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April 1, 2013

Disney Hodgepodge

jack-spence%27s-masthead4.jpg


Today's article will be a little different that my usual entries. Instead of one, lengthy topic, I'm going to be covering several, unrelated subjects including some nostalgia, a restaurant recommendation, an editorial, and a juicy rumor. Let's start with nostalgia.



NOSTALGIA

As a young man of 18, I had the good sense to save my first paystub from my job at Disneyland. I knew someday that I would find it of interest and it would rekindle memories. A few years ago, I went looking for it to include in one of my blogs. I opened box after box of my Disney paper-memorabilia collection, but my paystub could not be found. Discouraged, I gave up looking for it. A year later, I decided to look for it again, thinking I just missed it the first time around. But alas, it was nowhere to be found. I reasoned it had somehow been inadvertently thrown away.

Last month, I had movers arrive at my house to pack up most of my belongings for storage and move a selected few pieces of furniture to my apartment. One of these items was a chest of drawers. In preparation for the move, I emptied everything out of the drawers. And no, I didn't find the paystub in one of the drawers -- yet.

Later that night at the apartment, I started refilling my chest with clothes and other belongings. When opening one of the bottom drawers, I found my paystub. Apparently, when the movers upended the chest and placed it on their dolly, it dislodged the paystub from some hidden spot for me to find. Hurray.

I thought you might get a laugh at the dollar amounts. Although my hourly wage as a Miscellaneous Kitchen Helper would be $1.71 per hour, I was paid an astounding $2.15 per hour to attend Orientation (called Traditions today). I was also given a meal payment of $1.50 that bought a full lunch at the company cafeteria.

I've turned the paystub on its side so the check would be larger and you could see the amounts better. My, how things have changed in 42 years.


Disneyland Pay Stub



RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION

Because this is a "hodgepodge" blog, this will not be a full restaurant review, but rather a restaurant recommendation.

Splitsville is a new bowling alley that opened at Downtown Disney Westside last year. Even though I'm not a bowler, I had to check it out simply because it is on Disney property.


Splitsville


Splitsville is not your father's bowling alley. This is a sophisticated entertainment complex with one foot in the 1950's and the other in the 2010's. Here is what is offered:

"’ 30 Bowling Lanes
"’ Upscale Food, including 2 sushi bars
"’ Live Music
"’ Outdoor Patio Dining
"’ Billiards Tables
"’ Dancing

Even though I don't bowl, I still wanted to experience Splitsville, so I decided to have lunch with some friends one afternoon. When we arrived, we were asked if we wanted to sit indoors or out. Since it was somewhat cool, we opted for one of their very attractive indoor booths.


Booth


We were all impressed with the service. Our waiter arrived promptly and was attentive without being overbearing. He remembered who ordered what when bringing us our food - a major grading point for me when evaluating service.

We were all very impressed with the food. Along with traditional bowling alley fair such as pizza, burgers, nachos, and fries, gourmet selections such as Mahi Mahi with Voodoo Shrimp, California Roll, Seared Ahi Tuna Salad, and Steak Chimichurri are also on hand. To see the complete menu, click here.

I was impressed enough that I decided to return a week later. This time, the weather was remarkable. Because of this, I chose to sit on the second story balcony.


Balcony

Balcony

Bar


It's this balcony that I actually want to recommend in this article. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink and a good meal when it's nice outside. To me, food always tastes better alfresco. And take a look at the view. This is a wonderful place to surreptitiously people-watch. I've been back to the balcony several times since my first visit up here.


Balcony View

Balcony View


Even if you're not a bowler and you don't want to eat here, I strongly suggest dropping in next time you're visiting the Westside. This is a wonderful spot and worthy of Walt Disney World.

For more information about Splitsville, click here and here.



EDITORIAL

Two weeks ago, Disney announced that over the next three years, Downtown Disney would receive a major makeover and become "Disney Springs." Although the majority of the upgrades would be made to the current Pleasure Island section, the Westside and Marketplace would also receive enhancements. The overall project calls for the doubling of the number of shops and restaurants, revamping the parking lot and adding two parking structures, and a bridge that will cross a portion of Village Lake to ease pedestrian traffic.

I am absolutely thrilled with this announcement. Because Downtown Disney was built in stages over the years, there was no continuity between the Marketplace, Pleasure Island, and the Westside. And although these three areas will still remain as separate "neighborhoods," the plans call for a more cohesive and inclusive design that will help add unity to the area.

