Back before Disneyland changed Walt and Roy’s apartment above Pirates of the Caribbean into the Dream Suite, it housed one of the most magical places in the kingdom: The Disney Gallery. A trip up the stairs above the entrance to the PotC would allow you to explore the magic of Disney, and if you had enough money, you could take some of that magic home. For better or worse, I rarely had enough money, but that was okay because dreams, wishes, and imagination were free.Continue reading Spotlight Saturday: The Disney Gallery
In honor of Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction turning 50, the Disney Expo 2017 held a contest for Pirates-related art. I convinced Jenya that we should try to win the prize using penguins in the “Take a Wench for a Bride” scene. I knew Disney was going to change the scene, sooner rather than later, but they hadn’t made an announcement. Jenya looked at some other scenes, but thought these outfits made for the funniest penguins. Because of the timing of the contest, Jenya had to make the pirate plushie penguins before the results about moving forward were in. We weren’t chosen, but we had all the penguins.Continue reading Pirate Plushie Penguins for 2017’s D23 Expo
Pick a ride to be stuck on for all eternity at #Disneyland (the ride is working, you just can’t get off).— LaughingPlace.com (@laughing_place) August 15, 2019
In a tweeted poll, LaughingPlace.com said, “Pick a ride to be stuck on for all eternity at #Disneyland (the ride is working, you just can’t get off),” and they gave four options: Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain.
Anyone who chose Space Mountain was straight up tripping. If you take it at face value, there’s no good way to eat or get food while on the attraction – and you’d be eating on a roller coaster. Probably not the smartest decision. If you take it at fantasy value, there’s no place to get food in space. While Disney would switch it up and you could experience Ghost Galaxy, HyperSpace Mountain and that strange but cool 1970’s disco version of the attraction. It would still be difficult and horrible to be stuck on it for eternity. And how would you go to the bathroom? In space, no one can hear you scream, but if someone started tossing the accumulated waste into the travel areas, you might find reason to scream, or keep your mouth shut tighter.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – I feel like this attraction is one that is under the strong possibility of getting removed from Disneyland soon. There’s nothing keeping it there. The Wind in the Willows animated film isn’t exactly in the top 12 of Disney films. There aren’t any sequels or (more) live action adaptations in the work. There isn’t a lot of merchandising. The only things that the attraction has going for it are it’s a classic and you get to drive to Hell! That’s pretty amazing in Disneyland. As far as food and bathroom go, there aren’t a lot of nearby options.
However, in terms of the fantasy realm. Moley is eating a fine meal. You can go to the bar and get a root beer float. There are pies on the journey, and there is never a shortage of adventure. Hell might be a little scarier though…
Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters – Spend enough time on the ride, and I might finally be able to get to 3 million points, even if they reset after every pass. Food would be hard to come by, even in the fantasy version of this – unless you can eat batteries, aliens, or dinosaur eggs.
it’s a small world – I actually like the song, so that wouldn’t be a huge problem for me. At face value, you’d have a pleasant rip around the world, you come out into the fresh air, people can deliver food to the boat as you pass by the dock, and it would be a great place to stretch out and sleep. Sooner or later, you would also master the lyrics to the song in at least 5 languages. The scene would change as the Christmas season rolled around, so there would visual appeal beyond what a chiming clock on the outside could bring. Waste could be thrown over the side if there’s no bucket.
Heading into the fantasy realm, it’s a small world could provide you with amazing cuisine from all over the world. You’d meet friendly people and enjoy their hospitality all while floating by on your boat. If you want to travel to new countries and enjoy other cultures, an imaginary trip through it’s a small world eternity would be amazing and never boring.
The Disneyland Railroad – It’s outside. You’d be able to switch seats, and if you were lucky, you could ride in the comfort of the Lily Belle. You also get to pass through the Grand Canyon and the time of the dinosaurs. Food can be delivered at any of the stops, including beignets and mint juleps or possibly something from the Blue Bayou or Club 33, and you get to watch as the core elements of Disneyland change. You’d probably need a bucket or you could eliminate waste over the side of the train cars or out the back.
