September 30, 2012

WDW 1993: World of Motion

World Motion Epcot ride velocipede bike dog Walt Disney World 1993
In this installment of WDW 1993, we're back in Epcot for a look at World of Motion, one of four grand, high-capacity omnimover-style attractions operating in Future World back then -- and that's not even counting the Living Seas' seacabs!
World Motion Blacksmith horse Epcot Walt Disney World 1993
Our group loved World of Motion's humorous approach to edutainment. In the tradition of classic Disney cartoon shorts, a mock-serious narrator (Gary Owens this time) gave a calm, jovial tour through the history of transportation, completely unaware of the chaos breaking out in the scenes he was describing.
Cop Policeman World Motion Epcot Walt Disney World 1993 chickens
World of Motion was a shutterbug tourist's dream, and so there are many photos on the internet of this attraction's inhabitants. My paltry collection can't compare to the amazing wealth of shots found in Disney Tourist Blog's tribute, so be sure to check it out if you haven't already. The above scene is certainly well-documented, but the world can't have enough chickens, so here's my shot of the ruckus.
Horse cars famer chickens World Motion Epcot Disney World 1993
Another view reveals one of my favorite gags: Manhole Guy With Vegetable on Head.

World of Motion was an incredibly good-natured adventure the whole family truly could experience together. It also had the catchy theme song, "It's Fun to be Free." Long before our trip, I'd memorized that song via the great original Music of Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Epcot Center CD (odd title, considering Epcot is part of WDW). Based on the song alone, World of Motion was a "Must-See" on that first trip, and it did not disappoint.

More WDW 1993 coming soon.

September 29, 2012

Paradise Pier Before the Makeover

Old Paradise Pier Orange Stinger Maliboomer DCA
Way back before the Cozy Cones existed in Cars Land, Disney California Adventure harbored another bright orange landmark. But this one didn't serve Chili Cone Queso. Epcot has Spaceship Earth, but DCA had the Orange Stinger. Insert sad trombone music here.

And right next door, you can see the now-gone towers of the Maliboomer ride, which was supposed to resemble a gigantic test-of-strength mallet game. For some strange reason, that end of Paradise Pier had a "giant" theme going on, as it also hosted the giant hamburger UFO at the long-gone McDonald's Burger Invasion (barely visible on the left there).

Appearances aside, the problem with Orange Stinger was that it contained a circular swing ride, and the ride's views were mostly blocked by the surrounding orange peel. The experience felt like spinning around inside a dockside warehouse.

Maliboomer was a fun, scary ride, but it looked tacky and too modern for the Pier's theme.

In 2012's DCA, Orange Stinger has become the open-air Silly Symphony Swings and the Maliboomer's given way to...some planters. The removal of both original structures has greatly improved the believability of Paradise Pier's old-time boardwalk atmosphere.

September 28, 2012

An Abominable Footprint

Abominable Snowman Footprint Disneyland Matterhorn
While strolling around the perimeter of Disneyland's Matterhorn, you're bound to come across this footprint casting that appeared in 1978 as the Matterhorn re-opened after a lengthy refurbishment.

The remodeling turned the mountain's interior (which previously had been one big open space with minimally-decorated beams, stairs and framework) into a maze of artificial ice caverns. The original single bobsleds were redesigned and coupled into two-car trains.

Best of all, the Abominable Snowman (unofficially dubbed "Harold") moved in, turning the unique roller coaster into a full-fledged Fantasyland adventure.

The footprint, with it's cartoon-like stylization, perfectly captures the spirit of the mountain's sole inhabitant (there are three abominable snowman figures on the ride, but they all represent the same guy pursuing you down the mountain). Unlike the Yeti in Animal Kingdom, which was designed to appear as much like a realistic beast as possible, Harold looks like a monster from a storybook -- a really good, scary storybook.

If fact, he'd look right at home stomping around Fantasyland looking fierce and reluctantly signing autographs. Come to think of it, why hasn't he ever appeared as a walk-around character?