I am thrilled that Disney will be adding more shops. The plans state that the majority of these will be selling non-Disney merchandise. This is good. There are already more than enough "Disney" shops selling the same merchandise over and over again. It will be nice to have other goods and products to browse through when visiting here.

I am thrilled with the announcement that the parking lot will be redesigned and parking structures added. Currently there are not enough spaces near the Marketplace and the overall design of the parking lot is horrendous. It can be a nightmare trying to find a spot during busy periods.

I am thrilled that the bus stations will be consolidated. The current bus stop across from Pleasure Island is an embarrassment. It is not up to Disney standards and its location is ill-conceived.

I am thrilled that a pedestrian bridge will connect the two sides of the Marketplace. The walkways in this area are always congested and this new thoroughfare will greatly improve people flow.

However"¦ I am not thrilled with the name "Disney Springs."

As we know, the Imagineers like to begin each project with a backstory. This helps bring continuity and interest to the finished product. So this tried-and-true practice was applied when planning began on the refurbishment of Downtown Disney. This is what they came up with.

"The story of Disney Springs begins at our new Town Center, which is oriented around a series of bubbling natural springs that first attracted settlers to the area. From there, the town grew to encompass three additional neighborhoods: The Landing, Marketplace and West Side - each with its own distinct charm and atmosphere."

Here are my problems with the name "Disney Springs."

The backstory is not original - not even to Disney. If you remember, they used this same backstory in the movie "Cars." Stanley Steamer discovered a spring in the middle of the desert and set up shop. The town of Radiator Springs grew around this spring.

There are already too many "springs" at WDW. We have two resorts containing this word: Coronado Springs and Saratoga Springs. Although I've never heard a backstory for either, wouldn't it be logical that their names were also derived from a nearby spring. And over at Blizzard Beach one of the water slides is called Teamboat Springs.

And finally, the name "Disney Springs" doesn't tell visitors what to expect. A first timer to WDW might just think it's another resort. The word "downtown" was far more descriptive. In most cities across the U.S., the word downtown is associated with the business district -- the area where you'll find restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. Disney Springs conjures up none of this for me.

Two years ago, Disney announced "Hyperion Wharf," an earlier plan to refurbish Pleasure Island. But construction never began. Today, Disney freely admits that upon further thought, they realized they could do better and went back to the drawing board.

Now I don't expect the Imagineers to change the backstory they've come up with for the revitalized Downtown Disney, but I hope they realize that they could do better when it comes to a name. What's wrong with keeping the name Downtown Disney? People are already familiar with it and know what to expect.

So what do you think? Do you like the new name of Disney Springs or do you prefer Downtown Disney? Or do you have another name you'd like to see? Write a comment and let me know. Then check back every couple of days to see what others have posted.

On a related topic, I'd like to speak to the Disney copy writers in regards to the following sentence found in one of their press releases:

"Drawing inspiration from Florida's waterfront towns and natural beauty, Disney Springs will include four outdoor neighborhoods interconnected by a flowing spring and vibrant lakefront."

Springs don't flow. A spring is the spot where water bubbles up from beneath the earth. From there the spring becomes a brook, creek, or stream. Brooks, creeks, and streams flow, but not springs.



RUMOR

I don't usually report on rumors. They're just too unreliable. But in this case, I just have to. I have it on good authority that a pretty big announcement will be made in mid-April. I was even able to obtain some concept photos/art to share with you.

It seems that Disney has decided to build a dome over the Magic Kingdom. This has been on the drawing board for years, but it's only been in the last five years that technology has reached a point to make this possible.


Dome Over the MK

Dome Over the MK


Of course, the first advantage of a dome is climate control. Disney will be able to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year. Now, the tiring effects of humidity will be a thing of the past. And the sudden downpours of summer will no longer hamper your touring plans. This will help greatly now that Disney is implementing advance-FastPass and total-day touring plans.

The dome will also shield out ultraviolet light. No more sunburns.

The covering will also use a "transition" type material that will darken and lighten depending on the time of day and lighting conditions.

In case you're concerned, the fireworks will still be shot off from behind the Magic Kingdom (outside the dome), but still clearly visible from within. In fact, Disney has some surprises in store for us as they will use projections and fiber optics on the dome in conjunction with the firework display.

Construction will probably begin in September, after the summer crowds have gone home.

For more information on this, scroll down.


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April fools!



