Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Disney insanity - thar be dragon!

Anyone who knows me or has read my blog for any length of time knows that I'm a huge Disney fan. And a lot of people don't really understand the whole "Disney thing". That's ok - I don't feel the need to convert anyone, and as long as they don't feel the need to badger me about it or try to make me feel stupid for liking it (which some APPARENTLY feel the compulsion to do), I don't really care.

And sometimes, the insanity that is my Disney interest takes control.

For about 15 years now, Disneyland has had a show along the Rivers of America called Fantasmic. It's a bit hard to describe, but suffice it to say, it's an amazing show. This summer, they had touted the arrival of a new dragon in the show, which was supposed to debut back in June, but the dragon was plagued with problems and malfunctions, so no dragon all summer. And then there were repeated rumours from people supposedly in the know that each night was going to be the debut, all to no avail. I'll admit that on one occasion, we did go down to see the show, just in case. Disney had even scheduled a very-early-morning preview to the press last week - which was canceled less than an hour before it was supposed to happen.

And then yesterday afternoon, the news came down officially from Disney - the dragon was debuting that night. I texted the husband to let him know, and we'd already prepared for this to happen. He works not too far away from Disneyland, and he already had a towel in the car to take with him to save real estate for us. I arranged to leave work early, at 5pm, so that I could be sure to be there in plenty of time for the 8:15pm show.

I expected it to be extremely crowded at the resort with hordes of annual passholders doing the same thing as me, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it might be. I got into the park, stopped to pick up dinner for myself and the husband, and then made my way over to the River. By this time, it was already crowded down there, but the husband had a section saved for me and 4 other friends who were going to join us, and he'd gotten a great spot to watch the show.

Our friends arrived at various times, but all before the show started, and you could feel the excitement in the air as everyone was there to see the new dragon.

When the show finally started, a giant cheer went up in the crowd, and as usual, it was a good show, but everyone was waiting for the dragon segment.

And when Maleficent the dragon finally made her appearance, cheers and yelling erupted out of the audience. She was incredible, everything we'd expected. The only glitch was that she didn't actually breathe fire to set the river on fire, but she was still REALLY awesome. This was the only time when I didn't want Mickey to win - I didn't want the dragon to disappear!

It was so exciting to be there, with a ton of other people equally excited to be there to see her. At least one cynic had expressed the belief that people just wanted bragging rights to say they saw her first. Well, to him, I say, "get lost, asshole". I wanted to see it because I was excited to see her. So was the husband, and our friends, and all the people who were around us.

I'm looking forward to seeing the show many more times, from different angles. It's going to be amazing to see her actually breathing fire (though she APPARENTLY has quite a reach with her fire, so I hope they calibrate it correctly so as not to torch the first couple rows of people sitting along the Rivers of America!), and I also want to see the show from the side, so that I can watch the dragon rise and fall.

After the press event was canceled, Disney released some photos and video of the dragon, which you can see here. I'd gone to see the pictures, but I decided I didn't want to see the video until after I'd seen the dragon for myself in person.

And here's a link with photos and video (of the dragon sequence) from the show last night. Congrats and thanks to Mox for getting such great video of the dragon. You can hear the excitement in the crowd with all the screaming in the audio - oh, and some of that screaming is our friends, the husband and myself. ;)

Thar be dragons indeed!

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