September 27, 2012

WDW 1993: Splash Mountain Signage & Statues

Wanted Poster Splash Mountain Mtn. Disney World
We're temporarily moving from Epcot to the Magic Kingdom for this bit of our 1993 tour, to check out a few wonderful exterior details around Splash Mountain. All these elements are still present in 2012, but fans may be able to spot the differences between then and now.
Statue Splash Mountain Mtn Brer Disney World
Here's the statue of Brer Fox, Brer Bear and Brer Rabbit as it appeared in '93, with a natural-looking finish.
Signpost Sign Post Brer Rabbit Disney World
And Brer Rabbit looks for adventure atop one of the best signposts on earth.

We've discussed before which resort's Splash Mountain we find superior (Spoiler: It's WDW's). More focused storytelling was one factor that swung the vote.

I wish we'd spent more time in the Magic Kingdom back in '93. In our defense, though, this group of Disneyland regulars just couldn't stay away from Epcot for more than half a day!

More from 1993 WDW soon!

September 26, 2012

Pandora or Pandaria -- A Warcraft What-if For Disney's Animal Kingdom

Warcraft Pandaria Disney World Animal Kingdom
I've previously suggested Disneyland should bring their Kingdom Hearts game world into Fantasyland. Here's another perfect park-game matchup: Disney's Animal Kingdom and World of Warcraft's new online realm, Pandaria. This is not to be confused, of course, with Avatar's Pandora.

Screamin', Swingin' and Waiting for Corn Dogs

California Screamin' DCA Mickey's Fun Wheel coaster Disney
You trek from Cars Land to Corn Dog Castle, only to remember your favorite Paradise Pier food stand doesn't open until 11:00. What do you do? You take pictures! This end of California Screamin' doesn't get much photo-love, but that banked, swoopy twist is one of the best parts of the ride.

This early in the morning, nearly everyone's in Cars Land, leaving Paradise Pier full of wide open walkways and very short lines. In true Anaheim weather fashion, those clouds will soon give way to blue skies and bright sunshine -- just in time for corn dogs!

September 25, 2012

WDW 1993: Cranium Command

Cranium Command entry mural Epcot 1993 Wonders of Life
1993 marked my Disneyland-lovin' west coast family's first trip to Walt Disney World. Like any good Disney fans back then, we'd read our Birnbaum and Unofficial Guide. We had a mere four full days to see as much as possible.

When our touring brought us to the Wonders of Life Pavilion, I expected Body Wars to be my favorite attraction there. I enjoyed the simulator, and nearly passed up the pavilion's second-biggest star, Cranium Command -- then I remembered a friend back home had recommended it.

I'm forever grateful for my friend's advice; Cranium Command turned out to be the single best, funniest and most ingenious show I've ever seen in any Disney park, and one of my top three favorite attractions in all of Walt Disney World.
Cranium Command recruitment poster Epcot 1993 Wonders
The hilarious first-act "induction" movie knocked me out with its great character animation and Monty-Python edge as it introduced rookie brain pilot Buzzy and the non-stop blustery shouting of General Knowledge. The General truly made this show awesome; I can't think of any other Disney attraction in which a character loudly calls the audience "meatheads" and "miserable toads." He, of course, also shouted the immortal words, "Where do you think you are, Disney World?!?"

This fast-paced masterpiece intro was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, who became superstar animation directors with their very next film, Beauty and the Beast.

The General's banter continued as guests entered the main theater ("Are you waiting for your mamas to seat you?!?") It didn't take long for guests to realize the theater represented the inside of a boy's head, with forward screens functioning as the eyes. Cranium Commando Buzzy, now in audioanimatronic form, tried to guide his assigned human through a  disastrous day while managing and directing the heart, stomach, left/right brain, adrenal gland and bladder, played by 80's-90's era  celebrities such as  George Wendt, Jon Lovitz, Charles Grodin, Bobcat Goldthwait and Dana Carvey, all providing frantic input via video screens.

