A couple of weeks ago, one of my fine readers (as opposed to some of the coarse readers) posted about construction all over Kilimanjaro Safaris. He wrote:
"Speaking of Safaris, with you in mind I rode it the other day and noted that there was a giant gate poking out of the water between us and the rhinos. There was also lots of construction above the hippos, these green wall things above where the crocodiles usually are (but weren't there), this giant fake wooden wall thing on the big field part, brown fabric between us and the elephants and construction equipment near the flamingos. It really makes you feel like you're in the African wilderness!"
I promised to find out what was going on. So, of course, I got right on that. But as we all know, to Disney, a year is as a day, or a day is as a year, or something. Fool me once... ya can't get fooled again. Anyway. The point is, I kind of dawdled, and I'm just getting back to him.
I'm friends with the lions over at Safaris. Like me, they sort of hang around motionless all day while people ride by, so we have a lot to talk about. I'm thinking of getting them a strobe light for Christmas, actually.
According to them, a lot of the visible walls and stuff have been due to the recent addition of something called "addax" to the safari. Addax, as you know, are basically just like deer, except they're great with numbers. Everyone is really excited to have them around; children everywhere are begging their parents to take them to Disney World so they can ride the safari and see the addax. Move over, elephants and giraffes. There's a new popular kid in town. (No, seriously, move over. You're blocking my view.)
Okay, much of that isn't true. But the addax are endangered, and for all the teasing that I give Disney on this blog, one thing DAK does well is give you a chance to experience rare animals in their natural(ish) habitats. Well, except the tigers and gorillas, who live in glass houses and throw poo instead of stones. So I support the added addition of addax. Plus, I'm told, they're much more even-tempered than zebras.
The lions were trying to explain to me why all that fabric was put up, because apparently it has to do with getting the addax used to their areas for their safety, but I never got to hear the end of the conversation because lions are kind of lazy and they never finish their thought. Which reminds me of something I was going to write about, but I'll tell you later.
I did learn a few other tidbits of information, though. Apparently the safari trucks recently started making stops along the route so that guests could take pictures, and this is making the guests really happy. (In the past, you had to take the pictures while the truck was moving, with the result that every animal ended up looking like a blurry yeti. Then you could go home and people would accuse you of making your Disney trip up.) This is increasing showtimes slightly, so that the ride now actually is a 2 week safari, but no one seems to mind. It's still shorter than Ellen's Energy Adventure.
Also, you know that bridge that's supposed to "break" as your truck drives over it? Well, it's called "tilting bridge" by those in the know (or "quilting bridge" - lions have an accent so I'm not really sure), and apparently it's been broken now for a really long time and is showing no signs of being fixed.
Maybe I'll buy the bridge a Christmas strobe light, too.
Anyway, that's the news from Kilimanjaro Safaris. Oh, yeah, they are building something there, too. I'm pretty sure it's a DVC kiosk. You know, best kept secret and all that. Shhhhh.
Well folks, it's happened.
Last week, my cousin Harold snuck into the mountain after hours, and presented me with the best Halloweenukkah present ever: a jailbreak!
He baked me a disco yeti cake, and hidden inside were a nail file, plane tickets, and passes to Disneyland. Isn't that awesome?
(Okay, for future reference, it would have been nice if he had told me about the file before I took a big bite. Also, a larger file might have been slightly more helpful. But hey, it's the thought that counts, and now my nails look spectacular.)
As you may already know, Harold works at Disneyland; he's the cheesy-looking (hope he's not reading this) yeti you encounter on the Matterhorn Bobsleds. He doesn't move or do anything interesting, really, so he was the perfect replacement for me in my current state. He stayed here in Florida and I took his place out in California. It was just like The Parent Trap. Or Freaky Friday. Or something. Anyway, no one seemed to notice, and I got to spend a week in a totally new environment—one where show is king, castles are tiny, and people eat inside the rides. (It's so weird.)
Now that I've figured out I can travel without getting caught, I just might do this more often. It'll give me a lot more to blog about; that's for sure.
