Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Things not to do at 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.


Bitter Animator said...

I find that very arousing.

The Curmudgeon said...

The "Vincent" line really got me.

Michael said...

That top picture is going around as "mom and daughter banned for life at Disneyland", but the photo was actually taken on Bourbon Street in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. The tipoffs are the beads, the cup of beer, and the sign in the upper left corner for a restaurant.

Howard Hoffman said...

And of course you need to pay tribute to the people who took advantage of the Splash Mountain snapshot they used to offer. This is why they don't anymore.

Robert said...

For the love of Pete (or is it pete?)! Please explain the Vincent joke! Some of us are dying here, not being in on it.

Anonymous said...

Way to "Gogh" for it, Ken.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't that funny Vinnie?


The ear joke...



Marni said...

Robert - Vincent van Gogh (the painter) cut off one of his ears.

Also, that line made me spit coffee on my keyboard. Hope no one noticed...

Anonymous said...

Years ago a couple we shared a ski chalet with told us a story about sparking up on a Disney train, taking a few hits, settling in and then hearing over the train's PA system in Minnie Mouse's voice, "Mickey doesn't like it when you do bad things like that at Disneyland." It completely freaked them out. There was no way off the train till it stopped and they were being monitored the whole time they were trapped there. That was back in the '80s, too! Freaky place. No wonder I never wanted to go there in my life.


Anonymous said...

The first time I made it to Disneyland, in the late 70's, we dropped acid and went on Space Mountain over and over. I'm still having flashbacks (in a good way). Thanks Walt!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that people who misbehaved were grabbed by storm troopers and taken to an underground jail. Or am I thinking of Itchy and Scratchy Land?

Fox Cutter said...

Funny you should bring this up as I'm going to Disneyland in a couple of weeks (infact, flying in the Monday after the sitcom room) which is why I couldn't afford to do the sitcom room.

I do like the Vincent one, I may have to try something like that...

Richard Cooper said...

I think the mickey on the lower-left is bigger than the right one.

Kenny said...

Those mouse ear hats are more shoddily made and more expensive than ever, so if you plan to tear the ear off for a joke these days you'll need money to burn.

The boats on It's a Small World are totally under your control. If you have enough people you can reach out of the boat and slow them to a stop or accelerate to ramming speed. My friends and I did this (as another friend stood on the front of the boat) and a Disney employee with a funny outfit suddenly appeared from around a corner and walked out next to our boat for the duration of the ride. At the end, there was a man in a trenchcoat waiting, who warned us how easily we could be thrown out. It was a high school grad nite situation, so they were probably being more lenient than normal.

Anonymous said...

We were trying to smoke a funny cigarette by the water there one time and a little teenage security dude in a cowbot outfit came out from Frontierland to confront us, but only made us laugh.

Geo said...

To be fair, churros are pretty good.

Anonymous said...

You never spit from the skyway to/from Fantasyland and Tomorrowland onto the people waiting in line for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Liar!!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. You see, I am a total Disneyland freak, as in I have maps of the park at different stages in it's growth on the walls of one of my rooms, as in ride posters in my home, as in I know too much about the park. And have smoked many a joint on TS Island.

Your Vincent Mouse Ear story is hysterical.

The Skyway ride (Now alas, gone.) was also always good for a quick joint. Actually, more than one kind of "Joint". I have performed oral sex on the Skyway. The important rule about Skyway sex or drug use was to remember not to do anything INSIDE the Matterhorn, as there were cameras watching you inside the mountain.

Tom Sawyer's Island was also good for sexual quickies. Pretty much anyplace you could get away with smoking a joint, you could get away with sucking dick.

The employees have screwed in the backstage areas of pretty much every ride in the place. A popular after-hours employee hook-up spot is the wheelhouse on the Mark Twain.

In 1977 a group of gay bar owners, calling themselves The Tavern Guild, bought a private party at Disneyland with tickets sold only in gay bars and businesses. The park didn't discover it would be a huge gay party until two nights before the event, when they couldn't cancel it. They tried. This was in the days before Disneyland became officially gay-friendly, so they were then officially gay-hostile.

I was at this first-ever Gay Night at Disneyland. They put out chairs all over all the dance floors, to prevent any same-gender dancing. Angry-looking men in suits were patrolling, looking for inappropriate behavior to prevent. There were maybe 20 of these guys, maybe 30. There were 20,000 gay men bent on inappropriate behaving, abetted by a lot of gay employees who were loving the party. Guess who won?

"Pot Fairies" were tossing joints from the Skyway cars to the crowds below. Fantasyland was packed, because it was the most brightly-lit land, and one could cruise better. I watched men whom I had watch commit unspeakable and beautiful acts in porn films pose with Mickey Mouse.

