Disney, Racism, and the Splash Mountain Problem

It is no secret even among the most devoted of fans that Disney has a race problem. It is unsurprising, given that is was founded by a white, mid-western American man who was steeped in the values of his time. In addition, the Disney corporation flourished in the United States which has been built (quite literally) on the benefits of racism and the control of people of color. The facts are not debatable. They are empirical fact. Disney animation was a studio of white men, who told white stories with white characters, for white audiences. They did it well and made a lot of money doing it. If people of color appeared at all they were villains, caricatures, or comic relief.

We all know this. We tolerate it in older films because, that was just the way of things. Yes, the crows in “Dumbo” are racist caricatures, but they actually have the best song in the whole movie. it is best to avoid conversation around Native American representation in “Peter Pan” altogether. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that Disney started producing films with diverse casts. “Aladdin”, “Mulan”, “Pocahontas”, “The Emperor’s New Groove”, all featured animated characters of other races, though not necessarily diverse voice cast members. They also, for the most part, had white writers, directors, and animators. There were some bright spots in this era of Disney movies, but they were the exception. “The Lion King”, Disney’s one and only movie set in Africa and one of their most successful, featured animals instead of people, the lead character was voiced by white actors, and the soundtrack was written primarily by a white man with little to no actual African influences at all.

With the launch of Disney’s new CGI animated features, there has been a return to pattern. “Tangled”,”Wreck it Ralph” and “Frozen” are devoid of characters of color. Since then, Disney has responded to increasing calls to make their movies, ‘more inclusive’ by including random characters of color in minor roles. Most recently Captain Mattias in “Frozen II”. This feels exactly like what it is. A character with no real agency put in for optics. The addition of the Northuldra tribe is a much better inclusion. Not only are they based on the actual indigenous people of Scandinavian areas, they are key to the entire plot of the movie. I would like to say that Disney is learning, but I am still skeptical that they really understand the point of inclusion. This whole discussion, of course, leaves out Disney’s most controversial race based movie ever, “Song of the South”. This is where this blog entry is going to get very long. So settle in for the long haul or bail here.

“Song of the South” is a whole big ball of racist trouble and Disney knows it. They have locked it in the Disney vault with the intention of never letting it see the light of day. It’s depiction of the post war south is Confederate propaganda at best. The racism is obvious enough that it was called out as early as 1946 when the film was released. It has been called “one of Hollywood’s resiliently offensive texts” and “a nostalgic valentine to a past that never existed”. So, why are we still talking about it? A couple of reasons.

First, the music of “Song of the South” is good. “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” is not only a Disney classic, it is an Academy Award winner, and one of the American Film Institutes 100 best song in American cinema. There are people who know this song, who not only haven’t seen the movie but don’t even know it exists. However, as long as the song exists, people will ask the questions, “What’s that from?” Which is inevitably followed by, “Why haven’t I seen it?”

Second, “Song of the South”, with all it’s problems is the only adaptation of the folk tales of the enslaved people of the Antebellum South besides the Uncle Remus books. If it wasn’t for the work of Joel Chandler Harris, the white man who collected the stories, it is likely that these tales would have been lost to time. Like most oral histories, they fade from memory if not collected and written down. Harris’ own story is convoluted and his work was held up in his time by African Americans who valued the work he did. He was also condemned by white contemporaries for wasting his time. No one but Disney has ever put these stories forward outside their books. They are, in point of fact, the only uniquely Black stories Disney has ever told in its 92 year history. There is value to that. Scholars have compared the stories to Aesop’s Fables, but they have none of the cultural knowledge or acceptance. Those stories are more than the movie they are in and somehow need to be redeemed from it, told in an appropriate format, and given pride of place in the very small canon of non-native American folklore.

Finally, of course, we have Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain is Disney’s first and most classic water ride. It is a must ride at at least two of the three parks where it is built (I cannot speak to its popularity in Tokyo), especially in the warmer months. It is worth a FastPass to avoid the very long lines. People love it. It is beautifully crafted and uses all the best parts of “Song of the South”, namely the cartoon characters and the music. This ride is solely responsible for at least two generation’s knowledge of Bre’r Rabbit and friends. Changing it for any reason would bring uproar and then backlash. We are, as Disney fans, invested in nostalgia and tradition. Probably much more than we should be. In addition, changing a major Disney ride is no small feat. When Space Mountain was gutted and completely refurbished it was closed for more than two years, causing many guests (myself included) to feel robbed of a classic experience. Add that to the fact that the ride is the only way to cool down on a hot day, and there will be complaints that have nothing to do with the theme, only the inconvenience.

So, yes. Disney has a problem with systematic racism and a portion of it is us. As fans, we need to be able hold them accountable. This will mean losing some of the things we have grown to love and supporting them while they are making hard choices. It may mean that we lose something in the process, but we have to know that what we gain will be better. Not only for our sisters and brothers of color, but for us, and our world.

*****************************UPDATE **************************

Literally minutes before this was scheduled to be published, Disney Parks Imagineering announced the rethemeing of Splash Mountain. The as yet untitled ride will be based on “The Princess and the Frog” and has been in the works for a year! It will mark several firsts. The first attraction to feature a character of color and the first major attraction to feature a woman. (Yes, I know about Snow White’s Scary Adventure and Frozen Ever After but neither could be considered major attractions). As I predicted when I wrote this, the backlash has already begun. Cries of “You’re ruining the parks!” and “Why do you cave in to social pressure” have popped up on the internet feeds. I would encourage you to support Disney in this. It is a big change to commit to. It will be a beautiful ride when finished, it is a natural fit for the space, and hopefully it will be a herald of things to come.

Artwork from the Disney Parks blog. All copyrights belong to Disney.

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Too Many Thoughts While Watching “Fantasia”

This week, I’ve watched “Fantasia”. It is shockingly long for what it is, and I had a LOT of thoughts.

