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Old 03-31-2010, 03:15 AM   #1
Mark Mason
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 11

3/2010 TRIP REPORT & "HOW FAR YOU WALK" Update

It’s been well over a year since our last visit. Our HS daughter’s dance competition was next door at the Anaheim Convention Center the weekend of 3/25-28, and that meant it was time to hit the DLR, once again equipped with my trusty GPS to see, again, how far you walk in a day at DLR.

Of the three days we stormed the park, two were modestly productive. The third was, well, defensive (my feet hurt)! Still, the GPS clocked off about eight miles in ten hours of fun on Sunday 3/28/2010 at DLR. So as not to be duplicitous and double post information, the GPS map and detail is on my web page at KEX RADIO.

What I thought I’d share with you here (and hope you comment on) are Unusual Sightings:

#1 While on the Matterhorn Bobsleds late Saturday we watched a bobsled load of teenagers come back to the loading area in a boisterous mood. However, with only one side of the loading area open that night, a back-up began to appear. To relieve the pressure, a sled load of guest is usually *shifted* from the main track to a holding track until the backup is relieved. Then they are shifted on to the main track to resume their place in line to prepare to disembark. This particular band of people turned from happy bobsledders to upset riders as more than a few cars filled with guests rolled past them to the exit dock while they stayed parked on a holding track. They could only have been there maybe two minutes as the cast members worked hard to move the other cars through to make room once again for them. They voiced their displeasure that they were being forced to wait. As cars rolled by, one-by-one, they complained louder. Then, to the horror of all of us watching, including an incredulous cast member who had turned her head for just a moments time to evaluate the back-up, a female rider in seat #1 stood up and resolutely stepped out of the bobsled and began jumping between the active tracks and cars and leaped up to the exit dock. Alarms went off at each of the ride operators stations, and cast members went into action. One raced to the car and firmly barked a “Stop!” to the two other persons who were following the girl. They sat down. Another cast member jumped between loading stations to punch buttons and prevent what we later leaned would have been a complete Matterhorn system shutdown. (Personal note: I’ve been around the Matterhorn before during such a stoppage. I learned that the mainframe running this system is extremely reliable, but complex. It takes about 30 minutes for the system to re-boot once it shuts down.)(Must run on Windows)(Okay, that was a joke. Don’t get bent out of shape, Windows fans.) The cast member saved the day, and then addressed the remaining guests in the cars saying something to the effect of “What you did was wrong. Had this system shut down, you would have been banned from Disneyland for life.” He didn’t yell it, but he was adamant. The riders were apologetic. The girl stood sheepishly on the exit dock waiting for her friends. They were soon shifted back to the main track and they were allowed to disembark and they disappeared into the warm So. California night. Funny thing, though, then next day the exact same thing happened to me and my family. Only we were happy to sit on the side track for a few minutes. It was kind of fun to watch the track mechanics, and how the cast members operated them. It takes a lot of work to make that ride run smoothly. After the delay of about three minutes, we were shifted back to the main track and the cast member, appreciative of our patience, asked: “Want to go around again?” Who says no to that? And off we went. The lesson here is patience, I guess, and that It can be rewarded. And one other thing…do they really ban people for life? How can they do that? I mean, how can they prevent someone who is persona non grata entry?

#2 Finally, here’s something you don’t see every day at Disneyland. Late at night, maybe 11:00 pm, we were taking the back route behind Thunder Mountain over to Fantasyland. As we passed the Big Thunder BBQ area a cop pops out of the Cast Members Only door accompanied by… a dog.
Can’t say I’ve seen too many dogs in Disneyland before. I made a note that the cop wore no weapon, other than being equipped with a small can of mace on his belt, and a radio. Didn’t look like a Disneyland cop, but he was all business. He made his way with us towards Fantasyland, trying to stay out of the main pathways, so as not to be noticed. He wasn’t hiding, per se, but he took a route behind whatever surroundings offered cover. He moved with purpose to the Dumbo ride, which by then I had noticed was closed, save for a cast member who was at the entrance queue telling people the ride is “temporarily closed.” The cop and his canine strode up onto the loading platform and spoke with another cast member and what appeared to be a Disneyland officer. They, in turn, then led him and the dog to a backpack which was propped up against the wall just under the ride operator’s window. Ah-ha! An unattended backpack! And they called out the bomb sniffing dog. Wow. I had no clue one was even on duty. I watched as the dog sniffed the bag, and then just as fast turned away showing disinterest in what was inside. The cop then handed off the dog and began a very slow and methodical evaluation of the bag. A tug here, unzip there. After almost two minutes (an eternity in unattended backpack time) he reached inside and pulled out a few items. I could not see what they were, but clearly the cop was done with it. He didn’t even pull whatever it was all the way out of the bag before almost tossing it to other officials on duty. My first thought was “dirty diapers,” I felt badly for the cop. I said to a cast member (I am so nosy), “This kind of thing must happen a lot, considering how many people carry bags around here.” The cast member didn’t hesitate and said, “Not really. I’ve been here a long time and this is the first time I’ve seen it happen.” That’s good to hear. Even better knowing that there is a response in place for such events, and, apparently, a very professional response. And a dog on duty. Who knew?

Okay, here are two panoramic pix I took. I got lucky with these as they are simple Nikon shots with Arcsoft stitching, but i love their texture. The actually photos are about 10MB, they are reduced here so the definition is not what it could be. But you’ll get the idea.
Main Street Singers ....feels like you are standing right there:


Walt's Statue....people watching:


There are two other shots on the GPS page, including one of the Rivers of America under refurbishment. That link is above.

It’s late, I am tired. According to my computer’s clock DL closed an hour ago. I need to go to bed.

Thanks for reading this year’s report. Look forward to your comments.

Mark Mason
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Old 03-31-2010, 04:22 PM   #2
blackjackdelta
Uncle had an "in" with Walt
I love those rainy days with the decreased crowds
 
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Enjoyed your report and photo's.

Jack
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