Sunday, November 22, 2020

We Didn't Start the Fire, continued

Continuing a brief look at the events and persons listed in Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. 

Each two lines represent a year. 

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev 
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc 
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, dacron 
Dien Bien Phu falls, "Rock Around the Clock" 
Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team. 
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland 
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev 
Princess Grace, "Peyton Place", trouble in the Suez 

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team. 
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland 

Today's item: Disneyland: 

Caution: some risque content.  What?? For Disneyland?!?  Yep.

Disneyland was opened in Anaheim, Los Angeles, California in 1955. A plaque at the entry reads “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy.” 

Some facts and trivia about Disneyland: 

The plants in Tomorrowland are all edible, as the themed island is meant to double as a farm “where humanity makes the most of its resources.” 

A pet cemetery is located behind the Haunted Mansion. There’s even a gravestone for Mr. Toad. 

It originally opened with only 18 attractions and 14 of them are still there. 

The Matterhorn has a basketball court. A half-court basketball structure can supposedly be found above the coaster ride, where employees go to shoot hoops during breaks. 

Disneyland was built in just one year. Despite early financial troubles, the $17 million theme park opened its doors within the estimated time span of 365 days. 

Steve Martin and Michelle Pfeiffer both worked there, Martin selling guidebooks at the Main Street magic shop in the ‘50s and Pfeiffer portraying Alice from Alice in Wonderland during the ‘70s. 

A secret apartment hides inside the theme park’s fire station. Urban legend has it that this was Walt Disney’s private apartment. 

Over 200 feral cats live in the park, there to keep rodents away. 

Walt Disney required all employees to be cleanly shaven. Theme park workers were allowed to grow moustaches in the 2000s. 

Real human skeletons were used as props when Pirates of the Caribbean first opened. Adding a sense of realism to the attraction, Disneyland had real human remains on exhibit, on loan from UCLA, but only one human skull remains as of today. 

Walt Disney waited in line with park guests out of sheer joy. His love of Disneyland was so deep that he used to accompany guests as they waited to ride their favourite attractions. 

Park admission was only $3.50 when it first opened. 

Walt Disney’s daughters were the inspiration behind Disneyland. A trip to L.A.’s Griffith Park and one ride around the merry-go-round inspired the Disney to create the theme park. 

Disneyland has had six unscheduled closures: 
1963, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
1970, due to an anti-Vietnam riot instigated by the Youth International Party. 
1987, on December 16 due to a winter storm.
1994, for inspection after the Northridge earthquake. 
2001, after the September 11 attacks. 
2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The park closed on March 14, 2020, and remains closed until further notice. 

George Lucas is cryptically paged when waiting in line for Star Tours. The overhead speaker calls for Egroeg Sacul, which is George Lucas backwards. 

Gum and shelled peanuts are prohibited from the park to keep the grounds clean. 

The term “Code V” is used when guests vomit. 

You can own a piece of Disneyland for $150, that’s the suggested asking price to walk away with a brick from the park. 

The King Arthur Carousel is older than the actual theme park. Though the property was bought in 1953, this attraction was built in 1922. 

The Sleeping Beauty Castle is the only Disney park castle that has a real functioning drawbridge - it’s only been used twice: for opening day and the remodelling of Fantasyland. 

Walt Disney made a deal with ABC to help fund the theme park, agreeing to a Disneyland series that would boost viewership and help promote the park. 

Money restraints forced Disney to choose between bathrooms and drinking fountains. He went with restrooms. After critics accused him of forcing guests to purchase soft drinks, he responded “People can buy Pepsi-Cola, but they can’t pee in the street!" 

The Indiana Jones Ride was originally conceived as a two-part experience. The creators had planned to develop a mini-land dubbed Indiana Jones and the Lost Expedition—a giant complex that featured the Adventure ride and a mine cart roller coaster. 

A time capsule was buried at the Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1995. No one knows exactly what’s inside, but that will be found out when it is unearthed during the park’s 80th anniversary on July 17, 2035. 

A flight restriction has been placed over the park. No aircraft is allowed to fly within a three-mile radius of Disneyland. 

Cast members can’t use one-finger gestures. To avoid offending certain cultures, everyone in suit is required to communicate with an open palm or two fingers to point. 

The Main Street Opera House is the oldest building on Disneyland property. Originally, it served as the Park’s lumber mill and was converted into an opera house after 1961. 

There is a secret club in the park where only special guests can enter. It’s called Club 33 and it’s where a select few can escape the massive crowds to drink fancy cocktails, eat five-star cuisine, and hang with celebrities such as rumoured members Elton John and Tom Hanks. 

And some lesser known, by the way facts . . . confirms that some women flash their breasts at the camera that takes pictures of Splash Mountain riders as they plunge down the final waterfall. The ride is nicknamed “Flash Mountain” and Snopes explains that you won’t see these pictures as you exit the ride, because a cast member will prevent them from appearing on the screen. Some of these pictures have been sneaked out and posted on the Internet. If a party happens to be riding in the same ride on Splash Mountain with someone who pulls this stunt, a further free ride is offered so that they can ride again and obtain a non-topless photo. 

Example pics: 

Not only topless photos feature on Flash Mountain, as these pics show: 

Yep, that is The Rock

Still on the topic of Splash Mountain, in June 2020 Disney announced plans to drop Song of the South references from Splash Mountain rides at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom Park in Florida. Song of the South centres on Johnny, a young white boy who learns life lessons from a formerly enslaved man named Uncle Remus. The film also features Hattie McDaniel, the first black person to win an Oscar; in 1940, she took home the Best Supporting Actress trophy for her portrayal of “Mammy” in Gone with the Wind. The movie paints a rosy picture of a post-Civil War era Georgia plantation with stereotypical black servants speaking in stereotypical speech. Disney no longer screens Song of the South but Splash Mountain was based on it.  The ride will be re-imagined and based on the Disney animation file The Princess and the Frog. 

A further by the way: 
The American flags in the park are not real. The flags in Main Street are missing a stripe or a star so that they don’t have to follow standard American flag regulations, such as flying them half-mast at certain times. 

To read of some of the Disneyland secrets, click on: 

Bonus item #1:

Bonus Item #2:

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