  1. Cool opening!  The orchestra walking into place.
  2. Are they all dudes?
  3. Nope, two women playing harp.
  4. Love the conductor’s intro.
  5. “Absolute music”, very high brow.
  6. Oh, not the conductor.  Who was that guy?
  7. Not sure if this is still live action of if we’ve segued into animation of the musicians.
  8. Now that’s definitely animation
  9. It’s the violin bows!
  10. The woodwinds are sparkles.  I approve.
  11. I am amazed that they chose to start Fantasia with this abstract piece.
  12. I’m wondering if the different sections were animated by different people.  The styles are quite diverse.
  13. Nobody performs the Nutcracker anymore?  Really?  When did it become a thing again?
  14. Love the painted style of this one.
  15. Fairies for the Dane of the Sugarplum Fairy isn’t that much of a stretch.
  16. Are these mushrooms supposed to be Asian? It’s not the worst Disney has done, but it is vaguely disturbing.
  17. The spinning flowers are a little repetitious.
  18. Like Pinocchio, there are sexy fish.
  19. Like the concept though.  The music is very fluid.
  20. The animation for the Russian Dance is a little too repetitive for my taste.
  21. Are these different fairies?
  22. Are they killing those plants?
  23. Ah!  It’s autumn.
  24. The floating seeds are making me sleepy
  25. Now it’s winter
  26. And now we get to the one that everybody remembers.
  27. Is Yen Dis summoning the demon for Night on Bald Mountain?
  28. It’s a butterfly now.
  29. I think Mickey is wearing Dopey’s outfit.
  30. It strikes me that this is the first classic, cartoon style animation so far.
  31. Ah, Mickey and his delusions of grandeur.
  32. One might think he would wake up before being dumped into the water.
  33. Broom murder!
  34. Ok.  I get that theoretically the magic broom bits could have come back to life, but those were just ordinary buckets.  There should have been a herd of brooms with two buckets.
  35. Why does he open the door?
  36. Shouldn’t the water just be flowing out that window?  How is it underwater?
  37. Why is there a whirlpool?
  38. How big is this room?
  39. Why are the brooms sinking?
  40. Daddy’s home and he’s mad.
  41. Mickey thanking the conductor is a nice touch.
  42. Percussion comedy?
  43. “What science thinks”, hedge those creationist bets.
  44. Narrator is mean to dinosaurs.
  45. Space stuff is a little boring.
  46. Can’t tell if this is painted animation, cell animation, or a combination of both.
  47. Classic music as the soundtrack to exploding volcanoes is off putting.  There should be booms.
  48. The music is seriously much too pleasant for hot, lava rivers of death..
  49. Swirling microbes and cellular division.  Just what everyone expects from a family film.
  50. Some pretty drastic evolutionary jumps are happening.
  51. Random predator is random.
  52. A lot of these dinosaurs look made up.
  53. The common thread in dino behavior seems to be stealing food from one another.
  54. T-Rex!
  55. This is a kids’ movie?  Violent dinosaur death is traumatic!
  56. Draught dinosaurs are also traumatic!
  57. This short is depressing.
  58. Very weird earthquake actions.
  59. So, there was an eclipse that caused the ground to open, rock formations to rise into the air, and the sea to overtake the land?  Is that what I’m supposed to take away from this?  I’m so confused.
  60. Intermission?  For reals?
  61. The orchestra is leaving.  Is there going to be a blank screen for fifteen minutes?
  62. Nope.  Here they come.  Though one might think that Disney could have shortened the run time of this beast by not showing the ins and outs of the orchestra.
  63. Impromptu jazz session.  It’s fun and all, but I’ve still got an hour left of this movie and would rather they just keep going.
  64. The soundtrack?
  65. I’m sure this was much more impressive an idea before everyone actually could see what sound looks like in digital mode.
  66. Centaurettes?  Really?
  67. My Little Ponies!
  68. I think Pegasus lost a couple of offspring on the flight?  Weren’t there five of them to start?
  69. More naked mythological women.  Did no one complain back in the day?
  70. Oh, good.   I’m so glad the ladies have access to all natural beauty products.  Otherwise they men wouldn’t appreciate their sexy walks.
  71. They also have flower bras now.
  72. The naked cupid babies are a little creepy and voyeuristic.
  73. Oh, heaven forbid not every single centaur isn’t paired up.
  74. And that, children, is how baby centaurs are made.
  75. Zeus is a party pooper.  Which is not how he is normally portrayed.
  76. This whole storm seems unnecessarily destructive.
  77. Rainbows make bubbles?  And change the color of water?
  78. Ostriches as ballerinas is brilliant.  Those long legs!
  79. Did they study any actual ballerinas for this part?
  80. Oddly, the hippos are better dancers.
  81. How did that elephant get a fish in her trunk?
  82. Bubbles defy laws of physics.
  83. So, I know that the crocodiles are supposed to be scary, but as an adult I know that hippos are completely terrifying and could take them out.
  84. Shoulders don’t work like that.
  85. Most of those animals could take out a crocodile. 
  86. Paused for a moment here, and the narrator really looks bored as a pig with this whole situation.
  87. If, as the narrator says, Bald Mountain is the home of the Devil.  Who builds a village at its foot?
  88. This short scared the snot out of me as a child.  I am once again questioning why this was made for children.
  89. Is he killing his own minions?
  90. More sexy, naked women.
  91. Then turned into animals, then demons.  That took a turn.
  92. Now that was full on naked breasts!
  93. Twice!
  94. Chernabog refolding back into the Mountain is a beautiful piece of animation.
  95.  That’s a lot of people in that pre-dawn procession.
  96. The animation is lovely, but after the busyness of the last part, is seems very boring.
  97. Did they really not learn any words to this besides “Ave Maria”?
  98. Ok, the soloist knows them.
  99. Slow pan shot to sunrise.  A bit anti-climactic after everything we’ve seen so far.
  100. And that’s the end.

To the Class of 2020

It has, by all standards, been a strange and unusual year filled with adaptation, change, and loss. For graduating seniors, this means the loss or traditional graduation ceremonies. While celebrations take place, they look remarkably different than they have in the past. There are still graduation speakers out there who think that the same old, often heard advice, delivered by Zoom will be good enough for the situation we are in. To that I say, a new time calls for a new approach.

So, with that in mind, I present this year’s advice to graduates. Gleaned from some characters who know a thing or two about overcoming challenges, it is timeless yet still appropriate to today’s topsy turvy world. Enjoy.

The Evil Queen | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Ask Questions

No one knows everything. It is always smart to ask questions. Have a ‘go to’ person (or persons) who know a lot more than you. It is always better to know as much as you can about a situation and getting information from someone else is an easy way to deal with an issue before it becomes a problem.

Honest John | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Take time to Have Fun

You can’t work all the time. Sometimes you need a break. Take one! Relaxation is good for you. Go see a show. Take a walk. Have a snack. There is no harm in a little diversion once and a while.

