Disneyland 2k17 Day 3: I wish this cold sore would just GO AWAY

So uh, looks like I slipped, again, yesterday, that was the day I slipped. My excuse is that it was a long day of Disneyland’ing and traveling. But I’m here to post now so yippee!

Alright, so yesterday morning I woke up feeling mostly better – turns out my father and sister had gotten sick as well though! Bleh. At any rate I continued getting up – got myself some juice, took some painkillers, went to head over to eat cereal and then suddenly I was lying on the bed. Wasn’t quite as ready as I thought. So after a bit more of that and a bit more of playing my 3DS, I did get up in time for me to eat breakfast and the like before we had to evacuate the hotel room (my sister and mom were staying for a few more days, so we just needed to shove the luggage over there and then bring it with us on the airplane later).

I then went out into the park to do the last event I really needed to do by during this trip: meet Moana. So I headed over to Adventureland where she hung out, but I had to wait for a bit because my mom wanted to be my photographer and she wasn’t out yet. So I sat out for a while, enjoying the rain (I was still kinda sick, still got that fever, so I was actually sweating in the cold rainy weather, believe it or don’t) and just sitting there. Eventually it got a bit too much so I hid in a nearby shop.

My mom completed her ride on Snow White, Moana arrived, and we were in line to meet her! Huzzah!

Pictured: An awkward teenager and a girl who lost her grandmother.

She said she liked my shirt because it reminded her of the flowers on her island – she said I should visit (trust me, I’d love to!). Surprised she didn’t comment on my hair though.

Seriously though, Moana is gorgeous! So glad I got to meet her!

After that we headed over to Starbucks to have a snack and take refuge from the rain (if it wasn’t raining we would’ve gone to Jolly!). It was hecka crowded, we were lucky to find any table at all, heh. I enjoyed a nice apple juice beverage while my brother got a hot chocolate (it’s a good thing I didn’t get it, probably wouldn’t have tasted good to me with the then-current state of my taste buds).

I then went with my dad to hit a bunch of the dark rides. Dark rides is a term used to refer to four rides behind Sleeping Beauty Castle that have been there since the park opened and all take place in the dark, consist mostly of practical effects, run single cars rather than long trains, and are all short rides (about 2 minutes long). The four dark rides are Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Peter Pan’s Flight. My brother also likes to refer to Alice in Wonderland as a dark ride, but it… technically isn’t. Uh wait I just looked it up and it turns out I’m a LIAR! Pinocchio’s Daring Journey wasn’t there the day the park opened! All the other three were though. So I guess it’s a dark ride since it’s just right there next to the others? But so is Alice… Hmm, I’ll have to get back to you on this.

Anyways, we went on Snow White’s Scary Adventures, or as I like to call it, Snow White and the Seven Hags. Seriously. There are SO many hags on that ride! And by “so many” I mean five. That’s still a ludicrous amount! That’s more times than any other character shows up! What’s the big deal with her anyways?! Anyways, it’s a ride, can be a little spooky for young’uns (all of those HAGS, also the forest is SUPER creepy, no wonder my sister was scarred as a kid), but it’s fun enough. Also has a turtle, so that automatically makes it awesome. Fun fact: The apple the queen holds is a hologram! Not because they wanted to use new technology or update the ride, oh no – it’s because it was the most popular free souvenir to take from the park! Kids please don’t steal it’s illegal.

We then went on Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. This one is also a little spooky, but also just a lot more weird in my brain-mind memory database thing. I dunno. Might just be because the movie’s kinda weird to me. This ride uses holograms too, actually – it’s how they do the blue fairy trick at the end! Less significant since this ride was added later, heh. Keep an eye out for the Hidden Mickey by the popcorn cart.

Next up was Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! This one is much more wild and fast than the other two. The other two are creepy, this one is, well, a wild ride! You even end up going to hell! It has some hard-to-spot Hidden Mickeys and it’s really fun. Unless you’re afraid of getting hit by trains. This ride has the second-longest line of the dark rides (Pinocchio and Snow White are usually about the same length) – when I went on the wait was about 30 minutes, which is about average (as long as you’re not going when it’s super crowded).

We then went to parkhop since my mom got my dad a pass for Soarin’ over California, since he wanted to try it again. So I called up my ol’ buddy my pal my brother to be my partner on Midway Mania as I used up the Universal Fastpass I got yesterday. Midway Mania is really fun. The games are challenging, the designs are neat, and it’s not impossible to aim like Astro Blasters! Ha! There’s also a really clever Hidden Mickey in one of the levels. In the end we both got Beaver level with both of us landing between 100k and 130k points (he beat me, both in points and accuracy) and he headed off to California Screamin’ and I headed off to do a round of Radiator Springs Racers.

I also highly recommend Radiator Springs Racers – the ride does a really good job of getting the feel of Radiator Springs down, the animatronics are great, and the end racing part is really fun! Doesn’t hurt that I won the race this round. >:3c Uh, but if you are going to do it, and you’re okay with being split up from your party, do single rider. The stand-by wait line is waaay too long to bother with.

Uh, I suppose you could now use that number to purchase this photo of me on the ride. If… if you really want to spend your money on that, go ahead. It’s kinda creepy but… I can’t really stop you.

I then parkhopped back over to the Magic Kingdom and entered the Alice in Wonderland ride. My mom joined me in line, and soon we were on a caterpillar heading into Wonderland.

A few years ago they added little updates here and there to the ride, and boy do they add up! It’s mostly just a lot of little screens everywhere to add some animations, but they don’t feel tacky or out of place – heck, they often blend right in! It just makes the ride look that much better. As a sidenote, near the end of the ride I mentioned that the ride broke down when I was right in front of the whistling teapots near the end to my mom – and then the ride seemed to slow down for a bit, right in front of the whistling teapots. I almost thought history was going to repeat itself and I was going to have to walk through the mad tea party again! It didn’t though, thank goodness.

The two of us then went over to the ride with the worst wait-time to ride-length ratio: Peter Pan’s Flight. The line is consistently around 40 minutes, while the ride is only about 2. It’s definitely the most popular out of the dark rides. So after waiting for a while and my brother joining the two of us, we rode a flying pirate ship and we went to Neverland.

Like Alice in Wonderland, they also updated this ride a fair amount. It also helps a lot here, but the change I personally dislike is the new London-flying layout, since the Big Ben Hidden Mickey is a little less hidden now. Oh well. The ride continues to look amazing, even though it is short. I recommend it if you have a large chunk of time to wait in line or if you’re prepared to gate-crash.

After that my brother and I each got a popcorn container from our mom (thank you for indulging our bad habits), left the park, had dinner, packed up our belongings, got in an Uber, spent two hours doing nothing at the airport (we’re much more used to the constant busy stream SFO is – meanwhile, this ride was more of a “walk-on”), rode the airplane, took another Uber home, said hello to our cats, and went to sleep.

Then I had to get up today to get to school. Bleh!

So that’s pretty much what happened. My sister and mom are still in Disneyland (my sister was actually so sick that she threw up last night – hope you get well soon sis!), but my dad, my brother, and I are back home and back into the swing of things. Going back to civilization after Disneyland can be rough, man.

Anyways that’s about it from me! We’ll see what I talk about tomorrow, heh. (I mean, it’s probably going to be about the BIG THING that happened in the Poptropica fandom, but hey you never know!)


Disneyland 2k17 Day 2: I lied yesterday, I’m not fine, please let this fever pass quickly

So today’s post is going to be shorter than yesterday’s because my time in the park today was shorter than yesterday’s because I woke up with a fever I thought I was developing last night, which apparently I was.

So I woke up at around eight and then stayed in bed for another few hours, told my mom that I probably had a fever and then dinked around while trying to keep cool (I was fluctuating between being too cold and too hot, at this point I was too hot). After a little bit of time of trying to keep cool by simply taking off my pajama top, I decided the next obvious step was to take a nice cold shower. It was better than sex. (note: this claim comes from the fact that it was better than using the foot massager, which my sister said was better than Hyperspace Mountain, which someone commented somewhere was better than sex.) I then figured out how to turn on the room fan, had a banana, and lay around the room for a while.