The Haunted Mansion – it’s my favorite attraction and one that I’ve been dying to join ever since the idea of a death certificate occurred to me. However, as a living person the complication that exists is whether or not we would have to remain seated in our… Doom Buggies. If so, then we would miss out on the Stretching Room, the Portrait Gallery with its staring busts, and Little Leota on the way out. The Haunted Mansion would never be able to have the last laugh again. At least it’s dark, so using the bathroom would be less embarrassing and buckets could be exchanged at either the loading or the unloading zone. Just be sure to go at a time when you won’t have to face the downhill out of the attic.
In the realm of fantasy, the whole tour really is a swinging wake, and as long as we can avoid the axe of Constance, we should be okay. The food might be a little old, but the Christmas Overlay would see fresh gingerbread!
Still, without the queue, its comforting atmosphere, the Hearse, the various cemeteries, and the not-smiling faces of the hosts and hostesses, the Haunted Mansion might be missing something as a complete experience. You really need to be able to get the whole experience from the unexpected outside to the foyer and beyond. (If you like the Haunted Mansion, get a copy of “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”)
The Jungle Cruise – It’s never a bad day for a good pun. The Jungle Cruise will have you laughing again and again, especially as they change riverboat skippers. You’ll get to hear old jokes and new jokes while relaxing outside and passing by the most dangerous part of the journey – the return to civilization. If you get hungry, the Tropical Hideaway may be able to throw you a Dole Whip or Bao. Those are pretty good (and reasonably priced). Waste can be tossed overboard if there’s no bucket available.
In the fantasy realm, you get a tour of the greatest rivers of the world. The adventure of a lifetime that includes seeing animals in the wild and avoiding the perils of a dangerous jungle. You might even get to meet the head salesman of the jungle. Business is shrinking, so he’s offering a deal: two of his heads for the price of one of yours. There’s plenty of vegetation and animals to eat if you can catch them from your boat, and the skipper has a gun, so you’ll be protected from that tiger that can jump over 50 feet and go right over the boat.
The Pirates of the Caribbean – It would be a cold day for compassion if you couldn’t get someone to toss you some food form the Blue Bayou. It’s a part of the attraction itself and has some of the best food at Disneyland. The adrenaline drops, the amazing effects, and the storyline all add to this attraction to make it one of the best and possibly the one that you should ride for eternity if you had to choose. The boat benches are spacious enough to sleep on. Waste can be dumped overboard if there’s no bucket available.
In the fantasy realm, you would still be able to get food and rum, lots of rum, so if that’s your thing, Pirates makes a good choice. Plus, pirates don’t make such bad companions, do they?
The Mark Twain – Spacious, luxurious riverboat travel down the Rivers of America! This is the attraction that is the best choice for a ride that lasts eternity. Walt Disney had his anniversary party in 1955 on the Mark Twain, in part. There’s a place for a bar, and musicians like Louis Armstrong have performed on the main deck. The leisurely ride has enough nature and sun, and when the weather gets inclement, there are areas that remain dry. Food can be delivered and prepared on board, and if there isn’t a bathroom on board already, one can easily be installed. Need a place to sleep? There’s a bunk in the wheelhouse. And you get to be in Fantasmic!
If you want to read more analysis of the Disney Company, check out “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” For more on Disneyland’s structure and its application to creativity, check out “Disneyland Is Creativity: 25 Tips for Becoming More Creative.”
Claude Coats started out in backgrounds in animation; through this experience, he became a master at establishing moods through the use of atmosphere. In the 1950s, Coats designed the building for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, pioneering the idea of sculpting ideas before they were built. He told imagineer Tony Baxter that Baxter should remain hands on. Drawing can trick people into believing that something can be done. Those same tricks can’t be done to a sculpture.
He worked alongside Marc Davis on the Pirates of the Caribbean, and at the completion of that attraction, he was assigned the Haunted Mansion. While both Coats and Davis wanted to be the headman on the Haunted Mansion, it was there interaction that made the Haunted Mansion a classic attraction. The tension between the two came from their differing ideas about what the Haunted Mansion should be. Coats wanted a scarier attraction. Marc Davis wanted some humor in the attraction.
