on a ride. The Benny the Cab ride looked like a relatively short wait.... and was I ever proved wrong. The brilliance of Disneyland's social engineering, is the fact that the lines look shorter than they really are, in order to entice you to get in line, and feel that the wait is shorter than it really is. And the line takes you through what felt like a Roger Rabbit museum, with a animatronic baby herman spouting typical baby herman catchphrases, Jesaca Rabbit's voice on the speakers spouting typical catchphrases, etc, etc. But I do gotta give them credit, they did make the wait almost bareable, and maybe a bit fun... and the Dip Dungeon was actualy kinda cool looking.... ( waiting in line )
And once I actualy got to the ride... it was AMAZING. It really was like being in a bizarre recreation of the movie, slowly coasting along inside benny the cab, spinning in circles randomly (but not to the point of making one dizzy or sick), with all sorts of animatrons and blacklights and randomness. Id have to say, that it was the 1st time I ever actualy felt the ride worth the wait in line. Hell, if the line wasnt as long, I wouldnt have minded going on it several more times...
Anyway, here are some parting shots of toontown( Read more... )
with the sun setting, it was time to head off to "frontier land", and new orleans land, where there was supposed to be another group picture that night. Ill post about that later, and more pictures