I started feeling a little bit better, so I decided to head into the park. After having to double-back to grab my lunch, I arrived in DCA at around 12:30 and went on Mike & Sully to the Rescue!

Not only is it one of the two attractions in Hollywood Land untainted by Frozen, it’s really fun. It’s just a little meandering trip through Monstropolis with some of my personal favorite Hidden Mickeys.

Afterwards I decided to try to go to Toy Story Midway Mania, with the ride line allegedly being only 30 minutes (usually it’s around an hour). After waiting for a little bit, I ended up at the front of the line and was next to board – only to have the ride breakdown. They gave us a universal fastpass as compensation though.

That was around the time I realized I wasn’t as park-ready as I thought.

So I just sat like a idiot outside Midway Mania until I went to meet up with my mom by Ariel, where we double-checked that the universal fastpass was good for tomorrow, since I was going back to the hotel at this point. My mom picked up some apple juice from a Starbucks and I hung out around the room for the rest of the day, watching some anime and chilling.

Well since this post is pretty short, I suppose I should talk about the Attractions We’ve Lost due to Commercialization over in Hollywood Land:

  • MuppetVision 3D – replaced by an Anna & Elsa sing-along, since we definitely needed more of that. My mom tried to watch it but after about 15 minutes of the princesses being MIA she came to her senses and abandoned the idea.
  • Empty building by MuppetVision – filled up with an Olaf snow play area. I met Olaf. Wasn’t too great.
  • Aladdin Musical – replaced by the Frozen musical. I have no intention of ever watching it.
  • Ursula’s Sea Grotto / Toy Story Zoetrope (in the Animation Building) – latter replaced with area to meet Anna & Elsa, former became their changing room. It really sucks since now the Lotus Casino Animation Building is full of bratty kids.
  • Tower of Terror – going to be replaced with some dumb Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.

Alright time for me to yell about the last bullet point. I only went on Tower of Terror once as part of a deal with my brother (I got him on Gadget’s Go Coaster in return, heh). It wasn’t my idea of a favorite ride but was perfectly themed, from the queue to the pre-show to the ride itself. And Disney, being the brilliant company they are, decide that they’re going to replace this perfectly-themed icon of California Adventure with some Marvel-themed ride. Don’t get me wrong, I think Guardians of the Galaxy was a great film, but it’s going to fade into obscurity with time. The Twilight Zone, on the other hand, is iconic – it was a wonderfully creepy TV show (that I only ever saw one episode of) that has become a classic with time. Look, Disney, you’re already doing the cash-grab with Space Nazi Land Star Wars Land, so why would you do this? Terrible idea 0/10.

Alright that’s enough of that, I’m still sicko so I need to go to bed, hopefully I’ll get into the park and get to hit the one other big thing I want to do, which is meet Moana. Fingers crossed!


Disneyland 2k17 Day 1: I didn’t drink enough water today or yesterday but I’m fine, I swear

Alright, time for a play by play of my first day in the park, with some reviews in there! Let’s go!

So I woke up around 8 – already missed the Magic Morning thing. Didn’t want to go anyways. Got up, dinked around a bit, had food, and then went off towards the park!

So they’ve been bulking up security around Disneyland lately. By now they’ve moved the security checkpoint all the way to the edge of Downtown Disney, which would be fine on its own, but they prevented guests of other Disneyland Resort Hotels from using the entrance to DCA from the Grand Californinan!

Well there goes that shortcut. So I have to walk longer to get in and out of the park. Bleh.

I entered the park with my younger brother and we eventually met up with my mom, who was already in the park, and we headed off for the Jingle Cruise!

Important note: Today is the last day of most of the holiday decorations for the park, sans It’s A Small World, which is staying around for another week or so. So today was our only chance to go on most of the holiday versions of rides before they closed for refurbishment. So we had a bit of a deadline to make, heh.

Jingle Cruise was punny and silly just like Jungle Cruise, but with more Christmas. We rode the Jingle Belle and got a skipper who was terrified of fruitcake. It’s too bad his gunshots don’t seem to make them run away.

Next we went on Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye via single rider (told ya it comes in handy!) Nothing new, same old ride as always – it’s a good one too! A few years back they updated it with some new effects, mostly when it comes to the beginning when you choose the door. I got to see the future… I saw a dismal presidential career for a certain someone. Unsurprising.

Mom and I then decided “hey, we should do Small World”. After a few minutes of waiting in line we realized that the line was way too long, we could go on it another day when it’s not Sunday (the MOST CROWDED day of the week!) and the sun was blaring on us. So we abandoned and went and met my sister to go on Pirates of the Caribbean. My brother joined us in the line later.

Again, nothing new for Pirates. Same ol’ ride. My one update complaint is probably the screen for Davy Jones’ face, which doesn’t really help him be visible and also makes the port suuuper foggy. But what I DO have is some complaints from my grandparents who went a few months ago!

  • Ride seemed too outdated and “rinky-dink” – when asked what they wanted updated, they kind of shrugged and said stuff like “maybe make the cannons shoot actual cannonballs? That would be cool”. Nobody in my family agrees with them.
  • The skeletons looked too fake. My mom (and now me!) had the pleasure of telling them that every single skeleton was 100% real, purchased from UCLA when the ride was first built since all of the fake skeletons looked too fake.
  • There wasn’t anything in there from the movie. Clearly they haven’t watched the movies or forgot who Captain Jack Sparrow is, who is in there three times.

Moral of this is that my grandparents have weird opinions that I don’t understand and they also might be a bit senile.

After that it was time for my brother to redeem the Christmas present I gave to him: since I had no idea what else to get him, I gave him the promise of him dragging me onto either Big Thunder OR Matterhorn (two rides I hadn’t been on) along with me purchasing the treat of either popcorn, pretzel, or churro. So the whole family went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the wildest ride in the wilderness.

I think I declared this yesterday, but it still rings true: I am a wimpazoid. I definitely yelled in fear a lot. …But it wasn’t that terrible, and the theme was well-done. Maybe I’ll go on it again sometime.

Then it was time for us to go to the Corner Café, which we colloquially refer to as the “Jolly Holiday” since it’s often where Mary and Bert hang out and they used to let you know your order was ready by holding up a sign with one of the animated penguins from the movie.

After having my chocolate muffin and ice cold water (I am the epitome of health), I was off to go on Star Tours using a fastpass my dad snagged as the rest of the family went over to Grizzly River Run.

I mentioned Hidden Mickeys the other day, so fun fact: My name’s in the “Hidden Mickey” book! You can see “Ylimegirl” among the list of people he thanks at the end. I pointed out one of the shadow Hidden Mickeys in there; this one you can spot among the right wall made by a couple of droid parts. I’m famous!

I managed to get on extra speedily because they wanted a single rider to fill in an extra spot, and here I was! A bunch of people clapped for me as I went towards ship D.

Since the Season of the Force event was over by now, you were no longer stuck with a set amount of routes – the ones during that event are still in there though, making this dang ride even more anachronistic and angry-making for the Star Wars geek inside of me. This ride I had a droid interrogate us, crashed through the wookie planet of Kashyyyk, had BB8 tell us our mission, and then ended by crashing down onto Coruscant. (I was not the rebel spy.)

After that I dashed over to our usual parade viewing spot to view the Christmas Fantasy parade! Our family’s preferred spot is over on the raised section by It’s a Small World. So I watched it all by myself.

