Ed Driscoll

DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

We were in Anaheim for the annual California State Bar Convention (my wife’s an attorney), which alternates between southern and northern California. Friday night and for much of Sunday, we toured Disneyland, or as Nina likes to call it, “Dizzy Land”. She wanted to tour Disney’s California Adventure, an addition to the park which opened only a few years ago.

I agreed reluctantly–I thought if Disney wanted to really recreate the California Adventure, this part of the park should be filled with lawyers, government employees, social workers, and tax auditors (actually, it probably was this past weekend…). Instead, what Disney has installed is a typically Disney-esque sanitary look at the history of California–there’s a stationary California Zephyr streamliner selling food and gifts, a “Taste Pilot’s Restaurant” with a handsome recreation of Chuck Yeager’s X-1 zooming off the roof of it, a Santa Cruz-like amusement park (now with two-thirds less drug-addled hippies stuck in a 1960s causality loop!) and other such fare. Lots of Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and Mamas and Poppas music–and even the odd Bing Crosby song(!) about California.

Because ABC is owned by Disney (or is it the other way around?), ABC was promoting its fall television lineup, and several of its celebrities there–talking on a stage, with an enormous Jumbotron TV to project them into the park. Dennis Franz was scheduled to be there, as was Jim Belushi and his blues band. On our way out of the California Adventure and into Disney proper, I saw John Ritter on the screen, using–for the first and last time I hope–the word “fart” on the giant Jumbotron. (He had been asked what he, Suzanne Summers and Joyce DeWitt would do in a Three’s Company reunion by someone attending the park by a poor, confused soul who thinks that would a good thing. Fabulously out-of-date, Ritter suggested that Summers and DeWitt would need “a lot of EST” to work things out.)


In order to ferry the celebrities from L.A. to Anaheim, ABC employed an enormous fleet of stretch limos. I don’t think I had ever seen more black automobiles this side of Don Corleone’s funeral.

Lots of those limos were actually luxury black SUVs–and not an electric hybrid in sight! (Imagine that!) Next time a celebrity starts complaining about your Chevy Suburban or Toyota Land Cruiser, just remember how this person probably gets around–and smile at his Disneyland-sized hypocrisy.

Dizzy Land is right–as I wandered in a sun-baked haze through Disney’s California Adventure, I started riffing with my wife about how much fun David Letterman could have in a Top Ten List about this place….

From the home office in Anaheim, California….
The Top Ten Rejected Attractions at Disney’s California Adventure!

[Paul Schaffer’s drummer plays obligatory drum roll]

Number 10…..Annie Sprinkle’s Wet & Wild Water Sports!

Number 9……Gray Davis’ Recall Rollercoaster!

Number 8……David Crosby’s House of Heroin!

Number 7……Michael Jackson’s Pedophilic Playhouse!

Number 6……Scratch & Sniff Animatronic Johnny Depp!

Number 5……Cruz Bustamante’s MEChA Mania!

Number 4……John Walker Lindh’s Taliban Toboggan!

Number 3……Robert Maplethorpe’s San Francisco Safari!

Number 2……Ron Jeremy’s Drop The Chalupa!*

And the number one rejected attraction at Disney’s California Adventure….

Ride The Rolling Blackout!

[/Paul Schaffer drumroll]

We’ll be right back after this brief commercial time out!

*I have no idea what this means. But it sounded appropriately sleazy, and got a big chuckle from my wife when I was free-associating in the park, so I thought I’d include in this list.