Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tuck Everlasting and Tom and Huck

Before I jump in, I know I have a bunch of unfinished stuff like my "Ideal Disneyland" and "Disney Sequels." I'll get to those. Eventually. I really just blog what I'm feeling at the moment.
I've been in a movie watching mood lately. So, today I watched Disney's "Tuck Everlasting." I saw it when it came out but hadn't seen it since. So, Alexis Bledel is an okay actress and everything, but I'm just shallow and wish she were prettier. On the other hand, the guy that plays Jesse is gorgeous, but can't act very well. Plus, when he yells or gets excited, his voice sounds like a 10 year old. I will say, however that their farewell outside the jail was really good acting on both of their parts. I was left wishing the movie had gone further. It was just kinda sailing along the whole time. I wonder if the book is better. Maybe I should read it. Also, being a Costume Design major, I notice the costumes. I'm taking a Costume History class and try to place the time period of the movie by looking at the costumes and then I look it up if the information is available. It's really fun. So, I placed this movie between 1890 and 1910, which is Edwardian. Usually, I'm not a fan of Edwardian but this was done well. They took the good things from the period and used them. Then, I looked it up and it's set in 1914. 1914 is like The Music Man and My Fair Lady. The costumes were done well but they were a bit early. What's up with that? Oddly, one of my favorite costumes in the whole movie was Winnie's underdress that she goes swimming and dancing in. It's just so simple, elegant, and youthful. Love it. Too bad the only pics I could find of it are really awkward cuz she's mid dancing. But I also really like this one.
Then, after watching Tuck, I was reminded of the movie "Tom and Huck" because Jesse's hair reminded me of Brad Renfro's in the movie. Weird? Yes. Or maybe I was reminded of it becuase "Huck" rhymes with "Tuck." haha. But, I went ahead and watched that too. (Hey, it's a Saturday night and it's hailing outside. Ugh.) And let me say this. Tom and Huck, it's been TOO LONG! I know I loved this movie when I was younger and you know what? I still do. Brad Renfro is still charming in his rugged bad boy way and JTT's smile is still just as endearing. Also, there were some great acting moments by Renfro that I had never noticed before. Like when they're signing the oath and Tom has to help him because he doesn't know how to write. He just sort of looks up at Tom embarrassed and silently communicated to Tom that he needs help. Then, when he thanks him, you can tell he's genuinely grateful and there is this tender friend moment between the two. (Here's what I'm talking about. It's at around 5:50.) And whenever they have their talks about what friendship is, you can just see Huck's internal struggle. It's just little moments like that that make me love the character. The movie is a great one. I'd defiantly recommend it if you haven't seen it. :) Oh, and I totally NAILED the time period on that one. Yay for me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Tips and tricks for Disneyland


So I just went to Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and I've been thinking. Going to Disneyland is like an art. You have to learn how to do it right. My Disneyland buddy, Molly Mouse, is one of these artists. She knows how to navigate Disneyland expertly and has taught me her ways. It has taken her a few years to learn this art as she has worked there for a couple of years and had a pass so basically went like at least once a week. So this summer and last summer, she was kind enough to take me there and show me how it's done. Now, I'd like to share it with you because doing it this way is SO much better! Okay, let's get started.

Pre-Park

Hey parents! Do you hate Disneyland? Do you hate it because it's hot and the kids get cranky and everything is overpriced and the lines are long and the kids hardly got to meet any characters? Have no fear for I am here! :)

1. Look around for deals on the internet or at your local grocery store. They sometimes have some good ones, especially if you are from Southern California. For example, last year I was able to get a 3 day park hopper for only $99, which is an AMAZING deal. Also, this year, there was an promotion called "Give a day, get a Disney day" going on. It was all about volunteering so the deal was if you do volunteer work with someone registered with the Give a day, get a Disney day thing, you get a free park ticket. So, I did it and I got one. For my second day, Molly Mouse's friend let me use one of her tickets that she gets for working there. So in the end, I got two days at Disneyland and California Adventure (my second day was a park hopper) for FREE! (It also helps to have connections.) So look out for deals, especially since Disney just jacked up their prices. Deals are out there. Not always, but they do exist.