Everything worked, and the show flew by with the intensity of a great ride. The comedy was brilliant, and both stories -- Buzzy's quest to be a good brain pilot and the human boy's extremely bad day at school -- all came together (via surprisingly kind advice from General Knowledge) for a completely satisfying, uplifting conclusion. I saw the show a half-dozen times during our trip, and the audience cheered loudly at the conclusion each time.

Essentially, Cranium Command presented an entire feature film's worth of plot, characterization and comedy within its 17 minute running time, staged in a unique and ingenious theater. It's a pity the show couldn't remain in Epcot forever. The one element that wouldn't age well  -- the celebrity cameos -- could have easily been swapped out with new guest stars. The story itself was timeless.

I vote for Cranium Command as the best non-ride Disney park attraction of all time. Any other Buzzy & Knowledge fans out there?

September 24, 2012

Fish Heads & Crumbs #5: Cozy Con

It's Monday, and the crew's in Cars Land. What could possibly go wrong?
Fish Heads Crumbs Walrus comic 5 Cozy Cones Mouse Troop
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After Hours: Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates Caribbean night dark entry closing Disneyland
Here's one Disneyland tip to remember: enter Pirates of the Caribbean one minute before closing. You just might get a boat to yourself (and have empty boats ahead and behind). Twenty minutes later, you'll exit into a strangely deserted and wonderfully dark, quiet incarnation of New Orleans Square, Frontierland and Adventureland.

The simple, quiet fun of seeing Disneyland after closing, if only for a wonderful few minutes, makes staying past midnight worthwhile despite aching feet and heavy eyelids.
Pirates Caribbean entry Disneyland dark night after closing
The entry to Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean is secretive and understated to begin with; after closing it's absolutely poker-faced. A first-timer could mistake the place for a shop or restaurant. Who would guess these simple doors lead to a moonlit bayou and the most epic-length theme park ride on Earth?

I think a lot of life-long Disney fans get hooked during quiet moments like this.

September 22, 2012

WDW 1993: Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride WDW Walt Disney World
I love Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and I'm very glad I got a chance to ride both tracks of the Walt Disney World version several times before it went away.

Why is a Disneyland-centric website posting this? Well, I just found all the photos from Mouse Troop's 1993 Walt Disney World trip. I think fans on both coasts might enjoy some views of World of Motion, Cranium Command, the original Journey Into Imagination and a lot of other wonderful attractions as they existed back then.

Look for Walt Disney World 1993 popping up a couple of times a week on Mouse Troop. These photos bring back some incredible memories for us; we hope you'll enjoy them.

By the way, of the two Mr. Toad tracks, the one with the farm, the weasels and the cops was my favorite.

Classic Ride Review: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Disneyland ride clams
Disneyland's original 1959 Submarine Voyage closed in 1998, leaving Tomorrowland's wonderful lagoon sub-less for years. Finally, in 2007, the attraction reopened after extensive remodeling as the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.

Guests descend a steep metal staircase to take a seat below water level in one of Disneyland's famous submarines to view the aquatic world through a porthole. As the cabin lights dim, the vehicle leaves the dock, cruising smoothly through the spectacular flora and fauna of the outdoor lagoon. The sights here are all solid, physical fabrications -- basic but effective. This section of the journey plays out very much like the start of the original 1959 ride, with a few Finding Nemo touches blended in to ease the transition from naturalistic sealife to fantasy world.

The subs pass through a waterfall into the indoor section of the ride, and everything quickly gets more colorful, more story-driven and more animated. Nemo has swum off on an adventure, and you give chase with Marlin and Dory through encounters with other characters from the Pixar film, including sea turtles, sharks, jellyfish, scary angler fish and whales.

Some fans bemoan the change, claiming the original ride was much better. I say it's all a matter of taste. The old version was a classic 1950's/1960's-style Disney adventure with fairly impressive mechanical effects, including mermaids, toppling stone columns and a lovable sea serpent. You could see the strings and rods, but it was still fun. The new ride--once inside the show building--relies heavily on high-def animation, trading huge sets for a more intimate, character-driven experience. It's funny, colorful and spectacular. As cute as the whale finale is, however, I think if they brought back the old sea serpent near the ending (not just the serpent tribute the Imagineers included in the rockwork), both camps would be satisfied.