The parade goes something like this: We get a storybook with a teddy bear and a ballerina on it, see a bunch of Disney characters hanging around Santa’s workshop, see a bunch of toy soldiers marching along along with a few dancing elves. Then we see some snowmen dance, some “skiers” go back and forth (I want those rollerblade skis, please give me them), saw Winnie the Pooh & gang along with a big tree, and saw some “ice skaters” along with the (sigh) Frozen float. Then there was a bunch of Gingerbread men and decoraters along with Goofy and company – Max is no longer there, he got booted off due to a series of rearrangings that start and end with Frozen’s existence. Basically Mickey and Minnie used to be on a wintery float in the middle, but got booted to the workshop. Donald then had to move to the roof, kicking Pluto off, and Pluto was moved to Goofy’s roof, so Max was out of the picture. Wah-wah. Mrs. Claus also got the boot with Chip & Dale taking her place – Chip & Dale no longer drive the car, Jesse and an Army Man do. I’ll get to them later though. Then we get Cinderella’s stepsister & stepmother being their ridiculous selves before the princess float which featured Snow White & Prince Charming I, Tiana & Naveen, Cinderella & Prince Charming II, Aurora and Prince Philip, Belle & Beast, and Ariel and Prince Eric. Nice group of members. Then we get to the huuuge Toy Story section – first we have Jesse and an Army Man in a jeep, then we get Woody on a rocking horse, then we get the Army men making a bunch of toys, then we get Buzz in a spaceship. Yeehaw! Then we end with a bunch of people in Dickinsonian outfits, another tree, and then of course Santa at the end of the parade. Ending the parade was a bunch of women in Sexy Santa costumes holding a rope, along with some other cast members behind them making sure nobody tried to, uh, do anything to them I guess.

So my opinions of on the parade is that it’s enjoyable, I like it, don’t like that they gave Frozen their own float and kicked out Max & Mrs. Claus, I miss when Genie used to drive in the parade back in the day, and I wonder why it still has to be just Christmas after all of these years. I mean really. What’s stopping you from including some other holidays in there? I’m pretty sure there’s exactly one spot in the park with Hanukkah decorations – a window somewhere on Main Street with a fake Jewish-sounding name put on it so they could put up Hanukkah decorations.


Also why did they have to end it with Sexy Santas?? That’s just weird, man. Weird.

Then I went over to It’s A Small World again, juuust beating the post-parade crowd. Got on fast enough and enjoyed the cruise around the world. Only complaints is I miss when they had Rudolph as one of the reindeer, and the fact that again it’s only Christmas. Also it’s very possible that this ride could be culturally insensitive and/or racist in some ways. Can’t say for certain since I’m not part of the majority of groups represented, so uh look up what your region of the ride looks like and let me know if it seems bad or something.

I then went on the Haunted Mansion for the first time since I was seven years old. The line was long, but I was entertained by Flow Free and also a sweet little toddler who really enjoyed playing with the pins on my purse. He mostly twirled them around a bunch. He also liked batting my purse to make it swing back and forth and pointing at the cats on my shoes. What a nice kid. Hope he goes far in life and enjoys pin trading in the future.

Best toy EVER! (Pins, left to right: Rufus the naked mole rat, Hiro Hamada, Jasmine, Tiana, and Snow White)

Ride was spooky, though the CGI Jack Skellington on the elevator roof looked really bad. So, so bad. Also while on the ride I finally confirmed that something in my memories actually happened and wasn’t a dream! Basically I remember near the doombuggy enter/exit area there was this dude who was pulling his face on and off. Nobody I talked to remembered it! But then when I went to get on a doombuggy, BAM there he was. Guess nobody else had seen him since he’s just part of the Christmas décor, heh.

I also spotted all but one of the Hidden Mickeys on the ride. Awesome.

Here’s a bit of trivia for you: when going past the ballroom, look out for the spider chilling on the glass. It’s there to cover up a hole caused by some twerp who went on the ride with a BB gun and shot a hole in the glass. The reason they covered it up instead of replacing the glass? The piece of glass is SO BIG they’d need to lift off the roof of the mansion to take it out! So now there’s a spider there.

I then went over to Astro Blasters where I scored up to Level 3 and was incredibly photogenic.

Don’t hate because I’m beautiful.

I then went over to join my sister for parade round number two. Nothing new to say here.

I then parkhopped to meet my brother and dad over at the Smokejumpers Grill in DCA, where I at the meal my mother packed (What can I say? I’m a picky eater) and they ate burgers. The lights were busted on the sign for DCA, so we enjoyed our time in “FESHO AYA”.

Sorry dude whose head I got in the shot!

My mom and sister joined us later, and then all of us sans Mom went to use our fastpasses for Soarin’ Around the World.

So uh… prepare for a long rant below. Because this ride SUCKS!! SO MUCH!! IT’S SO BAD!!

Before we went on the ride, my mom said something along the lines of this: “You can keep an open mind and that it’s okay to like it, but just know that eventually you’re going to hate it.” SHE WASN’T WRONG.

The waiting line is the same, which my sister was grateful for. Then we got into the waiting area before we boarded the ride.

The map had been replaced with some stupid Indiana Jones-esque thing. The worst thing about it was probably the fact that they crossfaded away to some clouds whenever the line had to cross a really long ocean before crossfading back to show it already crossed. Really lazy and kind of dumb. My brother said it reminded him of the scene in The Room when it randomly cuts away to shots of the city during the middle of a conversation before just… cutting back to the conversation. (Note: I have never watched the movie, but know it’s a) a horrible piece of garbage and b) probably not safe for kids.)

The pre-show video was EXACTLY THE SAME. Except for one minor thing at the beginning: they recut it so Patrick (Warburton) said “Welcome to Soarin'” instead of “Welcome to Soarin’ over California”. It was a clean cut but it was obvious to everyone who had been on the other ride what they had done. My sister said they shouldn’t have bothered and just pulled a Whoosh the Astronaut job of cutting it, like have a cartoon airplane fly over his mouth. I just disliked it since the pause between “Soarin'” and “My name is Patrick” was way too obviously long.

We then went to board the ride. This was the moment my sister lost all hope for the ride: they had dumped the boarding music! Instead (as my brother pointed out) we just get to hear… some wind whooshing noises. Why even bother?!

We then got ready to fly. And here was another snafu: they started the video before we even got in the air. Like??? The the way the original was so dramatic was because we were up against the blank screen and then BAM, we were flying over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Basically the video is boring, there’s no story, there’s no build-up to anything, there’s no humans in most of the scenes (in contrast, approximately 100% of the scenes in the original had humans SOMEWHERE), the CGI transitions are gimicky and not interesting, the Taj Mahal looks 100% CGI, the Eiffel Tower is awkwardly warped and curved on the screen, and in the end it barely feels like a finale or that we went anywhere. Also they used CGI transitions for every transition BUT one: they go from the ocean somewhere to a waterfall somewhere by just crossfading. Look, if you’re going to use bad CGI transitions, go all out man! Don’t just not bother on one of them! That’s just weird. Also the ride mostly consisted of the thing staying in place. We swayed from side to side like twice. In the original it felt like you were THERE because you were weaving left and right through the landscape and actually moving. Here it felt like you were being suspended in front of a movie screen.

Alright that’s enough of that. We then met up with my mom near a store, where I pointed out the Flynn Riders Disneyland Gang.

I suppose I should explain the concept of Disneyland Gangs: Basically they’re a group of people in the Anaheim region who all band together under a name and then plan trips to the park together. That’s it! They also look super metal with leather or denim jackets just COVERED in pins and a big patch showing their allegiance on the back. Today there was a lot of Disneyland Gangs in the park, and my sister fell in love with this idea (she really really really really really likes Flynn Rider). Later my mom talked to them and obtained their official pin and Instagram from a member. Sweet.

We then all (sans Mom) went on Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, which was the same as always. In the first year or so of the attraction being around though, Ariel’s hair in “Under the Sea” was a lot more wild. They changed it at some point, which we don’t like. Aw. There’s also a hidden Mr. Limpet from MOVIE in the same scene – look out for him!

They then went to single ride California Screamin’ while I went on King Triton’s carousel. Look, what do you want me to say about it, it’s a flippin’ carousel. I did ride on a blue dolphin while the eyes of the purple otter next to me stared into my soul, no big deal.

We then met up again and stopped by the Ghiradelli and Panera stores at the Pacific Wharf and picked up free samples from them before walking through Cars Land. I then made good on the other half of my present to my brother and bought him and myself a churro. They then all went off to go on Haunted Mansion (my sister and dad hadn’t been on it yet) while I sat on a bench and finished the churro before beginning the long trek back to the hotel.

