Your Souvenir Guide

Disneyland Ex Machina

This week in Disneyland news: Two eyes, four sites

There are a lot of Disneyland bl-gs and websites. Most of them are fan sites, as sweet and tasty as a stack o’ flapjacks. Some examine the Park’s storied past in depth, and in doing so transcend Disney fandom to become de facto ombudmsmans. And there are a handful of muckraking sites, whose authors are determined to find the worms just beneath the Park’s polished veneer.

I follow a good number of these Disneyland websites on a daily basis, though not a lot happens at Disneyland from one day to the next. However, when viewed from a weekly perspective, the Park generates a fair amount of news — and it is my pleasure to direct you to it.

Disneyland for the Dead (MiceAge)

In his monthly report today, Disney acolyte Al Lutz talks about the epidemic — the word is not too strong — of illegal funerals taking place at Disneyland. What was once an urban myth has allegedly become a dusty reality, as scores of the bereaved have taken to spreading the ashes of their loved ones inside the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and other attractions. Maintenance crews try to vacuum up the scattered remains as quickly as possible, but in some cases attractions have to be shut down for extended periods and cleaned.

Mr. Lutz often breaks stories like this one, which Disney management dismisses with haughty non-denial denials. (He was the one who first broke the story about overweight guests sinking the boats of it’s a small world.) His information seems pretty solid, though it’s sometimes couched in an unfortunate superciliousness. If you’re not his kind of fanboy, by God, you can go read Geoff Carter or something. Still, Mr. Lutz’s aim is true.

On an unrelated note, I liked the studio overture CD that Mr. Lutz produced while he was working for RCA. It’s nice to know that I have “Syncopated Clock” handy whenever I need it.

The Haunted Mansion redux at Walt Disney World (Jim Hill Media)

If Al Lutz is CNN, Jim Hill is Fox News: His reporting is even more nakedly biased and sensationalized, and it’s smarmy as hell (“What do you think, folks?”). That’s not to say that it isn’t fun to read, particularly when he goes apoplectic in denouncing the Disney/Pixar merger. I only wish he’d have somebody look over his posts beforehand. Because he uses a lot of sentence fragments. Which drives me up the wall.

Last week, Mr. Hill talked about the long-overdue refurbishing of the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World — a manse that, unlike Disneyland’s, is not infested with wood cutouts of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” characters (and according to Mr. Hill, it never will be). It’s a fascinating look at Imagineering’s creative process and I recommend it highly. What do you think, fellow freaks?

Broke Hoedown

It’s not always Disneyland news, but by golly, you can always use it. Kitty-chan’s “PG-13 rated” Disney bl-g is a sheer pleasure to read, whether she’s talking about Disneyland-related labor issues, Disneyfied pinup girls or gay Muppets. Her enthusiasm for Disney’s world is tempered by her interest in real-world concerns, and that balanced approach makes for some highly intelligent and entertaining reading. Plus, her list of tags is fascinating — it’s filled with subjects you’d never expect to find on a Disney site. Here are a few:

Alan Cumming
Gay rights

By the by, I’m not just saying this because Kitty-chan, a woman I’ve never met, has been kind enough to link to this crappy site on more than one occasion. I am honored, Kitty-chan, and also challenged: Now I feel like I should write a post in which Alan Cumming kidnaps Banksy, and the two of them make a porno on it’s a small world. (As Mr. Lutz so helpfully points out on his site, there are no security cameras inside that attraction.)

Gorillas Don’t Blog

Perhaps not, but they do post vintage color slides of Disneyland on a daily basis. Even if you have no interest in Disneyland whatsoever (and if you’re reading this, it is plainly obvious you do not), GDB is a must-see for anyone who loves Googie architecture, pop surrealism or pure visual candy. The same goes for the fine Stuff from the Park bl-g, though Gorillas Don’t Blog is a bit more colorful, a bit more irreverent.

I’ll try to post one of these updates every week, though as I said earlier, not a lot changes at Disneyland from day to day. Such is the primary appeal of a timeless place. Plus, I’m lazy.




  1. Davelandweb

    2007/11/14 at 1:48 PM

    …and let's not forget the daily postings of the Daveland blog! Thanks for the link in the sidebar though – much appreciated!

  2. Thanks for the link and the kind words! And yeah, I do think you should take that as a dare to write the story. 🙂

    – Jennifer, aka Kitty-Chan

  3. Geoff Carter

    2007/11/20 at 7:12 AM

    Dave — Believe me, I'll get to you soon. Your blog and site are terrific, and your recent series on Monsanto's House of the Future is little short of sublime. Excellent work.

    And Jennifer — The gauntlet is thrown!

  4. Davelandweb

    2007/11/20 at 3:15 PM

    Thanks Geoff – glad you liked the HOF series. Looking forward to hearing back from you – Dave

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