A classic reborn for a new generation, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage blends old and new into a fun, beautiful adventure. It's not the most thrilling ride in the park, but the subs themselves make the experience unique. Well worth checking out if the wait is twenty minutes or less.

WARNINGS: You will be spending about fifteen minutes--possibly longer--sitting in a tightly-packed, dark chamber, though air jets beneath each porthole help keep it from feeling claustrophobic. One particular scene may frighten small children.

September 21, 2012

Mater & the Tower of Terror

Mater Cars Land Carsland Tower Terror DCA Disney
Our favorite tow truck heads for the Twilight Zone!

Mater, fresh from a half hour of meetin' n' greetin', rumbles out of Cars Land along Cross Street under the watchful eye of his bodyguard entourage. He looks like he's aiming for a ride on Tower of Terror.

Actually, he'll soon take a right turn backstage. Although Tow Mater and Lightning McQueen usually enter and exit Cars Land by driving past Radiator Springs Racers, that ride's overflow queue can turn the road into a tight squeeze for automoblies. On those busiest days, the car celebs vamoose along this less-congested detour.

September 20, 2012

Stuck on the Nemo Subs

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Disneyland sub subs stuck stranded fish
Have you ever been stuck on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage during a moment of technical difficulities, staring at the same big, ugly fish for fifteen minutes? We have.

We named him Blarg the Magnificent.

Fortunately, once the ride resumed, we had a smooth, Nemo-full adventure with everything working perfectly...until the end, when something else happened just shy of the docks and we had to wait another fifteen minutes. We got to listen to "Beyond the Sea" over and over again.

Bottom line: even though this ate up our "Extra Magic Hour" morning, we all disembarked in a good mood. If we must get stuck somewhere, may it always be in a submarine at Disneyland rather than out in freeway traffic in the "normal" world.

September 19, 2012

Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is About to Get Comfier

Mater's Mater Junkyard Jamboree ride Cars Land Carsland
As further proof that Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is not a "kiddy" ride, Disney has recently added non-slip surfacing to the vehicle seats of this Cars Land attraction, while padding is to be installed in October.

Although I, personally, loved being flung across the bench seat and playing who's-scrunching-who with my co-rider as the trailers swung wildly around the course, I can see how some riders might appreciate a slightly more comfortable experience.

I'll miss this ride's original slip-slidey benches, but the thrill provided by the trailers' intense whipping motions remains intact. The amusement industry describes non-coaster thrill rides like the Jamboree and the Mad Tea Party (and Tilt-a-Whirls and Scramblers) as "flat rides." Mater's Junkyard Jamboree remains the funniest and most thrilling flat ride in the Disney park lineup.

September 18, 2012

Waiting For Peter Pan

Peter Pan's Flight Disneyland ride waiting line queue
According to the classic film, flying to Neverland is easy; it just requires happy thoughts and pixie dust. Flying to Neverland at Disneyland, however, simply requires patience. Lots of Patience.

Peter Pan's Flight has been a favorite of Disneyland guests since 1955, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. Early morning arrival is the only reliable way to catch this classic ride without a hefty wait; guests flock to the flying pirate ships right up until park closing, no matter how late.

For many, including myself, no trip to Disneyland is complete without a flight through this masterpiece.

September 17, 2012

Fish Heads & Crumbs #4 - How Not To Do a Podcast

Today's weekly episode finds our podcast crew in hot water at Disneyland. This is actually an above-average day for these three.
Fish Heads Crumbs Walrus Comic 4 Troop submarine Disneyland
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Heading Up Grizzly Peak

Grizzly River Run lift hill water wheel DCA Disney California
A raft heads for the upper reaches of Grizzly Peak, on course for a date with waterfalls, mine shafts, and the wildest rapids in Anaheim.

