Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 In Review!

Well, 2012 is pretty much over! Here's what happened:

California Adventure finally got its crap together and became an actual vacation destination instead of "the park we hurry up and get out of the way so we can spend the bulk of our time at Disneyland." They opened Cars Land and Buena Vista Street! See?
Looking down the main drag of Cars Land

Red Car Trolley chugging down Buena Vista Street
Meanwhile, across the plaza, Disneyland's Matterhorn received new bobsleds. Gone is the lap-sitting and the days of trying to nonchalantly get an "accidental" boob graze chipping your teeth on the back of your girl's head because you thought it would be a good cuddle ride. Here are the days of single plastic seats and cracked ribs. I still see this as an improvement.
New sleds up front, old sleds in the back.
New Fantasyland concept art
Now we skip our happy asses across the country to Walt Disney World, where the big announcements this year consisted of adding benches to the Fantasmic show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and having a grand opening at the Magic Kingdom for a Fantasyland expansion that won't even be completed until 2014. But in all fairness, the new expansion looks great!
On a sad note, we did lose the atrociousness that was Mickey's Toon Town Fair (you know, two houses, a boat and some circus tents) to Dumbo's Circus (which is two elephants, a train, and some circus tents).

Over at Epcot, Test Track was down most of the year (yes it was scheduled) for a complete overhaul. The ride reopened to rave reviews and looks like it stepped right out of the world of Tron.
I'm glad Disney World management was able to pull off this redo of Test Track so well, but now they have some explaining to do to Test Track's neighbor, the old Wonders of Life pavilion that just sits as an empty shell. Epcot also introduced Agent P's World Showcase Adventure, basically the Kim Possible thing wearing a platypus tunic, but awesome and noteworthy.

Saturday, December 29, 2012


I love a good comic book. That’s right, I said it. I’m a 30 year old man, and I still read comic books…or Graphic Novels, which, by the way doesn't sound any less nerdy in the least. Comic books are great sources of fresh ideas for entertainment such as movies, and more movies, and in the case of Universal's Islands of Adventure, theme park rides. Comic books have made a Hulk-sized impact on the entertainment industry and if you deny this, Wolverine has nominated himself to gut you like a fish. Disney owns the rights to Marvel, we all know this, and a lot of people thought Disney would destroy comic books as we know it. This couldn't be further from the truth. Look at what Disney has done with Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Hulk. The Avengers movie was top-notch entertainment! Now just imagine what they could do if they implemented all of Marvel's greatness into a theme park. Yes, Universal already did that…sort of. They have the HULK coaster, and a Spider Man ride, but I've always felt that Disney could do so much more with it.

 Just imagine walking into a world where comic book characters are brought to life by Disney’s amazing animatronics. Imagine really feeling what its like to get stabbed with Wolverines claw…wait, too far, that would suck like a hoover. I just feel like Disney is in need of new stuff at their parks. They've just acquired the STAR WARS franchise, so they have more than enough material to work with to make an amazing new park. I say scrap the stupid AVATAR land, and go with some solid material that has proven to stay popular over the last few decades. Does anyone even remember Avatard? I just remember the blue guys, and that’s about it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yeah, That's a gem!

If you've wandered around any Disney park and hadn't noticed the little things, you're as brainless as Winnie the Pooh, all stuffed with fluff. There is so much more to Disney than just the rides. So much more than waiting in line to get your picture with the Big Cheese himself. Disney is so much more than just an amusement park, but you have to open your eyes a little more to see the lush history that engulfs you as soon as you set foot past the gates. I call these things the Gems of Disney, and my favorite one of all, happens to be in Pirates of the Caribbean!
 Since it’s opening in the spring of 1967 (I wasn't even alive then), Pirates quickly became the ride of the century. The animatronics were amazing and the catchy tune reverberates around the world! There’s so much detail in the ride that you have to go on it over and over again to try and see everything. I still see new stuff on it, but the thing I love seeing the most is the picture of the Red Headed pirate in the caves. Say what you will, she’s hot! Full of hotness!

 So why is this a gem? Well, not many know, but that painting is actually the original piece painted by famous Imagineer Marc Davis! It blows my mind every time I see it. It’s the original work of Marc Davis! He’s known for the females in Disney films such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Cruella DeVille, just to name a few. All of which are not as hot as the Red Headed vixen seen on the ride, especially Cruella…who looks like a meth whore. If you’re ever at Disneyland, or any other Disney park for that matter, and you're done with the rides, start looking for the “gems” of Disney through out the parks. Historical deliciousness is what I like to call it. Speaking of deliciousness, next time you're on Pirates, check out the painting, no wonder the pirates all chant “We Want the Red Head!”