I arrived, groaned a bit, used the foot massager we brought (s/out to my sister for reminding my mom to bring it, love ya sis) and then lay down on my bed, exhausted, and typed out this post.

At the end of the day, my feet are sore, my legs are exhausted, and I’m pretty much all Disney-ed out.

I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!

Alright time for some BONUS CONTENT before we go. Yesterday on my adventures I took two (2) pictures of my travels: one of my butterbeer (someone on the PHC asked for proof that I was there, heh) and one of this poor pancake at Denny’s. Wah-wah.

Okay that’s all I’ve got for you. As I’m typing this the wifi isn’t working for some reason and this draft hasn’t been saved for an hour. Let’s hope I don’t have to retype this!


P.S. In case you were wondering how I remembered all of my adventures throughout the 12-hour day… I didn’t. I took notes on my iPhone. 😛

Disneyland Tips: As a 15+ year veteran of the park, I think I know what I’m talking about

So my Chromebook likes to crash kinda easily and without warning. It starts to lag, the screen freezes, and about a minute later the screen will black out and it will reboot with a message asking if you want to restore the tabs lost. Anyways I was listening to something and my computer freezes and I just get stuck listening to a girl saying “I” on repeat until it rebooted. Still think this is an improvement over my other laptop, which will have the video loaded but sometimes wait up to a full hour before deciding to finally start playing the audio with the video.

Anyways, since we’re heading down to Anaheim for Universal Studios and Disneyland overmorrow (day after tomorrow), I suppose now is as good of time as any to talk about my Disneyland Tips ‘n Tricks™, along with some of my favorite overlooked little gems in the parks. Let’s go!

  • For planning, check out IsItPacked.com, which has a section for Disneyland including the Crowd Prediction Calendar, which is usually pretty accurate. It’s not a guaranteed thing though!
  • Fastpasses can be helpful, but also keep an eye out for single rider options if you’re alright with being split up from the group – it doesn’t guarantee immediate seating, but the line is definitely shorter than the main queue and is good alternative to rides with fastpasses that sell out super fast (looking at you, Radiator Springs Racers). Rides that currently have single rider options are California Screamin’, Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, Indiana Jones Adventure, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Radiator Springs Racers, and Splash Mountain. To get in the single rider queue, just talk to a cast member outside the ride!
  • Don’t even bother with fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers. Just don’t.
  • Check out the free Disneyland App (#NotSponsored)! It shows you real-time wait times for different rides, which can really help you plan your day as it goes on.
  • If you ever need to escape the heat or just need a break, check out the Animation Building in Hollywood Land – there’s about a 30 minute loop of scenes from Disney films played on screens around the room, and it’s quite entrancing – I’ve found myself sitting there for at least an hour just watching it.
  • Everyone puts emphasis on going on rides, but don’t leave out meeting characters! It’s really quite a treat.
  • If you need a bit of a pick-me-up mid-day, try checking out the Corner Café at the Hub – it’s a nice place to just sit and relax. Our family has made it a daily tradition to go there and just enjoy a muffin and maybe some coffee while enjoying the atmosphere.
  • I personally think The Jungle Cruise and the Tiki Room tend to be overlooked. Check them out if you want something more relaxing.
  • If you like drawing or just want to chill out for 15 minutes or so, check out the Animation Academy inside the Animation Building – they teach you how to draw a different Disney character every 30 minutes! I personally have done just about every character, heh.
  • If you want shorter lines, look out for when the fireworks are going off- the lines are usually shorter then.
  • Leave the park either before or during the fireworks. Never attempt to leave the park just after the fireworks have ended – it’s going to be one heck of a traffic jam.
  • If you enjoy treasure hunts, look into Hidden Mickeys – you won’t be disappointed.
  • Disneyland has awesome churros. Try at least one while you’re there!
  • Keep an eye out if there’s any special shows that happen at certain times – for example, there’s the Jedi Training Academy, Mickey and the Magical Map (or did that close?), and Frozen exists too I suppose. They can be entertaining and a nice way to just chill for a while.
  • If you go on Big Thunder, near the end of the ride, you can look past the barricade and see Star Wars Land under construction! 😉
  • Invest in something to do while waiting in lines. If you’re part of a group, I suggest Heads Up! If you’re solo, maybe something like Sudoku puzzles or a Rubik’s Cube.
  • If you’re bringing a lot of stuff into the park, like jackets and a backpack and whatnot, try dropping them off at the lockers available near both of the park entrances. They cost money, yes, but it’s up to you whether you’d rather carry it!
  • If you’re under 13, check out the Smokejumper Challenge at the Redwood Creek Climbing Trail. It’s really fun and I hate that I’m both too old and too tall to do it anymore! 😦
  • Parades are fun, but you don’t usually need to camp out a super long time in advance to find a good spot – if you’re okay with standing, there’s usually a spot or two open in Hollywood Land or the raised areas by It’s A Small World!
  • I think a lot of people overlook or don’t know about Mike and Sully to the Rescue! It’s a fun little ride through the world of Monsters Inc, and Roz talks to you at the end. The line’s usually very short, so go ahead and check it out!
  • Don’t go on the swinging cars on the Ferris Wheel. Or just don’t go on the Ferris Wheel.
  • If you’re called a “treasured guest”, it’s code for you’re being obnoxious – cast members are warning each other about you. So try to avoid that moniker.
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree might be completely ridiculous, but it’s somehow still fun. If anything, go on it to hear Mater try to sing and speak in Spanish.
  • When you get a fastpass it will often tell you you can’t get a fastpass until an hour has passed – this only applies to one park, though! Meaning you can get a fastpass for California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom at the same time. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin in Toon Town and Radiator Springs Racers are also not part of these systems either, so you can actually get four fastpasses all at once! Not sure why you’d want to, but that’s a possibility.

I think that’s about all I’ve got. Warning that my blogs next week are probably just going to be me going through each of my days in the park. 😛

Hope this helps if you ever plan to go in the future!


Moana Review: Why do I have to go to school tomorrow?

Uh, so I didn’t post yesterday. The thing is, usually we go out to the theatre in the morning or afternoon, so even though I knew we were going at 7 PM, I thought I could definitely post after the movie!

I was wrong. Pbbt.

Anyways, time for a review of Moana, I guess! I’ll try to be spoiler-free at first, then I’ll add a cut and go into the SPOILER ZONE. (Terrifying!)

Plot: Well, the basic plot is certainly nothing new, but that can definitely be argued about pretty much everything. The way it’s executed is certainly a wild ride though!

Setting: It was really refreshing to see an animated movie set in a place that isn’t Europe or America. As far as I know they tried to make sure everything’s pretty accurate to pacific islander culture, and it seems to be that way to me! I’ve been to Hawaii thrice by now and it felt like I was actually there. Basically it has a nice amount of scenery porn for my sister to enjoy.

Animation: The animation is GORGEOUS. Everything is a nice combination of realistic and cartoony, and it was beautiful to watch. The water looked super realistic, and the way characters moved seemed super realistic. I also really enjoyed the hand-drawn animation of Maui’s tattoos – it was the first time hand-drawn animation has appeared in a Disney movie since 2011’s Winnie the Pooh! Also the characters were super diverse! They had skinny people and large people and tall people and short people, it was amazing. It’s funny how diverse bodies can be without changing the race, wonder if we’ll ever see that in all-white movies. But I digress.

Music: The music was mostly composed by Hamilton star/director/author/everything else Manuel Lin-Miranda, and it sounds gorgeous! The songs are obnoxiously catchy honestly, and the instrumentals are beautiful.

Alright, so that’s about all I can say without going into spoiler territory. Hit the “read more” or whatever below if you’ve seen the movie or you just don’t care about spoilers.

Continue reading “Moana Review: Why do I have to go to school tomorrow?”

Disney Magical World 2 Review, Part Three: I need to learn how to DODGE!

