In the spring of 2007, I got to visit Disneyland very early in the morning, before the park had opened. I was dating someone who was a member of the Themed Entertainment Association, a group for developers of themed entertainment like amusement parks, casinos, or museums, and they were offering a behind the scenes look at Pirates Of The Caribbean, my favorite ride at Disneyland.
Here’s what the park looks like when no one is there.
I am standing outside of Pirates, looking towards the Haunted Mansion, and there is absolutely nobody in the park. Because I have only seen the park when it is filled with people, Disneyland is a little creepy when it is empty. It feels like an end-of-the-world scenario, only with no zombies or atomic bombs.
The presentation itself was wonderful. One of the engineers explained how the ride had been made, how it was one of the most popular rides at the park, and how it maintains an incredible throughput of people. In a nutshell, most park attendees on any given day will go on this ride and even better, they can, because the ride carries so many people per boat, there are lots of boats, and the boats run continuously. Ironically, the Pirates ride had broken down that morning, so our presentation did not include actually going on the ride. But I have been on it a hundred times, so that wasn’t so bad.
Anyway, to get on to the theme of this blog, after the Pirates presentation, we were given these gold foil wrapped chocolate disks.
If you look closely, you can see where it says “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the center. It’s a pretty wrapper (the scan doesn’t do it justice), but the chocolate inside was terrible. It was bland and salty, the worst two things I have come to expect from bad milk chocolate. I was surprised that Disneyland would use such bad chocolate for a promotion like this, but I think they figured that no one would eat the chocolate anyway.
Oh well, the early morning look at the park was cool.