2. Plan for more than one day. Two or three days is good. Beyond three is just too tiring. Park Hoppers save money if you want to do that or 2fers although I prefer Park Hoppers because the only good thing at DCA is Crush, Aladdin, World of Color, Midway Mania, and the Animation Pavilion. They're working on it though. It's up to you but I would definately suggest more than one day so you can do more of what you want to do.

3. Pack snacks and water! Some people think that outside water and snacks aren't allowed in Dland. They DO do a bag check for for dangerous stuff when you enter but I've never had a problem and I always bring snacks. It's totally fine to bring snacks and water into Dland. And we all know that Dland is EXPENSIVE. They get you with the water because they know you need it cuz it's like a zillion degrees outside in the summer. So pack snacks like granola bars, crackers, chips, and fruit snacks. Make sure you save some for your second day! Also have plenty of water. Bring it and refill it with the drinking fountains. It's not as good but it's cold. As the talking trash can in Tommorrowland taught me, STAY HYDRATED!

4. Okay, this one is more of an opinion than a tip but I do think it can make your Dland experience better. Don't bring a stroller. If your child is small enough to still need a stroller, like under 5 years old I wouldn't even bring them to Dland because they won't remember it when they're older and then you've wasted your money. :( I went to Dland when I was like 3 and I don't remember anything. So it's just a suggestion. It just makes more sense to me to wait until the kids are at least 4 or 5 to bring them to Dland. Also, there are many downsides to strollers. First, you have to load it on and off the tram. The stroller has to be folded on the tram, which I assume is a pain in the butt. Then, you have to navigate crowds with the stroller and believe me, guests without strollers, who are tripping over your stroller trying to get where they want to go, pretty much want to take your stroller and throw it into the Rivers of America and then laugh maniacally at you as you watch it sink slowly into the disgusting green water. And THEN there is the fact that strollers can't go on rides, which means either one parent has to stay with the stroller, missing out on quality time with the kids OR you have to leave it in a stroller parking area and hope against hope that someone doesn't steal it or the snacks and water and sunscreen you have in it. So, DON'T BRING A STROLLER.

5. "But where am I gonna put my stuff?" Bring a backpack or purse. Have mom and dad have the snacks and water in their bags. Have stuff for you and the kids. Purses and backpacks are much easier than strollers AND you can take them on rides with you! I had a purse the past two times and had no problems. Even on Space Mountain when my bag wouldn't fit in the little net I put it between my feet and it was fine. Twice. Girls, I like the purse better than the backpack. I like it because it doesn't get your back all sweaty and in crowds, I can swing it to my front and hold it so no one bumps it and can pick pocket anything. You may think Dland is perfect but bad guys are still out there lurking. Guys, sorry. Unless you wanna to with the manbag. Haha. But I do think the best thing for dad or the older boys would be one of those athletic bags with the drawstring closure because it's less bulky and you can swing it around to your front easier to get stuff and to prevent pick pocketing in crowds.

6. Other stuff to pack: Sunscreen. Even in the winter, CA is sunny. Don't forget it and reapply! Camera. Because pictures are AWESOME and you'll want to remember this! Plus, your pictures will most likely be better than the photopass people. (FYI, the photopass people are photographers that work at the park and take your picture at certain meet and greet spots. Then, they give you a card with a code on it. You take the card home and go to the website and type in the code and if you like your pictures, you buy them. It's another money suck. ALTHOUGH if you do really like one of the photopass pictures, there's always the printscreen button!) Batteries. You DON'T want to run out of camera batteries. You know they're gonna cost a fortune in the park. Chapstick. Because your lips need protection too. Tylenol. Dland is fun, but also tiring. You'll wanna help out your feet and your head so you can enjoy the rest of your stay. Also, bring any other meds that you think you might need or that is specific to you. For example, my stomach sometimes hates me so I like to have maalox and immodium just in case my stomach starts bothering me. Just make sure you pack anything that will make you comfortable. Just don't overdo it. Remember you have to carry that stuff. NO STROLLERS. Oh, and Hand Sanitizer is good too. There are lots of germs at Dland.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Ideal Disneyland Part 7