Lady Tremaine | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Delegate

It is no secret that there is a lot to do in every day life. Between work, classes, chores, and all the other things that have to get done, it is easy to be overwhelmed. You don’t have to do everything yourself. And you don’t have to wait around for someone to offer to help. Ask for what you need. You might be surprised how helpful people can be.

Find your own style

It is always tempting to just follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing. And that is fine, as long as you find joy in it. However, at some point you will need to find your own unique way of being you. Some people may not like it or even understand it, but they don’t have to. Be unique. Be yourself. Find a style that brings you joy and stick with it.

Ursula | Disney Princess Wiki | Fandom

Live up to your promises

If you make an agreement, stick to it. Don’t back out of promises. If you have committed to something it is important to always follow through. Say you are going to do something, then do it in a reasonable amount of time. That is one of the best ways to build trust.

Scar | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Be prepared

A little preparation goes a long way. If you lay out your goals and plan small steps to get you there, you are much more likely to succeed. You are more likely to see opportunities when they happen and use them to your own advantage. Don’t forget! Sometimes there are bumps in the road. Prepare for them, too.

Gaston | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Be Confident in Yourself

You have skills and talents that are valuable, but if you don’t let people know, they will likely be missed by those around you. You are your own best fan. Self-promote. Tell people how great you are otherwise they will never know. And how sad would that be?

Dr. Facilier | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Develop new Relationships

You will be heading out into new frontiers with opportunities to meet new people. It is sometime hard to make connections with those who are different not only from us, but from the people we are used to. Be brave! You never know who you might meet. It is possible that you will form relationships that will make a change in you and last the rest of your life.

Mother Gothel | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Mother Knows Best

Or Father. Call home often. As you are dealing with change and new situations, remember that the people who know you best are still there for you. They can remind you of where you come from and give you solid advice. They understand that you want to head out into the wider world, but still can keep you bound to where you came from.

Tamatoa | Disney Wiki | Fandom

Be open to change

You will change over the next several years. Let it happen. We do not all stay who we were. We develop and grow. Be willing to become more than you were. Embrace the changes that will come. Don’t keep yourself small out of fear of what might happen. Be bold and put yourself out there for everyone to see.

There you have it, Class of 2020. Your graduation advice from me and Disney. You may have some challenges in front of you, but with the right attitude, you have the ability to overcome it.

Congratulations!

Pinocchio: A Morality Play in Three Acts

To begin, let me say that Pinocchio is not one of my favorite Disney films. I don’t own it. I don’t rewatch it ever. If I see it is on when I’m scrolling, I don’t stop. I don’t particularly care for it. When watching it for this series I was reminded why.

It is curious to me why Disney chose this source material for their second feature film. After using a fairy tale as the basis for their successful first animated feature, they took a hard turn into 19th century Italian children’s literature. I have never read the original source material, but from what I have read about it it seems like the author, Carlo Collodi, didn’t actually like children. His original works are primarily about stupid children getting into the trouble that they deserved. The original character of Pinocchio is terrible. He is lazy, a liar, a thief, and a runaway. In Collodi’s ending of the story, Pinocchio is bound and hung until he dies as a lesson to bad children who would seek to emulate his behavior. It’s terrible! Who reads that and thinks, “Let’s make a movie?”

Well, obviously, someone did and that someone was Norman Ferguson. The animator gave Walt the translated novel, pitched the idea, and the story went into development. There were some obvious problems. First of which was, no one liked Pinocchio. They found that people didn’t connect with the character design. The wooden marionette was too unrealistic. After several attempts, the animators decided to draw a little boy with wooden accents instead of a puppet of a little boy. The other major problem was Pinocchio’s basic character. In the book, he was an enthusiastic participant in bad behavior. Again, this made him difficult to sympathize with. The decision was made to make him ‘innocent’ so that he was duped into bad situations. While that solved one problem, it created another. Pinocchio was now viewed as too stupid and gullible.
Enter Jiminy Cricket to provide counterbalance without changing the character’s basic personality. Is it any wonder it took nine writers to adapt this story?

The movie was well received, but financially unsuccessful in its first run. It won two Academy Awards and was hailed as “an apt metaphor for the metaphysics of mid-century American child-rearing” (Nicholas Sammond) which is slightly terrifying. Geppetto is at best an absentee father. While loving, he teaches Pinocchio nothing before sending him out into the world and expecting him to be able to function. He doesn’t even walk Pinocchio to school which is a place he had never been. It is the epitome of pull yourself up by your bootstraps, rugged individualism that is well loved in the American narrative. However, it is precisely this lack of care, education, and supervision that causes Pinocchio to get in trouble. Why does Pinocchio have to prove his worth with no help other than a bug who is distracted half the time? That’s not any kind of decent child-rearing model that I know. Which is perhaps a big part of why I dislike this movie.

Developmental psychologists talk in terms of nature versus nurture. There are some things that are just hardwired into us that cannot be changed (nature) while there are a lot more things that can be taught and learned (nurture). The writing team made the choice to change Pinocchio from a character who was just fundamentally bad (nature) to one that had to learn how to be good (nurture). However, they did not write in anyone to actually nurture him. He was told what to do with no explanation whatsoever. He didn’t understand what sleep was, so it should have come as no surprise that he didn’t know lying was wrong, smoking was bad, and running away would cause his father to worry. And yet, he is portrayed as repeatedly failing and being ‘bad’. Ultimately only succeeding in being a ‘good’ person by sacrificing his life. I have a hard time seeing how Pinocchio was the one who continued to fail. How different would the story have been if Geppetto had bothered to walk his son to school on what was not only his first day of school, but his literal first day? While intended to be a morality play that taught children the consequences of bad behavior, I think it might be more useful in educating adults.

What happens to our children when we ignore them? How can they learn if we refuse to teach? We have an obligation to, not just our children, but all children. We can help them learn what they need to learn and be with them in the process. Then, when it is finally time, they can step out into the world by themselves prepared for what is out there and able to make the right choices.

87 Confused thoughts about ‘Pinocchio’

Since I have been spending a higher than usual amount of time at home, I thought that it would be a good time to continue my journey through Disney’s cinematic history. So here are the thoughts I had while watching Disney Animation Studio’s second major film, “Pinocchio”.

