Contributing to A Better Tomorrow

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Say what you will about the film Tomorrowland (2015), inspired by Disneyland’s retro-futuristic land theme, but the film was making some great points. We’ve been living carelessly and it’s finally caught up to us. This post goes a little beyond Disneyland, we have to care about our environment. Paying attention to how much businesses are using up natural resources is no longer a hippie’s concern, anyone who claims residency on earth should be worried.

I used to think, what difference does it make if I use a straw or not? I may be using a reusable straw and taking my own tote bags to the grocery store but I still drive a car that uses gas, I still eat meat and don’t garden enough.

But thinking like that didn’t get me anywhere; thinking like that doesn’t help the environment. Instead I focus on the little bit of good I’m contributing to the effort’s of others who are also contributing a little bit in their own ways.

Tips for being a tree-hugger

Let us all be a community that helps our environment. Here’s a few easy, effortless ways to help contribute to environment awareness and preservation through little….you know what I mean:

  • use less plastic. Not only does non-biodegradable plastic take hundred of years to decompose, it can end up in our seas, polluting it and harming marine life.

    • Paper straws, or even better, reusable straws. China Closet on Main Street and Starbucks sell reusable plastic straws.

    • Reusable bags. The Disneyland Resort sells reusable bags in three different sizes than can be purchased during check out at majority of the stores.

    • Don’t use lids for drinks. Most adults are capable of drinking from a cup without a lid. Of course there are exceptions but for the majority that are perfectly capable of drinking without lids shouldn’t use them so as to help minimize the waste of lids.

    • Use reusable water bottles. Multiple companies and brands make water bottle that can be refilled, help keep drinks cool or hot and are convenient for carrying. Disneyland sells all kinds of water bottles including plastic/metal tumblers, plastic children’s sippers, insulated coffee cups, etc.

  • use trash/recycle bins. Disneyland goes through so much waste in a single day, but not all of it is trash. Help the park waste less by ensuring we toss our trash in the proper bins. Also, using the bins in general. Trash left on the floor can end up in the sewer and into the ocean.

  • use less paper. Using a lot of paper can contribute to waste. Use resources offered at the parks to help with wasting less paper.

    • Don’t grab a map every time you enter the park. The most that changes from maps is the cover which means it’s safe to reuse the same map over and over. More conveniently, the Disneyland app has a map that covers both parks and Downtown Disney.

    • Limit how many napkins are grabbed from the dispenser when dining. The average person could get by with less than a handful per meal. Grabbing an excessive amount of napkins raises the chances of wind blowing them away, being left on tables or being thrown out without being used.

Conclusion

Our parks, and environment as a whole, need to be taken care of. It may seem like small, insignificant steps but if half the thousands of guests of the resort did little steps, that’d be thousands of little steps that would be contributing to making our world, and our lovely park, a better place.

Here’s a quote from the film that really got me thinking about my contribution:

Let's imagine... if you glimpsed the future, you were frightened by what you saw, what would you do with that information? You would go to... the politicians, captains of industry? And how would you convince them? Data? Facts? Good luck! The only facts they won't challenge are the ones that keep the wheels greased and the dollars rolling in. But what if... what if there was a way of skipping the middle man and putting the critical news directly into everyone's head? The probability of wide-spread annihilation kept going up. The only way to stop it was to show it. To scare people straight. Because, what reasonable human being wouldn't be galvanized by the potential destruction of everything they've ever known or loved? To save civilization, I would show its collapse. But, how do you think this vision was received? How do you think people responded to the prospect of imminent doom? They gobbled it up like a chocolate eclair! They didn't fear their demise, they re-packaged it. It could be enjoyed as video-games, as TV shows, books, movies, the entire world wholeheartedly embraced the apocalypse and sprinted towards it with gleeful abandon. Meanwhile, your Earth was crumbling all around you. You've got simultaneous epidemics of obesity and starvation. Explain that one! Bees and butterflies start to disappear, the glaciers melt, algae blooms. All around you the coal mine canaries are dropping dead and you won't take the hint! In every moment there's the possibility of a better future, but you people won't believe it. And because you won't believe it you won't do what is necessary to make it a reality. So, you dwell on this terrible future. You resign yourselves to it for one reason, because *that* future does not ask anything of you today. So yes, we saw the iceberg and warned the Titanic. But you all just steered for it anyway full steam ahead. Why? Because you want to sink! You gave up! It's not the monitor's fault. That's yours.