Okay FINALLY on to Fantasyland. Personally, I think Fantasyland has the best atmosphere out of all the lands (well, maybe tied with New Orleans but that's later). So Fantasyland opened in 1955 with the lowering of the drawbridge and a bunch little kids running in a stampede shown here. Most of the original rides are still there (although some have changed or been moved over the years): The Canal Boats, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Dumbo, King Arthur Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pan's Flight, and Snow White's Adventures. Although it contained many of the same rides it does today, the Fantasyland of 1955 looked very different from today's. Firstly, due to budget issues, the original facade plans had to be abandoned and a cheaper Renaissance Faire sort of feel with striped tents and colorful flags was done. In my opinion, it was cheap and well-it looked like it. It sort of just looked like a traveling circus or carnival had come to town. Bleck. Plus, it was crowded like crazy with King Arthur's Carrousel stuck right in front of the castle (or right behind depending on your perspective).
In 1983, Fantasyland was closed for a MAJOR revamp. Many of the rides were rearranged to help with traffic problems and the facades were redone to look more like a European village in the 1500s or a bit after. It looks like a storybook and the faux stone is beautifully done. The ground was paved so that it is like you are walking through a village instead of a concrete slab like the old one. The pirate ship restaurant was demolished and a new version of Dumbo was put in it's place. The Teacups were moved to a fitting place near Alice and Wonderland and the carrousel was moved back and put in the space previously occupied by the teacups, leaving a larger courtyard and more room for foot traffic. Also, the original darkrides Snow White, Mr. Toad, and Peter Pan were completely gutted and redone. Here are some great pics of the process. It's kind of sad though, especially to see those old murals go, since they were worked on by some of Disney's original
nine old men. I think I read that Marc Davis had helped with these ride murals but I could be wrong. So I can't believe they just tore down the ride murals unceremoniously. They should've auctioned them off in pieces or preserved them or something! It's kinda the Mary Blair mural situation. Under-appreciation! Anyways, the rides were gutted, got new facades and loading platforms, and got more track added to them. So there's some background info for you on Fantasyland. More specifics in later posts.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My Ideal Disneyland Part 6

Before I move to Fanstasyland I wanna say a couple of things about Tommorrowland I overlooked. Firstly, I don't think I mentioned the Starcade, which is a two story arcade next to Space Mountain. I've never been inside because to me it's like why would anyone go to Disneyland to play at an arcade? You can find arcades anywhere. You can't find the rides at Disneyland anywhere though. Also, the second floor has been blocked off for a few years I think. I don't know why...the escalators from when Space Mountain was built (I think) are still there but aren't on. It's strange and also a huge waste of space. With the empty second story plus the empty helipad area up by the queue of Space Mountain, you have a heck of a lot of wasted space. This person seems to agree with me. They should do something with that space. However, maybe they have plans for it as they did just repave the flooring a month or so ago. Also, since my last posts on Tland, they have restored and updated Captain EO in the wake of Michael Jackson's death. I think it's nice but they need to get something new and more permanent in there. There some pics of the EO revamp and the work on the Starcade over at Micechat.
Another thing I thought I should mention is the Skyway. Many people who remember it miss it. According to Wikipedia, it was opened in 1956 and closed in 1994 due to stress cracks on supports. The supports were taken down quickly and the holes through the Matterhorn were filled in. The Skyway was a gondola tram ride that took guests from Tommorrowland to Fantasyland or vice versa. It was yet another sight-seeing Tland ride, along with the People Mover and the Monorail. I never went on the Skyway ride. Probably the earliest I ever went to Dland was when I was about 4, which was in 1994 so it was either in its last days or already gone by the time I came along. I probably wouldn't ride it anyways because that thing looked sketch. Daveland's got tons of pics here. (Man I wish I had my own vintage pics to post. But I don't, so I just write my thoughts and link to other people's awesome pics.) So, in my ideal Dland, the Skyway wouldn't be there. Some people probably liked it and were sad to see it go but from pictures I've seen, the supports were distracting and I think the Disneyland skyline was too polluted with it. You have the castle, which should be the focal point, then you have the guide wires for tink to fly over the castle, and then cables with cars on top of that! Too busy! Plus, I think that futuristic wires and buckets going over Fantasyland would have killed the atmosphere. So that's that. One thing I will say though is that I'm obviously interested in Dland's past and one thing I LOVE about dland and it's past is being able to still find remnants of it around the park. It's like digging up something lost from the past or something. I LOVE
it. There are many examples which I'll get to later but this particular example is the old Fantasyland Skyway station. The Tland Skyway station was demolished but many people don't know that the Fland one is still there. You just have to know where to look. It's hidden by trees and empty but it's still there on a hill next to Casey Junior. There's a little cement stairway th
at's chained off that goes up to it. If you step over the chain covertly and walk up a bit, you can see it, with it's little Swiss-style decorations still painted there fading. Oh, nostalgia. There are "Skyway remnant photos" you can look at at that Daveland link above. It's great to compare how much the area has changed and how much the trees and plants have grown to hide it.

