Do or Do not, there is no try.

Today I discovered the fastest way for someone to draw my ire… Look for things bad about Disney just because you don’t like that they now own Marvel and Lucasfilm…

Disney is not a bad company. They have had some missteps in the past, mostly during the later parts of various presidents. Too many geeks only seem to think of Disney in terms of what it was like in the later days of the Michael Eisner era. But not all that Eisner did was bad, but near the end he did a lot that wasn’t that great. And that lead to Robert Iger becoming president and the new course.

As I have no personal information what I’m about to say is purely speculation from my observations.

Disney purchased Marvel because they were for sale. Now one might not think that was the case but if there isn’t some dollar amount on a company it’ll never be sold. I believe that the price for Marvel was large because they were riding a high of the first films in the cinematic universe. But I believe that were it not for Disney one bad return on investment for the cinematic universe and Marvel would have ceased to be. Much like Squaresoft long before it became the juggernaut it is today when they were putting all their chips on red with the original Final Fantasy. Now Marvel has the larger corporate cover of Disney but they still function as a separate entity much like Pixar. Is there influence from Disney I’m sure there is, but I’m fairly certain Disney doesn’t have someone keeping a close eye on what happens in every story arc in every comic title.

As to Lucasfilm, George Lucas has earned his retirement. Yes, he did manage to make a small mess for most fans with the Star Wars prequels and the fourth Indiana Jones film. But, those really tell me that he needed to retire before this. And I feel George had three options, sell off each major property and branch (ILM, etc.) individually, sell off Lucasfilm as a whole, or shut down everything. I feel that the first and third options would have left George Lucas as a shell of himself, seeing what he had worked toward for his adult life either just gone or torn apart. So again we look at the price tag. Other than Disney what entity would be interested in Lucasfilm as a whole that wouldn’t end up just stripping it for parts. George had a good working relationship with Disney, one need only look at Star Tours or Indiana Jones and The Temple of The Forbidden Eye to know that.

I want more Star Wars. I want more X-men and Avengers, I want more Pixar films. And I’m glad that thanks to Disney I know those will happen for years to come.

So on a more positive note, I’ve decided to change out the plan for the chainmail fourth doctor scarf… Decided I’m going to try another experiment, same concept just a “smaller” scale… Not going to elaborate but I think it’ll work out in a certain method…

Yoda

Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?

So I failed to return later on the first… But I guess I’ll survive…

So on to the fun…

From December 21st to the 27th of last year (2012), I was in Anaheim for my annual Christmas trip to Disneyland. This was the fifth year in a row of spending Christmas at Disneyland. As you might expect it was a bit of a zoo and offered more than you might expect of chaos. Though different from previous years it really wasn’t that bad til the 27th. This was the second Christmas trip as an annual passholder at Disneyland. As a result I was able to be in the parks on the day I returned home. That is how I know how bad it was on the 27th.
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Every person in that picture is in line for Pirates of the Caribbean.

After that and my last few rides on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the next 10 months I was able to meet up with a couple good friends. Jess (@ocswaynee) and Shaun (@disneyhipster) ended up being subjected to random shopping in DCA (@dcatoday) followed by helping my mother and I learn that the Italian at Earl of Sandwich (@earlofsandwich) is quite possibly the best meal as a go home meal.

So lets go to earlier in the trip…

Discoveries:
Fried Pickles at Carnation Cafe are a spectacular mid-day snack
Monte Cristo bites over at the Jingle Jangle Jamboree are great and need to find a permanent home somewhere in the parks
The venison on the winter menu at the Napa Rose was fantastic.
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The best part of the Mad T Party has to be the White Rabbit DJ closely followed by Who R You
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Drinking at the bar at Trader Sam’s can lead to some fun times (Jess is not shorter than my mother)
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Peppermint Stick Ice Cream with a crushed Candy Cane waffle cone is almost completely perfect on a chilly evening in DCA
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And
I have the capability of being the most conspicuous person on earth should I so choose
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Clark Griswold

To all who come to this happy place, Welcome

So to start things out lets work with the recent past. On June 15th I traveled to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for both my birthday and the Grand Re-opening of Disney California Adventure. Now, i need to add a few items to this. I did not arrive at the Disneyland resort area until after both parks had opened for the day. So i got a bit of a late start compared to some others. This trip had a batch of experiences I’ll never forget. Some I’ll never do again, some I’d do every day if I could.

Let’s start with what I’ll never do again.

Really simple, Wait more than 3 hours to ride anything. Now if I hadn’t waited 4 hours to ride Radiator Springs Racers in Carsland, I would not have had a chance to ride it during this trip. Now, saying that I’d never wait more than 3 hours for a ride does not mean that the ride is not worth a wait. Radiator Springs Racers is worth about a 2 hour standby wait. That said there were times during my trip where the wait exceeded 5 hours. It’s a great ride and well worth a wait.

Now on to the things that I’d do again every day if it was an option.

I got the chance during my trip to meet with Patrick (@pj_campbell) and to meet and hang out with Jessica (@ocswaynee). Couldn’t really hang out with Patrick because both times I saw him he was working. I look forward to October when I return to Disneyland and can try to hang out again.

Hanging out on Buena Vista Street. Disney California Adventure finally has an act 1. And boy is it an act 1. As I was staying at the Grand Californian my first glance at Buena Vista Street was coming in via Condor Flats. And I was floored. This is what should have been in the park from day 1. From the Red Car to the area entrainment Disney nailed it.

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Then on to Carsland and the nightly “Sh-Boom”. This is the term for the nightly lighting of the neon. The best way to describe Carsland is to watch the Cars movies from Pixar and walk through your screen directly into Radiator Springs. Now technically I live in a city on Old Route 66. Albuquerque was fortunate enough to have an Air Force base resulting in the interstate remaining close to our little portion of Route 66. But even then I’ve seen my fair share of the neon that used to be all along Route 66 torn down after falling into disrepair. So it is an amazing feeling seeing the neon in Carsland.

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Not much I can say about Carthay Circle. Great food, beautiful location, it’s like Napa Rose inside the park.

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Beyond that Disneyland itself was awesome as usual. (Even though I spent less time there thanks to DCA finally being great.)

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Ridden this trip:

DCA:
Radiator Springs Racers
Soarin’
Toy Story Midway Mania
California Screamin’
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Disneyland:
The World Famous Jungle Cruise
Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye
Pirates of the Caribbean
Haunted Mansion
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Peter Pan’s Flight
Snow White’s Scary Adventure
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Alice in Wonderland
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
Matterhorn Bobsleds
Space Mountain
Star Tours
Horse-Drawn Trolley
Fire Truck
Disneyland Railroad

Walt Disney