- Tomorrowland 2015

Entertainment at Disneyland

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Yesterday a friend and I went to watch The Pixarmonic Orchestra in California Adventure because today will be their last day of shows. Although I’ve walked by this band during their performances, I’ve never actually stopped to watch them play their set. Now that they’re leaving I do admit I regret not seeing them before.

As the band played Pixar songs, performed their antics and got me singing along to great songs I began to realize how fun this show was and how sad that the next day would be their last day.

Whenever I visit the park with friends, we always do the main stuff: Ride the mountain attractions, ride the iconic attractions and watch the main entertainment which would be the pyro/projection show, the parade and Fantasmic. As much as I enjoy those things and the park, I will admit it becomes to be a little stale.

Watching the orchestra at the Pixar Promenade felt different. Not just because I had never seen it before but there were small moments that I’m sure never happen at every show. With such a small audience and small stage, the performance felt very lively and fresh.

If you frequent the parks here’s some advice: attend the smaller shows. Big Thunder Mountain will always be there, Fantasmic will be going on at least twice a week.

Halloween 1st at Disneyland

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The spooky season has started in the parks on Sept. 6 and nothing could be more exciting. The parks are doing their usual stuff from years prior — orange banners, themed treats, more villain character meet-n-greets and Halloween merchandise.

The only new bit this year is the Halloween parties are now in Disney California Adventure as Oogie Boogie Bash. The prior years’ pyro show, Halloween Screams, which was exclusive to the Halloween parties, has become the regular seasonal pyro show in Disneyland.

I didn’t get a chance to attend any of the Halloween parties when they were in Disneyland and I didn’t experience a lot of the special treats sold throughout the park. This year that is going to change.

I made sure to watch Halloween Screams day one so that I wouldn’t put it off and then miss it by accident. Maleficent was also out for meet-n-greets so I made sure to snap a few pictures. Next things on my spooky bucket list are to try the super tempting treats and drinks. Starting with the Pumpkin Spice Shake.

Some pictures from the first day of Halloween

A Surprise on the Pooh Attraction

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For this blog post I wanted to share one of my hidden-ish gems at Disneyland. Seeing as its anniversary is coming up on the 9th, I’d like to share this little tid-bit with you all.

I love going to the parks with friends and asking them their favorite things to do; never know when someone will share something new. A while ago I had asked a friend what was something interesting they liked to see in Disneyland.

“I like to see the mounted heads on the Pooh ride.” Before correcting him that he meant the Pooh attraction, I realized what he’d said and asked for an explanation.

Before the Winnie the Pooh attraction in Critter Country it was the Country Bear Jamboree, essentially being a bear country band. Animatronics of the animals were used on the attraction in which they played instruments.

After the attraction closed on Sept. 9, 2001 and reopened two years later with a new theme, the animatronic heads can be found hidden, mounted on a wall inside the Pooh attraction. The heads are lifelike in size and cartoonish in expression but CREEPY when seeing hanging over you.

I recommend everyone stopping by and having a look for yourself. To see them you’ll have to look back at above the opening of the wall as you exit Pooh nightmare-dream show room.

On Why I Enjoy Forky's Existence

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Forky’s role in Toy Story 4 was a fresh take on the comedic relief trope because of innocence, ethics and design. In this essay I will elaborate my fixation on Forky.

I’ll admit I’m not, nor ever was a die-hard Toy Story fan. When the fourth installment released its teaser trailer I was confused but not amused about Forky; when the official trailer released I was intrigued.

It didn’t take long to realize Forky was the comedic relief in the movie. Usually I’m not a fan of making a serious or sad scene funny because usually it’s at the expense of someone’s stupidity. But Forky was different, I noticed. It wasn’t so much that he was stupid — Forky’s innocence was at the forefront of his jokes making him more endearing than annoying.

