Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 2 – Adventureland

After we slow down a bit to really take some time and enjoy the sights, sounds, and other immersive details on the new Main Street USA, we are gonna make a left turn, put on our safari hats, and explore into the deepest reaches of the tropical jungle. A land where birds can talk, dark forbidden temples loom large, and where you may just get a glimpse of the backside of water.

Adventureland-Sign

Continue reading “Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 2 – Adventureland”

Remembering Your Heroes

A few years ago, when Robin Williams passed away, the initial shock of the situation hit me pretty hard. I was, for lack of a better word, devastated to the point of tears. This, in and of itself, surprised me because I was sincerely and deeply grieving for a man I had never met.

It took a few days before I could distance myself from it and really sit down to think about why it had affected me so much.  At that time, I even started writing a blog to express these feelings, but I ultimately decided to not publish it.

Basically, he was one of my heroes. He was someone I looked up to and saw as a beacon of goodness, joy, and laughter in this world. Every story I had heard about him only spoke about how kind and generous a person he was. How he took time to really connect with his fans, just to find out what he could do to make their day a bit brighter, to make them laugh, to make them smile.

It was learning that one of my heroes, someone I had placed on a pedestal, suffered from his own demons and ultimately succumbed to them, that had shaken me.

It hurt, I mourned, but something else happened too…

Ultimately, through his memory, Robin Williams opened my worldview a bit more to the hidden trials and challenges people with depression face every day. Most days, they put on a false mask of courage, smile through it, and don’t want to burden people with their problems… but the fact is, that those masks can only last so long. It made me reexamine and think about my own battles with anxiety, doubt, and depression, and to ask for help if I need it.

This happened again recently with Anthony Bourdain. It hurt, I mourned… but I also remembered that old blog I started about Robin Williams.

These tragedies make you remember that your heroes are human after all. They have their flaws. They are not perfect. Regardless, their presence in your life has an impact. It has meaning, whether you knew them personally as a friend or if you were just a fan. Hopefully, they inspire you to make your own little mark in this life and leave this world a better place than when you found it, just as they did. Most importantly, if you are hurting or suffering from depression, hopefully, their memory will encourage you to seek the help you need.

Till next time,

  • DAC

Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 1 – Main Street USA

Original Disneyland

While some people “fan cast” potential movies with actors and directors they want to see, I’ve always fantasized about what I would do to make Disneyland even more amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Happiest Place on Earth more than you can possibly know, but if you take a step back with an in-depth look, you have to admit that not everything in the park is perfect. And like the man said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

Recently, the Connecting with Walt  podcast (obligatory plug) started a series where the hosts re-imagine the park, land by land, into their ideal Dream Disneyland. It’s a good listen and you should definitely go check it out. The topic also inspired me to finally sit down, write out all the ideas I wish could be implemented, and share them through a series of blog posts.  Continue reading “Re-imagining Disneyland – Part 1 – Main Street USA”

My Thoughts on the New Auction Scene on The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride.

Oh boy, something (somewhat) controversial yet completely trivial.

So, I watched the new auction scene that has been inserted into Walt Disney World’s The Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  This new scene has been the subject of a lot of attention recently because the original scene that it replaced was arguably the most iconic and memorable section of the ride. It was funny, had memorable characters, and a bunch of infinitely quotable lines of dialogue.  It just had one small, teeny, tiny, itsy, bitsy problem.

It depicted a sex slave/wench auction… at a family friendly Disney park… in 2018.  That’s… really not okay. At all. At. All.

If you need a refresher, or have never been on the ride, here is the original scene:

And here is the new scene:

This scene change is also coming to the Disneyland version of the ride late this month (April 2018).

Now, I can see what the Disney Imagineer’s tried to do here. They made the Redhead more than just an object to be bought, which is fantastic, and I applaud them for giving her some agency and driving the scene with her words rather than with her sex appeal.

But honestly, the rest of the scene is not very good. Yes, it’s better than an auction of crying Audio-Animatronic women waiting to be sold to drunken pirates, but the overall writing/dialogue for the new scene is in itself is just… well… dull. It’s not clever. It’s not funny. It’s not quotable. I love a good pun as much as anyone, but “Quit your cluckin'”? Really?

Keep in mind this is coming from someone who agrees that the scene did need to be changed & updated with the times. But if you are going to replace such an iconic/oft-quoted moment in the ride, however problematic it may be, the replacement also has to be quotable and memorable. There has to be some extra effort put in to meet expectations. This just doesn’t do that. I don’t think anyone experiencing the ride for the first time will give this new scene a second thought as they exit toward the gift shop, and that really feels like a missed opportunity.

What do you think? Are you happy with the new scene and the dialogue? Leave a comment and let me know!

– DAC

Radio Silence

I know that I have never really been good at updating this blog in a proper/timely manner.  This is something that those of you genuinely interested in what I have to say have likely noticed. I tend to deem these extended periods of time “Radio Silence,” despite the mixing of medium metaphors. Honestly, I’m not happy with these periods, would very much like them to stop, and therefore be more prompt with my writings/blogging. Whether it’s a blog published elsewhere on the web or just a general update on my work and progress, there really is no reason I cannot post more frequently… besides willing myself to get up off my ass (or sit down on it, I suppose) and actually do so.

And aside from my extended blogging in 2017 for Sideshow.com, I have not been all that productive. I’ll spare you the laundry list of lame excuses and understandable reasons. Except one…

Genre writers and storytellers are sponges.  What I mean by that is, we see the world around us, absorb it, filter it, then spit it back out as something new we can call our own.  When things are bad, we create dystopian dramas with unlikely underdogs fighting back against oppressive regimes. When things are good, we create fantastic adventures through space and time, boldly creating and discovering new wonders throughout the universe.

To put it mildly, the state of the world around us right now… isn’t good. Absorbing and viewing in the swirling garbage around us, for me personally, makes it more difficult to feel creative. But you don’t really need to hear about my general malaise at the current state of our political, social, and natural environments. You’ve seen it. You know what is happening. I’m sure you are sick of it too, and wish for some big changes.

So I blocked it all out.

I have always been hesitant to post any social or political views here. I also try to avoid it on Twitter and Facebook aside from the occasional share/retweet which, let’s be honest, is the political equivalent of saying “Yes, I agree with you, but I’m gonna do it from behind this shrubbery where the bad guys can’t see me.”

I think that needs to change.

I know many readers prefer not to have a writer’s political/social views shoved down their throats. But no matter what you are reading, chances are that is exactly what is happening whether you realize it or not. I think it would be impossible for a writer not to include at least a little of their personal beliefs in their works. Whether it is intended is another matter entirely.

Where was I going with this long ramble?  Oh… right… Basically, I need to not be afraid to state my mind. Share my opinions, even if some people may find them unpopular. I think guarding my opinions so closely has been stifling my creativity in a way, because I didn’t want to anger the limited readership I have gained because of a differing opinion.
I think that is all I wanted to say for right now. Hopefully, this will be the first of many new blogs for 2018.
Thanks for stopping by,
– DAC