Bats Day 2002

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Devin's Journal for Bats Day, August 25th 2002
  So, we just got back from the Bats Day at Disneyland -- whoa, that was a bunch of fun. Big thumbs up overall. The details:

My lovely wife Valerie and I got up at 6, left at 7, and got there by 8:30. With parking/tram/buying tickets, we got into the park around 9. Getting there early was quite a good idea, as the park is pretty empty at that point -- we were able to go on Space Mountain, Autopia, and Star Tours, and "Innoventions" by 10:30.

Autopia was much more less fun for me than it was when I was younger, and I'm assuming that's because I can actually drive now. Innoventions was a big advertisement, essentially. When you walk in, you get a 10-minute spiel on new Whirlpool products; they then let you walk around the building and play with new products by the sponsoring companies. Eh.

So far, goth representation in the park is pretty sparse. Tough to get people out of bed that early, I guess. Next we picked up our Splash Mountain fast pass so we could walk right onto it after the first meetup. A ride on the canoes, and then we headed towards the castle for the noon meeting.

Alright, finally the goths were getting there. The first meeting is quite a sight -- hundreds of goths hanging out in front of Cinderella's castle. Pictures were taken, I talked to a bunch of people, then we all posed for the group shot. As we were doing this, the Evil Queen from "Snow White" came out and got a big round of applause and joined us for the group photo. Snow White herself also came out, and got soundly booed. It was great.

We still had some time before our Splash Mountain fast pass became active, so I got to finally go on "Mister Toad's Wild Ride". I had been to the Disneyworld park in Florida several times in my youth, and my parents would never take us on that ride. For some reason, they didn't think it was suitable for kids. Really. They would let us ride Pirates and the Haunted House, but not Mister Toad. Once we finished that we went over to Splash Mountain. That's a great ride, even if it is based off a horribly racist movie.

Next we went to some more rides but I have forgotten the order -- we went on the Matterhorn (whee!), Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and It's A Small World (because it's not really a trip to Disney without going on that ride). We skipped "Tarzan's Treehouse", which anyone older than 10 would probably recognize as just a re-titled "Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse". By this time we were seeing more and more goth-types out and about. It's a real nice thing to just be able to go up to strangers and talk to them and take pictures. I'd say about 90% of the people I passed at least returned my greeting. (And ppphhht to those people there who were too cool to say hi to me!)

It was now approaching 4 and time for the second meeting! This one was by the granite ball in Tomorrowland. Lots more stares and questions from passersby this time (I'm sure I don't need to reiterate that all to you), but suffice to say by now we were all mock asking each other, "Are you here for a convention?" Slightly bigger group this time, as some folks didn't make it in time for the noon meeting. Funny moment as the guy taking the group photo (sorry don't know his name) was on the Innoventions balcony getting ready to take it and a chant of "Jump! Jump! Jump!" broke out.

Next it was on to the Indiana Jones ride for us, then a quick respite from the park so we could check into our hotel. After getting back, we decided to go and find some dinner. We ran into a group of San Diego people (Elena/Lisa/Mikey/Vince) and joined up with them for dinner at the Bear Restaurant. My BBQ Chicken salad was truly revolting but on the bright side enabled me to stick to my diet. We putzed around a bit after dinner, not quite making it to the Tea Cups before it was time for the 8 PM meeting.

The 8PM meeting was held at the courtyard next to the Haunted Mansion. That area really isn't big enough to hold everyone. After being packed in like goth sardines while photos were taken, it was on to the rides. First was the Haunted Mansion. The first group in decided to hold back as there were non-goths on the stretchy-room part, so we waited for the next one so it could be strictly goths in the Mansion. About half the people knew the opening speech as you take the elevator down ("Of course, there's always... My Way Out!") and yelled along. We rode the ride, screeching together. Fun fun fun.

Indiana Jones was the next ride. We all got a bit split up for this ride due to the "block group" nature of the Haunted House ride. Some rather blatant line-cutting enabled large groups of us to stick together. I ended up in the front of our line and had the pleasure of telling the ride operator we had a group of 400. He politely told me that the cars only hold 12 each.

To prevent getting split up, we all waited a while in front of the Jungle Cruise for people to get there. (And kudos to that guy in a "Germs" t-shirt who took command and massed everyone together properly). We were all going on the boats together, but my boat got infected by some normals with FastPass. As a result, we were unable to get the PG-13 rated talk. No matter, it was still lots of fun.

Finally, Pirates of the Carribean! Again, it was a little tough but we kept everyone together for this. My voice went a bit hoarse as we all sang "A Pirates Life For Me" along with the ride's soundtrack (well, we sang the parts we knew anyway).

After the ride, it was about 10:30 and we were tired enough to leave the park. Back to the hotel, and I was asleep in about 14 seconds. Tiring, tiring day

Devin & Val

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