Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Great Gags-O-Plenty

Hey everyone! I'm back, and BETTER than ever... Okay, so not really, but it's my turn to take the helm and post something awesome about Disney! I had to give this some thought because to me, everything about Disney is awesome, except for the Country Bears movie. That one can rot in hell. And most things on the Disney Channel. Those can also rot. And The Haunted Mansion Movie... Okay, you know what? Most things about Disney are awesome. Disney parks have a lot to offer for entertainment. As we all know, they also offer a few fun gags in there parks. "Gags"? Yes, you know, like jokes, silly stuff, fun stuff, stuff that makes you laugh out loud! The best place to go for these types of gags is none other than TOONTOWN.
See? There's an entire warehouse full of gags!
Gags, and generic Disneyland merchandise. But still... 


I feel that Toontown is one of those areas in Disneyland that seems a little underrated. For one, it has two really fun rides: Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin and Gadget's Go-Coaster! Both are zany, loony, and dang it, they're fun! Also on a special note, Roger Rabbit has one of the coolest queues you can walk through. Toontown is a place full of mischief. It's everywhere! As soon as you go under the train bridge, you're engulfed in silly slap stick comedy and it always seems to put a huge smile on my face.
Huh. Tastes like chloroform. 

Seriously one of my favorite things ever. EVER.
So why is it so funny? Well, first off, it's Toontown! Second, if you don't laugh at the sign that states "This is a blank sign", you have no soul. There are a lot of hands-on things for adults and kids to check out. For example, go give that TNT plunger a push in front of the fireworks house and see what happens. And while you're over there, try to lift the handles on a few of those boxes! Watch out for that train though...

Do it. Come on. Peer pressure! Peeeeer pressure!
In that same area there's a special gag that always gets some laughs, especially if you act out the part. I'm talking about the electric company's door! It's shocking that more folks don't' know about that! Grab the handle, pull back, and scream! It's fun, trust me. It doesn't even matter how loud you scream, it's funny! Toontown was built for that purpose, to have everyone just be silly! Grab the phone right there as well, see whats going on!

Aside from those gags, there are fish floating in gas tanks, the water fountain by the restroom makes funny noises, and I think it would be hilarious to put flatulent sounds in the bathrooms. Or is that too far? Nah, I'm sticking with it. I feel that Disney is missing a huge opportunity here! If that's not your cup of tea, go check out Minnie and Mickey's houses. They to have a ton of awesome stuff to look at inside, and Minnie's dish washer is epic. But there's something strange about her cookies. I can't quite put my finger on it... And be sure to check out Goofy's House of Not-Much-Really-Going-On-Here. It used to be a Bounce House, but now it's just empty and furnished with the tears of orphans. I think Goofy moved and didn't tell anyone.
Mickey's House and the rolling green hills of Toontown.

Toontown is a great addition to Disneyland, and has been ever since it opened in 1993. Laughter was the goal of this new land, and guess what...they nailed it! The theming is fantastic! I just wish I could get a scotch on the rocks..."And I mean ICE!"

Podcast Episode 20

Well, we did it. The Mickey Mutineers made it to 20. This week, we discuss the rumored Monstropolis land in California Adventure, Tim talks about the 24-hour event going on...last week. That's right, if you didn't know about it, it's too late now. Josh talks about River Country and the horrible fate it faced. Also, people with the wrong expectations for water rides, rides with motion-sickness alternatives,  and other things as well! And we may or may not get off track a few times. Remember, you can listen on the player over there on the right of this page or just by simply CLICKING HERE! Enjoy! Tell a friend! Share the enjoyment!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Disneyland's Main Drag: Part 1

I usually assume that I shall start at the beginning and finish at the end. And so I shall here.

Main Street USA.  It is where Disneyland begins for us visitors. It's also where it ends, I suppose. Depends on what way you're walking. Anyway, here is my walk through of the way it is as I recall.  I hope you enjoy my story. Reflections of Main Street. Phhooosh.  (Que dramatic music [might be somewhat unnecessary])

Many of us have mindlessly passed under the famous plaque that marks the entrance to Main Street USA without so much as a glance.  “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy.”  That's what the plaque reads. What does it mean? Where does it take us? Patience, my padawan.

"...and entitled tourists."
As soon as you cross that threshold, you are transported to a world of yesterday, albeit a wonderful yesterday that never existed. There is the clean town square with the flag pole and the civil war era canons at the ready, the horse drawn trolley with the poo sweeper following closely (but not too close), and the early horseless carriages (cars for most of us). The sweet view of turn of the (last) century architecture lines the streets full of happy folk and a quaint little German-esque castle finishes the perspective, just like most small American towns of yesteryear.

