Gather round, children, and today I will tell you a story.
Once upon a time, in a magical place called Disneyland, a magical team of magical imagineers decided to create a magical ride called Indiana Jones: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. (This was in another time and place, you understand, before a Crystal Skull had ruined the world, when the name Indiana Jones still meant something.)
This magical ride was unlike anything people had ever seen before. It had surprises, interactivity, secret messages to decipher, and immersive theming—and that was just the queue! The ride itself had elements that changed every time, three different "treasures" to seek, and all manner of special effects: fire, darts, explosions, rickety bridges, crawling bugs, and even a giant rolling boulder. And the people of the kingdom were happy and did ride the ride many times.
Far away, in the kingdom of Florida, TDO (that's Ten Dancing Orangutans) were hard at work on their next project.
"Hey!" one of them said, while doing a graceful waltz, "Let's build something like the Indiana Jones ride!"
"Right on!" another replied, halfway through a tango step, "But let's theme it to dinosaurs!"
And so they did. They developed an elaborate storyline about time travel and escaping an asteroid impact, and it was good. They would use the same ride system and path as Indy, but in place of Indy's elaborate sets, they would substitute… turning off the lights. But hey, darkness can be awesome (see Space Mountain), and this ride would have its own cool effects: lasers, shooting sparks, chasing dinos, flying things, a giant meteorite, an earthquake, and more.
They would call it… Countdown to Extinction. And so they did. And the people were happy.
The Ten Dancing Orangutans were pleased with this creation. So as soon as it was done, they decided to change everything about it.
"First, there's the name," the Breakdancing Orangutan said. "'Countdown to Extinction' sounds like something exciting, scary, and fun. Wouldn't it be better to have a movie tie-in? We just made a forgettable movie called Dinosaur; let's call it that!" And so they did.
"Then there are these effects," he continued, spinning on his head. "This ride is too immersive and we've had some technical issues. Let's ratchet down the effects and make this a ride that people will feel comfortable taking their four-year-olds on." (As you know, four-year-olds hate working effects.)
"Which effects should we lose?" the Macarena Orangutan asked.
"Oh, all the cool stuff: sparks, lasers, the chasing dino, the dinos that jump across your path, the dino that swoops down, the meteorite… just turn 'em off and shut 'em down. No one will notice."
"But there's a part of the ride where we shout 'incoming' and a mother cearadactylus swoops down to protect her babies."
"Meh… it's just the same if you leave her on the ceiling and just shine a light on her. That's what people come to Disney for… to see lights shine on stationary things." And he went on to build his next project, a giant yeti.
And the people didn't notice. And Disney made lots of money. And they all lived happily ever after.
Okay, now the spooky M. Night Shyamalan twist… That was (mostly) a true story. Seriously, check out this video from a Disney fan. It gives background, then shows some of the original effects (cool!), then what was turned off, then how it is today.
Not that it matters to me, of course. They don't build the ride vehicles to be yeti-accessible.
Current version of Dinosaur, you're still fun, but you could have been epic. Considering all the deactivated effects, I'm afraid I must rate your messed-up-edness at 4 out of 5 Disco Yetis.
Hi everyone. I'm too grumpy to write my regular blog entry today, so in its place, I bring you this paid advertisement.
Forget the Snuggie. Forget the Shamwow. Forget the FoodProcess Blend-O-Matic Pizza Strainer 5000. Now there's a product that's so convenient, so easy to use, you'll wonder how humanity could have existed before this very moment!
Imagine: what if you could wash away that acne? Whisk away that unwanted hair? Whoosh away those wrinkles? All at the touch of a button?
Well, you can't, so get over it. And to help you get over it, Disco Yeti Parks, a division of Disco Yeti, Inc., a family company, brings you:
The Disco Yeti Rating System!
"But John," you ask, because you've forgotten my real name, "why do I need a Disco Yeti Rating System? We already rate movies with stars, restaurants with forks, and hotels with diamonds. What makes this so different?"
I'm glad you asked, random person on the street! Those other rating systems are perfect for when you want to tell people how good something is. But what if you want to tell someone how broken or messed up something is? With traditional rating systems, all you can do is give it fewer stars. But what if it deserves negative points for being so bad? That's where the Disco Yeti Rating System comes in.
Using our patented deluxe nutrium-infused stainless steel microfibres, the Disco Yeti Rating System allows you to rate how bad or broken something is on a scale of 1 to 5 Disco Yetis!
Simply apply the Disco Yeti Rating System to your post like so:
Those burned-out lightbulbs? Meh, they're annoying, but not too noticeable. I give them 1 out of 5 Disco Yetis.
The broken-down yeti? Horrible! Sacrilege! He was the best thing about life! 5 out of 5 Disco Yetis!
But wait! There's more!
Act now and we'll also throw in half points! Finally, a way to rate things for the indecisive folks who can't choose between three and four! That's a fifty-nine dollar value, yours absolutely free! Call now! Operators are standing by!
(Or you can just click here to download the images. They're free to download and use on your own website or to spice up your posts on Disney forums. If you don't mind, just let people know where you got them. Enjoy!)
If you visited my site over the past 24 hours, you no doubt were as shocked as I was to discover that it, too, had been left in B mode.
Well, as soon as I found out, I called into maintenance to let them know that my site had gone 101. They said management had to authorize the expense before they could do anything.
So I called management. They said, "Ehhh... the guests won't really notice."
I said, "Of course they will. There used to be a blog here, and now there's just a picture of my face and nothing else."
They said, "Well, then we can put a positive spin on it. We'll put out a press release promoting it as an all-new experience we're introducing in response to overwhelming guest demand. We'll call it an exciting new meet-and-greet with your face."
"It's just a picture," I said, "and they don't want a new meet-and-greet. They want the blog that's supposed to be there. Where's my blog?"
Then I roared, and they told me I was being "difficult" and that I should understand that things change in response to market forces and blah blah blah.
And yes, I did try calling non-Disney tech support as well, but they kept hanging up on me when I told them I was a yeti calling from Forbidden Mountain. I'm telling you, folks, discrimination is alive and well in our times.
So we've moved the blog to a new webhost. If you notice anything funky happening over the next few days (funky chickens, funky town, funky brewster, that sort of thing), be sure to let me know.
Now I just have to find out who's responsible for the mess. I'm pretty sure Stitch is involved.