  1. Opening credits are a bit less ornate. 
  2. Sung Overture
  3. Nine people got credit for adapting the story.  No one got vocal credits.
  4. Now that’s an impressive tenor.
  5. If he was there, why does he need a book to tell the story?
  6. Uncooperative book?
  7. How long did they think crickets actually live?
  8. Now, I know that Jiminy Cricket is an anthropomorphic bug, but an umbrella?
  9. Cricket don’t understand inanimate objects
  10. Fish with eyelashes?
  11. Sexy fish?
  12. Why is he mean to the kitten?
  13. That is way too many clocks.
  14. Why on earth does he check his watch with all those clocks?
  15. Smoking in bed.  With all that woodwork.  Definitely a safety hazard.
  16. I’m really starting to feel sorry for this cat.
  17. That is not the first star.  There are a whole bunch of them.
  18. “A very lovely thought.  But not at all practical.”  This one phrase describes the premise of so many Disney movies.
  19. That is some hard sand.
  20. There is no way that yelling would make the clocks stop.
  21. The Blue Fairy is semi-transparent.  That is some amazing animation.
  22. So, she kind of grants Geppetto’s wish, but not really.
  23. Brave, truthful, and unselfish that’s not at all difficult.
  24. Cricket is stylish.
  25. The bug has no idea what he’s doing.
  26. Why does Geppetto sleep with a gun under his pillow?
  27. This accidental shooting was avoidable.
  28. Geppetto moves from doubt to acceptance very quickly.
  29. There’s a lot of dancing in this movie.
  30. So far Jiminy Cricket has groped the butt of a figurine, tried to follow a clock milkmaid into her home, and now is propositioning a windup dancer.  He’s not a cricket, he’s a dog.
  31. Now he’s mean to the fish.
  32. Geppetto’s going to have to learn that the “why?” game goes on much longer than that.
  33. There are a zillion kids in this village!
  34. He did NOT have that apple in his pocket.
  35. Pinocchio doesn’t understand sleeping, what makes anyone think that he would understand the basic premise of getting to school and back on his own?
  36. Why does no one notice that Honest John is a giant talking fox?
  37. “I can see your name in lights.”  But there’s no electricity.
  38. This distraction was, in retrospect, predictable.
  39. Good-bye, physics.
  40. Pinocchio is basically being kidnapped and Jiminy is worried that telling a responsible adult is ‘snitching’.
  41. The first non-white character is a villain and a caricature.
  42. Cricket is now drooling over female puppets.
  43. Those Russian dancer marionettes would be a nightmare to untangle.
  44. Jiminy is just giving up?  Because there’s money?  Pinocchio is still supposed to go home.
  45. Why is there cake in the fishbowl?
  46. Stromboli is just generally bad in a racist sort of way,
  47. Jiminy is very bad at his job.
  48. Pinocchio is still very stupid.
  49. Atmospheric rain is convenient.
  50. Why are they hiding from the one person who can save them?
  51. One might think that he would have noticed his nose growing before the birds’ nest appeared.
  52. There are limits on how often the Blue Fairy can assist Pinocchio?  What are the rules?
  53. “I’m collecting stupid little boys.”  We know where this is going.
  54. The Coachman is truly creepy.
  55. There Pinocchio goes again.
  56. Lampwick keeps launching nothing with his slingshot.
  57. That boat must have exceeded its maximum capacity.
  58. A fighting tent?  This is what boys want?
  59. Tobacco Row?
  60. Random destruction?
  61. Do they rebuild this place every day and bring new boys the next night?
  62. Unrealistic pool tricks.
  63. Very realistic first time smoking reaction.
  64. That is not how you play pool.
  65. How does the magic work? And why are Lampwick and Pinocchio the only ones left?
  66. Random thought: would Pinocchio have turned into a real donkey or a wooden one?
  67. Pinocchio has been gone for two days. Geppetto was home last night.  Why is the house covered in cobwebs?
  68. I thought the Blue Fairy couldn’t help anymore.  Does correspondence not count?
  69. Writers subscribe to Biblical ideas about marine biology.
  70. Yes, one can easily expect to locate a single whale in the entirety of the ocean.
  71. Apparently puppets are great fish bait.
  72. Again, there is a serious lack of understanding of whale biology.
  73. Where did Geppetto get a boat?  How did he know he needed a boat?  There are many questions about this.
  74. How in the world have they been down there for days?  What is the timeline here? 
  75. Reminiscing about Pinocchio.  Really?  He came to life, you danced, everyone went to bed, he went to school, and never came back.  You knew him for twelve hours tops and were asleep for most of it.
  76. Convenient tuna are convenient.
  77. Why is Pinocchio swimming away?  Doesn’t he want to be in the whale?
  78. Geppetto is unfazed by a partial transformation.
  79. He’s built a raft? 
  80. Where exactly are they in the whale?  The stomach?  The stomach is not connected to the lungs to make him sneeze.
  81. The raft survived a whale attack?  Good craftsmanship.
  82. Oops, never mind.
  83. The fishbowl is upright.  No.
  84. How is it that Pinocchio doesn’t survive this?  He was quite possibly underwater for weeks definitely days looking for his dad with no ill effects.  He doesn’t appear to be broken and cannot drown.  I call shenanigans.
  85. Technically, Pinocchio only proved himself unselfish.  He definitely wasn’t truthful, and he was too stupid to know when he was in danger most of the time, so brave is also out.
  86. Geppetto once again is clueless to what is going on around him.  He should not be a parent.
  87. And we end as we started with the sang that would become the Disney anthem.

Disney Love in the Time of COVID-19

It is no secret that life is challenging right now. We are all either at home distancing ourselves to keep friends and loved ones safe or we are out in the world, daily risking exposure to COVID-19, working to keep essential services open and functioning. Either way, we are all dealing with stress, fear, and a major disruption in our lives. It didn’t help that we really had little to no preparation for what was coming. Even though we had seen the lockdowns in Wuhan and the panicked quarantine in Italy, I don’t think I ever really expected this to happen. It finally struck me how serious this was when all of the Disney Parks shut their gates. To my knowledge the only time that had happened before was on 9/11. As a Disney fan, that hit me hard.

I am not a season pass holder. I do not visit a Disney Park on a daily or even a monthly basis. If I get to a single Disney resort every year, it is a triumph. It is usually a couple of years between visits. I’m on a good run at the moment as I’ve been to three different resort locations in the last four years. So, realistically, my day to day life is in no way impacted by the park closures. However, I feel it deeply.