Most American small towns also have Swiss peaks behind them.
Then there are the smells. Oh my! The smells! Early morning goods being baked! Cookies, cinnamon rolls and breads! Candy being blended for your sniffing pleasure! Horse shit and B.O.-ridden tourists bring us back down to reality.

Then, there are the shops, all hidden behind the neat facade. We can find watches, hats, touristy gizmos, snacks, did I mention ice cream up there?  No. Well, ice cream! But, when I first enter at opening there is usually only one thing on my mind:

Carnation Cafe

My favorite place for breakfast! Although, as of the time of this post my favorite item is not available, the cinnamon roll French toast!  The food is altogether great and the chef, Oscar, is a delight to chat with. Oscar, for those of you don't know is Disneyland's most tenured cast member.  Also, one of the waiters has been working at Carnation Cafe since the mid '70's. Did I mention that all of this is set in a little alley outside with umbrellas as a covering?  The atmosphere here is effing great!

Oh look! A glass elephant!
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor

This place is set up like an ice cream parlor you would expect to find on Main Street, U.S.A. It's ice cream, and it's in Disneyland. If you're looking for ice cream in Disneyland, this is the place for you! If it's gumbo you're after, you will be severely disappointed.

That wraps up Part 1 for now. We shall continue our tour of Main Street at a later date. If you can't wait, I suggest buying a TARDIS, DeLorean, or some sort of wild ass phone booth in front of a Circle K and go about mucking with the time-continuum.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Podcast Episode 19

Swabs, swashbucklers, sandwiches, and salamanders! Welcome back to this podcast! This week Jake throws down some news regarding the various Soarin' rides and what shall become of them. Tim tries to talk about the streetmosphere characters, and then we spend the rest of the episode answering questions from the listeners! And if you are a regular listener, you know just how well that usually turns out. Hilarious hijinks ensue! Remember, if you're looking at the normal version of this site, listen on the player over there on the right. If you're on the mobile version, CLICK HERE to go straight to the download page! And if you're also back on the normal site, click the Amazon banner to do all your Amazon shopping, and many thanks to you!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Now THAT sir… is a Geodesic Gem!

Man, it’s been a while. I’ve been slacking in the Gem department and now it’s time to remedy that! Gems, for those of you just jumping on board, are special things at Disney Parks that are special. Not just special to you, or to your grandma, but special to the history of Disney. When you see them, or learn about them, you understand why it’s classified as a gem. So how do you find these nuggets of awesomeness? Well you can do a little research for one, or just ask a cast member! Sometimes gems are hidden; sometimes they block your view! The gem I’m bringing into light today is non-other than the giant geodesic sphere that’s sitting at EPCOT!

During construction. You can see
the ride path on the inside.
That’s right folks, it’s time to give Spaceship Earth some love, and after all, it truly deserves it. Spaceship Earth opened in 1982 and has withstood the sands of time since! It’s a giant ball! You can see it from miles away, and Disney has used it for lots of awesome advertisement. They can put gigantic banners on this thing for any occasion, but the coolest thing they've ever done just happened a few weeks ago when they projected Mike Wazowski’s image on it, making the entire sphere a green monster with one pretty blue eye!
One helluva 3D puzzle.

You know what makes the structure of Spaceship Earth amazing? It was the first spherical building to  be raised completely off the ground. That's right! The first. Others came close, but they just couldn't make the literal leap. With the ability for guests to walk all the way underneath it, you'd think that the famous Florida rainstorms would turn it into a giant waterfall on all sides, right? Wrong! Between all those silver triangles of happiness is a nifty gutter system that drains all the runoff into World Showcase Lagoon. No drowning tourists!

Your time travel vehicles

The birth of communication.
Aside from the cool advertisement on the giant golf ball and the amazing engineering structure that it is, the ride inside isn't bad either! Okay, let’s be honest, the ride inside isn't anything less than AMAZING! It’s a fantastic ride, and best of all, it’s always a walk-on every time I’m at Disney World, thanks to the wonderful omnimover technology. The ride itself has quite a history. As I stated earlier, it opened in 1982, and has had a number of narrators over the years, four to be exact. My favorite so far has been Jeremy Irons, but Judi Dench is a close second. I loved relaxing and realizing that “Scar” was teaching me a lot of valuable historical facts! The ride fits in perfectly with EPCOT’s theme, and it’s educational! After all, Epcot is the “educational” theme park…
Steve here is one of the newest additions.