I'm Bored So I'm Going to Make the Magic Kingdom Bigger

     I've been sitting at my computer staring at Google Earth over Disney World, drunk on jerky and eyes glazed over from a lack of blinking, and it hit me: gas. After a quick bathroom break, I had an epiphany! I can make the Magic Kingdom bigger! Is there a demand for it? No. Do we need it? Not really. Do I care? Not even a little bit. So here's what I would do:
An expertly drawn expansion
     If you've ever been to the Magic Kingdom, you know that the Big Thunder Mountain/Splash Mountain area is a murderous dead end. Two of the most popular E-ticket rides sit side-by-side and is an area that is difficult to get to, and mind numbing to get out of. Behind Splash Mountain to the west is a number of maintenance shops, parade storage buildings, and speakeasies. (And you though the Magic Kingdom was a dry park...) Beyond those buildings is a canal where they park the Electrical Water Pageant boats. (If you don't know what the Electrical Water Pageant is, it's something you don't seek out. You just happen upon it and say "Huh. That's neat.")
     My plan, as you can clearly see from the picture, is to simply cut and paste all the backstage buildings to the other side of the canal. Then that leaves a whole bunch of room around the back side of Splash Mountain for either another land, a Frontierland expansion, or some orange splotches. I went with the orange splotches, but I'm no Imagineer. And we're going to need those Imagineers, too, to put up some awesome fake scenery to cover the show buildings for Splash. There's also a drawbridge for the parade to cross the canal and the Water Pageant to get out in the evenings.
     The end result is a way to get rid the of soul-crushing dead end that currently stands in Frontierland, because there will be access all the way around Splash Mountain, and Disney can throw some more rides, restaurants, meet and greets, or shops back there. Either way, this will likely never happen. Where's my jerky?

Strange Mutineers Afoot at the Circle K

Dear readers: we are pleased to announce our newest mutineer and contributor. Some call him... Tim. Tim has written for some sporty college underwear blog and he has a pretty funny YouTube channel. He is a great addition to the mutiny! Also, look at the new and improved blog! It looks like we kind of know what we're doing now.  And on that note...Tell your friends and let the mutiny begin!!! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Jungle Snooze

     You know what I like? Paying a lot of money to go to a world famous vacation destination in central Florida and then receiving choices from said destination. Choices like churros or pretzels? Monorail or ferry? Plastic hippos or real hippos?


     Yeah. That's where I'm going. Why does the Jungle Cruise still exist in the Magic Kingdom, when 3.89 miles away (as the singing crows from Dumbo flies) you can see all the exact same animals at Animal Kingdom? Except the ones at Animal Kingdom are real, while the Jungle Cruise animals are real plastic. Now, I know what you're going to say, "But Jake, I have a gluten allergy and I need to find a recipe for cinnamon rolls!" To which I would say, you are clearly at the wrong blog. We're discussing Real vs. Fake Disney animals here, and godspeed in your endeavors.
     But in case plastic animals are not hip enough for your Jungle Cruise jazz, you also get a script of hacky jokes and one-liners. But don't worry! Unlike the Cruise skippers in Anaheim, the Magic Kingdom skippers are forced to stick to the same predetermined jokes, so they never get to stretch out and expand their material.
     So why are we keeping the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise around? Disneyland needs theirs. They don't have real animals wandering around except for the feral cats. (And how awesome would a Feral Cat Cruise be?) Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise is sitting on prime real estate big enough for maybe 2 E-tickets or a whole slough of gift shops and meet-n-greets. You'd think Disney World management would've noticed the latter by now. I don't have the answer on what should be put there, but if anyone actually misses the plastic animals, they will have to settle for their real life counterparts across the Disney World property, and I have no sympathy for you at all.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yo ho, yo ho it's a car life for me!

If there are two things I like, it's cars and Disney.
And women.
Ok, if there are three things I like, it's car's, Disney, and women.
And food.
Alright, if there are four things I like, it's cars, Disney, women, and food.
Will you stop that?

So, all that being said, I was rather skeptical about the new Test Track at Walt Disney World.  After watching a couple of long YouTube video of the queue, ride and exit area I have to say I am not so skeptical.
The entrance queue is way less cluttered and I like that. I also didn't notice any tools lying about. I like that too. Maybe that is just because I am a helicopter mechanic and tool control is important to me, but, I think it is mostly because I don't wanna see tools when I am on vacation.
So the car design thing is nothing more than a gimmicky time killer. It would be so fun to build a car and "test" the performance of said car.
Or truck.
Or truck. I thought you left. Anyhow. Back to it. And no more Python-esque interruptions.
The ride itself has a total new feel to it, even though it uses the same track. The futuristic Tron-like world is pretty damned breathtaking if I must say.
So the performance spec numbers after are eye wash. Big deal. It's fun, it applies to the kid in me, it's not pirates or princesses, and it seems like it may be leaning toward edutainment!   But, sadly, I have a little over a year before I can plop my ass in the proverbial drivers seat of this thing.  So expect more on this.

Josh out.