Okay I’m super winded right now and I think my current goal is to be able to like, properly do the knee twist touch thing or whatever it’s called on the Wii. And to get Rhythm Parade to acknowledge I’m stepping. Or Rhythm Boxing to acknowledge I’m dodging. (DODGE!!! (I was going to link to a DBZA video here but it has swears so nah, look it up on yer own time)) (On the plus side, I’ve apparently lost 3 pounds? Not sure if I can trust but that’s what the machine says.)

Sidenote: Episodes I watch are 22 mins long, free step is 30 minutes long, thus I watched HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA about 4 more times than I already had earlier today when I was trying to explain He-Man to somebody. So, I’ve watched it about 15 times. Well, I’m watching it again right now, so… assume the counter goes up by 5 by the time this post is done. I’m sorry, I’m a sucker for antique memes.

Right, so today I’m going to talk about some other general changes and nitpicks with the game, here goes.

So if you couldn’t surmise from the world list yesterday, Cinderella and Aladdin’s worlds are gone. Bye! Also most of the content that was available only as DLC in the last game is now available without having to download it. I also like that they allow you to make the entire outfit at once instead of piece by piece, that certainly saves time and resources. Also I really like Clarice’s shop thingy to make alternate clothing (Clarice is the female chipmunk whose name I forgot in the last few posts).

Handheld accessories/items is a neat concept, and helps get you Nice! points. Speaking of which, those have bigger roles and the shop contains a lot more neat things such as recipes for a lot of different kinds of furniture, clothing, and foods, which I find a useful resource. The best way to get Nice! points is definitely by doing those weird Magical Dreams, which continue to be hecking weird but earn me Nice! points so I deal with them.

The fact that you don’t need to make multiple of any one thing is super helpful. Also there’s this feature in the café I think I’ve failed to mention, which is that they can place down all of the furniture of a given theme for you. I certainly use this feature, certainly makes the placement of the furniture look way nicer than when I do it.

Okay time for the NITPICKS. Most of there are really little things, which is probably a good thing.

  • When exiting Snow White’s World – and ONLY when exiting through the portal (not the Wishing Well) – you can hear the Heigh-Ho song. What’s up with that? Why is it only when you exit? Why is it there? It’s just weird and kind of annoying.
  • Speaking of portals, they only activate when you get close to them, as in you can’t see beyond them before going to them. Also some of them have things surrounding it, like a tree around Wonderland’s portal, but others don’t, like Snow White’s portal. All I’m asking for is a little consistency!
  • Getting to Arendelle is obnoxious and slow. Why do I have to sit through cutscenes to get there instead of just walking through a portal? I mean I know I can skip them but that’s beyond the point.
  • When you enter Atlantica’s portal the fish reset to a certain point as they spin around. You thought we wouldn’t notice, huh? WELL I DID.
  • Look, if you can return us back to normal clothing after quests, why can’t you do that for surfing? I’m sick of being stuck in a sarong after surfing for a ridiculously long time because I fail to notice that I didn’t change back. JUST SOME CONSISTENCY, PLEASE.
  • Where’s Daisy’s house? Literally everyone else of the big six (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, & Pluto) has one. Where’s hers? Well Pluto doesn’t have one either but he has a doghouse outside of Mickey’s house, because he’s a dog, not like the Goofy kind of dog but the kind of dog that walks around on all fours.
  • I mentioned this last time, but did you really have to make Sleepy’s mining patterns so much slower? It’s obnoxious.
  • Loading screens, loading screens, loading screens! They’re not long, but they’re always there. (Granted, I’ve been playing on my old 3DS up until like 3 hours ago when I got my new one (it looks awesome and I love it), so this might be a moot point.) Even in cutscene series! Like they show one thing, and then they show another thing, but before we get to that, it’s time for a 2 second loading screen! Can’t you just like… load that in the background, since you clearly know you’re going to need to play that one next? I don’t know a ton about game design but I’m sure you could do that, right?
  • Flower picking / treasure hunting is awesome, but why aren’t there any girls who treasure hunt? Some men do some flower picking (but only if they’re animals in the 100 Acre Wood), but I have not encountered a single girl who has asked me to do a treasure hunt. What’s up with that? I mean, in this game where men can wear dresses, I feel like this is kind of weird.
  • So the favors and stock in stores updates four times a day: at 12 AM, 6 AM, 12 PM, and 6 PM. Which… is kind of a pain. I don’t know about you, but I’m not usually awake between 12 and 6 AM. Which bugs me eternally since it means I miss out on a cycle of favors and stock.

So that’s about everything I have to say! I enjoy this game, I recommend it to those of you who kind of like to dink around and be completionists. Or y’know if you just like Disney characters. Or rhythm games! There’s a lot of rhythm games in this, probably because it was originally a Japanese game and I think I read somewhere that those tend to be pretty popular in Japan. I dunno though.

Well, this one has seemed to be much shorter than the last few, as it’s only at 1k words so far. Good job me?

I’m still tired from all of that dang exercise. Ppbbtgfgtg.

Hey wanna see some funny videos? MissEligon made some funny drawings to go with some of ProZD’s voice acting skillz. Poptropica-themed, of course.

Well now that I’ve left you with some high quality content, I think I can be done now. Alley-oop!


Disney Magical World 2 Review, Part Two: I cannot properly do a jackknife and I’m sorry for disappointing you artificial Wii Fit Plus trainer whose mouth doesn’t move

Today I started doing Wii Fit Plus, after 800+ days of not doing it (that’s like 2 years). I’m… I’m still a little tired from the whole 50 min ordeal. Whoof. Anyways, what are my reasons for doing this? Basically I tend to live a sedentary life of me sitting on my butt and never leaving the house. So I’m trying to get myself fit again!

I feel like now is an important time to discuss something about body weight: Being plus-size is a symptom of a poor lifestyle, but losing weight isn’t a cure. Anyways, to clarify that, it’s not so much that “overweight” people need to lose weight, there’s simply a possibility that they aren’t being as active as they should. Losing weight alone doesn’t cure poor nutrition or sedentary lifestyles – sure, some things done to lose weight certainly help fix those other problems, but it isn’t the weight alone that was the problem in the first place! So tl;dr the problem isn’t body weight but lifestyle, and I’m exercising not to lose weight but to be more active in general.

Okay that was kind of preachy, sorry ’bout that. Anyways, Wii Fit Plus! Did some rhythm kung fu, rhythm boxing, and rhythm parade (I like rhythm games, can you tell), along with a 30-minute free-step (while watching LazyTown, of course) and the workout designed to lose weight around the tummy, allegedly. (I’m not very good at jackknives, it seems.)

So it was tiring but this is what I plan to be my plan for the rest of break every day, and then whenever I have time during the school year? We’ll see. Don’t think I’ll be able to do it at Disneyland in January (Oh BTW I’m going to Disneyland in like a week), but I think walking all around the park will make up for it. I mean, if my feet are sore by the end of the day, I’m probably walking a fair amount, right?

Anyways, I said yesterday that today was going to be part 2 of that review I started yesterday, so here we go. Unfortunately, it turns out that I’m a liar and a failure. Uh, I claimed that Daisy had a house. She does not. Whoops. Also I realized I completely failed at explaining a fair amount of the core mechanics of the game! So I’m going to see and go through those really quick. Also I discovered another mechanic that takes place in Castleton (the hub) yesterday after the post, so I’m going to touch on that yesterday. And after all that maybe we’ll get to discussing each of the worlds. Maybe.

To make sure I cover all of the core game mechanics I’ll go through the tutorials to double-check. Let’s go!

Oh gosh there’s. There’s a lot of tutorials. Why are there so many tutorials

Okay, let’s go in order. By pressing the L and R buttons at the same time, you can take a screenshot of the top screen at any point in time. At the top of the bottom screen there’s a little hint/walkthrough thingy to help you figure out what to do next. I already explained about Happy Stickers in the last post… Greetings can be obtained by talking to the King, they’re just little actions you can do by pressing the arrows on the arrow pad thingy. You can use them to collect puzzle pieces from characters by greeting them. There’s a star pin put on the map to show you where to go next based on the hint, I already explained about gathering, you can put furniture in your room if you want (I haven’t decorated it at all), and of course you can change your clothes.