Like any other Disney ride, Spaceship Earth has been modified over the years, and I for one enjoy looking at the new things they throw in! The Woolly Mammoth that used to greet you in the beginning has been replaced by a CGI Mammoth, and I’m fine with that. Some has said it cheapened the experience, but to them I say nay! Spaceship earth isn't some cheap hooker with cheap tricks! It’s a historical behemoth that has been entertaining crowds since 1982! That’s 31 years of awesomeness!

The mural that greets you as you enter this awesome ride.
Just look at all the detail put into it!
Spaceship Earth is a gem, and has proven that over and over again! Here’s a nice traveler tip, if you feel the need for a power nap, this ride has you covered! Since most of it is climbing its way up the golf ball, you’re naturally laid back! You can sleep for about 10 minutes! Sit back and let the music do the work, just don’t wake up when you get to the top! Looking at the earth from the moon really made me wonder what the hell had just happened! If you haven't experienced this marvel, I highly recommend you make it a priority on your next visit.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Podcast Episode 18

Hey, we found Matt! And then we talked about things. What things? Disney's recently announced Avatar Land opening date. Because we hates it. Also, no one ever wears their Disney hats once they leave the parks. Didja know? And we shoot Tim down on Dole Whips. Pretty fast. It's hilarious! Or I'm tired. Or both. Tim also yodels! And free souvenirs! Just trust me on this one. And then we answer some listener questions! It's fun. Hey, tell a friend! Remember, listen on the player on the right of the page here, unless you're on the mobile site, in which case CLICK HERE or find us on iTunes. And if you're using iTunes, leave us a rating and a comment! Let's get this party pontoon going!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

AvatardLand Revisited

So I've been thinking about the latest AvatardLand opening-year announcement: I still hate it. Here is my synopsis of the movie: watch Fern Gully. Is that too many colons in two sentences? Oh well, I think it is proper usage. Any how, here we go. Man with missing legs takes brother's spot on mission to alien planet to impersonate alien race. Military asks him to spy on scientists, man (Jacko Smacko) falls in love with alien hussy and uses his pony tail to make sweet sweet blue alien love. Then, violent battle ensues and Bob's your uncle.

Think they'll have that on the tour?
My question is this... How does this turn into a Disney "land"? What does this have to do with Animal Kingdom? I think it is crap!  How does this make any sense? What will the main attraction to this area be? The last question I can presume: Soarin' with a new video. How the hell else are they gonna pull off the gorgeous landscape? And it is gorgeous. That was the selling point of the movie. It was all beautiful fluff, not unlike stuffing cotton candy into your orbital sockets. It's just that the story itself is unimaginative crap. I see it as the old saying, "If you polish a turd, it is still a turd."  That is one big pile of shit.
"Leaked" Avatar attraction plans. Most likely fake.
Hoping like hell it's fake.

Walt Disney World has a chance to make Animal Kingdom one of the best parks ever. How? Well, add continents. So far that is what it is about. Every continent has its beauty.  America with its plains and high peaks, Australia with its reefs and big damned rock, Europe with its alps and moors. South America with its dessert lines that attract aliens... It's like they made Africa and Asia and said "Well, I guess that's all this dumb planet has to offer."

Also, cryptids! They have touched on one. Why not throw in a couple more? Bigfoot? Meh. Nessie? Better. Big ass Australian monitors that are the size of buses? Holy shit! Ain't that a dinosaur? Yup. Every continent has shit that ain't there (or is it? [dun dun DUHNNNN!]). So why are they relying on crap when there is so much inspiration out there? Laziness. Period. And also a panicked knee-jerk reaction to Harry Plopper Land just down the road.

Want more of our Avatar-hating goodness? Tune into tomorrow's podcast!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Most Expensive Practical Joke I've Pulled

You know what's fun? Going to Disney World. You know what else is fun? Blowing your family's freaking minds at Disney World! This is a true story.

You all know Mutineer Tim. He's my older brother and contributor to this very blog and co-host of our podcast. He lives in the jungles of Oregon. Back in March of 2010, me and my wife were visiting Tim and his family because, hey, that's what we do. During our trip, his family decided to plan a Walt Disney World vacation the very next month. "Jake!" he says. "You guys should totally come with us on our crazy awesome trip!" 
"Aw," says I. "We would love to, but by golly gee whiz, we just can't afford that right now."

Lie #1.

After a very quick secret discussion with my wife, we decided heck yes we're going to go! But we're not going to tell them that! Not only did we plan a completely secret trip, I even sneakily booked it on Tim's computer right there in his house. Boom. Done.