Walt Disney recognized that Coats had a knack for being able to translate two dimensional images into three dimensions. Coats was also able to lay down tracks that maximized the use of a building’s interior. These talents were put to good use by the Disney Company. Find out what your talents are and find the best way to use them.
Sources: “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic” by Jason Surrell.
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Before heading to Oregon for my author signing at Second Chance Books, I thought we should stop by my favorite place…
Walt Disney turned to Ken Anderson to work on the Haunted Mansion in the late 1950s. There had been other concepts before, usually one or two drawings and not much else. Anderson got to work and began coming up with stories for the mansion, which he referred to as the “ghost house.” Anderson came up with the design based on a building in Baltimore, and he came up with several different stories, especially suited for a walk-through.
There was Captain Gore, who killed his bride when she found out that he was an infamously blood-thirsty pirate; she haunted him until he hanged himself. There was the Blood family, whose ancestral home where they all died was transplanted at Disneyland. Anderson worked on various effects and storylines within those concepts, including one with the Headless Horseman and naïve guides, but none of them worked for Walt. The Haunted Mansion resisted cohesive story-telling.
Instead, it needed to be more like the Pirates of the Caribbean, which wasn’t developed at the time Anderson was working on the Haunted Mansion. Walt told his imagineers to think of Pirates like a cocktail party. People wouldn’t be able to hear all of the conversations going on. This was a good thing because it meant that they would have to come back to see it again. That approach worked for the Haunted Mansion, too.
While the façade of the Haunted Mansion was completed in 1963, the attraction wouldn’t open until August 9, 1969. The years it spent in development and the amount of time the mansion stood empty only worked in favor of Disneyland where it opened to large crowds and earned the hearts of millions of guests.
Celebrate 50 years of the Haunted Mansion with us and preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” A wholly unauthorized look at the history of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland and what it can help us learn about becoming more creative.
Many Disneyland attractions already have movie attached to them. The Jungle Cruise will get its eponymous movie, starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in 2020, though the boat designs were based on 1951’s “The African Queen.” The Indiana Jones Adventure has a series of films and a TV show based on the popular character; there are rumors of a fifth film in the works for 2021. Tarzan’s Treehouse is connected to Disney’s animated feature of the same name and was formerly known as the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse; the Swisskapolka is still played in memoriam of the former incarnation. This leaves only the Enchanted Tiki Room as an attraction in Adventureland without a movie.
The Pirates of the Caribbean has had five movies based on it. A sixth one was scheduled but the writers walked out and Disney has yet to clarify whether the reboot will move forward. The Haunted Mansion had a terrible movie made about it and deserves a do-over. Tom Sawyer’s Island, based on the Mark Twain stories of Tom and Huck Finn with a pirate overlay, has a movie starring JTT and the tie-in to the Pirates of the Caribbean. The seasonal Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes have the surprise hit of the 1950s “Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier,” which started on the weekly Disney TV show and moved to the theaters after it became so popular. New Orleans Square is pretty much covered unless you want to count the Blue Bayou or Club 33 as attractions.
Critter Country’s Splash Mountain is based on the never-to-be-seen-in-the-U.S.-again “The Song of the South,” and Winnie the Pooh has several films, and TV shows – most recently, “Christopher Robin.” The Country Bear Jamboree also got a movie; however, the film released after the show was evicted from the premises.
Over at Frontierland, the Mark Twain doesn’t have its own movie; neither does the Sailing Ship Columbia or Big Thunder Mountain. Big Thunder Mountain does have a series of comic books. The Golden Horseshoe Stage was designed by Harper Goff who also did the saloon in “Calamity Jane.” The Shooting Exposition is another attraction that is missing a movie. But does it deserve one?
Fantasyland is all about the mostly animated films of Walt Disney, which contributed to the TV show “Once Upon a Time.” From “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to “Frozen,” just about every attraction has a movie to go with it. “Dumbo” and “Alice in Wonderland” are represented twice, and that’s not including the miniatures in Storybookland Canals. Even the Matterhorn is tied to “Third Man on the Mountain.” It’s a small world, however, does not.