Nice points! Better talk about those now. You earn Nice! points by wearing Ace Ensembles, which is bascially a collection of clothes that all match. When you go near characters while wearing one, they’ll give you Nice! points. Nice! points can be redeemed at the Shop of Wonder for recipes, fishing rods, puzzle pieces, and good luck charms.

Clothing and furniture is made by collecting the necessary materials along with a certain amount of money, which are then used to make clothing at Daisy’s boutique or furniture at Chip and Dale’s. Unlike the last game, all pieces of an Ace Ensemble are made at once now rather than one at a time, thank goodness.

I think I covered most of the battle mechanics last post? Eh, not too important. Onwards!

Food at the café is made like furniture or clothing, but you only have to pay coins the first time you make an item. After that, all you need are the ingredients!

Think I covered almost everything else about the café and magical dreams… Ah yes, the Notice Board! A useful thing to help you organize your things. Thing. Has six subsections. The Castleton Chronicle tells you basic things like when the next seasonal holidays start, if there’s seasonal goods at McDuck’s, and how many new greetings from the King are available. There’s also Target Stickers, which shows what stickers are easy to obtain next. Unlocked is a section showing you what was recently unlocked by collecting Happy Stickers. News Flashes tell you when the café sells out and when new pickaxes are ready (for Snow White’s world I’ll talk about it later probably). The last two are Café Requests and Favors, which show which of each are available at the moment. It’s a good edition to the menu.

Okay, time to talk about the new mechanic I discovered later than I was intended to and kind of accidentally. So after inviting Cinderella to a party at the café I got an invitation from Letita (Letta) to go to a ball. So that’s how I discovered that you can go to balls at the castle! Who knew? I didn’t. There was literally no way for me to discern how to unlock going to balls. That’s some kind of bullcrap honestly. Every other big event in-game was signaled to you on how to unlock it. Here I just stumbled upon it!

So anyways, unlock balls by inviting Cinderella to the café. Then you can unlock character-specific balls by inviting certain characters to the café. Not sure which ones, but I’ve gotten ones for Cinderella, Tangled, and Frozen at the moment.

Balls were a mechanic in the last game just for Cinderella’s world, but they’ve certainly improved it. It’s a rhythm game where you press buttons in time as the pointer rotates around a circle. When it hits the point on the circle, ya gotta press the right buttons. Sometimes you have to hold it down for a while. It’s all in rhythm with the music so that makes it easier. Also at some points you have to just push a bunch of specific buttons in order in a certain amount of time.

The balls are pretty fun, but a little challenging for me personally because that aforementioned crack on the upper screen just blocks out some of the cues, so I have to tilt the 3DS away from me at the right angle to be able to discern what I’m supposed to do for that sector. Despite that, I’m able to get a gold rating on my balls so there.

Well I’m at about 1k words so let’s take a little breather before I get into each of the individual worlds. So let’s talk about how I cried last night over an anime finale!

So the anime is rated PG-13 according to MyAnimeList.net and is called Charlotte. It’s basically about people who get superpowers when they’re teenagers and lose them when they become adults. It gets kind of messed up at times, but boy howdy did I cry like a baby at the ending. I historically don’t cry at a lot of things so it was kind of strange, but it’s probably due to one or more of the following factors: it was late at night, I was sick, and my hormones were out of whack because of, well, I’m a cisgendered woman take a guess. At any rate, it’s a good anime and that’s why I started watching LazyTown last night since I needed a joyous pick-me-up afterwards. And, of course, to balance out this depressing anime, I have started watching another PG-13 anime, K, which also seems to be start getting into some crazy things goshdarnit why do I keep doing this to myself.

Uh, okay, that’s enough of an interlude. Time to talk about each of the worlds!

So after you complete the tutorial you encounter the first world, which is Hawaii / Lilo and Stitch. I. I freaking love Lilo and Stitch. It’s a very good movie, everyone should watch it, please watch it. So I guess I’m going to talk about what makes each region unique? In Hawaii you can go surfing out in the ocean, which can be a little hard to get the hang of at first but is pretty fun, and also earns you Nice! points. There’s also two missions so far that require you to hula dance, which is pretty much identical to ballroom dancing. The character models all look pretty nice, though Lilo’s a little freaky at times. They kept Pleakley in a dress, which makes me pretty happy. Let him wear what he wants yo!

The missions for this region all connect for this final battle/idea involving you competing in a hula contest, which seems to work pretty well for a connected story. The one thing I hate is that this world has the ghost called the Buzza-Bozz, which can duplicate and make more of itself. That’s just obnoxious.

Next world is… Arendelle / Frozen. As mentioned in the disclaimers for the last post, I dislike Frozen. A lot. Boy do I hate Frozen. So… Arendelle’s story is based around Anna trying to throw a snowman festival or something for Elsa since Elsa’s all broody or whatever because of queenly duties. I groan inwardly for each of the mission setups because I find it boring since as mentioned I hate Frozen, but really the area’s probably not that bad? I dunno.

Next we go back to the 100 Acre Wood from the first game. It’s got a bit of an upgrade – a bit bigger, a bit more spaced out. Still the same basic buildings and stuff around the wood though. The missions here all revolve around trying to make a hunny party to celebrate the arrival of Kanga and Roo, who they remembered to put in the wood this time. Good job! 100 Acre Wood’s changes certainly improve it from the last game. I haven’t completed the main mission storyline yet, but it seems mostly good. It also has no ghost-hunting missions, but it does allow you to grow food in a garden instead.

Next up would be Snow White’s World / Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which has a mine where you can mine for Twinkle Stones or whatever which can be used to buy puzzle pieces. Pickaxes can be used to mine and are generated every 30 minutes for a maximum of 3 pickaxes. Mining is a rhythm game where you press A in time. Not too hard. Snow White’s world doesn’t seem to have a storyline yet as far as I know, but each of the dwarves live up to their personality and are fun to mine with. My one complaint is that true to his name, Sleepy’s mining minigame is much slower than the rest, which trips me up a bit. Not to mention none of the other dwarves’ mining game speeds are affected by their personality. All I’m asking for is a little bit of consistency! Just a little! There are also no ghost-hunting missions in this world.

Then we get to Atlantica / The Little Mermaid, which has you become a mermaid and dive under the sea. I’m not so far in this one either, but the plot seems to revolve around you trying to collect performers for an upcoming musical performance thingamadoohicker. Swimming around as a mermaid is pretty cool! That’s… that’s pretty much all I have to say here.

Last is Wonderland / Alice In Wonderland. This one also got updated a bunch from the last game and is honestly much better than the first version, heh. In the first game, it’s just an area where you’re small, the hedge maze, and the mad tea party. Not too exciting. This one takes you into Tulgey Wood, which is delightfully weird like the spirit of Alice in Wonderland is. They still kept around the hedge maze, but that area’s a little bigger and a little less mediocre than the last one was. I haven’t gotten far… at all… in this one’s storyline, so I can’t really say anything about it.

So I’m at 2000 words again for this post! Yeehaw! So tomorrow’s post will be about some miscellaneous comments/complaints, and my overall view of the game. Thanks for sticking around on this crazy adventure of me attempting to review a video game.


Disney Magical World 2 Review, Part One: My brother made me sick, happy holidays to me

Uh, you may have noticed I schedule slipped. I… I don’t really have an excuse. Other than I didn’t really get to enjoy my Christmas Swag on Boxing Day since I was mostly stuck in a car or awkwardly talking with my grandfather, and that I got a sore throat / cold from my brother due to us being cramped in a Nissan Leaf while going to and from our grandparents’ house, and that it was my Lazy Day™ and I didn’t even get dressed since I didn’t feel like Doing Things.

Uh, at any rate, I got to play through more of Disney Magical World 2, so hopefully this will be a more complete review! Though as I’m typing this, I only have 60 Happy Stickers (out of 100, I think) and only have 12.56% of my Collection complete, so I’m clearly not that far done with it but I think I have a basic idea of how things work.