I don’t think I ever truly appreciated how much I found comfort in the daily updates from the Parks. The photos and videos about what was going on made me jealous of the people who were there and made me want to be at Disney. But they also brought me a small level of joy that I didn’t realize until it was no longer there. Just the thought that Disney magic was happening even though I’m not there is a source of happiness. And now it’s gone and I miss it. It’s both sad and unexpected.

I thought what I would be writing was one of the those inspiring “How to Take Care of Yourself in these Troubling Times” sorts of blogs. But I realized that lots of other people are writing those and they are much better at it than I am. They are educated in such things and qualified to give such advice. I’m not really. What I am qualified to do is give you ideas about how to deal with your Disney withdrawals. So if you, like me, are feeling a lack of Disney Magic here are some ideas for you. I’ll start with some that will cost you money and move into low cost and free options

Disney Subscription Boxes ($40 and up per month)

If you have room in your budget, these are a fun way to bring a little magic into the mail box. Several companies have jumped on the monthly subscription model with varying degrees of success. There are many different options out there that have different foci. Some like Disney Bedtime Adventure, Disney Princess Enchanted Adventure, and Disney Premier Pack are kid focused. Others are more general park merchandise like Mouse Monthly, Walt Life, and Mouse Merch. Still others are focused by theme (like Star Wars) or product. There are box subscriptions for pins, Christmas ornaments, and even candles with Disney Park themed scents. Personally, I have never ordered any of these, though I have been tempted. They seem like a fun way to add a little magic to your month. However, I don’t have that kind of spare money in my budget, so I cannot recommend any of them based on personal experience. Vet your purchase well and make sure you are buying from a reputable vendor.

Disney+ ($7 per month)

If you are any kind of Disney fan at all, you are aware of Disney’s own streaming service. If you haven’t signed up for it, give it a try (free for a week). And while it is tempting to rewatch all our favorites. I would also suggest watching something brand new. Go outside your comfort level. Watch something old, and see how far Disney has come. Watch a different genre, documentary if you like fiction, drama if you like comedy. Be experimental. You never know what you might find that you unexpectedly love.

Disney crafts (supply costs will vary)

If you log on to Pinterest and search ‘Disney crafts’ you will get almost 1,000 links to try. Many of those links are to multiple projects. Ravelry has over 500 Disney project patterns. Disney itself publishes craft ideas. I’m honestly a little afraid to just type ‘Disney crafts’ into Google. The results might be never ending. From jewelry making, to cookie decorating, to mouse ear tutorials, there is a project for every level of craftiness and experience. Raid your own craft supplies or if you need something specific, both Michael’s and JoAnn’s are open for curbside pick-up or online ordering.

Disney Produced videos (free)

Disney itself is aware of our longing and has produced many and varied content to stay connected. There are videos with music, recipes, story telling, and Olaf. Don’t know how to find this content? Just search #DisneyMagicMoments #VoicesFromHome or #AtHomeWithOlaf on any major social media site.

DisneyBounding (free)

What is DisneyBounding? It is a way to dress as one of your favorite characters without being in costume. Those over 14 have never been allowed to wear costumes but since 2016, the Parks have been increasingly strict about enforcing those rules. As a work around, fans have started using every day clothes and accessories to create looks that echo not only characters, but rides, games, and themes. While we are all at home, give it a try. Go through your closets and drawers and see hat you can come up with. Take photos and tag them #DisneyBound.

Disney Gaming (free)

Got an internet connected device? Get yourself a Disney themed game. Battle games, match three, collection, building games, you name it. The best part is they are free to get. Like most free to play games there are in game purchases, but if you are content with basic game play, that doesn’t need to be an issue. Try one or two or even all of them. We’ve got time on our hands.

Disney Nights (free)

Do a little bit of everything and design your own fun. Pick a Disney theme, movie, TV show, Park, whatever. Make decorations, cook a themed meal, dress up, put on music or a movie. Create your own magic in any way you want. Go over the top. Be wild! No one will see. Have fun!

There are ways for us to experience Disney magic at home. Try any or all of these. You have your own magic at home that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

The real story

Yesterday, I posted 9 lies and 1 fact about Disneyland for April Fool’s Day. Every entry was about a real attraction, but I took liberties with their histories. Today, for April 2, I will correct the record. Here we go…

American Dairy Association Exhibit — False

This exhibit in Tomorrowland was all about cows of the future and how perfect milk is as a food.  There were actually several different displays that guests could experience. The famous Iowa Butter Cow, however, does not leave Iowa.  In fact, it is broken down and the butter in reused for the next year.  With proper storage, butter can be kept for up to 10 years.  I wonder if that was in the exhibit?

Casa de Fritos — False

This was a sit-down Mexican restaurant that served what we would consider fairly typical Tex-Mex fare rather than a walk-up Frito stand.  They did not invent Frito pie, but they did serve it.  Every entry came with a side of Fritos and there was a Frito vending machine out front shaped like the Frito Kid. It was very popular, was expanded several times, and remained Casa de Fritos until 1982.

Circle D Corral — False

Disneyland has never has a pony ride.  The Circle D is an exclusively back stage stable that has trained and cared for the animals that work in the park.  Since opening day there has been a facility (originally called the Pony Farm) that housed the many, many working equines and monitored their hours.  The horses, ponies, and mules that have worked in the park have had very strict guidelines about their working hours.  Even more strict than their human co-workers.

Disneyland Trains – Mostly False

While Walt Disney was a fan of trains, he didn’t want to create a train park.  There were a lot of trains, however.  Current fans know The Disneyland Railroad Circle Line, the Monorail and Casey Jr. Circus Train are all still in operation. The Rainbow Caverns Mine Train in Frontierland had an impressive 22 year run before being replaced by Big Thunder Mountain, which while train themed, is unquestionably a roller coaster. The Viewliner ran for just over a year between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland and closed when Disney began investigating the Monorail.  The Big Game Safari Train in Adventureland is entirely a figment of my imagination.  To my knowledge there has never been a plan to add a train in Adventureland. So at most, there were four trains operational at the peak of Disneyland trains.

Fire Department – True!

This whole strange little story is true.  There was a fire pole that led down into the park from Walt’s apartment.  He did use it from time to time, though it was more popular with his kids and grandkids.  It was eventually taken out and closed up when a guest managed to climb up the pole and startle Walt & Lillian in the apartment.  In retrospect, we have to wonder why no one considered that this exact thing would happen.

