30 Days and 30 Blogs
For those of you just joining us, welcome aboard. This blog is a continuation from yesterday where I was recounting my experience at Disneyland’s 50th anniversary kick off celebration. When we last left our hero (since I’m writing this, our hero is me), I had just re-entered the park on May 4th for the “Homecoming Party.” We had just been directed down Main Street and ushered into Frontierland (where yet more free food awaited us). For the entirety of the walk down Main Street, the celebrities were on one side and the rest of the media was on the other…but once we got into Frontierland, we were all mixed in together. I got to rub elbows with Gina Davis, Michael Eisner, Kelsey Grammar (sadly still limping from his fall), Leonard Maltin (before I’d heard of the Leonard Maltin game)…and a big thrill for me…Pierce Brosnan!
Ah, that quality disposable camera film
Okay “rub elbows” is a bit strong. (Clearly I just randomly snapped a picture while Pierce was talking to someone else) But these people were walking around next to me and I thought that was pretty cool. The host of the morning show actually had the courage to ask Pierce if he was coming back for another James Bond. He said he wasn’t. I guess plans were already in motion to get Daniel Craig to make Casino Royale. I didn’t know that at the time and I was (and still am) sad that we didn’t get to see one more Brosnan Bond film. Skyfall and Casino Royale are two of my favorite Bond films, but Brosnan is my favorite Bond. BUT…this blog is about Disneyland. And shortly after I took the above picture, I went on the Indiana Jones ride. As I was getting into the jeep, Brosnan and his family were getting out. How cool is that? Bond inspires Spielberg to make Indiana Jones, the Indiana Jones movies inspire this ride, James Bond goes on the ride…and I go on right after him!
I remember Jim Belushi introducing the Goo Goo Dolls who played a live show for us on Tom Saywer’s Island..but sadly I don’t remember the details. I think there was more build up than that, but I was too busy being a slack jawed celeb chaser. That night was the premier of the fireworks show “Remember…Dreams Come True.” I sadly went back to my hotel before it happened. I was so tired from staying up late and getting up early the day before that I knew I couldn’t do it again. But not only did I miss my chance to be among the first to see the show, I believe it was introduced by Dick Van Dyke. 🙁
The next day was 05-05-05, the official kick off of the 50 year celebration. We did a live broadcast from Disneyland park…right in front of the Plaza Inn. In yesterday’s blog, I said we talked to Marty Sklar on the 4th in California Adventure. Upon further recollection, we didn’t talk to Marty until this day at Disneyland. BUT I also left out someone we talked to that day in yesterday’s blog, so to balance that out, I’ll talk about her now. Stacia Martin is a Disney artist and historian and she stopped by to talk about Disneyland history with the morning show. Before we started the interview, she asked us who our favorite Disney characters were. During the interview, she drew us each a personal sketch of our favorite character. The two morning show hosts picked Mickey and Goofy…so I had to pick someone else, so I went with the Genie from Aladdin. I recently found the sketch…
It’s important to note she did all of that freehand (yes, even the Disneyland logo), with no references to look at, WHILE telling us a history of the park on the air. I think she was doing that for radio stations all morning and there were a BUNCH of radio stations there! Also, I now have to brag that I later got to come back to Disneyland with the station for the opening of “Rockin’ Space Mountain” and then again for the “Buzz Lighteyear Astro Blasters Buzz Cup Tournament.” I met Stacia again each time and each time she drew me a new character.
While it’s amazingly cool to have these drawings, it makes me a little sad that, even if I’m trying my hardest, I’ll never draw as good a Mickey Mouse as Stacia does when she’s bieng distracted by interview questions.
OK…enough time jumping…back to the broadcast on May 5th, 2005. So we started long before the park opened, but I heard there were already people lined up outside. I didn’t get to see any of them until they let them in to Main Street little before “rope drop.” (It’s a Disney term, don’t worry about it) So I was standing there as they let everyone into the rest of the park, recording the audio of this HUGE sea of people, when I randomly see Shellee, a friend of mine form college who I hadn’t seen SINCE college. I was listening to the audio (which is on the same CD as the Goofy/Donald interview) and you can hear us see each other but then realize she has to keep going and I’m stuck in media row. It was a funny but odd thing.
Eventually the broadcast ended and we were finally done working, but they let us have some nice seats for the launch ceremony. Julie Andrews was the host. Alan Silvestri was conducting the orchestra. Christina Agulara sang when you wish upon a start. Wayne Brady reported in live, via satellite from Disney World. The Muppets reported in from the Disney Cruise Line. And Leeann Rhymes sang “Remember When” for us. I love that song. I regret not including it on my High 5 list of Disneyland music. I was convinced that they were going to release this song on the radio and it would be a chart topping hit. They didn’t and it wasn’t. Nostradamus I am not (or maybe I am, if you think about it).
Well that’s it. I think I got to go one a ride or two after that before we had to fly home. To those of you still reading, thanks for letting me get this out. I wished I had gotten all this stuff out at the time. I’m sure there are details I’ve missed. Like until I started writing this blog and getting lost in the memories, I had forgotten all about the gold carpet thing.
Also I’m curious, where any of you there on May 5th (or maybe even the 4th)? I’d love to hear some other stories. This was truly one of my happiest experiences at the happiest place on Earth…so that’s a lot of happiness to keep inside. I just had to blog it.
See ya real soon.