October 15, 2012

Rump Humor

Jack Spence Masthead


Occasionally on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I'll pull out a Disney animated movie and pop it into the DVD player. Then I settle in for an hour and a half of enjoyment with an "old friend." Recently, I decided to watch Mulan as it had been a while since I had seen this movie about a young Chinese girl determined to bring honor to her family.

Early in the film, Mulan is presented to the Matchmaker. At this meeting, she has only a few minutes to demonstrate the necessary lady-like charms required to be a good wife.


Mulan and Matchmaker


Of course, things don't go well and calamity ensues. At one point, a pot of hot coals is knocked over and the Matchmaker accidentally sits on them. After an appropriate comedic pause, the Matchmaker realizes that her rear end is on fire, jumps up, and races around the room fanning her rather large behind. This is a funny scene.


Matchmaker


But what if the Matchmaker's legs had caught fire rather than her butt? Would this scene have been comical? Maybe. Maybe not. It would have depended on how the situation was presented. Even then, it would be dicey. Overall, legs, and other body parts, aren't funny. But igniting her bottom was a surefire laugh. There is no gambling with a butt joke. You know it's going to be funny.

The buttocks, when presented correctly, are a way of being wholesomely risquΓ©. Walt Disney knew this. Rump humor can be seen again and again in his animated short and full-length features. And children really love butt jokes. When watching a movie in the theater and a fanny is brought into the mix, kids laugh the loudest.

To give you an idea of how often rump humor is used in Disney movies, I'm going to bring you just a few of the many examples found in his full-length animated classics. Let's start with "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

When the dwarfs are singing "The Silly Song," Grumpy works the organ bellows by shifting his weight from one butt cheek to the other in an exaggerated manner.


Grumpy


After the merriment dies down, it's time for bed. Snow White takes over the dwarf's bedroom, leaving the men to find other places to sleep. Dopey settles in immediately, but it takes Sleepy a little longer to find a spot. Eventually, Sleepy curls up against Dopey and uses his butt as a pillow. After a few moments of Dopey tossing and turning, Sleepy rises and "fluffs" Dopey's cheeks to make it more comfortable.


Sleepy and Dopey


At the beginning of the movie "Pinocchio," Jiminy Cricket narrates the story. In an early scene, he hops over to the fireplace and uses his umbrella to pull a piece of coal out of the fire to warm himself. He then turns his butt toward the ember. His narration continues with, "As I stood there warming my (pause) myself."

Disney knew there was no word he could use to describe Jiminy's rear, but the joke works better leaving the term out completely.


Jiminy Cricket


In another scene, Jiminy is watching Geppetto and Pinocchio dance. Lost in the moment, he rests upon the bustle of a carved wooden figure of an elegant lady. Eventually, he realizes what he's done and becomes embarrassed. Look at the expression on the lady's face.


Jiminy Cricket and Carved Lady


In 2002, the Walt Disney Classic Collection came out with a piece called Geppetto's Workbench. It was a "Signature" piece and quite elaborate. One portion of the sculpture recreates the above mentioned scene with Jiminy leaning on the young lady's bustle.


Walt Disney Classic Collection

Walt Disney Classic Collection


As bedtime approaches, all of Geppetto's cuckoo clocks begin to chime. One clock features a mother spanking the bare cheeks of her son.


Spanking Cuckoo Clock


In "The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad," Toad's loyal horse is named Cyril Proudbottom. Disney and his storytellers gave the horse this name, not the "Wind and the Willows" author Kenneth Grahame. Cyril Proudbottom also appeared in "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."


Mr. Toad & Cyril Proudbottom


In "Lady and the Tramp" we see Scamp tugging on the pajamas of the son of Jim Dear and Darling.


Scamp


In a scene from "Peter Pan," Mr. Smee prepares to give Captain Hook a shave. As he turns to pick up the shaving mug and brush, a seagull lands on the Captain's head. Not noticing, Smee lathers the bird's rear end and proceeds to remove a few tail feathers.


Mr. Smee and Seagull

Seagull


In "Song of the South," Brer Fox is building a tar-baby to catch Brer Rabbit. Eventually, it is discovered that the tar-baby doesn't have any hair on his head. To remedy this, Brer Fox snatches some hair off of Brer Bear's behind and places it on the tar-baby.


Brer Bear


One of the most famous rump scenes can be found in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." After eating too much hunny in Rabbit's house, Pooh becomes too large to leave through the hole and becomes stuck. Rabbit, horrified by the sight of Pooh's behind, does his best to decorate the eyesore.