Disney California Adventure received a lot of well-deserved criticism when it first opened in 2001, but nearly everyone agreed that Grizzly River Run was a first-rate attraction. For years, it stood as an oasis of great theming and landscaping, showing just how beautiful the rest of DCA could be with a proper budget.

It took eleven years, but the rest of the park has finally caught up.

September 16, 2012

TIme Machine: The Wrecked Nature's Wonderland Mine Train

Mine Train Nature's Wonderland Tribute Disneyland Rivers wreck
In 2007, when this shot was taken, a trip around Disneyland's Rivers of America included a view of this wonderful old Mine Train from the park's early years.

As a tribute to the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (removed to make way for Big Thunder), this beautiful old MTTNW locomotive was set up  as though wrecked in a rockslide along one of the original ride's stretches of railroad track.

Little mechanized marmots (a species of ground squirrel) would pop up among the rocks in the mine cars, referencing a gag from the old ride.

The mine train tribute was removed during the recent refurbishment of Rivers of America, as new scenery was put in place to truly turn the river into a tour of America's greatest waterways.

September 15, 2012

A Misty Morning at Radiator Springs Racers

Radiator Springs Racers queue single Oasis
It's early morning in Stanley's Oasis at Radiator Springs Racers. The Cadillac mountain range looks mighty mysterious with a light mist drifting across the fantasy desert-scape.

We're about ten minutes from boarding, looking back along the Single Rider line (an RS Racers fan's best friend!) That's the Fast Pass queue to the left, with the Standby multitude offscreen on the other side of the water tower. All three queues are wheelchair accessible, and all three serenade guests with a soundtrack of the quirkiest, most wonderful old-time songs (all relating to cars) we've ever heard.

I've scanned that rock wall on the right time and time again for Hidden Mickeys. No luck.

September 14, 2012

Cheshire Cat Guidance

Cheshire Cat Disneyland Alice In Wonderland ride
If you're lost, wandering around Fantasyland's borders, the Cheshire Cat's more than eager to point you toward the entrance to the Alice in Wonderland dark ride several yards away.

You'll be seeing a lot more of him inside the attraction, as he appears five times during the ride itself...although sometimes he's not quite "all there."

But beware. Just like in the animated classic, he has ulterior motives here; he loves any chance he can get to tick off the Queen of Hearts!

September 13, 2012

Cars Land's Trash is....Magical?

Cars Land Trash Bin Garbage Custodian Custodial
Nothing in Cars Land is completely normal or ordinary. The custodial cast members were very patient and understanding when I geeked out and started snapping pictures of their wonderful, wonderful trash bin before it got wheeled away backstage.

And...of course, that's the correct yellow-on-black color scheme for 1960's California license plates.

Okay, I'll stop talking now.

September 12, 2012

Goofy Greetings at the Paradise Pier Hotel

Goofy statue Paradise Pier Hotel lobby
When entering the Paradise Pier Hotel, you can't miss this wonderful statue of Surfer Goofy. It's the only major Disney character reference in sight, but it's enough to get the point across. The Goof looks comically surreal in the otherwise bright-but-businesslike seaside resort-themed lobby.
Goofy statue Paradise Pier Hotel Disneyland surf
Of course, you won't be doing any actual surfing at the resort, but the hotel pool features a fun coaster-themed water slide.

September 11, 2012

Mr. Toad's Wild Weather Vane

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Disneyland Weather Vand
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland. The weather vane high atop Toad Hall gets my vote for the single best little detail in all of the resort.

With one simple silhouette, the artist perfectly captures the spirit of the ride, the character, the Disney film (The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad) and even the source material, The Wind in the Willows. Most of the tale's riverbank citizens resent the intrusion of noisy machines into their peaceful lives, but J. Thadeus Toad eagerly grabs hold of new thrills and takes off, merrily on his way with no thought of consequences.

Either this vane wistfully represents the passing of a simpler era...