Toon Town is also replete with films, or at least, the short cartoons of Disney’s past. Home to the Big Five, Toon Town also features nods to the Disney Afternoon with Gadget’s Go Coaster. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” provides the framework for Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin.
Tomorrowland has its own movie, which was better than it was given credit for. The attractions in Tomorrowland mainly rely on “Star Wars,” “Toy Story” and “Finding Nemo for their themes. The exceptions are Space Mountain, the Monorail, the Astro Orbitor and Autopia.
Main Street U.S.A.’s attractions appear to be completely ignored by Disney’s movie making machine. Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Penny Arcade, and the Main Street Cinema are all attractions without movies though Disney did distribute “Lincoln” in 2012. None of the vehicles on the street have their own films.
So, which of the attractions that do not have films should be made into a movie? Or is Disney going to need to create new attractions to find the next Pirates of the Caribbean franchise? Leave your comments below, include a possible plotline, just keep it PG.
Thinking deeply about a subject is part of becoming more creative. If you like Disney, a great place to start to think deeply and improve your creativity is with “Disneyland Is Creativity: 25 Tips for Becoming More Creative.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” for a more in-depth analysis of my favorite ride. For other articles related to Disney check out these links.
While everyone has focused on the controversial change to the iconic auction scene on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, people have missed a subtler and more astounding addition to the classic attraction. In the cave as guests transfer between the world of the dead into the world of the living pirates, a skeleton holds treasure while hanging from a rope above a living octopus. Barbossa’s assault on the Spanish fort can be heard in the background as the guest’s ship glides by the skeleton.
But wait, it’s no longer a skeleton. The figure has transformed into a full-blooded pirate with flesh and hair! The effect may be simple to create, the result is still astounding. It was so surprising that I had to ride twice to make sure I saw what I did and other members of my party didn’t see it the first time either. So, while Scarlett, who is available as a funny, powerful face character in New Orleans Square, gets all the glamour, this other more low-key addition to Pirates of the Caribbean proves that Disney can still make magic!
The Pirates of the Caribbean auction scene, as presented in 2018, shows Scarlett going head-to-head with the Auctioneer in a sales pitch of sorts. The Auctioneer is trying to sell off Tiny’s egg-laying hens while Scarlett is trying to sell her rum. The pirates who are bidding want nothing to do with the egg-layers, but the Auctioneer refuses to give way and allow Scarlett to auction off the rum. This scene replaces the infamous “Take a Wench for a Bride” scene where the Auctioneer was attempting to auction off the overweight Tiny while Scarlett showed off her gams and the men in the audience shouted, “We wants the red-head,” as well as other more derogatory comments directed at Tiny.
This isn’t the first change that Pirates of the Caribbean has gone through. In 1997, the pirates stopped chasing women and started chasing food. Captain Jack Sparrow and his friends were added to the attraction in 2006 and beyond.
Those who deride the change in the auction scene as pandering to the political correctness miss the point of Disneyland entirely. Walt Disney, a man who had his fingers on the pulse of American culture for three decades, said that as long as there was imagination left in the world, Disneyland would never be completed. The same holds true for its attractions.
Walt Disney’s first goal was to entertain and make people happy. Pirates of the Caribbean was never about historical accuracy, or even, edutainment. Instead, it was about helping people be happier and allowing them to explore an extremely sanitized version of an historic population – pirates.
Those who wish to teach their children about the realities of pirating and a pirate’s life can use the Pirates of the Caribbean as a starting point. They can address the inaccuracy of pirates as depicted in movies and other forms of entertainment and how media affects the way people view those that came before. Pirates and their lives weren’t clean, friendly or fighting for justice. As the song says, they pillaged and plundered and rifled and looted; they kidnapped and ravaged and never gave a hoot about it. So, for those who choose to go that route with their children, “properly warned ye be, says I, arrrr.”
Before shouting for the red-head, check out the new version and see if it fits the story line better. There is no slippery slope here. It’s just a chance to keep the ride fresh and accommodate the changes in American society and culture. Keep your ruddy hands inboard and embrace the magic of the new version. (And if you’re still concerned about the sanitized version of the pirates ride, do some research to see what Walt said about scalps in front of the Indian Village in Frontierland.)