Flash forward a month. Our trip was scheduled two days before their's so we could get there before them and stake out the local surroundings. We were even staying at the same hotel as them, the good ol' Pop Century Resort. To hide our secret, we had to tell other family members that we were just going to visit my wife's brother in northern Utah. Basically, no one knew where we really were. 

For those of you keeping score at home, that's Lie #2.

We arrived in Orlando, survived a night of hellish storms and tornado warnings in Downtown Disney (that's a whole other blog post for later) and finally came upon the night they arrived at the Pop Century Resort. From a safe distance, we watched their Magical Express bus pull up, saw them disembark, check in, and walk to their room. Okay. So far, so good.

The next day I had to put on my acting pants. I called Tim first thing in the morning and played the super jealous, wish-I-was-there brother. I had convinced him that for that day, the Magic Kingdom would have the most manageable crowds. So me and my wife grabbed breakfast, headed to the Magic Kingdom, slipped in a quick Space Mountain flight, and then put my acting pants back on and called Tim again.

"Oh man! How is it? Is the weather good? That's cool. What ride are you guys going to hit first? Oh, the carousel? Well have fun. Wish we could have gone too!"

Okay, that's like Lie #3, 4, and 5 in there somewhere. 

So we found them at the carousel, hid in a gift shop, got the video camera out, and the rest is best told via the footage captured that day:

Yeah. That was a thing that happened. Moral of the story: Don't trust your brother. He's going to show up on your family vacation.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Podcast Episode 17

A new episode already? That's right! We changed our release date from Sundays to Wednesdays, but instead of bumping back, we jumped forward! Remember, you can listen on the player over there on the right, unless you're on the mobile site. If you are, CLICK HERE and go straight to the download page! What's on the menu this week? ESV's, A new show at Disneyland, Jake whining about the Imagination Pavilion, the new Be Our Guest Restaurant, and even some listener questions! So sit back, listen, and wonder about our sanity, because...stuff.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Something About Spinners...

..and that something will be written here in the form of words grouped together as sentences, in which case those will be grouped together in larger groups called paragraphs. Eventually the paragraphs will get together and form the finished post. It practically writes itself!

Spinners, ugh, spinners. I'm so frigging sick of spinners that I could punch a triceratops. Seriously, are there enough out there? (Disneyland, you are excused. I'm looking at you, Disney World.) Seriously? How many shitty, round-and-round-we-go carnival rides do we need? Well let me count thy ways...

Dumbo x2:
Twice the pachyderms!

Really? I like Dumbo, it's a classic, but do we need two of the damn things?  Is that really necessary?  No, not so much. I feel that Disney World is simply looking for cheap fillers here. The new queue is amazing and the fact that I no longer have to "wait" in line all sorts of rocks, but two?  At least add a loop!

Aladdin's Plastic Carpets:
This isn't a carpet! It's more like a plastic taffy sleigh
of sadness and disappointment.

The TDO executives were in a board meeting trying to cheaply figure shit out and one of them said, "Hey, you know what Dumbo needs? A back seat!" Which he was promptly called a dumb ass and told elephants don't have back seats, only trunks. Then they decided on magic crapits. Not only is it out of place in the jungle area, but the damned camels splooge on you. That's right I said it. We are all thinking it. And have the people responsible for this travesty even ever seen a carpet? 

TriceraTop Spin:

What if Dumbo was green, had a horn in his face, and had been extinct? He'd be a spinning dinosaur.  If Disney was planning on an immersive parking lot carnival, the least they could have done is pick a happy-go-pukey ride that they haven't already used four times. Ugh! I'm about to blow a damned gasket here! Hell! At least have the shit make sense! Pterodactyls would've been a better fit, because they fly and stuff.
Magical glittery flying tricer--- No. I'm stopping there.
That's way too much nonsense.

I'm going to spare one Dumbo and the Astro Orbiter from this list. Mostly because they are likable. But all of you other ones can lick a stick. I don't wants to talk to you no more. Anyways, the point is this: I feel that TDO is using spinners for cheap thrills.  Please, throw in something with some substance, use your friggin imaginations. Hell, that's your jobs, right?  I'm rambling now aren't I?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Podcast Episode 16: Special Star Wars Episode!