Another significant characteristic from Forky is his compassion and loyalty. This may seem silly since he’s basically trying to run away into the nearest trash bin every scene, but we see a complete 180 turn when Woody explains: the same way trash makes Forky feel safe is how Forky makes Bonnie feel. Forky ran down the street towards the long-gone RV when he understood why Woody needed Forky to stay with Bonnie. Forky’s compassion and loyalty are paralleled to Woody’s with Andy.

Finally, Forky’s brilliantly simple character design is true peak aesthetic. Primary colors (red, blue and yellow) on a white surface is a fantastic color scheme that both depicts child-like design but also speaks to higher design philosophies introduced by the Bauhaus. The dominant colors are red, white and blue but it doesn’t scream patriotism (thanks to the red and blue being less than the white). Forky’s look can be best compared to Kandinsky paintings which are about a universal understanding of feeling portrayed in the visual realm of communication.

In conclusion, Forky has multiple facets that make him the best character. I proudly claim him as my new favorite Pixar character based on his looks, child-like naiveness in an adult world and his loyalty to his responsibilities that have been thrust upon him.

Ub Iwerks

 

Ub Iwerks’ career was tied closely to Walt Disney’s almost as much as Roy Disney. Iwerks and Disney worked alongside creating the company’s most iconic material and characters including Mickey Mouse. Iwerks began as an animator and after having left and returned he worked for Disney as a special effects engineer.

Born 1901 in Missouri and past on 1971 in California, Iwerks list of accomplishments are mostly for the Disney company — Iwerks touched both the filmography and Disneyland. With Iwerks help, Disney’s animation company help take off and standout during its time. He also helped engineer well-known animatronics throughout Disneyland.

Ub Iwerks, born Ubbe Ert Iwwerks, met Disney in their early adult life. Iwerks was known to be a fast cartoonist, allegedly able to produce 700 sketches DAILY. Together, Iwerks and Disney created the first successful sound synchronized and the most popular cartoon in its time, Steamboat Willie (1928), officially debuting Mickey and Minnie Mouse. After Charles Mintz took the rights of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, co-created by Disney and Iwerks, the two began works on creating new characters.

Disney drew preliminary sketches in which Iwerks solidified, bringing to life one of the most recognized cartoon character ever — Mortimer…err, Mickey Mouse. The rest of that story can be a post on it’s own, but after Steamboat Willie brought financial success and a distributer, the two began to really crank out amazing work.

Iwerks left the Disney company but returned, not as an animator but an engineer in the special effects department. Walt had Iwerks work on perfecting the combination method of live-action and animation as seen on Mary Poppins (1964). Iwerks also had a hand in the animatronics in Disneyland having worked on “it’s a small world” and the Mr. Lincoln animatronic in the Opera House on Main Street. AND, Iwerks helped design some stuff for Disney World, although he didn’t live to see its grand opening.

Overall Ub Iwerks contributed so much to Disney and his company and, ultimately, to the history of the company we admire so much. So thank you, Iwerks, for your hard work, we love it.

Stroller Shop has Free Package Holding

 

There’s a double-edge sword effect when it comes to purchasing souvenirs at Disneyland: Buy it early and you have to carry it all day — buy it later and risk the item selling out. Perhaps you’ll want to leave it on your stroller at its designated parking spot outside an attraction — unfortunately even the happiest place on earth isn’t protected from thievery. And how many arguments have tainted friendships from having to send one person all the way back to the car to store items? I still haven’t spoken to my mother. (Kidding)

Anyway! Here’s the tip: the Stroller Shop holds Disneyland Resort packages for as long as you need (until closing) and for free! It’s conveniently located at the Esplanade by the exit gates of Disneyland.

Of course there’s limitations:

  • items must be from purchased from Disneyland, California Adventure and/or World of Disney or other Disney-owned stores from Downtown Disney

  • no personal items

  • no food, perishables

Visit the Disneyland website for their full policies, or stop by and ask your questions at the shop.