Winnie the Pooh and Rabbit


Near the end of the movie "Dumbo," our flying pachyderm exacts his revenge on the other circus performers. While swooping over the clowns, he pulls an elephant mask off of one of them and deposits it on the behind of the Ringmaster.


Ringmaster


One of the segments in the movie "Melody Time" is "Pecos Bill." In this story, Bill falls in love with Slue-Foot Sue. To prepare for her wedding, Sue buys the most expensive bustle she can find. Later, she is thrown from Bill's horse Widow-Maker and lands on her bustle which acts like a spring. With each bounce on her butt, Sue rises higher and higher until she eventually lands on the moon.


Slue-Foot Sue

Slue-Foot Sue


In "Pocahontas," Meeko and Flit fall into a river. As Meeko is climbing out, the rings on his tail create a bull's-eye when viewed from behind. Flit seizes this opportunity and aims for the target.


Meeko

Flit


When we're first introduced to the character Pain in the movie "Hercules," he's running down a long stairway. He trips and flies through the air, only to land on the prongs of one of Hades' torches. He eventually frees himself. Moments later, his companion Panic also trips while running down the staircase. He too flies through the air. However, Panic does not land on the same torch. In his case, he lands head first, embedding his horns into Pain's hind quarters.


Pain

Pain & Panic


Later in the movie we find ourselves in Thebes where one of the townspeople is taunting the half-human, half-goat Philoctetes. Losing his temper over the insults, Philoctetes attacks the individual. Soon, his baser, goat-like nature emerges and he bites his tormentor in the rear. After the fight, we see the townsperson, crawling away with a large hole in his pants, exposing his polka dot underwear.


Philoctetes and Townsperson

Townsperson


When Pongo and Perdita are rescuing the puppies in "101 Dalmatians" they are attacked by Horace and Jasper. As Jasper swings a fireplace poker at Pongo, our quick thinking hero scurries beneath his legs, turns around and bites him hard on the buttocks. In another scene, Perdita pulls the rug out from beneath Horace, tossing him into the fireplace, butt first. Moments later, Horace emerges, pants ablaze.


Pongo and Jasper

Horace


As the chase continues, Horace and Jasper follow the puppies into an old barn. Here, the Captain gives them the one-two kick in the rear.


Captain, Horace, and Jasper


In the battle scene from "Beauty and the Beast," Cogsworth comes to LumiΓ¨re's aid who is in imminent danger. Dressed as a swashbuckler, Cogsworth slides down a long bannister and aims his pair of scissors directly at Le Fou's behind.


Cogsworth

Le Fou


When Aladdin arrives at the palace as Prince Ali, the Sultan requests a ride on the magic carpet. Having no flying experience, the Sultan haphazardly rockets around the room and directly into the rear end of Abu (who has been turned into an elephant). The scene cuts from a zoom-in of Abu's backside to a close-up of his shocked face - eyes all bugged out.


Aladdin

Aladdin


Although not rump humor, this next ongoing joke is certainly related. Donald Duck does not wear any pants. Yet every time he loses his top, which is often, he becomes self-conscious and covers his entire body. This seems kind of pointless to me, but it is funny as we can all relate to his embarrassment. Here is an example from "Fantasia 2000."


Donald Duck


I won't tell you that every Disney animated film contains rump humor. That would take me untold hours to verify. But most of them do - some, multiple times. Be sure to look for this slapstick humor next time you watch a Disney movie.

In case you're wondering, rump humor is not confined only to the movies. It can also be found in the theme parks. The very first debuted at Disneyland and then later at the Magic Kingdom. On the Jungle Cruise we discover a lost safari has been trapped by an angry rhinoceros. As we venture closer, our skipper tells us, "That rhino seems to be getting his point across, and I'm sure that guy on the bottom will get it in the end."


Lost Safari


To add to the humor of this scene, the low man on the totem pole has ripped pants, exposing his polka dot underwear. The missing material can be found on the rhinos' horn.


Low Man on the Totum Pole


At the Elephant Bathing Pool we see two calves playing near their mother. The skipper says, "Hey look (pointing at the elephant facing away from the boat). There's a full moon in the jungle tonight."


Full Moon


At the New York World's Fair, Disney presented the "Magic Skyway" ride. This attraction took us back to the time of the dinosaurs. In one scene we see a proud triceratops mother and father watching their brood hatch. The egg closest to the audience features a young dino having a little trouble emerging from his previous home. His rear sways back and forth as he struggles to escape.


