"Ian, you’ve just earned your ears at Pirates of the Caribbean! What’re you gonna do now?!"
"I’m gonna scrape off the goddamn tape that this goddamn ribbon left on the back of my name tag, God damn it."
It’s time to tell all four hundred of my followers—thanks for that, by the way—what’s coming soon to an Adventureland near you*!
* That is, assuming you live closer to Disney World than any of the other castle parks, and you don’t own a copy of that Jesse Eisenberg movie.
"In order to make the Graveyard scene a true showstopper, [songwriters X. Atencio and Buddy Baker] did everything they could to give ["Grim Grinning Ghosts"] an even more other-worldly quality, including detuning the instruments and recording the music backward and combining it all the final mix.”— Jason Surrell, the Haunted Mansion: from the Magic Kingdom to the Movies
photographer: Mr Giflocation: Walt Disney World
An ineffective GIF Story from the Little Mermaid dark ride.
Look at Eric’s face! You could get thrown out of a brothel with an expression that gooey! He’s ready to kiss her, and there’s nothing stopping him from doing it, so why isn’t he?
…um…well…because then the ride would end too soon?
It works even less in person, because every so often, Eric and Ariel will lean forward to kiss, but then decide not to. Why?
…um…well…because Ariel has bad breath but Eric forgets every few seconds…?
The simplest solution I can think of: place Scuttle in a tree, squawking along with the music…right by Eric’s ear. Then, whenever Eric leans in to kiss Ariel, he registers Scuttle’s squawking and its kills the mood, and the cycle begins anew.
Like many aspects of Space Mountain, the blue and red tunnels that bookend our time in space are abstractions…satisfying, yet inexplicable.
While the blue tunnel feels it’s launching us into space, the queue has made it clear that we’re already in space.
So do these tunnels act as airlocks? It’s possible, but the red tunnel deposits us through a short stretch in space before we reach the unload dock, so they kinda suck at airlocking.
Brice Croskey of Progressland wonders if they’re wormholes, transporting us between the space station and…like, outer-er space.
Are they simply an accelerator and a break? If so…why? What are we meant to be doing out here?
We’ll never know these answers, and part of the fun is guessing what they are. From the designers’ perspective, however, the tunnels’ function is ingeniously clear.
The challenge of creating a roller coaster through the void of space is transitioning from the Somethingy sets of the space station with the Nothingy set of space.
Imagine how anti-climactic it would be if we stood in line, boarded the car, rounded corner, and oh hey, there’s space. Roller coasters demand set-ups and pay-offs!
If I were designing Space Mountain, I’d make a list of all the cool things we’d expect to experience while traveling in space. Stars and blackness, obviously, but also other heavenly bodies, and I’d save the biggest for last.
So my gut instinct would be to end it with a glorious, Spaceship Earth-type reveal. Maybe we turn a corner and see a whole galaxy! But here, again, we run into the problem of set-ups and pay-offs: it’s hard to build from “nothing” to “zomg a galaxy.”
We could hang an increasingly dense star field, like the one in Disneyland’s version of Peter Pan’s Flight, but it’d have to be humongous to be noticed by someone traveling at roller coaster speed.
At this point, we need a much larger show building, and I still haven’t solved the transition between the Somethingy sets of the space station with the Nothingy set of space.
The blue and red tunnels solve both problems at once. The blue one segues us into space, and the red one reminds us of the blue ones and thus, implies a bookend. They’re evocative, concise, and they keep us focused on the experience of traveling through space, rather than the sightseeing.
Terry Rossio, “Nine Pieces of Eight"
There you have it. Not even the screenwriter who voluntarily put his name on Pirates of the Caribbean Four Colon On Stranger Tides likes the Jack Sparrow’d ride.
Walt Disney explaining the upcoming Haunted Mansion attraction. From the Disneyland 10th Anniversary Special (1965)
Walt, setting us up for the Haunted Mansion's presentational story.
Midway Mercantile, at the exit of Toy Story Midway Mania, has a large selection of Disney*Pixar-themed plush, costumes, games, and other toys.
So you went on and enjoyed the ride. Now comes the “ohhhhhh…” portion of the story as you finally understand the whole thing.
Exiting into the upper balcony of the Midway Mercantile, you find a small walled off desk and chair. On the floor is a small box, not unlike the one you saw in the loading area. On the front of the box are the same words “Midway Games Play Set”.
You probably then realize that this was the box the ride “came in” and the little box next to it looks like the box Mr. Potato Head came in. While realizing this, though, one may wonder as to how they got there in the first place.
The story behind this little office is that this is the office of the owner of the Midway Mercantile, and that he bought the ride to bring business to the area.
so we’ve traveled back in time to a Victorian boardwalk
where a shop owner tried to boost his property value
by buying a toy set
a toy set
a toy set
fortunately this toy set not only came to life
in front of humans
even though that’s against the toy rules
and produced an infinite amount of ammunition
including cream pies
but it also enlarged
several times larger than the shop itself
and grew cast members
and ride vehicles
and a queue
so that’s where the ride came from
and this is meant to be the “ohhhhhh…” portion of its story where we finally understand the whole thing
Imagineer Morgan Evans, Disneyland, World of Flowers
Didja have to brag about it, Morgan?
Look at all that trimmed fat! Aesthetics in action, and not a single DVD commercial to be seen.
One hates to sound shallow, but I think I’m only attracted to World of Color when it’s on a diet.
Abe Lincoln droid.
LINCOLNBOT: Sir, the possibility of successfully seceding from the union is approximately 3,720 to 1!!
JEFFERSON DAVIS: Never tell me the odds!
Since it’s closure in September of 2001, River Country has been left abandoned. It’s unclear why it remains and has not been demolished, but it is out of bounds for the public.
The internet is full of photos and several videos taken by urban explorers who have snuck into the abandoned park. You are free to view them, but I won’t be posting them here, as I don’t condone it. Not only is it trespassing, but abandoned areas are not maintained and can therefore be dangerous to go walking around in.
Taking issue with trespassing, I get, but “abandoned areas are not maintained and can therefore be dangerous to go walking around in?” That’s basically discouraging people from hiking.
Here, followers. Check out these photos—the grounds are gorgeous, far prettier than when they were operational—and daydream about Disney re-opening it as a park for picnicking, strolling, and meditation.