Because I didn’t get enough of crowds during the busy shopping season, I decided to go to Disneyland yesterday. However, despite (or thanks to) reports that the park reached capacity on Monday and Tuesday, it actually wasn’t that bad at all. A sudden rainstorm kept a lot of people away. Plus, the aforementioned news reports probably scared off a chunk of attendees. Since lines were short and the park super easy to navigate, I decided to do a little FBOTU reporting.
After starting out in Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) and getting Fast Passes for the 8:00 PM performance of a water and light show called The World of Color, we hit Toy Story Mania! (my score was 110,000) and Tower of Terror before I was inextricably drawn to the winery. Once I was sufficiently soused (and before Goofy could give me the heave-ho for disorderly conduct), we headed over to Disneyland.
My first stop was the Disney Gallery, where they were displaying park plans from the past and future. Of particular note was a small display on the refurbished Star Tours ride. A helpful cast member gave up on trying to lure people in to see President Lincoln and instead chatted with me about the renovations. Instead of one film in the simulated ride, there will be several. On top of that, there will be multiple variations possible within each film/destination. So, even if you end up going to Endor twice in a row, it won’t be the same experience. The cast member said it would take four years of continuous riding to cycle through every possible variation. Wow! That’s a lot of trips to Hoth. (The original Star Tours always nauseated me, so I could only ride it, if at all, at the end of the day, or else I’d be sick all day long at the Happiest Place on Earth. A Star Wars fan who couldn’t ride the Star Wars ride. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?)
Even though Star Tours is currently closed, I still insisted upon visiting the Star Trader store to see what Disney-specific Star Wars merch was available. I didn’t buy anything, but it’s always fun to see what happens when two mega properties collide. I particularly like Goofy as Chewbacca and Darth Vader and C-3PO. That Goofy. He’s so versatile.
After my Star Wars fix, we headed over the Haunted Mansion, which is re-themed annually as a Nightmare Before Christmas ride. It’s all very well done, and it’s a perfect example of “Good Disney” versus “Evil Disney.” True, it’s also a prime example of Disney branding; plus, it brings in a lot of holiday-hungry visitors (and goth kids), but the same thing could have been accomplished in a half-assed sort of way. Instead, Disney used its whole ass, and the ride looks great.
After spending the rest of the day at Disneyland, we migrated back to DCA to wait for The World of Color. Inside the gates, we were stopped by a big stage and a glowing neon sign that said “Elec-TRON-ica.” Hmm…a Tron stage show, perhaps? Strangely, I had just commented that despite copious amounts of fairy dust in the air (plus the fact that my entire party consisted of men who enjoy the loving touch of other men), it hadn’t been a very gay visit to the Magic Kingdom. Well, all that changed, thanks to “Elec-TRON-ica.” A Tron-themed dance revue that attempts to tell the story of Tron, past and present? Fabulous. Still, nothing could have prepared me for what came next. A full-on Tron rave.
After a group performance by the Tron dancers, we were ushered into the Hollywood Pictures Backlot for dancing, games, glow-in-the-dark drinks, a DJ and…Tron go-go boys. Yes, you read that correctly.
Truly, the Tron go-go boys exceeded all my expectations for in-park Tron marketing and really raised the bar for Disney-themed gaiety. We had a blast, and only left because security didn’t appreciate me waving dollar bills at the Tron boys.
Finally, it was time for The World of Color, which is a pretty tame and safe salute to, well, colors. It reminded me of The Simpsons episode where they’re watching a “salute to the greatest hemisphere on earth, the Western Hemisphere! The dancingest hemisphere of all!” In addition to lights, lasers and synchronized water, they also projected movie clips and played “Part of Your World,” which always melts my cold, cold heart. So, I forgave the seeming lack of relevance to the whole production.
You know what the show really needed? Tron go-go boys. Everything is better with Tron go-go boys.