On the Jungle Cruise, the clearly-gay boat skipper simply turned out all the boat lights once we were in the jungle, and shut up. No spiel. He turned the lights back on a few moments before returning to the dock, so everyone could zip back up, so I've also had oral sex on the jungle cruise. AND on Pirates of the Caribbean that same evening. And the train around the park. We got primeval in the Primeval World!

The odor of amyl nitrate on Space Mountain was so strong, you could get high just breathing. As we got off Space Mountain, my date, who had been sniffing poppers all through the ride, announced loudly on the exit platform, "No offense honey, but I haven't been fucked that good in YEARS!" No one was offended. Tom Sawyer's Island was closed. Drat!

Standing in line for Pirate's, I heard a group of about 15 guys loudly sing to the ride theme song: "Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's dick for me!" Bear in mind, there were NO CHILDREN in the park. It was an adult's only party. Imagine Disneyland with no annoying children. Ribaldry was rampant!

Grad Nites have also been evenings of increased park visitor lubricity. My date (Female. I was young and closetted.) gave me a handjob under a beach towel while we rode Pirates for the very first time ever, at Grad Nite 1967. My fondness for the ride must be linked to that memorable first-ever ride on it.

My favorite Grad Nite story is when one couple obviously in heat asked the ride operator as they got on VOYAGE TO INNER SPACE, "How long does the ride take?" The ride operator, who knew exactly why they were asking, said, "25 minutes." It actually lasted only 8 minutes. Plus, you're visible on closed-circuit cameras every foot of the way. (Ride monitors watching the screens often get moving porn shows on Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Inner Space, Space Mountain, Indiana Jones, the trains, etc.)

So the horny young couple had just gotten seriously naked and involved as they arrived at the exit station, to find a row of park employees standing there applauding them.

There are 8 million stories in the Naked Disneyland, These have been but a mere few.

There's a book called MOUSE TAILS by David Koenig which includes hundreds of GREAT Disneyland tails, culled from thousands of interviews with current and former Disneyland employees. (Like those pranks done by the Jungle Cruise ride operators on their last nights of employment, such as not shooting the hippos, but sticking a knife between their teeth and diving into the river, to wrestle the mechanical hippo, leaving a guideless boat to sail back to the exit.)

And here's the BEST DISNEYLAND TALE OF ALL: During the Dark Days of Watergate, when out at the "Western White House" in San Clemente, Disneyland Freak Dr. Henry Kissinger often liked to unwind and relax at Disneyland, where he would be given an employee uniform and would man a popcorn stall for a few hours. He did this often! He of course got some weird looks, but he never got caught out because it was inconceivable to anyone that the Secretary of State of the United States of America would be selling popcorn at Disneyland, in a time of war yet. (He had a secret service detail always lurking nearby of course.) But he really did!

Anonymous said...

All I really had to add was, "Mmm, Disney churros!" but that seems a little weird following d.mcewan's opus.

Anonymous said...

That Van Gough gag is hilarious!

By the way Ken, I'm plugging your sitcom seminar mp3 on my blog today if you are interested.

Great blog. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one disgusted by the gay trip to Disneyland?

I'm all for free speech but please consider your audience. Conversation better suited for a West Hollywood bar I'd think...


Anonymous said...

I'm going to be extremely pedantic here... Vincent Van Gogh only cut off PART of his ear, not the whole thing. I'm just saying.

Rob said...

Being on the right part of flyover country, we've gone a couple of times to Disney World. They still do the pictures there. The Tower of Terror would be a great place for such a picture.

The Gogh joke is funny. I have a book of Mickey Mouse art where someone took Van Gogh's self portrait and put Mickey Mouse ears on it (minus one, of course.)

We were there last November. Nothing eventful except getting into with a "Cast Member" about twice removing Donald Duck from a long autograph line and replacing him with a third string character from Chicken Little. That and the disturbing site of all the fathers taking their daughters to Ariel's Grotto.

I'm missing the Office, 30 Rock, and CSI because of Tornados moving through Kentucky and Indiana, so I'm irritated. Can someone tell me if they were worth watching?

Anonymous said...

Dear "Anonymous B",

Sorry to offend you. (Not really.) I could have sworn this whole thread began with a photo of a couple of bare-breasted women in public, one of them well past her sell-by date. I didn't realize the level of frankness had retreated to G-Rated after the R-rated visual kick-off. I'd ask your perception of the level-of-acceptable-free-speech in advance next time, except that you're anonymous, while I am not.

Wishing on a star,


Anonymous said...

To D. Mcewan:

Sorry to sound dumb, but is that Kissinger story true? My mind is reeling. This man still has policy influence.

It's funny either way--but I'd just like to know if it's fact or tongue-in-cheek.

