Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Disneyland Musings - Volume V - What's The Strangest Thing That Ever Happened To You While Visiting The Park?

Hello, Jungle followers and readers! I've been stuck doing a million other things in my "real" life, so this virtual life has suffered greatly.

Today's post is a quick one, just so you don't think I've left you forever.

To make it even easier on myself, I am posing a question for you---so you can do most of the work.

What is the strangest thing that ever happened to you while visiting Disneyland?

Here's one of my answers to this ponderously deep question: One of the strangest things that happened to me at the Park might actually be the huge cloud of ash that drifted over Disneyland from a brush fire in nearby Yorba Linda as I was working on Jungle Cruise. It was very odd to see the Jungle turn orange. Indeed, all of Adventureland was cast in a weird orange glow as the fire clouds covered the sun. Fine ash rained down onto the canopies of our boats and the Elephant Bathing pool was turned into a scene from Apocalypse Now.

The Park became eerily quieter when blanketed by the smoke. It was one of those rare occasions when the outside world literally poured in over the berm. And in these rather crazy, 2012, End-of-Days, Nostradamus Effect, Global Economic Collapse, Terror Alert Level Orange, post-9/11, amped up and out of control times---it really wasn't all that pleasant to see a leviathan plume of smoke over the Park. I did not work at the Park on September 11, 2001, but can't imagine a weirder or more unsettling day than that for those Cast Members who were there that morning. I've read some posts along the way from people who were working in the Park that day. Surreal.

Well. How's that for uplifting?

Of course, I could've told you about the time I encountered a fellow Cast Member swimming in the Submarine Lagoon, but we'll save that for another day.

If you have a moment, drop a post about YOUR strangest Disneyland experience. I am sure there are some great stories among you. All four (4) of my loyal readers.

Stay safe and do your part to see that there is imagination left in the world.



Kurt Miller said...

I was in the parks on September 11th (Animal Kingdom, to be exact). I blogged about it here: http://kcmwwodp.blogspot.com/2008/09/september-11th.html

It's nothing too crazy, but you asked.

Richard Harrison said...

Probably the time I was almost thrown out of Disneyland Park for taking pictures and notes of Main Street windows. It was surreal and the first time there that the illusion was lifted.


Anonymous said...

OK. Now something from an insider. How about:
1. The evening the park closed due to Yippee Day?
2. The afternoon I and the skiff disappeared under Switzer Falls?
3. The afternoon the canoe "sank" in front of the Frontierland dock w/ me, my partner and 16 van club members engaged in a non-Disney sanctioned race with another club?

madammina (Disney Geek) said...

Hmm... just odd..

I was talking about how I didn't like Rafiki (in a costume) or doing autographs with the costumes to my grandmother, about 50 feet or more away from the place where Rafiki was.

Guess who snuck up behind me? I was quite embarrassed when I felt a plastic kiss on my head.

brittany said...

hey now you have 5 readers, I know it's exciting.

Weirdest thing happened as a CM, I was standing in the hub having just finished directing people around after fireworks and a woman walks up to me and says, "so that's the castle?" I reply that yes it is, and she askes me..... with a straight face, "well, where is the blue one in all the pictures?" I think it over for a moment........... blue one? blue one? ah ha! Magic Kingdom in Disney World, I kindly repsond... to a very unenthusiastic "oh, so this is it here?"

I haven't had anything truly weird happen in the jungle yet, odd, annoying, sure not weird just yet.

outsidetheberm said...

How about this...

Crossing the Rivers of America in 1968 via one of the Tom Sawyer Island rafts when a Keel Boat (skippered by a trainee) rams us at full speed. That craft splintered our raft and penetrated a good six feet before stopping. I'll tell you this... Keel Boats look gargantuan when they bear down on you!

Anonymous said...

My wife's hobby is sewing. The one thing she makes me are short sleeve shirts out of Disney material. One day in the gift shop at Pop Century
all the help went to retrieve the pick ups from the park. No one was manning the counter as the line slowly grew with people to purchase
merchandise. A young man in a Disney uniform came to me and asked what he should do. Here again I'm just in a short sleeve Disney shirt with no name tag. I looked at him and asked how long he had worked here? "six month's."
was his reply, "and you don't know what to do?" With that he became flustered and blurted out "Open a new register?" "That sounds like a good idea." So off he ran. A few minutes later a customer broke from the line and confronted me about the wait and what was I going to do about it."Well." I said,"#1 So and so is going to open a new register up front and #2 I don't work here, I'm on vacation like you." well he gets all flustered spitting out " but... you...he...your shirt...Oh never mind" and gets back in line as everyone else has a good laugh.
The help comes back and passes out all our booty and starts ringing everyone else up. The manager asks where jimmy is and I blurt out he's opening a new register. Oh good she says thats what I wanted him to do. With that everyone in line starts cracking up as we leave to start our day.

Anonymous said...

Well gee, nothing weird per se. Just key moments, like when my four-year-old son was given the opportunity to "wake up" Jose in the Tiki Room. Really, I just wanted to post to let you know that you have more than four readers, and that your work is truly appreciated.

Namowal said...


Riding the People Mover through Space Mountain when the later was closed for the day. Someone (probably mistakenly) left the lights on so I got a view of the ride few outsiders see- a big room full of gray steel tracks.

marci said...

As teens back in the 70's, standing in line for Space Mountain, my brother whispers, "Hey, that guy looks just like me!" And he DID! Another teen in line looked almost exactly like my brother. We looked again and the guy had two brothers with him who also looked exactly like my brother! : ) By the way they were looking at us, they'd noticed it as well.

Another Time, years later, my own little family was allowed to ride Indiana Jones before it's official opening. My youngest met the height restriction. Three months later, entering the line, we were disappointed to find the restriction had been raised. That evening we made a trip to the grocery store, bought a package of those hard cleaning sponges, cut them in the shape of my son's feet and tucked them in his sandals before entering the Indiana line...he made the height restriction!

If I may add the most heartwarming moment...Fantasmic! was ending and headed back behind the trees so my family got the idea to run to the Hungry Bear Restaurant to see the very end. The area was dark...the show definitely over...but the characters all looked at our family smiling and waving just for us until we were out of sight. If you get what I'm talking about, you won't think I'm silly when I say it brought tears to our eyes.

Yes, Thank You...Your work IS truly appreciated. : )

Anonymous said...

Getting "trapped" on a broken PeopleMover in the super-speed tunnel. Ahhghh!