Triceratops Hatching

Triceratops Hatching


In the old Mickey Mouse Review attraction, Grumpy's bellow pumping cheeks were recreated in 3D.


Grumpy Pumping an Organ


Even today, we can still see Grumpy's talented bottom in an Emporium window on Main Street.


Grumpy Pumping an Organ


On Splash Mountain, Brer Bears big ol' behind is prominently featured in a number of scenes. The first is when we discover him caught in a trap that Brer Fox set to ensnare Brer Rabbit.


Brer Bear and Brer Fox


Next we come face-to-rump when Brer Bear is looking for Brer Rabbit's Laughing Place and sticks his head into a hollow tree full of bees.


Brer Bear and Brer Fox


Toward the end of the attraction, Brer Bear is looking for Brer Rabbit in the briar patch as Brer Fox stands on his behind.


Brer Bear and Brer Fox


In the Carousel of Progress, mother (Sarah) can be seen remodeling their basement into a rumpus room. Father (John) has set up her food mixer to stir paint. All of a sudden the mixer comes to life and switches into high gear. A moment later we hear Sarah scream and say, "Oh you and your progress. That paint mixer of yours just sloshed paint across my rump - umm - rumpus - a -- room."


Mother Sarah


At the ending of Mickey's PhilharMagic we see Donald expelled from a tuba, fly across the audience, and crash through a brick wall. For several moments, we're treated to the sight of his backside as he struggles to free himself. Disney even sold a pin featuring Donald's hind quarters.


Mickey's PhilharMagic

Mickey's PhilharMagic Pin


The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review also has its share of rump humor. While dancing the Holky Polky, Six Bits Slocum must throw his backside in and his backside out. To his embarrassment, the other cast members make numerous jokes regarding his derrière.


Six Bits Slocum


At the BoardWalk Resort, the swimming pool slide is known as Keister Coaster. For those of you who don't know, "keister" is slang for a person's rear end. So Keister Coaster is a fitting name for this slide as you ride it on your keister.


Keister Coaster


Well that brings an "end" to this article. My source of material on this subject has "bottomed" out. I hope a few of these Disney jokes have "cracked" you up. "Butt" if they didn't, that's okay. Maybe before too many "moons" the humor will "rear" its amusing head and bring a smile to your "cheeks." Remember, my blogs are posted once a week. Don't get "behind" in your reading.



December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays

Hi Everyone,

I've decided to take a couple of weeks off to relax and enjoy the holidays. I will be back on Monday, January 2 with a new blog entitled "Christmas Week." It will be about the crowded conditions encountered between Christmas Day and New Year's. In the meantime, if you need a "Jack Blog Fix," use the Allears Search Engine located on just about every page of our site. Type "Jack" and the subject you're looking for in the Search Box and hit enter.

I want to wish you a Happy New Year and all the best the world has to offer.

Jack



July 8, 2011

I Goofed

Hi Everyone,

As anyone who has an email account knows, spam is an unpleasant fact of life. No matter what we do, unwanted email appears in our inboxes - and the Allears accounts are no exception. We get literally hundreds of junk emails every single day. To help keep things running smoothly, everyone on the Allears team pitches in and deletes these unwanted nuisances. For example, I am responsible for deleting all of the spam sent to "The World According to Jack" and I regularly clean things up in my section of the site.

Several weeks ago, I had had a particularly trying day. That evening, I logged onto my Allears account and thought I had selected the "Junk" tab and started deleting what I thought was spam. However, much to my chagrin, I discovered that I was on the "Blog" tab, not the "Junk" tab, and I inadvertently deleted forty of my blogs before I came to my senses. I was mortified. I immediately sent notes to Deb Wills, Deb Koma, and Jack Marshall, our webpage guru. I explained what I had done an apologized profusely. I was assured that they had all made similar mistakes and not to lose sleep over it.

The good news is this; my blogs are still intact on Allears.net. The bad news is we can't seem to permanently reestablish their links on the Blog Page. But don't despair. First, if you remember the topic I wrote about, look for it using our Search Engine. For example, if you wanted to find the article I wrote about people napping while visiting the parks, type Jack (to narrow the search to my blogs) and sleep. "Time For A Nap" will be the first listing.

Also, you can use the following links to find all of the blogs I posted from November 2010 to May 2011.

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011


I want to thank Jason S. for taking the time to research these links and send them to me.

Take care everyone.

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About General Blog Information

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The β€œWorld” According to Jack in the General Blog Information category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disneyland Paris is the previous category.

Hodgepodge is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.