disneyland

The Selfie Stick: Stopping Rides and Breeding Idiots

I just read this article about a guest at Disneyland who pulled out a selfie stick on a roller coaster and forced the ride to shut down.

Here’s the thing: As a culture, cell phones have been permeating into our lives more and more over the past twenty years, and the problem is only getting worse.  People on their phones walk into open manholes.  They stop and take selfies in the worst places.  And now selfie sticks allow people to film themselves doing all kinds of things.  In some cases it’s purely innocent, but when it comes to roller coasters, selfie sticks are a real threat to safety.  I’ve seen people taking selfies while driving.  Selfie sticks make it easier to take selfies, and so naturally people want to push the envelope and take more outlandish pictures.

Disneyland and Disney World have banned selfie sticks, and selfie sticks have been axed from San Diego Comic Con as well.  I think it’s a good step. Some people clearly aren’t capable of making good decisions.

What do you think about selfie sticks?

Jurassic World: Every Bit as Good as I Hoped (No Spoilers)

I saw Jurassic World this morning.  It was amazing.

It has been a while since I’ve seen a movie that has every little detail so clearly thought out, from product placement to story and character development.

And then there are the dinosaurs.

Without spoiling anything, here are my initial thoughts:

  • Jurassic World feels perfect.  After so many years, it’s the perfect movie coming at the perfect time.  It’s clear that the writers and producers wanted to be certain that they had a great story instead of bowing to pressure to get a fourth movie made.
  • Jurassic World is the tale of a theme park in transition, competing with the demands of fickle and ever-hungry guests who are always looking for more, bigger and better.  Even the park’s layout is reminiscent of Disneyland, with an entryway mall (Main Street) leading to the main building (the Castle) and the T-Rex paddock off to the left (Adventureland)
  • It isn’t preachy.  Yes, there are messages in the movie, and they’re important and timely.  But you don’t feel like the message is being jammed down your throat.
  • It’s a great movie.  You’re hooked from the first moment, and the action never stops.
  • Chris Pratt owns his role.  He was so good that I’d love a Jurassic World prequel, featuring the story of how he came to the park in the first place.
  • It’s very much a dinosaur movie.  This time, the dinosaurs are main characters

If you haven’t seen Jurassic World, you’re in for a treat.  I’m eager to hear what you think about it!

A Few Notes on Disney’s Tomorrowland

I had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s Tomorrowland this past Friday.

Going into the movie, I had a vision of what I thought the movie was about based upon the special extended preview I saw at Disneyland (complete with rumbling floors…after all, this was the same Tomorrowland theater that housed Captain EO and Honey I Shrunk the Audience back in the day…)

The next day my issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived and I was thrilled to read Jeff Jensen’s article on how he came to be a part of the film.  Jensen and Damon Lindelof worked “together” on Lost.  (Jensen wrote Lost recaps for EW, and Lindelof was a creator, so yes, they worked together…)  The fascinating thing about this article is that it discusses the origin of the film and the changes it underwent through the creative process.  Now I want nothing more than to read the original script. I love the idea of seeing more mythology; I already have the book on order. As much as I appreciated the movie and its messages as they are, part of me wishes that we could see Tomorrowland as Jensen and Lindelof envisioned it, in those early stages of development. Even so, the movie is still awesome as-is. (Full review to follow)

You can read Jeff Jensen’s article here.

And, for fun, here’s an article that details some of the Disneyland Easter Eggs in the film.

New Snippets of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Anyone at Disney’s California Adventure on Thursday was treated to a preview of the new World of Color show hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris.

During the show, the most famous rides at Disneyland are featured in a brilliant display of colored water, plumes of fire, and new screens on the ferris wheel and California Screaming.

During the feature on Star Tours, we see Poe Dameron in his flight suit, and we see a black-gloved hand reach out to touch R2-D2.  We also see the much beloved BB8. 

There was an audible gasp from Star Wars fans in the crowd as they saw the new footage, even if it was just a few moments’ worth.

Disneyland Hotel Wallpaper

My family has a long history of staying at the Disneyland Hotel. We first stayed there when I was 3, in 1983. In 1985 our brand-new Toyota van was smashed when the valet mistook the gas pedal for the break and drove into the Audi in front of him. Needless to say, we were upgraded to a suite during that trip.

After a long hiatus, I have a Disneyland Annual Passport once more, and ever since the Star Wars Celebration I have been reacquainting myself with my old friend. 

The Disneyland Hotel has been remodeled and upgraded, and my beloved koi pond and waterfalls have been removed. The Bonita Tower is now the Frontier Tower, the Sierra Tower is now the Adventure Tower, and the main tower is now Fantasy Tower.

I discovered that it’s worth making a trip to the bathrooms in each of the towers’ lobbies.  The wallpaper is fantastic, and a must-see for Disney enthusiasts.

Frontier Tower:

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Adventure Tower:

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Fantasy Tower:

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May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day!

It seems like this is the biggest May 4th Star Wars Day ever, as fans who were not in the know are celebrating for the first time given the post-Star Wars Celebration excitement and The Force Awakens hype.

Even Vanity Fair is getting into the mix, launching their May issue with the Star Wars cast-past and present-on the cover. (Harrison Ford is there, and I’m sure the fact that Annie Leibovitz is the photographer had something to do with it)

In honor of the momentous, should-be-a-national-holiday, here are some SWCA pictures, and a few more from Disneyland.

May the 4th Be With You!

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May the 4th Be With You: Star Wars Day!

Happy Star Wars Day!

It seems like this is the biggest May 4th Star Wars Day ever, as fans who were not in the know are celebrating for the first time given the post-Star Wars Celebration excitement and The Force Awakens hype.

Even Vanity Fair is getting into the mix, launching their May issue with the Star Wars cast-past and present-on the cover. (Harrison Ford is there, and I’m sure the fact that Annie Leibovitz is the photographer had something to do with it)

In honor of the momentous, should-be-a-national-holiday, here are some SWCA pictures, and a few more from Disneyland.

May the 4th Be With You!

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Disney’s Tomorrowland: The Film’s Exhibit at Disneyland

One of this summer’s most highly anticipated movies is Disney’s newest offering, Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney.  There is an exhibit in Tomorrowland, the film’s namesake land at Disneyland, to help spread excitement about the film. Here are a few of the images from the exhibit:

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