Or it's just a great prop on the only ride that turns a train collision and trip to hell into a jolly good time.

September 10, 2012

Fish Heads & Crumbs #3: Podcast Problem

Happy Monday! A.W. invades the site again...

Fish Heads Crumbs walrus comic 3 podcast
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Disneyland's Haunted Mansion Vs. Walt Disney World's

Haunted Mansion Disneyland New Orleans Square
The Haunted Mansion recently closed for its annual Nightmare-Before-Christmas overlay, so here's one last look at HM Classic before Haunted Mansion Holiday opens on September 14th.

I love both the California and Florida Haunted Mansions. Although the rides are mostly identical, each has its own touches. If pressed, I'd say the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion gives a slightly superior experience. The exterior looks more foreboding, and the ride includes a couple of brief, wonderful scenes not found in Disneyland.

Yet there are elements of Disneyland's HM that I prefer. I like entering through the front of the building. I like the fact that the stretching room floor goes down here, as opposed to the ceiling rising in Florida -- it just feels creepier knowing you're descending away from the "living" world. I like walking through the hall of paintings.

And, of course, I grew up with this version and it will always feel like "my" Haunted Mansion. I'm sure Walt Disney World fans feel the same way about their awesome mansion ride.

September 9, 2012

Cozy Cone's Consistent Kookiness

Cozy Cone Motel Cones Cars Land
The best thing about Cars Land's Cozy Cone Motel (besides the food) is just how crazily far the sight gag is taken. If the food stands themselves had been the only cone-shaped elements, the place would have been merely cute. But the theme keeps going...and going...through the entire courtyard and beyond.

It's fun to take family and friends into this life-size hidden-picture puzzle for the first time (everyone seems to want to try the Chili Cone Queso) and watch their reaction as they focus on the unfolding layers of cone detail. They tend to say things like, "I...don't...believe...this..." Usually it's accompanied by a big smile. It helps if they like the color orange.

Considering the huge popularity of the Cone Drinking Cups, I wouldn't be surprised if Disney eventually adds a (cone-shaped) souvenir stand to the grounds, offering more (cone-shaped) wares. Personally, I'd love to buy one of those planters near the windows.

September 7, 2012

Dapper Dans Make Beautiful Music With...Those Things

Disneyland Dapper Dans Deagan Organ Chimes
In honor of Dapper Day (last night at Disneyland, tonight at Walt Disney World), let's spend a moment with Disneyland's witty and energetic barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans! We've arrived just as they've broken out those...those cool-sounding chiming instrument thingies. (Checks Google). Ah! Deagan Organ Chimes!

Could anything feel more wonderfully "Main Street" than watching these terrific singers? How about watching them sing "It's a Small World?" How about watching them sing "It's a Small World" while doing the robot and playing the Deagan Organ Chimes?

And now I wish Disneyland actually sold Deagan Organ Chimes, with a first lesson provided by the Dapper Dans. I can picture families and fan groups really getting into the idea -- imagine the musical possibilities for next year's Dapper Day!

Luigi's Flying Tires: Better Without the Beach Balls?

Luigi's Flying Tires beach balls Cars Land Disney
We're standing on the Cross Street side of Luigi's Flying Tires, watching one of the ride's last nights operating with the beach balls. The cheerful Italian Flag-colored bonking spheres were recently removed, reportedly to help accelerate the load times.

Although I loved the added color, I won't miss the beach toys; they distracted nearly every rider into treating the ride like a goofy dodgeball game. Battle-crazed guests tend to ignore the most wondrous part of the whole experience: you're flying!

Okay -- technically, you're hovering...or floating...but it's still amazing. Some online critics feel this mellow non-thrill ride's not worth waiting in line for, but I disagree. Luigi's Flying Tires gives you a chance to pilot your own private hovercraft. When you get your tire scooting across the floor, it feels like surfing on air -- and I can't get that sensation from any other ride on Earth. It's a true one-of-a-kind, magical experience.