Disney Silkscreen Update


Okay, so quite a while ago (I haven't blogged in ages), I mentioned an idea I had to silkscreen my own retro Disney attraction poster shirts. Well, now I find out that Disney has somehow heard my wish and they came out with exactly that! AMAZING. I don't have to get my hands dirty after all. (Although I do have to spend some dinero.)
They are doing it for the park's 55th anniversary and have a bunch of other retro merchandise. Since it's the 55th and dland opened in 1955, I guess it's fitting. Right now, all they have is the Matterhorn and the Flying Saucers but more are expected to come. So excited! I'm trying to plan a trip to dland this summer and hopefully there are more choices by that time. I really want a Peter Pan's Flight one. :) Info and another pic here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Celebrate Parade

I thought I'd do a post today since I haven't posted in a while. When I went to dland this summer, we watched the Celebrate parade, which was pretty cool but not half as awesome as The Parade of Dreams was. So here are my pics!


She was my favorite dancer! She had the greatest energy.


Chip and Dale! I never knew that they actually looked slightly different until this trip to dland. My friend who works there told me that the way you tell which is which is that Chip's nose looks like a chocolate chip! That's awesome! (That mean's chip is on the left)


Bert and Mary Poppins. This Burt is the one we had met and taken photos with earlier. My friend was trying to pose with her leg in the air like he does and she fell backwards into the bushes! It was hilarious! Bert helped her out tho. Also, I think this Bert's name is Jared. Why? Here's why: http://corporate.disney.go.com/auditions/experience/jared.html
I was watching that and was like, "Hey! That's the Bert we met!" Haha.


Pooh! I can't imagine how hot he must have been. It was about 95 degrees that day and about 3:00 in the afternoon. I felt bad for all of the performers.



And here's Peter and Wendy. They're so cute. This trip to dland really got me into Peter Pan for some reason. I just love the character at the parks. He's awesome, especially one in particular but maybe more on that later...

P.S. I was going through these pics and I noticed that Peter has a band-aid on his finger in this pic! Lol. You can't see it here very well but you can in one of my other pics. (It's on his ring finger).

I have more pics but I'll share them later since this post is already a bit long. Until next time!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Small World Additions Part 2

Okay, moving on...

I didn't take a pic of this portion because it had a character in it. I took a pic of it because it DIDN'T. I thought it was a total missed opportunity to put Cuzco from Emperor's New Groove here.


The Three Caballeros. I've actually never seen this movie...


Here's Ariel. I caught her at an awkward angle. It's because on the opposite side was Nemo and Dory and I couldn't decide which to take a pic of! So, I chose Ariel at the last minute. Flounder and maybe a couple other characters were around her but I don't remember.


Lilo and Stitch.


Here's Mowgly from Jungle Book...I'm pretty sure. Unless it's a normal Small World character that happens to look exactly like him. He's is sort of tucked away in the back pretty high up so I had to zoom in really far, which made it grainy and we were moving away, so it's blury but as far as I know, it's the only pic of him on the internet now!


This, I've heard is the most controversial of the new characters. I think it's because they deviate so much from the Mary Blair style and I agree. They are the most different from the rest and don't really belong but I dunno...they are really stylized anyway so it must have been hard. I'm not gonna hold a grudge.
One thing I WILL say about this area though is that there are a bunch of Native Americans. WHERE'S POCAHONTAS? Okay, I guess this area represents the American west and Pocahontas was an east coaster but still. I want her in there.


I just took this pic as we were coming out because I thought it was a unique view and has some of the great topiaries in it. Going on the new Small World was DEFINITELY worth it after not having been on the ride in about 10 years.

Oh and P.S., I had never seen the little processional they do every 15 minutes at Small World so I decided to record it. I ended up seeing it a couple times while we were in line and once while we were walking past the ride. So here!


video