Monday, August 10, 2009

Disneyland - Top 10 Things to See and Do - A Guest Blogger (my 12-year-old daughter, Caitlin)

Jungle-teers, today we have a very special guest---my daughter Caitlin. She put together today's entry completely on her own (Dad supplied some ideas for the topic, but she took them and ran with them!). As you can see, I raised a fabulous young lady (if I do say so myself).

Without further ado, I present Caitlin's blog entry!

Top 10 Things To See & Do At Disneyland

1. Going on My Dad’s Jungle Cruise Boat- I will always remember this. My dad was simply the best Jungle Cruise skipper you will ever know (no offense to anyone who is a skipper!). He is the meaning of the Jungle Cruise, its poster child! Knew his spiel so well, made people laugh, had personality. You can’t get any better than that! I’m so sad that he isn’t able to work there for the time being, but him and I both know that he will be back soon enough.

2. Going to see Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room- How I love this! One of the most entertaining things in all of Disneyland. This is where my good friends Jose, Fritz, Michael, and Pierre all live, along with all the tiki gods & goddesses. Everyone knows the songs and it just brings you back to the good ol’ days of Disneyland. While you’re there, get a Dole Whip. They are simply delicious!

3. Taking a Ride on “The Mark Twain” at Night- This is incredibly magical! The lights on this huge riverboat shine down on the silky, black waters of the “Rivers of America.” Everything around seems to come alive as Samuel Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) tells you about what can be found all around you.

4. Watching the Electrical Parade- It’s my most favorite parade! The music and lights are just amazing. Although I never saw it on Main Street, I’m sure it was a ton better than it is at California Adventure.

5. Looking at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Christmastime- Gorgeous, astonishing, brilliant. These words describe the sight of the Castle during the Holidays. It’s decorated in huge icicle lights that look incredibly real and a soft bluish-white light covers it. It is breath-taking, a sight you must go and see at least once. For I believe the holidays are one of the most magical seasons in Disneyland.

6. Going on “The Storybook Land Canal Boats”- This is definitely one of my most favorite rides. I am a HUGE fan of miniatures and this ride always seemed to be made for me. I would love to just be able to get off & explore this ride and look at it more closely. This is a ride I would love to work on!!!

7. Watching Mickey Cartoons at the Main Street Cinema- This is a great place to just go and relax after a long, hot day. I love all the old cartoons and they never cease to entertain me. I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s also a great place to wait after a parade lets out, complete with air conditioning and TV for the kids!

8. Having a Character Breakfast at The Plaza Inn- I know I’m twelve but I still love the characters at Disneyland and having breakfast with them is just awesome. They come around to your table and take pictures and sign autographs. Plus, the food is great and I love the Plaza’s old Victorian style. Also, you get into the park early!

9. Shopping at the Adventureland Bazaar – This shop is far from bizarre and is where I have gotten most of my Disney clothes. If you’re a fan of The Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, or The Tiki Room, this is the place to shop. They’ve got accessories, clothes, toys, knick-knacks, and so much more!

10. Getting Mozzarella Sticks & a Funnel Cake at “The Stage Door CafĂ©” in Frontierland- My favorite place to eat for a special treat. The mozzarella sticks are fantastic with a little marinara sauce & you can get either a chocolate or strawberry funnel cake. The funnel cakes are perfect for all those with a sweet tooth!


Disneyland - Mark Twain - What's Missing? - Big Thunder

Above is a scan of a photograph I took in around 1977 and it shows the stately Mark Twain at her dock in Frontierland.

What's missing?

Hint: look above the trees behind the Mark Twain.

It looks a bit strange to see the Frontierland skyline without the now-familiar peaks of Big Thunder Mountain.

When the above photograph was taken, the only train you could ride near "Big Thunder" (falls, that is) was the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.

By September 1979, however, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad would take its place as the newest Disneyland "mountain."

In honor of my old attraction BTMM (and the many hours I spent asking, "how many in your party?" before directing guests to their seats), I offer you Jungle readers the following article from the Spring 1980 edition of Disney News (with thanks to author, Tom Fitzgerald). [NOTE: If you click on the article, you should be able to access a nice blow-up that you can actually read!].

I was reminded of BTMM days when I saw that an old cast member friend's daughter had found this blog and passed along her thanks for sharing an old photograph of "mom" back in the 1980s. The Cast Member was Jackie Lacey and I rarely saw her in anything other than a Thunder costume! Sure, she had the occasional "Tiki" or Treehouse shifts, but mainly Jackie worked Big Thunder [along with such famous Cast Members as "Doug," Janet Mondragon, and Sue Barnaby (aka "Sue B.")].

That reminds me of a BTMM story.

Word was that a certain Imagineer broke his foot during the BTMM build. To commemorate this event, a rock in the shape of a casted foot was supposedly included in the attraction alongside the tracks. Another tall tale from an old prospector? Well, sir, I'm not so sure. Next time you take a notion to ride ol' Thunder, you be sure to keep your eyes a' peeled...