If you don’t count Collateral Damage Jr, that is. Mrs. CD grew tired of waiting for me to post her insights into The Mouse That Roars (Disney) and has started her own blog on just that topic called Kitty Chan’s Broke Hoedown. (To understand the title go here.) But before she went (without two weeks notice, I might add) she left a few more very funny observations:
Apropos of nothing, which is only fitting given your blog…
Building on the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise, Disney theme parks are now featuring a Captain Jack Sparrow character wandering around for autographs, photo ops, etc. This is particularly amusing because as far as I’ve observed, children are not all that interested in meeting him. Instead, he is followed by a flock of besotted middle-age women, all anxious for a moment of his time, and perchance a photo with the man. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that when I got my chance for a picture, there was a slight problem with the camera. I will always remember that as the day that I almost caught a picture of myself with Captain. Jack. Sparrow!)
I would like a word or two with whomever’s responsible for coordinating the ticket pricing strategies for Disney parks worldwide. Us east-coast Disney fans have spent a tremendous amount of time and energy learning about the relatively-new Magic Your Way ticket pricing strategy, and watching the prices soar like Dumbo. Disneyland has a whole different ticket pricing strategy, which is somewhat more in synch with the pricing systems for the Tokyo and Paris Disneyland parks (though the latter has been tweaked to fit better with the all-inclusive style of European vacations). Could we have a little more consistency among the parks, please? Surely this sort of confusion wasn’t part of Walt’s dream.
And while I’m talking with the ticket pricing strategy guru, could we also talk a bit about the lack of any sort of coordinated effort for those of us who love all the Disney parks, worldwide? Last year, CD Jr and I visited both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World, perhaps a tad unusual but certainly not unheard of. In many other years we’ve hit the Disney parks on both US east and west coasts, which is almost par for the course for some percentage of truly hardcore fans. Why not institute an International Annual Pass? Or at the very least, how bout a frequent visitor club, where some special trinket or benefit is awarded after having visited all the parks worldwide? Sure, it wouldn’t have direct impact on Disney’s bottom line; nobody’s going to visit five international parks just to get a pin. But it would be just the sort of special, guest-oriented, “magical” touch on which the Disney brand is built.
And it’s got a nice logo, too. She made it herself she did.
The first installment of a series from Mrs. Collateral Damage who knows more about The World of Mouse than you do (trust me, she’s been to all of them except Hong Kong).
There is a proper way to eat a Mickey bar in 100 degree heat. Mickey bars are by nature rather top-heavy, and prone to splattering on the sidewalk if not consumed properly. To protect your Mickey bar from an untimely end, keep it in the bag, exposing approximately 1/2″ of bar at a time. If the bar does collapse, it should fall into the bag and remain retrievable.
Light eaters can get by with the children’s meals at counter service restaurants. The chicken poppers at California Adventure’s (aka Lame-O-Land West) Taste Pilot’s Grill are a reasonably good sized serving, and come in a souvenier snack box that’s handy for storing craft supplies.
In Disneyland’s New Orleans’ Square, you can buy “make your own pirate” headgear, based on either a Jack Sparrow wig or a bandana/do-rag. The wigs and do-rags are a little over-priced (welcome to capitalism, kids), but the add-ons are reasonably inexpensive for a little Do-It-Yourself Disney fashion. The snap-on patches come in designs both classic and trendy, and can be converted to sew-on patches with careful use of an exacto knife on the flip side. Examine the patches carefully; you’ll see which ones are actually embroidered, and which are painted on (the embroidered ones are likely to hold up better in the wash, over time).
If you prefer the last car of the rollercoaster, or want to sit in the driver’s section of the monorail, don’t be afraid to ask a Disney Cast Member (nicely). Nobody’s told me no yet.
If you go to see Muppets 3D, in Lame-O-Land West, try to time your arrival so you can see the entire pre-show. If you arrive at the end of the pre-show, consider sticking around to watch the whole thing before taking in the main attraction. Many fans think it’s better than the 3D movie itself, as do many of the Cast Members.
Also, I simply must sing the praises of the Disney lost-and-found system. One Friday night recently, I was in Lame-O-Land West, having had a lovely time celebrating my 40th birthday. I lost an important pouch, which held my (very expensive) seven-day Disneyland ticket, a gift card, and my hotel key. I talked to a series of Cast Members, all of whom were kind and helpful, and who re-united me with my lost things within 15 minutes. It could have been a nightmare, but it was hardly a blip in my evening. I love Disneyland for its dreams-come-true sentimentality and it’s nostalgic appeal, but in the long run that wouldn’t be enough on its own; ultimately it’s this kind of attention to detail and service that keeps me a loyal customer.