As you may know, Disneyland was built by Walt himself. According to the Disney promotional materials I've seen, he built it with his bare hands, using only pixie dust and the sheer power of his superhuman brilliance. After Walt's death, WDW was "inspired by" Disneyland, much like blockbuster films are "inspired by" actual events: take what really happened, change it all around, and make it bigger. And you know, it gives Disneyland this special magic as the place where it all started.
But then Disneyland got a little jealous, because her sister had four parks and she only had one. So the Disney execs and suits and bigwigs and head honchos and VIPs all got together to dream up what thrilling theme they could give to a second park.
"It needs to be something truly magical," they said. "Something that takes Californians to fantastic new worlds, like the sci-fi future of Tomorrowland, the wild west of Frontierland, or the storybook worlds of Fantasyland. Some place truly unique, an experience only Disney could provide."
"Or we could theme it to a California amusement park."
"That works. Who's ready for lunch?"
And so Disney's California Adventure, or as I like to call it, West Chester and Hester's, was born.
Here's some fantastic newsreel footage from opening day that I uncovered on the internets. Watch it and learn, because I have many stories to tell you of my time in California and the secrets I've learned about Disney's plans for California. Stay tuned!
A couple of days ago, I wrote about the changes coming to the new Star Tours ride, including a C-3PO with special features modeled after me. If you haven't read that post yet, click here to read it first. Then come back here for the update.
It's okay, I'll wait.
That means you too, sir. Yes, you.
What, you think the rules don't apply to you? You sit in the middle of the row for Mickey's Philharmagic too, don't you. Yeah, I thought so. Go on, now, all the way to the end of the row and read the post. That's it.
Okay, if you're still reading this, I assume you either have already read my post about C-3PO, or you're so stubborn that there's probably a high-level management position for you.
Anyway, in response to that post, one of my beautiful readers wrote the following comment. (I infer that he/she is beautiful from the fact that he/she didn't upload a picture, probably because she/he is afraid that his/her stunning beauty would be too much of a distraction. Also, she/he really should have mentioned what his/her gender is, because these he/she things are annoying/irritating.)
And I quote:
"I just found out I'm coming to visit you in January! Can't wait to get a pic in front of your humble abode with my t-shirt.
Are there any plans to add the new B Mode feature to other rides? How about POTC?"
Well, Anonymous Beautiful Reader, I'm glad you asked!
Yes, in fact, my sources tell me that given Everest's success, there are now plans to implement B modes in attractions all over the parks. A few of the ideas being batted around now:
- On Pirates of the Caribbean, when an animatronic fails, they'll cover it with a cardboard cutout of Johnny Depp, lit by strobe lights. (As I understand it, they have two cutouts of Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow; after that, they start using cutouts of him as The Mad Hatter.)
- In The Hall of Presidents, if one of the presidents fails, they'll cover him with a cardboard cutout of Johnny Depp, lit by strobe lights.
- On The Great Movie Ride, if one of the animatronics fails, they'll flash strobe lights on you, and shout "Ahhh! Paparazzi!" (A request by cast members to break into a Lady Gaga song at that point has been vetoed.)
- On The Carousel of Progress, if something fails, they'll just replay that scene for you over and over again until it works, doggone it.
- On Spaceship Earth, if the effects for the final descent fail, they'll simply distract you with a computer touchscreen and an Esurance commercial. (Oh, wait.)
- On Stitch's Great Escape, if Stitch's entertainment value fails, they'll simply pump a bad smell into the room to distract everyone. (Okay, I might be looking at old plans here.)
- In Norway, if the film at the end of the ride fails, they'll simply hold you at the unload area forever and NEVER LET YOU LEAVE. You will become an official prisoner of the country of Norway.
So as you can see, there are lots of plans cooking for fantastic new B modes for anytime something goes wrong. With these in place, Disney shouldn't ever have to fix anything ever. Just think of all the money they'll save!
I'm sure they'll pass the savings on to you.
The Disco Yeti
P.S. Be sure to send me the pics of you in the shirt in front of Everest, and I'll post them for everyone to see. It will make you way cooler. I promise.