Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's a Small Blog After All

So I'm going to blow all my indie and anti-corporate cred in a single shot here and admit that yesterday Amy and I went to not one but two Disney parks. Now don't get your golden mouse ears (it's still the 50th anniversary celebration, if you weren't paying attention) all in a bunch. I have had a fondness since childhood for amusement parks, back when we used to visit my grandmother in Scranton (yes, the home of the American Office) and would go to the now defunct Nay Aug Park and ride its rides that probably were nearly defunct even then. I do remember the rides weren't as scary as going into the Brooks Model Coal Mine, which had a really creepy statue of a coalminer, which, admittedly, probably creeped me out so much since one of my grandfathers died in a mine accident years before I was born, so I got that statue and him mixed up as a kid.

But meanwhile back to Disney. Sure, its sheer omnipotence is dangerous, as it has molded imaginations--and necessarily limited them in its corporate way into buying machines--of generations of children. It's sort of the Pentagon of the entertainment world. Definitely the herd mentality of the super-jammed park argues that Disney's ultimate power is crowd control, especially when a ride dumps you into a gift shop where it takes longer to escape the shop than ride the actual ride. But lots of stuff is fun, if you ignore too many people, too much commercialism, and pretty dreadful food.

That said, here are some Disney bullet points, cause it's Sunday night, and my mind is dulled from too many rollercoaster swooshes with--why, oh, why--a speaker right next to my head.
  • Don't ever say, when on a long line, "At least the ride hasn't broken down." Space Mountain can sure have its problems.
  • Be aware of the people nearby and try to stay away from ginormous people on line. They will not fit in a Space Mountain rocket, their lap bar won't close, and the "cast members" will pull your whole rocket off the track to get everyone out. Small bonus: you will get to walk in an area marked "Authorized Personnel Only" and do so without having to wear a dopey space-age costume.
  • The Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure is way too much fun. The ghostly visuals are the best in either park (sorry Haunted Mansion, you're fun but fabulously fake) and the air time off your seat when the elevator car drops is a true thrill.
  • Leave it to Disney to make one of the longest rollercoasters in America, with lots of drops, turns, and a loop, and make it a smooth ride. Despite the ease of it, California Screamin' is a blast, especially up that first hill.
  • The big ferris wheel looks very cool. Watch it. That's all you need to do with it. If you get on on it, a "ride" is really one cycle and everyone getting on and off.
  • Soaring over California, a hang-gliding simulator matched with an Imax-ish screen, will give you a really goofy grin and remind you why CA is our most beautiful state. (Did you really think I'd say New Jersey?)
  • When you want to eat, get out of the park and go to Downtown Disney, as it's called. Ignore it's really an outdoor mall, and while the park pushes a dream of Main Street, USA, it contradictorily now sells mostly a series of chains as the heart of downtown. Ignore the music that blasts. Avoid the Anne Geddes store so you don't induce sugar-shock. But do eat there (no, not at the Anne Geddes store). You can get drinks, and you will need them. Brennan's even serves a proper Sazerac, and you can't ask for much more than that. Unless, you're like us. Then you'll ask for seconds.

Finally, I ask all of you to join me in a new venture. I need capital to start what I'm sure will be both a boon to humanity and a prosperous money-making endeavor. I am going to open a state-of-the-art vasectomy clinic at Disneyland for when parents most realize they need a little snip on their trip.


Blogger DBD said...

Man, I lost my indie cred ages ago when I bought a season pass to Disneyland. I love the place, despite some of my concerns with the company on the whole... And I agree--Soarin' Over California is fantastic. (However, I do think a similar ride for Jersey would be well warranted...).

And, don't forget that Philip K. Dick lived right around the corner...I like to think he hovers around there to this day...

9:57 PM  

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