You don't look a day over 62.
Today and tomorrow mark the 57th opening day events anniversary of Disneyland. I can think of no better reason to decide that I will use cuss-words in the following blog – something I don’t normally do – so if that’s going to offend you, you should totally read this (assuming that you love to be offended which, let’s be frank you easily offended folks – you do).
The opening days went notoriously awry – drinking fountains didn’t work, rides broke down constantly, the young woman in the Minnie Mouse costume went mad and tried to fell the Swiss Family Robinson tree-house with a chainsaw while terrified children screamed from the branches, and it was such a hot day!
Ronald Reagan was there for opening day – it’s one of the only things he did that sits well with me. Rumor has it that he got his idea for “trickle-down economics” by watching how the natural flow of passengers organizing themselves to take turns riding on the Matterhorn fucked over the poor.
Did you know Doritos were invented at Disneyland? It’s true, and kind of weirds me out. And then it weirds me out that it weirds me out. I haven’t felt very stable lately.
I love Disneyland, usually. There are some things I don’t love. They are, in no particular order:
1.) I don’t love that, from October until January they transform my most favorite ride (and future dream home), The Haunted Mansion, into the stupid and, dare I say, poopiest ride ever, the Nightmare Before Christmas ride.
From Sweeney Todd and Alice in Wonderland to Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton seems to single-mindedly make his career on ruining things I love. It’s gotten to a point where I know exactly what his future projects will be; I just list what I love most, and he’ll inevitably select one of them to suck the soul out of, leaving his typical, insipid, faux-fantastical fuckiness all over it.
Okay, yes, Ed Wood is a good movie – every director has their fluke, but one of these days he’s going to remake Fellini’s Satyricon with exposed-stitch marionettes and it’s going to send me up a bell-tower with an assault rifle. Humanity, you’ve been warned.
2.) I don’t love most of California Adventure. Why do they use all that valuable space for rides that can be found at any State Fair? If Disney is going to make a Ferris wheel, then I want that Ferris wheel to have its circular path justified by a parallel within a classic piece of Disney animation. Dress it up like a tornado, pipe-in the William Tell Overture and call it "The Band Concert ride." Done and done and thank you.
I mean it’s 2012 and we still don’t have a ride based on The Jungle Book, people! And don’t you dare come back at me with “But there’s the Jungle Cruise ride…” Do you remember a scene in The Jungle Book where Mowgli was talking to a broken hippopotamus with a leaking problem? Did the film end with him falling in love with a human tour guide who told lame one-liners with all the charisma of a prison ID-number roll-call? The Jungle Cruise is not The Jungle Book ride anymore than waiting in line for Space Mountain is the “Space Camp ride.”
Oh wow. What fun. We're in a boat and it's going 2 miles an hour.
And look. A plastic elephant.
Just... amazing fun.
3.) I don’t like the balloons. But that’s not Disneyland’s fault. That just everything’s fault. Balloons bum me out, regardless of whether or not they’re shaped like mouse heads. There’s just no way balloons ever end well. They either pop and scare someone, or they fly away – making kids cry – or they slowly leak, sag and shrivel like an Indian’s corpse, reminding us all of our mortality and the inevitableness of individual doom. But, you know, in a variety of fun colors.
4.) Scrambled eggs. Disneyland's scrambled eggs taste like teeth. I realize the Magic Kingdom doesn't really market itself as a "breakfast destination," but this is a list of things I don't like there, and the scrambled eggs qualify. Sorry if I'm being persnickety. Also sorry for saying "persnickety."
You know what I love? The music of Disney. Back when I used to work in the soundtrack section of Amoeba Music, I’d often spin some Disney scores and was always surprised and satisfied with how many hardened hipsters actually lit up and got a little light-hearted.
So since I’m not feeling very stable these days and also because it’s an anniversary of sorts, I thought I’d share some Disneyland sounds today. The time for being offended is over, dear readers. Let’s get happiestplaceonearthy…
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