Okay, so first off, this game is a sequel, so I’m going to be discussing things from the first game a little bit here. This would probably be where I’d direct you to my review of the original, but the thing is that doesn’t exist anywhere, so I’ll just have to explain it best I can.

Alright, brief list of DISCLAIMERS about things that might influence my review in a way that isn’t ideal for non-biased point of view or whatever:

  • My screen has that big ugly crack in it that takes up a large portion of the left side of the screen. Can make it hard to play at times.
  • My 3DS isn’t the NEW! Nintendo 3DS, but the first edition of the Nintendo 3DS. Dunno if that affects processing speed or whatever, but that’s the case.
  • I don’t like Frozen, so pretty much everything involving Arendelle quests is going to be super biased. I’d explain why I don’t like it but that’s pretty long, would take up another post, and I’d have to dig through my email to find that article my sister sent me on it.

Alright, so let’s try to keep this organized best I can. Here we go!

Game starts off rather simply, Letita (or “Letta”), a flying letter, comes in and invites you to the town of Castleton. It’s pretty much the same setup as last game. You set up your character, enter a name, and enter the magical world! The first thing I noticed was that Castleton got quite an upgrade from the last game. While in the first game Castleton was kind of a small sprawling town which happened to have a giant castle over across the river, this one is far more of a city with a main street, a residential sector, and then a separate region for the castle. I think it’s quite an improvement.

The tutorial is easy to follow and go through, it’s very much a hand-holding experience but hey this game is aimed at like, six-year-olds, I’m not expecting that much. You get to meet the main Disney gang, learn about basic game mechanics like gathering and fishing, and get some free swag.

I suppose I should explain some of the core game mechanics at this point, heh. So it’s kind of similar to Animal Crossing but waay simplified. Basically there’s certain areas where items will spawn, and when an item is there, there’s blue-purple sparkles there. You just have to walk over and press “A” to pick up an item and put it in your inventory, which has no space limit. The items can be used for Important Things™ I’ll get into later. Fishing can be done once you obtain a rod from resident fishing expert Donald Duck. There are certain areas where you can cast your rod by going near the water and pressing “A” again, which allows you to aim your bobber and put it in the water. Then you sit and wait for a fish to come over and nibble at it.

I was going to make a point here but then I think my brain’s getting confused with Animal Crossing mechanics, so take this with a grain of salt. In the first game, I think the fish made little noises whenever it nibbled the bobber and then made a louder noise when it bit. This made it easier to fish. Here, no noise is made and you just have to. Stare at the bobber until the little speech bubble pops up telling you it bit. Basically this just makes fishing for me about 2000% more stressful. So that’s something that’s a little bit worse. On the improvement side, in the first game you were forced to sit atop a stump thingy in order to fish; here you just have to be near the water and hit “A”. I think that’s a bit better.

Most of the shops and utilities from the last game are carried over, just put in swankier buildings. Chip and Dale’s… furniture making… thing is now indoors and has a weird steam machine, but other than that it’s the same functionality. McDuck’s sells the same things, but it’s all on one floor now and you can buy entire outfits instead of just one piece at a time. Also some things have to be bought with medals instead of coins. I think you get medals from visiting other players using the Internets or something? I dunno, I haven’t done it.

As a side-note, they now also have items you can hold in your hand and moved many of the table decorations from the first game into this category. They can also be used to decorate the café.

Oh wow I am so sorry to anyone who hasn’t played the first game this must be super confusing to you. It’ll make sense in the end probably I promise.

Daisy’s boutique is also pretty much the same, but eventually you get a female chipmunk working another counter in there. I forget her name, it’s not important. What she does is she can make an alternately colored version of an outfit by using Sparkle (or was it Shimmer?) Stones from the Dwarf mine. Uh, I’ll get back to that later, but it’s a pretty cool feature and makes it easier for me to decide on clothing, since I used to have to decide which color scheme I wanted more. Now I don’t have to choose!

Minnie also has a shop now! At her place you can get yourself all changed up appearance-wise. You can change everything you customized about yourself at the beginning (for a fee, of course), along with some things that weren’t originally available, like certain hair colors and styles. So right now Ylime is going around with a short bright pink pixie cut, which is awesome.

Café! Like in the original, the King gives you the café to take care of. The manager is such a sweetheart, we get a tiny bit of backstory for her, and she’s much cuter than the dude we got in the last game. (If you were wondering, we learn his name is “Duke” and he now runs the surf shop in Hawaii (I’ll get to Hawaii eventually).) The café is mostly the same but now we also get a group of three dancers to dance around on stage, which is… kind of weird, but I get to customize their appearance. Kind of. For one reason or another, I can only change the appearance of the center dancer. Oh well. He looks very pretty while dancing.

I feel like this is a fine time to mention that this game features zero gendered clothing items! Zero! All of the clothing items can be worn by either gender, be it a suit or a ballgown! Long story short I’ve had my dancers on stage dancing in a tankini and sarong and they looked fabulous.

The way the café works is a lot more straightforward – you accumulate theme points based on the decorations, outfits, and food, and you can see how many theme points you need to invite certain guests. It’s much better than the original game setup for sure.

Before we dive into each of the worlds, there’s some other Important Things that got changed around between games, so here’s a short list:

  • Your house is separate from the café but can be decorated with the same materials
  • One outfit can be used to dress all five employees of the café and you! Same idea with furniture. Basically you only ever need to make one of anything, which is awesome.
  • Floors & walls are made together in the shop and must be placed together in the café, in your house not so much.
  • Points aren’t given based off of quantity but rather unique items in the café. Also table decorations don’t count for anything.
  • You know how I mentioned the dancers on stage? You can dance with whoever you invite to the party, granted you host a silver-level party or higher. (Different amounts of points allow you to host different parties.)
  • Cards are gone. Not anywhere in the game. Bye! So basically all the castle has going for it is teaching you greetings.
  • Instead of cards, you have to collect puzzle pieces. It’s kind of… strange? If you have the puzzle frame (which can be obtained by snapping a photo with a character for the first time) and all of the pieces, when you go to sleep in your bed you can have a Magical Dream™ where you do a bunch of weird activities and rack up a bunch of Nice! points. It’s… it’s weird and I haven’t done too much with it.
  • You’re not the only one with a house – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Daisy all get a house too! Nothing too exciting about them though, other than you can fish from atop of Donald’s house, which is a boat.

I realize I’ve never talked about what Happy Stickers are! Happy Stickers are this game’s version of achievements. As you gain Happy Stickers new things become unlocked within the game, such as certain areas or episodes.

I realize this post is at least 1.5k words long by now and I should probably start wrapping it up, so I’ll just talk about the basic mission setup. I suppose tomorrow I’ll talk about each of the individual worlds.

During the tutorial you get summoned by the wizard Yen Sid (who clearly stole the name trick from me) who grants you a wand and tells you that you’re destined to fight off ghosts because you’re pure ‘n stuff. So you head down to the dungeon in the castle (which is no longer a post-game thing, it’s there from the start for a total of 3 missions and I haven’t needed to use it since) and learn how to fight off ghosts using your magic wand. So the battle mechanics in this game are similar to last time, it’s more the level layout that’s changed. Instead of you going through a large sprawling area and navigating via the tiny minimap at the bottom of the screen, you go through one room at a time and the map not only shows locked off areas and treasure chests, but also the little things you can pick up off the ground! Sweet.

It’s pretty much the same as last time: pound A a bunch of times and destroy ghosts. When you clear all of the ghosts in a room, you get a bonus Magic Stone. Magic Stones can no longer be used at will and instead are solely used at the end for the final treasure chest, unless you run out of life points mid-level at which point you can use one to revive yourself.

Just like last time, there’s always one Boss Ghost at the end of each level, it’s pretty much the same. The other big thing that changed is that there’s now the inclusion of Challenges in some rooms, which asks you to defeat a bunch of ghosts or destroy all the barrels or hit all of the switches or what-not in a certain amount of time. Doing it quicklier gets you more magic stones, failing it gets you no magic stones.