Keller’s Jungle Killers — False

While awful, by today’s standards, Keller’s Jungle Killers wasn’t this awful.  It was in actuality an old-fashioned lion tamer act.  The big cats were still caged, declawed, and sedated, but they were not shot at even with pop guns.  The show was a hold over from a circus themed area and ran until Dr. Keller and his big cats joined the actual circus.

King Arthur’s Carousel — False

The attraction that we know in Fantasy land started life as a merry-go-round in Canada in 1875.  After relocation, it was converted to a carousel and named after King Arthur for no reason other than the tie to fantasy stories.  There is no connection to England, ‘The Sword in the Stone’, or any other thematic elements. 

Mad Hatters – Mostly False

To my knowledge there was never a plan for Mad Hatters in every land.  At most, there we three.  The two we know and another in Tomorrowland.  This third shop ran well into the early part of this century. Though it wasn’t the Mad Hatter the entire time.  In the 60’s it became the Mod Hatter.  In the 80’s, it received an upgrade and a new space themed name, Hatmosphere.  It closed in 2006 as part of the Autopia remodel.

Midget Autopia — False

While the name is still unfortunate, the purpose was not.  At one point Disneyland had three different versions of the popular Autopia ride.  In addition to the one we know, there was Junior Autopia for children too young to drive the main attraction and Midget Autopia scaled down even further for the preschool crowd.  Each was progressively smaller in size and scope so that every visitor who was able to walk around on their own power had an Autopia available to them.

Phantom Boats — False

While this was, in fact, an unsuccessful ride.  It was, in some ways, even worse than I portrayed it.  It has the dubious distinction of being the first ride ever removed from Disneyland. The Phantom boats were simply slow moving boats that guests could pilot around the lagoon themselves.  They broke down repeatedly, requiring guests to be rescued from the middle of the lagoon.  An onboard cast member was added as a skipper. This didn’t stop the technical problems, but did speed up the rescue times.  After five months, the attraction was closed.  There was a brief attempt to resurrect them the following summer, but the continuing operational problems meant that when they closed again in the fall they were closed for good.  The name Phantom Boats seems to be chosen for no apparent reason.

So there you have it, the truth about these sometimes strange and unusual Disney attractions.  Any mistakes are all mine.  All the facts are courtesy of Chris Strodder’s wonderful book, “The Disneyland Encyclopedia”.  If you, like me, enjoy the history of Disneyland and its attractions this is a great book to have on your shelf. It is laid out in alphabetical, rather than chronological, order which I like a lot since I can’t remember when things happen.

I hope you enjoyed this year’s April Fool’s Day fun.  Did you guess the right true fact?

Nine Things you never knew about Disneyland

As we all know, Disneyland in the Happiest Place on Earth.  We love it.  It is impressive in its scope and in its ability to update while remaining true to the core values that were set by Walt Disney himself.  But even Disneyland doesn’t always get things right.  If fact, when looking back at some of their historic attractions, one might wonder what they were thinking. 

So today, I have for you some of the mistakes, misses, or just short lived weirdness that graced the first of the Disney Parks.  Here are nine things you don’t know about Disneyland.

American Dairy Association Exhibit

Davelandblog: Early Tomorrowland Exhibits: The Dairy Bar

This very impressive named attraction was known more commonly as the Dairy Bar.  Until 1958, guests could walk in and drink a glass of milk.  The highlight of the exhibit was the famous Butter Cow.  Each year after the close of the Iowa State Fair, that year’s cow was transported via refrigerated truck to Disneyland where it was installed as the centerpiece of the building.

Casa de Fritos

Vintage Disneyland Goodies: Casa de Fritos Box

This one was exactly what it says.  It was a walk up restaurant in Frontierland that served Fritos.  (Yes, those Fritos.)  Obviously a promotional partnership with Frito Lay, this food stand didn’t last long.  People seemed to want more than a bag of Fritos.  As an interesting side note, however, this stand is where Frito pies originated.  That contribution long outlasted the life of the restaurant.

Circle D Corral

Oregon Centennial Expo 1959 Pony Rides Carnival Vintage Photos | Etsy

In the 50’s a key component of any fair or amusement park was the pony rides.  Small children were placed on the back of ponies that were harnessed to a wheel like device.  The ponies walked in a circle for a length of time, the children got off, and the process repeated.  While this can work in a small venue, it soon became apparent that Disneyland was entirely too high traffic for this type of ride.  The lines were too long, the ponies became too tired, plus there was no way to change the basics of the ride to give it a Disneyland flair.  Ultimately, the ride was closed.  Both the ponies and the space became the foundation of Disneyland’s first petting zoo.

Disneyland Trains

disneyland viewliner - Google Search | Walt disney history, Disney ...

Anyone who knows about Walt Disney’s inspiration knows that he had a deep love for trains.  So much so that he didn’t just want a train that went around the park, he wanted a train in each of the lands as well.  At one point, there were six trains operational in Disneyland: The Disneyland Railroad Circle Line, Casey Jr. Circus Train in Fantasyland, Rainbow Caverns Mine Train in Frontierland, Big Game Safari Train in Adventureland, Viewliner in Tomorrowland, and the Monorail running out of the park and back.  Even for a train lover, that’s an impressive collection

Fire Station Apartment

There's a secret apartment hidden in Disneyland's fire station ...

It is a well-known fact that the second story of the Fire Department housed an apartment that Disney and his family used when staying on site.  What isn’t well known is that the Fire station was built with an authentic firefighter pole in the back.  Walt would use the pole to slide down into the Park in the mornings.  The pole remained in place until one intrepid guest climbed up the pole from the fire station below and surprised Walt in his apartment.  The pole was immediately removed and the hole where it had been was covered over.

Keller’s Jungle Killers

DISNEYLAND (Anaheim, Ca RARE Professor George J. Keller's Jungle ...

Located between the Big Game Safari Train and the Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, this attraction was open less than six months.  Set up like a shooting gallery, but instead of targets the participants got to shoot cap guns at live animals in cages.  Declawed lions, tigers, and leopards were on display so guests could pretend to be big game hunters.  To minimize the stress on the animals from all the loud noises, they were sedated.  Apparently this wasn’t fun for either human or animal and this shooting gallery closed with no attempt to replace it.

King Arthur’s Carousel

Wide view of the Fantasyland King Arthur Carrousel | Carousel ...