A long time ago in front of microphones far, far away... (Cue fanfare!) The Mickey Mutineers sit down and celebrate Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you) by dedicating an entire episode to all things Star Wars! Listen on that player on the right of this page, unless you're on the mobile site. If you are, CLICK HERE for the direct download page! Or just subscribe on iTunes. New movie speculations? We got 'em! Ideas for Star Wars in the Disney parks? It's in here, too! And much, MUCH more! If you like Star Wars, this is the episode for you! Cut into it and enjoy! (And I thought they smelled bad on the outside...)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The TripAdvisor Game of Shame: Epcot Edition!

Here's something I discovered: People like to complain. I do it myself, quite a bit. But what I've noticed is that sometimes the complaining of other people gets so bad that it draws a line in the sand, labels it "irrational," then puts on some rocket pants and flies over that sucker! I've made up a "game" that always makes me laugh and feel good. It's a game because I feel like I always win, and now I'll share it with you.

Go to the TripAdvisor website, search for your favorite Disney theme park, and then go to the reviews section. Now, use the filter to only show the "terrible" reviews. And here's where the fun starts! These people complaining and listing their trip to a park as "terrible" become so out of hand and absurd that it becomes laughable. That's right, I'm laughing at these people. That's why it's the Game of Shame. Still don't know what I'm getting at? No worries, because I'm going to gather up some golden shame and post it right here for you. This edition takes us to Epcot! Let's do this!
Gateway to apparent disappointment.

"Typhoon Lagoon was such a more enjoyable experience than Epcot, because at least you can be in a swimsuit & get wet to cool down & lay in a beach chair. At Epcot, when your feet hurt from waiting in line & shuffling all day, the only thing you can do is sit on a bench in the glaring sun with your clothes on."

Wait, what? I'm not sure how Epcot was advertised to this person but I feel somewhere along the line, their expectations were grossly misinformed. Although it does suck that you have to keep your clothes on in Epcot... Let's try another!

"This is a dismal soulless place that tries to substitute for actual world travel by putting up tacky pavilions for various countries but it is really just a bad food court and an overpriced souvenir shop. Oh to top it off it's expensive and crowded too."

Bad food court? Okay, raise your hand if you've seen an Orange Julius or a Taco Time at Epcot. Yeah, I don't see any hands. And somehow they made it to the back half of the park and missed all the rides along the way. Well done, traveler! Here's some more:

"It was very disappointing. All the attractions are geared around shopping. There where very few street performers and the food was over priced. Next time I will spend my time on the beach!"

This person is right. I can't even tell you how badly I felt forced into buying solar panels after riding Universe of Energy. And I walked out of Soarin' with my newly purchased hang glider. These Disney people are very persuasive! More? More!

"I've seen this place about 5 time over the past 3 decades. What a total waste of money and time. Nothing more than a food court and souvenir shop. The entertainment sucked, the rides suck, and the have the nerve to ask $89 bucks and $14 to park. The place should be free. What the hell is wrong with disney? Never again unless they tear the joint down and start over."

Wait, this is the second food court claim. What the hell? Either these people were deceived and they accidentally went to a crappy mall, or somewhere in central Florida is a magical food court that resembles Epcot. I'm going to find it! Okay, one more...

"First: I am NOT a theme-park/ amusement park person."

Okay, I'm just going to jump in right here and say that whatever this person has to follow up that statement with makes the whole review null and void. Because I hate peanuts. And guess what? Every time I eat a peanut, I hate it. But I'm not going to write a review on peanuts! Oh well, let's see how the rest of their review goes...

 "However, I was in Orlando on business with my teenaged son, so we set aside July 4th to go to Epcot Center. The rides are hokey, everything is overpriced, and all so fake! I do not understand why folks don;t just save their money and go to the REAL Norway instead of the fake, plastic recreation. What little educational value there was to be had, we scraped for (ex.: The Chinese pavilion's display of the tomb of China's first emperor and the famous terra cotta warriors.) Note to the man from Ohio: This is a REPLICA; the real tomb is located in China's central province of Shaanxi. My son (a normal American teenager) kept up a brave face for most of the day, esp. knowing how much I had spent on admission tickets ($160) and cab fare ($40). In the end, he asked if we could please just leave and go back to the hotel pool. We did this, and ended up watching the fireworks from our hotel window, which was just fine. Take home msg: If you are an experienced traveler and like trips with nature, educational, historical or cultural value - do not go to the Orlando theme parks. It will make you worry for the future of our species."

I'm pretty sure most people seeking nature, educational, historical blah blah blah don't have theme parks in mind. People wanting theme parks have theme parks in mind. Somewhere between the decision making process and the head trauma, this person got all mixed up on where they wanted to go and why. 

So that's the TripAdvisor Game of Shame! Every now and then I'll do these with other Disney parks, because hey, it makes me laugh.