Archive for the 'theme parks' Category

365: 75 Mickeys

January 10, 2007

This is an old photo of some friends and myself at Disney’s California Adventure theme park. On this very memorable day we had decided to get a small group of co-workers together and have our photos taken next to all of the hideous MIckey Mouse statues that were decorating the place at the time.

Mickey statues

These 75 statues, each designed by D-list celebrities, were created to help celebrate Mickey’s 75th birthday. Southern California was only one stop along the statues’ US tour, where they eventually reached New York City to be auctioned off for charity.

I’m not exactly sure where this idea came from, but at one point American cities across America starting using a variation of it for themselves. In Los Angeles they used angels while in Santa Rosa dozens and dozens of Snoopy and Woodstock statues were auctioned off to celebrate their own insignificant anniversary.

It is very important to note that although we had a lot of fun that day, DCA is a terrible theme park, and an embarrassment to the Disney name. Things seemed so innocent and perfect back then, we probably would have had a great time at the morgue.

365 Degrees of Josh: Minnie’s Moonlight Madness

January 5, 2007

About a year ago my friend Karly called me up and asked if I’d like to participate in ‘Minnie’s Moonlight Madness.’ For those of you unfamiliar, ‘Minnie’s Moonlight Madness’ is a massive trivia game and scavenger hunt and trivia bowl which takes place after hours at Disneyland Park. While the event is mostly for current employees, it just so happened that our mutual friend was still technically an employee at the Walt Disney Company (She works with the Disney Studios in Burbank.)

The three of us, combined with also-current Disneylander Michael, gave us a strong chance to do well in the competition… or so we thought. Festivities began with a musical revue performed by a local performing arts school.My team (Code name: Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Chicken, Rooster, Rooster, Dog)  was far too anxious to actually listen to what was being performed, but juding by the large applause they received the group didn’t screw up too badly. A generic host welcomed everyone to this year’s competition, and volunteers then began to hand out pencils and paper to the audience. Then each team was asked 100 questions of intense Disney trivia, ranging from Michael Eisner to ‘The Wuzzles’ to ‘Victory Through Air Power.’

Minnie Mouse Pin

We felt very comfortable with our answers for the trivia portion. All of us are world-class nerds; so much so that all of us answered the Wuzzles question as if we were idential twins (“THE LAND OF WUZ!”) Between us we had spent a solid decade of our lives inside of the 50-acre theme park, we started to have high hopes for the night. Who could blame us for being a little arrogant?

As it turns out we kind of sucked. Hardcore. Immediately following the test each team was sent to Main Street U.S.A, and handed an envelope containing the first of various mental and physical challenges. The goal was to complete these challenges as quickly as possible before the night was over. The event was on a timer, and we would be deducted points for any challenges we did not complete (or completed incorrectly.)

Most of the various challenges involved Disneyland trvia in some form, but had a difficult twist such as geometry or Morse Code. How the hell were we supposed to learn the name of Walt’s dog by listening to a series of beeps and dashes? Just have us turn lead to gold while you’re at it!

Chicken chicken

Between the Morse Code challenge and an awkward Spice Girl’s singalong, most of our night was spent on only six of the ten challenges. A team of our friends didn’t do much better, and failed to complete all of the challenges as well. Due to the many dozens of teams participating that year, judges were not able to announce winners until many weeks after the night had ended. We weren’t surprised when they never called. I’m told the important thing is that we had fun.