Er. Well, you know what I mean.

Richard Cooper said...

Ah, Douglas, you wild and crazy kid from The Sixties. Did they have glow-in-the-dark condoms back then? That would've put a whole new spin on the submarine ride.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Anonymous B",

Apparently you ARE the only one disgusted by gays in Disneyland. Perhaps you would be more comfortable with stories about gays in a lovey London bar called The Manhole instead???


Anonymous said...


The Kissinger story is true. My source is David Koenig's book MOUSE TAILS, and his sources are employees who worked there at the time.


It was 1977, back when being gay meant you never needed condoms. Now of course, it's just the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Crutnacker,

They do still do the ride photos at the West Coast Disney parks, and I have, in fact, a ride photo of myself and a friend on the California Adventure version of TOWER OF TERROR. And there's a website where you can find and download those infamous shots of ladies flashing their breasts in the Splash Mountain ride photos.

People buying the ride photos of Splash Mountain when they've ridden with me, usually find in the picture that I have a demented look of insane glee on my face and am apparently reaching out to strangle the person sitting in front of me. I've pulled that pose several times at the picture-snap spot, and it sometimes provokes interesting reactions when the strangers finallly see the picture when they get off the ride.

Anonymous said...

Is the Skyway the thing that was a series of buckets, each seating maybe 4 people, that ran on wires back and forth across the park? Because yeah, that was a fine place to get high.

And if you timed it right, you could make eye contact with Cinderella during the Main Street parade while getting high in the Skyway. At least in 1978.

Anonymous said...

Yup Donboy, that was the skyway, now sadly just a memory.

Oh, and Anonymous B, if it makes it any less disgusting for you, instead of gays in Disneyland, imagine 20,000 straight, inhibition-free, sex maniacs at Disneyland. Same level of inappropriate public displays of lubricity, but all nice, undisgusting, straight sex acts, like every Grad Nite that was ever held there. Is that better for you?

Sorry to have reminded you that we sometimes leave the confines of West Hollywood and go to Disneyland (These days in park-sactioned parties.), where we also constitute about 50% of the employees. Yes, that funny skipper on the Jungle Cruise, that nice man who sold you churros, and the dancer sweltering in his Mickey Mouse costume while he posed with your precious children - all gay. Your food servers too. If the waiter overheard you say "Those gays here are disgusting!", don't touch your soup.

Anonymous Stacey, you rock.

Anonymous said...

I try not to rock because it throws out my back, but I often wabble. Mostly when I get out of bed, stand up off of the throne, and when I push myself away from the feeding trough.


Anonymous said...

> I have performed oral sex on the Skyway.<

Gadz. Gay or not, I don't know that this is even necessary! Unless an employee is going for a promotion, say, from the popcorn cart to an air-conditioned gift shop.

D, your story was funny, but seriously for Ken's site it did get a little graphic. IMO

Anonymous said...

It should be noted that the cameras are usually pointed at your back as you ride Pirates of the Caribbean or, back in the day, rode Voyage through Inner Space. In Pirates, for example, the cameras are hidden by fake foilage or other ground clutter as you approach them, but can be seen if you look over your shoulder.

I was on Voyage through Inner Space once when a small child took the ride at face value, panicked, and began screaming. The ride immediately halted (including the recording of Paul Frees' narration which literally stopped in mid-word), a light suddenly shown as a hidden door opened, and the family was quickly removed. The door closed and the ride re-started (from mid-word), continuing with no further difficulty.

Anonymous said...

I first visited Disneyland in 1979, only a few months after the crash of a DC-10 on take-off in Chicago.

The Mission to Mars ride (a revision of the Rocket to the Moon ride) was sponsored by McDonnell-Douglas, replacing TWA, but the line still took you through an area representing an airport lounge, where a cutaway 3-D model of a DC-10 was bolted to a countertop.

The "spaceflight" ends with the ship being struck by meteors and having to make an emergency hyperjump back to Earth. As we filed out, I turned to the friend I was with, and made a bad joke, saying "That's the last time I take McDonnell-Douglas. You fly in a plane, the engine falls off, you fly in a spaceship, you get hit by meteors. Next time I'm taking Boeing or Lockheed!" My friend laughed, but I noticed that the nearby "flight attendent" park employee blanched.

A friend from the midwest visited me a week later so I went back to the park with him, and we rode the Mission to Mars.

The model of the DC-10 was gone, with only the holes where it had been bolted to the counter visible to show it had ever been there.

Anonymous said...

D as a fellow gay Thank you for being so cool!!!

DisneyBoy said...

As another fellow gay Disney freak, i'd also like to thank D. McEwan! :)

T-Dogg said...

Great story and posts!

On a side note, it's always interesting to see what some people consider 'graphic'.