Sunday, September 19, 2010

Things not to do in Disneyland

Saw this picture recently and it reminded me of a few of the stunts I used to pull at Disneyland in my younger days. Not that I'm proud of any of these of course. Tom Sawyer's Island had all those little caves and crevices. Ideal for smoking illegal substances. In the late 60's, nine out of ten teenagers would enter the park and head right for Tom Sawyer's. There could be no lines for Pirates of the Caribbean, we'd still pass it by in favor of the island.

There used to be an exhibit called "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln". A Lincoln robot would get up from a chair and deliver an eloquent speech. One time I got loaded and stood up in the middle and asked him a question. This did not sit well with others in the house.

By the way, the original Lincoln robot used to have bizarre spasms in the middle of his speech. It was discovered that the show's power supply was fed by the same sub station that fed 600 volts to the Monorail. Whenever the Monorail, ran in these sections, there would be a power surge, causing old Abe to become Jerry Lewis.

Crashing into people on the Autopia. They weren't designed to be bumper cars per se but if my friend was in the car just ahead of me -- whiplash city!

The big thing was (and is) to get Mickey Mouse hats with your name personally embroidered on it. I once slipped a guy $5 and he agreed to write "Charles Manson". This was not a big hit with Magic Kingdom patrons either.

And finally, one year I got another set of Mouse ears and had them write "Vincent" on the hat. I then tore off one of the ears. Those that got the joke were hysterical. The other 90% of Disneylan
d guests either scoffed, were confused, or just ignored me to get in line for churros.

Warning to Disneyland: The Levines will be invading you again the end of this month.

20 comments:

SharoneRosen said...

you make my little gang of friends seem so tame and lame! My friends and I would stand on the edge of Tom Sawyer's island and act like "audio-animatrons," waving at the canoes as they went by... while in long lines, we would sing and stage show tunes for confused guests. Oh, and talk about wild kids, one time, we were there on the first night of Chanukah. I brought a Chanukiah, we lit candles and did the blessings on the bridge of Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

We were probably the only teenagers there who were sober. My friends and I didn't do drugs, we did hors d'oeuvres. Such dull kids!

I can tell you, if we had been there when you questioned Lincoln, we would have been hysterical! I LOVE that and am ashamed none of us ever thought of it!

David said...

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln is back! Do try to behave this time, Ken...

Lairbo said...

Ah, Mr. Lincoln.... My Jr. High class went to D'land not long after Abe was set up. Someone in the crowd took a flash photo and caused a (minor) hiccup in his act. Afterwards, a Disney employee -- sorry, "cast member" (I remember her looking like the ideal airline stewardess of the day) -- got on the stage and tearfully chided us for being so disrespectful. Unca Walt had been dead for only about a year, so I guess emotions were still running a little high.

What happened when that same class went to Knott's newly opened replica of Independence Hall is another story altogether...

David Schwartz said...

Now if I'd been that creative, you'd all be reading my blog! Great anecdotes, Ken! Verification word: hooflu - An illness passed around by owls.

lauren tuerk said...

I stole the poisoned apple from the Snow White
ride in 7th grade. Kept it 'til college. Very proud.

Tom Quigley said...

RE: The first picture -- didn't know Disneyland had opened a Hooters....

D. McEwan said...

Actually, it turns out that photo was taken in the real New Orleans, not at Disneyland.

No, no. One didn't smoke pot in the caves. They hold the "aroma". We smoked pot just outside the fort, hidden from observation by the trees and bushes, while the breeze cleared the air of the evidence. I have photos of myself and some comic actor friends (one of them also a friend of yours, Ken) toking up joints there on the island. What crazy kids we were.

Kids? Wait a minute! I'm thirty in those photos. Well I'm grown up these days. I haven't smoked pot in Disneyland in the better part of a year now.

Mr. Lincoln is indeed back, and better than ever, by which I mean a vastly-improved robot. Same old boring schpiel. What they need is a robot John Wilkes Booth to pop up at the end, and give it a more dramatic conclusion. "Sic Semper Robotus!"

(Was JW Booth the first teabagger? His killing Lincoln as a "tyrant" for freeing a whole race of people - not generally what tyrants are known for doing - sounds just like the nutjobs calling Obama a Nazi.)

If you're going to D-Land, save your pennies or starve. A hamburger, fires and a coke will run you about $15 anywhere in the park these days.

Bob Claster said...

The "Vincent" hat is genius.

J S Swanson said...

Ken,you are a Very Naughty Boy. And I Approve. The one eared Vincent cap is a Classic!!!
Can't wait to hear what subversive ideas you've got planned for your upcoming trip.

A Non-Emus said...

Me and my friends would just try to creep people out. While standing in the various lines, I would stare at people and smile and say "This is the happiest place on earth" over and over. They would nod their heads the first 5 times or so. Eventually, they'd get freaked out and avoid eye contact. No one ever told me to shut up. Then, we'd go to the gift shops and put Mickey and Minnie dolls in sexual positions and laugh our asses off. No one else ever thought it was funny though.

iain said...

Whenever the Monorail, ran in these sections, there would be a power surge, causing old Abe to become Jerry Lewis.


One wonders if "With malice toward none, with charity for...HEY LADY!" might've changed the course of history?

Brian said...

Except this:

A Disneyland standard adult single-day 2-park pass now runs about $75.

Who's laughing now, Ken?

Bob McLain said...

Thought you'd like to know: your post got hullabaloo today on Disney Dispatch (with a side reference to Andrew Dice Clay) under "Mammary Mouse and Other Bad Disney Experiences".

Debby G said...

Have fun at Disneyland!

The first year we lived in The O.C., we bought season passes and went about ten times. Toward the end of the year, our kids actually said things like, "Do we have to go to Disneyland again? I'm so sick of it."

When I was a teen, the Skyway was a great makeout place. Unfortunately, it wasn't a long enough ride to go all the way in.

We used to play this game where we'd ride on the merryground, shout "Zuzu," get off our horses, and switch places with our friends on the ride. The employees were not amused. But we were.

Dana Gabbard said...

D. McEwan--best affordable option at the park is the Bengal Barbeque near the Jungle Cruise. I recommend get a meat skewer plus veggie skewer and breadsticks (the latter two to help with the spicyness of the meat sauce) plus large drink. At least you are spending $15 on food worth eating...

http://www.mouseplanet.com/guide/42/Disneyland-Resort/Disneyland-Park/Adventureland/Bengal-Barbecue

JP said...

The Snow White ride is exquisite on mushrooms. Or so I am told.

D. McEwan said...

Dana, I knew the Bengal BBQ, and it is some of the best food in the park, though my favorite place to eat in the park is the lower level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant in Critter country. Almost no one ever goes down to that level, and its a peaceful and really beautiful place to sit, relax, eat a $7 hamburger worth, at best $2, and a $3 12-ounce coke, and watch the Mark Twain sail by.

Thanks for the reccie.

Isaac Lin said...

The story about the Lincoln animatronic figure and the monorail sounds a bit too similar to the power problem experienced at the original unveiling of Lincoln at the World's Fair (as described in Bob Thomas's biography on Disney), so I suspect it might be apocryphal.

SueAnn Nivens said...

Ken, you are officially at the top of my age-appropriate crush list.

D. McEwan said...

"Isaac Lin said...
The story about the Lincoln animatronic figure and the monorail sounds a bit too similar to the power problem experienced at the original unveiling of Lincoln at the World's Fair (as described in Bob Thomas's biography on Disney), so I suspect it might be apocryphal."


It's similar not because it's apocryphal, but because it was the same robot, and the bugs took years to work out.