September 6, 2012

Darker Than You Think: Pinocchio's Daring Journey

Pincocchio ride Pinocchio's Daring Journey Disneyland
I love the whimsical puppet theater exterior of Pinocchio's Daring Journey at Disneyland. Yet this 1983 dark ride is a lot spookier than it appears from outside. If you've seen the classic film, you know why.

My family witnessed a little scene while waiting in line. A nervous little girl asked her father, "What's going to happen on this ride?"

"Happen?" snapped the Dad, confused by the question. "Yer gonna see Pinocchio!" The girl was not reassured; clearly, she (unlike her pop) knew the story.

Yes, folks, "Yer gonna see Pinocchio." Yer also gonna get locked in a cage by Stromboli, stumble down Tobacco Row, watch kids turn into donkeys, nearly get shoved into a crate, and get attacked by Monstro the Whale, all while Jiminy Cricket yells, "Look out!" and "You're going the wrong way!"

I love this ride, but -- similar to what happens with Snow White's Scary Adventures -- parents should remember that Disney dark rides reflect their source material quite well, and Pinocchio's journey is loaded with villains, threats and narrow escapes. Just as with all good films and rides, the happy ending must be earned.

September 5, 2012

Radiator Springs Highway Poetry

Radiator Racers Cars Land signs Rust-eze
Mind your speed as you go.
Sheriff's old, but he's not slow.
                            -- Rust-eze

In a tribute to the old Burma-Shave poetry signs that once dotted Route 66, Cars Land includes short poems for guests to discover if they enter or exit Carburetor County via the Pacific Wharf route. The signs replicate the originals' white-on-red color scheme and six-sign sequence.

These nostalgic ads are, of course, presented by Lightning McQueen's official sponsor, Rust-eze Medicated Bumper Ointment.

If I'm not mistaken, these verses also appear in the Cars wing of Walt Disney World's new Art of Animation Resort.

September 4, 2012

Mr. Potato Head Works the Crowd

Mr. Potato Head Disney California Toy Story Mania
Entering Toy Story Midway Mania requires a stroll past the watchful and witty Mr. Potato Head, Paradise Pier's number one (and only) sideshow barker.

While the Florida version of the ride uses its queue to make guests feel they've shrunk to toy size, California's Midway Mania queue enlarges the Toy Story world to blend in with an early-twentieth-century boardwalk.

On both coasts, riders are treated to one of the most amazing interactive adventures in theme park history.

September 3, 2012

Fish Heads & Crumbs #2

Happy Labor Day! And, just as we warned last week, Mondays at Mouse Troop are now also Walrus Days.
Fish Heads Crumbs Walrus comic 2 Mouse Troop

Our Amazing, Tiny Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle Disneyland hub Plaza trees
Sleeping Beauty Castle appears to be struggling to make itself seen over Disneyland's Plaza treetops -- and those aren't exactly giant sequoias.

It's time we embrace the nearly-huggable modest height of SBC. Not only is it charming, but there's not an inch of wasted space; that structure houses five dark rides and a walk-through attraction. It's the workhorse of make-believe palaces.

Florida's castle is grand. California's is flat-out adorable. Both are awesome.

September 2, 2012

Time Machine: The Mark Twain Dressed for the 50th

We're hopping back to 2005 this time, just to sit at the Hungry Bear Restaurant and watch the Mark Twain chug by in its Fiftieth Birthday finery.
This picture was taken well into Disneyland's celebration year, and the bunting on the Twain's prow looks a bit rumpled, but that's all right.  It's still a beautiful, steam-powered marvel.

September 1, 2012

Toontown Skyline

Mickey's Toontown Disneyland Downtown
Happy Labor Day Weekend, everyone! In downtown Toontown, there seems to be no holiday rest for the workers at the Toontown Post Office, Fire Station, Fireworks Factory (seen in side view here), or Gag Warehouse. Things just keep right on clanging, barking, honking and booming along!

Of all the lands in Disneyland, Toontown seems to be the one designed specifically to cut a great silhouette against the blue Southern California sky.