Often referred to as the beating heart of Fantasyland, the carousel is famously known as the one type of attraction Walt Disney was determined to have at his own park.  When deciding what kind of carousel he wanted, he discovered the one that would become known as King Arthur’s Carousel.  When Walt first saw it in England, it was the oldest carousel still in operation.  Walt liked the idea of the antique and wanted to give it a name that reflected its age.  Queen Victoria’s Carousel didn’t quite fit the aesthetic that Disney was working on in Fantasyland, so it became King Arthur’s instead.

Mad Hatters

stuff from the park: Mad Hatter Hat Shop Sign 1966

Early plans for Disneyland, had a designed uniformity to the lands.  Each land had a set number of attractions, both large and small; a set number of restaurants; and a set number of retail shops.  Part of that standardization was accomplished by repeating the same shops and restaurants in each land. By 1960, maps showed that there was a Mad Hatter in each of the five lands.  Unfortunately for the shops, in the early days of Disneyland there was a lot less merchandise.  Hats, especially, took a lot less shelf space.  The demand was just not there to support five hat specific stores, so they were reduced.  The original, by the Mad Tea Party, was kept for obvious theming reasons.  The one on Main Street received the most traffic, so it was kept as well.

Midget Autopia

Midget Autopia ride. Disneyland vacation Kodachromes from 1962 ...

Yes, this says what you think it does.  This short-lived version of the classic attraction was a scaled down version designed specifically for shorter guests.  In fact there was a maximum height restriction.  The cars were wider and slower with raised pedals and extended seat. The track was designed as a country drive rather than a freeway journey and featured the center guard rail from day one, unlike the larger version.  This ride was never widely advertised or found on maps.  It was tucked away at the back of the park approximately where Small World is now.  Certain guests were referred to the ride as needed.

Phantom Boats

Disneyland's Tomorrowland Phantom Boats [Closed]

The lagoon on the edge of Tomorrowland has historically been a challenge for park designers   Several different boat themed attractions were attempted before the Submarine Voyage was installed.  The most short lived of these was the Phantom Boats.  Lasting only five months, the ride consisted of a cast member piloting a boat around the lagoon narrating a ghost story that was illustrated by tableau on the shore.  If that sounds familiar, it should.  It was the same format as the Jungle Cruise but didn’t meet with the same success.  It is hypothesized that after it closed, Imagineers took elements of the ghost story and started working on ideas for what would become the Haunted Mansion.

So if you are smart, you will notice a couple things. First, there are more than nine things on this list. Second, it is April first. That means a couple of things. I can be reasonably sure that you don’t know nine of these things because I made them up. Unlike past years, however, there is an element of truth in each of these things. All the attractions listed are real but I have taken some licence with them. Except for one.

Any ideas which one is 100% true? Give me your guesses in the comments.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: The Light Side

If you read the blog last week, you will know that I wrote somewhat excessively about the things I disliked about the newest land in Disneyland, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. In Part 2 of this little mini-series, I’m going to talk about the things that I really enjoyed about our visit to Galaxy’s Edge last month.

It should come as no surprise, that overall, this new land is beautiful and well crafted. Disney has taken their extensive skills and used them to create an immersive space that is a delight to Star Wars fans. While exploring, we saw R2-D2, Chewbacca, and Rey wandering around and interacting with guests. Far and away, though, the best interactions were the Stormtrooper patrols. They were great and managed to walk the line between intimidating and fun. That’s a challenging space and they did it well. In addition, this is the one land where cast members are also in character. This was also handled well. While they were in character, they did not force that onto every experience. I have been to other immersive fan experiences, where staff refuse to break character to answer practical questions that are anachronistic to the world. At Galaxy’s Edge, the guest needs always win out over maintaining strict adherence to the created world. I appreciate that.

An interesting choice that the Imagineers made when designing the land, was the shopping opportunities. We are all familiar with Disney’s penchant for placing large stores in key locations that match the theme. They are full of merchandise (and people) and are quite obviously stores. In Galaxy’s Edge, they have designed what feels like an open air market. Guests walk down an central walkway and there are small shops set up along the sides. It feels like the market arcades of the last century with each little nook containing it’s own small set of treasures. It is beautifully designed. As The Princess shopped, I spent my time looking up at the decor. The walkway ends at a food stand that makes a fairly decent gyro.

The crown jewel of Galaxy’s Edge is, of course, Rise of the Resistance. I have already conveyed my frustration with the attraction, but it must be said once you actually get on it, the ride is impressive. I am a veteran of many, many rides in many, many parks (not just Disney). This is the first one that has caused me to lose all sense of spatial awareness. Once we boarded the ‘transport’ I lost all sense of where I was in the physical world. I had no idea which direction I was going or what was going to happen. The story line is impressive, made even more so by the work of the actors from the latest trilogy. The cast members are even more committed (and scary) than those working at the Haunted Mansion. And that’s saying a lot. I would have enjoyed riding it a second time and paying more attention to detail. The first time through is overwhelming to say the least. It is a ride I will enjoy repeatedly, once all the problems are fixed.

Finally, what was probably our favorite activity in Galaxy’s Edge, Savi’s Workshop. For those of you who are unaware, there are two higher end experiences to be had at Galaxy’s Edge. There is the Droid Depot where guests can build their own interactive droid and there is Savi’s Workshop where guests can build their own lightsabers. We decided to do the latter. There are many videos available on YouTube to watch this process. As a matter of fact, there was a Youtuber filming his experience in our group. This is more than just a quick grab parts and put them together station. First you must choose your theme: Peace & Justice, Elemental Nature, Protection and Defense, and Power and Control. Once you select your theme (and pay) you receive a collectible pin and a group card. When it is your turn, you are escorted into a dim room with building stations. Rather then just giving us the parts and letting have at it, there is an impressive script (complete with musical score and lighting) that walked us through the process. The colors are explained and we are allowed to choose the crystal that speaks to us the most. According to the lore, purple is the rarest colored crystal, however I think that the opposite is true in Disneyland. And while there may only be two Sith at any given time, there were a lot more red lightsabers. After choosing our crystal, we were given our parts and got to mix and match the options to build our saber. After, the blades were attached, they were all lit simultaneously and we got to hear a message from Yoda. On our way out the door we were given carrying cases. It was very cool! Somehow we both ended up with lightsabers that matched our personalities. I did not have the lightsaber I planned when I did my research, but I let the Force guide me to the choices I made and the end result is very impressive. Two thumbs up for this experience at every level. It is pricey, but it is worth saving up for. It is also not an experience most people will need to have more than once. While I’m sure there are a small percentage of people who will want one of each, most of us will definitely be satisfied with the one, perfect lightsaber that we craft.