And in case you were wondering how one does revive life points when the magic stones aren’t used for that, much like magic points from the previous game they can be picked up from destroyed ghosts or barrels or whatever.

That’s it for today, I think 2k words is more than enough of a post to make up for yesterday’s failure. See you tomorrow (probably) for part II, where I talk about each of the individual worlds and their quirks!


Christmas Swag List: What even is boxing day

Yesterday’s post was non-existent and this one is super late. I’m on a roll here!

Anyways, I think most of you can surmise why yesterday’s post didn’t happen, but if you can’t figure it out, the answer is I was too busy celebrating Christmas by waking up at 6 AM, staring at the tree for an hour, going back to sleep, waking up an hour later, opening stockings, having breakfast, opening presents, and playing games with my family for the next few hours until I went off to my grandparents’ house at 4-ish. We stayed there until 10. So it was quite the jam-packed day.

Oh BTW happy Kwanzaa to those of you who celebrate, it starts today, trust me I googled it.

Anyways here’s some HI-LITES from my Christmas:

  • Getting a bunch of Rubik’s cubes
  • Watching my brother get the Ultimate Rickroll as revenge for rickrolling every single family member with his Christmas list (he got a Rick Astley CD)
  • Getting a bunch of DCSHG swag
  • Learning how to play Kaboo (Cabo? Caboo? Kabo? I dunno how to spell it but it’s a card game)
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon
  • Being able to solve the new Rubik’s Cubes
  • Disney Magical World 2
  • Dropping a Rubik’s cube on the concrete outside our grandparents’ house at 10 PM causing us to have to yank out flashlights to find the pieces that came off while it’s freezing and I’m not wearing leggings
  • Gravity Falls Journal 3

Oh and I also got an iPhone. Eh. Need to activate it first, probably before I head off to Disneyland in about two weeks.

And then today’s post is super late because I had to go off to see my grandfather, who lives two hours away. We left at 11 AM and just got back. It’s always kind of awkward talking to him? I never know what to say. At least we were able to dodge all politics, phew.

Read most of Journal 3 on the car ride there. Now I need to decode a bunch of the text in there. I’ll probably work on transcribing it somewhere since that’s the kind of stupid nerdy shiznit I do. I also started playing Disney Magical World 2 on my old cracked-screen 3DS. I have feelings on it; will probably make a quasi-review for tomorrow’s post. BTW I need to buy myself a new 3DS as a Christmas present to myself ASAP. Probably that nice purple space one. It’s a pun for myself to enjoy, also it’s really pretty!

Uh, I don’t think I have much else to say here other than expect some blathering about some of those gifts I got up there in the near future, especially me screaming about Pokémon Sun and Moon eventually. I’m kind of waiting for the future new 3DS to play it on since I don’t want to ruin my experience with this stupid big crack on the screen. Hang on I’m going to take a picture so y’all understand what I’m talking about.

‘Twas a tag-team effort by me and my brother, in case you were wondering. Equal parts our faults. Possibly more so mine.

Yeah, that’s what I have to deal with. Like none of the pixels are dead tho? I think it’s just a crack on the secondary batch of pixels used for 3D effects. I can kind of see the pixels underneath if I look at the screen from an angle. It’s too bad, this is a nice nerdy 3DS that’s got Xerneas and Yveltal on it.

Okay now I really have nothing else to say.

Except for this really nice picture of me looking menacing in a Santa hat.

Someone said I was a villain because of my pink hair. So of COURSE I had to take this.


The Lion King Experience: There’s an important announcement in here, so read the first paragraph at least

Alright, before we get into the bulk of this post, which is going to be me talking about The Lion King musical, first I have a special announcement, oh boy! Tomorrow, Friday the 23rd, I’m going to be streaming Barbie in a Christmas Carol over on my Rabb.it at 3PM Pacific / 6PM Eastern. I’m sure there’s nothing else important happening at that time, so feel free to pop over as we enjoy a holiday classic. The movie’s about an hour and a half, so it’s going to last until like 4:30 PM Pacific / 7:30 PM Eastern, unless I decide to pop in another Barbie holiday movie. We’ll see.

Anyways, time for me to start reviewing this musical I saw. As an important sidenote, I’m not much of a critic and tend to be extremely biased, so here goes.

Alright, time to start off with an Unpopular Opinion of mine: I don’t enjoy The Lion King movie. Well, it’s more like I watched it once as a kid and haven’t been interested enough to watch it ever again. I mean, I played a video game version of it a bunch of times, but I never watched it again. So, I didn’t really have high hopes for the stage version.

I was… kind of right in my assumption. The costumes are impressive, the acting and dancing is incredible, the sets are amazing, but the plot… I was kind of lost. I mean, it hit all of the beats of the original, but it didn’t quite work. The songs don’t help advance the plot, they’re just kind of… there. A lot of the time, they actually slow down the plot! For the entr’acte (the overture of a musical but after the intermission), they randomly have the entire ensemble going around in traditional African clothing while singing and dancing. I mean, it looked cool, but aren’t we focusing on the animals? It has literally nothing to do with the rest of the plot, other than they put those costumes back on again at some point in the second act for again, no discernible reason at all.

As I said, the costumes were pretty good. The way they did animals was really impressive, and I enjoyed it a lot. Until we got to Timon and Pumbaa. They… they were terrifying. Especially the Timon puppet. Oh wow. To me, it seems like they don’t know whether they want to go with humanoid with animal-esque features or full on animal puppets for the characters – we’ve got the lions with lion heads on top of their heads and some lion clothing, but then we’ve got Zazu who’s a full-on puppet. What are you guys going for?

The actors weren’t bad, they were great. The kids who played young Simba and young Nala were a little weak, but they’re kids, so I can’t really blame them. It doesn’t help that I just hate the character of young Simba. He’s a twerp.

Oh, back on the sidenote of weird musical numbers. “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” or whatever it’s called makes absolutely no sense with it’s staging or setup. It’s just kind of like a weird sugar-high-induced dream.

More on costumes – most of the lions have the lion heads remaining on top of their heads, except for Scar and Mufasa for some reason – those move down to dangle in front of their heads sometimes for some weird reason. I don’t know why, but they do. That’s kind of weird.

This really hasn’t been a cohesive review. I’m sorry, I’m not much of a critic.

Well, plot-wise, it turns out I just hate kid Simba’s personality. A lot. He’s a brat. A complete and utter brat. Once we got into the second act it was a little more tolerable. He was still a bit of a twat though.

I feel like I should talk about staging – they do some pretty cool things for staging scenes. It’s all pretty impressive. The climax is a little poorly executed, but it works, I suppose.

Oh, another thing! The first act just kind of… ends. Usually at the end of the first act there’s some sort of big number to close it out on a bang. Here we get adult Simba swinging onstage from a vine to show he’s aged up (that was not well done honestly), and them singing Hakuna Matata as the curtains close. Not much of a show-stopper there.

Also, I feel really bad, but all throughout the opening number all I could think of was The Book of Mormon. (Kiddos, don’t watch that show. It’s from the creators of South Park. Don’t watch it.)

My sister pointed out during intermission that most people refer to Disney musicals as being less of a story and more of an experience, but she sees this one as the only one that fits that description. Granted, the only Disney musicals I’ve seen are Beauty and the Beast and Newsies, but I think they carried a plot much better and didn’t just try to wow the audience with cool puppets and effects.

So basically, if you want to see some cool costumes and a POC cast performing Lion King, feel free to see it! Just don’t expect much of a flowing story here.

Usually most reviewers would go put a number here, but I have a lot of trouble summarizing qualitative data into a quantitative value. So I’ll just rate this an “eh”.

Anyways, now that we’re done with that, again, tomorrow, on Friday the 23rd, I’m going to be streaming Barbie in a Christmas Carol over on my Rabb.it at 3 PM Pacific / 6 PM Eastern. I’d love to see you all there!