So there, you have it. The good and the bad, the light and the dark, the fun and the oh, so stressful times to be had at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Have you been? Did you love it? Hate it? Or something in between? Haven’t been yet? What are you most excited about? Tell me in the comments.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge: The Dark Side

Last month The Princess & I celebrated her birthday at her favorite place, Disneyland! It had been almost four years since we had been there and there were some major changes that had taken place since we had been there last. Of course, the biggest, most noteworthy change is the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. If you read this blog, you know that my love of Star Wars is deep and abiding, so it should come as no great surprise that we headed that direction almost as soon as we got to the park. I was both impressed and frustrated with our experiences there.

Galaxy’s Edge is a new type of land where the guest is immersed in the experience. When Cars Land opened it was impressive in it’s design. Walking down the streets felt like walking through a recreated Radiator Springs. I still find it stunning. However, Radiator Springs is full of people and empty of cars, spoiling the overall effect. Similarly at Walt Disney World, Pandora: The World of Avatar, imagineers created a land the reflected the movie in an immersive way, including food offerings, floating rocks, and luminescent scenery. It’s a much better immersive experience as people fit into the narrative much more easily. Galaxy’s Edge advances this concept yet again. Guests walk through a settlement on an alien planet. Cast members are in character. Buildings are labeled in alien script. Stormtroopers and members of the Resistance wander around. My experience with this was both impressive and frustrating. First I will start with frustrations. Next blog will be the fun stuff.

My first frustration is simply a product of Disney opening something new. Galaxy’s Edge was too crowded for my comfort. Line for everything were too long. There wasn’t enough seating for people wanting to eat. We waited 45 minutes for our reservation at Oga’s Cantina just to be told we had to stand at the bar and clear out in an hour. Lines for both the new rides were very long (not unexpected) and surprisingly slow moving. I was stepped on, bumped into, and shoved as inevitably happens when there are a lot of people in the same space at the same time. I shudder to think what it must be like when it first opened and was ‘full’. The good news is that this will eventually change. The novelty will wear off and crowd levels will normalize. I look forward to going back in several years when that is true.

My second frustration is the fully immersive nature of the land. They’ve done a good job creating a space that feels like you’re no longer in an amusement park. Sadly, they’ve taken away some necessary elements as well. There is no signage to speak of. We were there for the third time before I figured out there were multiple exits. None of the building have signs. I asked a lot of “Is this where I…?” questions. We looked for people gathering in groups or in queues to figure out where things were. Smugglers Run is quite obvious. It’s hard to miss the Millennium Falcon. However, shops, restaurants, and even the entry to the Rise of the Resistance queue were a challenge to spot. Some signage in a real language on the buildings and pointing to things like restrooms and exits would go a long way.

Moving on to the two new rides. First, Smuggler’s Run. You must stand in line for Smuggler’s Run currently, though FastPass is coming. This ride is like if Mission: Space and Star Tours had a child. The technology is upgraded from the other rides. Unlike Mission: Space it actually matter what you do (our pilots crashed us). Unlike Star Tours, it is a smaller ride group. However, there are some serious design choices that effect the experience. Six people are set up in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, two are pilots, two are gunners, two are engineers. Out of the six people only two people (the pilots) have their control panels in front of them so that they can face the screen the entire time. Gunners can either shoot down enemies or watch the screen. We had one of each. The mom of the family we rode with was a beast with a 90% kill rate. The dad didn’t even try. Meanwhile the Princess & I were engineers. We sat at the back, occasionally pressed blinking buttons, and had to divide our time between watching our panel and watching the screen. Ultimately finding neither completely satisfactory. In conversation, we realized that the nature of the ride being what it is, riding Smuggler’s Run as a group of two or as a solo rider will, in all likelihood, put you in these back seats behind larger groups. Which would get frustrating very quickly.

Finally, the much anticipated Rise of the Resistance. It is very hard to be objective about this ride. The digital queuing system is appalling. For those of you unfamiliar with the system, to get a spot in line to actually ride this attraction, your entire party must be in the park, on the app, at 8:00 exactly to even have a chance of riding this. On our first morning, we tried for boarding passes at 8:05 and they were gone. On day two, we got boarding passes at 8:03 that were outside the guaranteed boarding numbers On day three we got the same notification at 8:01, but our number was lower and actually got called at 9:00 at night. By day four we were in the park, sitting down, app open at 8:00 and got a guaranteed boarding group. While that sounds easy enough, let me tell you what that looks like in real terms.

We had to get up at 6 am to get dressed, grab breakfast and leave the hotel by 6:30. (We had a 3 minute walk to the central plaza). It took anywhere from 10-30 minutes to get through security. We then had to line up to get into Disneyland. Again, this could take up to 30 minutes depending on the line. Once we were in the park, we were dependent on the WiFi, the app, and our phones all being in good working order. All that for a maybe. It means we couldn’t take advantage of Extra Magic Hours at California Adventure. It means we had no choice about whether or not we wanted to sleep in. There was no option to send one person in to get passes, the whole party had to be there. Add to all of this the fact the the ride broke down every day we were there. Stalling boarding and frustrating guests. I have been to various Disney Parks multiple times. It is safe to say I have never seen so many angry Disney guests. It makes sense. People are tired, dealing with uncertainty of when or if they will be called to get in the queue, only to find out that the ride isn’t working. This system is creating more stress than it is fixing. As I said, we got on the ride on day 3. On Day 4 our number was called while we were on a tour. While our tour guide happily moved our group, by the time we finished our tour, ate our lunch, and headed to the ride it was down. We moved on to the rest of our day and came back again after dinner when it was once again running. We stood in line for an hour while it was once again malfunctioning. We gave up and went to see World of Color instead. It was easy enough for us to make that choice. We had already ridden it once. But if we hadn’t, we would have stayed. If it remained non-functional, we would have lost not only our last opportunity to ride but the last night of our vacation as well. It is no wonder that guests are angry, yelling at cast members, and dealing with weeping children. When I got back and told this tale to a friend, she asked me if it was worth it. I couldn’t say yes.

So that’s it for the bad news. Next time, I will tell all the cool and wonderful things about this new land. In spite of this post, there are cool and wonderful things about Galaxy’s Edge. I am happy to share those things too!

Until next time!

PS – Blue milk is weird.