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The Magic Years
Disney through the eyes of teens
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Adrienne Krock, editor
Innoventions: Another Look

Innoventions? You may be asking yourself. She's going to write about Innoventions? Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Innoventions is by no means a new attraction, and it is not very high on many people's lists of favorites. I know people who strongly dislike it. That's why I'm here. I recently went to Innoventions and found some pleasant surprises. It is not the boring, out-dated attraction that some people say it is. I went and did a little research of my own.


Innoventions just before Autopia was completed

Innoventions is housed in a two-story, rotating building that turns at the neck-snapping, stomach-churning speed of one mile per hour. As you wait in line to enter, you can look at the art deco-inspired mural on the building that depicts everything from robots to the Anaheim Mighty Ducks hockey team. As you wait, a Cast Member prepares you for your visit by telling you a little bit about the place and what there is to see.

When you step onto the moving platform of Innoventions, a robot by the name of Tom Morrow greets you from a TV screen. There are a few different entrances to the building as it goes around, each of them demonstrating something. When we went, we entered the entertainment center. Here, we watched a gameshow where three guests had to answer questions and try to win more points than the others. Our wonderful hostess was Patricia. You may know Patricia from California Adventure's Disney Animation attraction, where she interacts with Mushu. At the game show, we learned about a new DVD recorder that has been invented. With this, you can record all your favorite movies onto a DVD.


The view from the second floor balcony

On the first floor, you can check out the Who Wants to be a Millionaire computer game with a virtual Regis. You can also play Toy Story or Dinosaur computer games. At the Fantasies of the Future exhibit, the seats look like mushrooms. Your little brother or sister might enjoy playing on the computers with Pooh, Minnie, Ariel, Buzz, and Woody. One kid was playing around on Mouse House Jr. from Disney.com's Playhouse Disney.

You can make your own rock music or send "D-cards" straight from Disneyland. If you want to send postcards to your friends but you want to make sure they receive the postcards before you get home, use D-cards. Because you send D-cards by e-mail, your friends will get them instantly!

Near the D-cards, there is a computer with a picture of a guy's head. Here, you can change the shape of his face, change the angle at which his head is turned, give him alien or cat eyes, open or close his mouth and eyes, and do so much more to him! My little brother and I had lots of fun with this one.

My favorite thing in Innoventions, Sony personal juke boxes, are now gone. They enabled you to record your favorite music and then play it back whenever you wanted to by simply selecting the track on the screen. I only saw them once or twice, so if you know anything about them, write to me!

Around the corner are some computers that allow you to create your own fireworks show. You can put on a show over Washington D.C., Seattle, St. Louis, Disneyland or one of a few other places. You choose one of three songs to play during your show, and the fireworks you want to shoot off. Then the music plays, you shoot the fireworks whenever and wherever you want, then record your show. Finally, you sit back and watch as your show is played on a screen above you. Everybody is sure to love this! It was one of the most popular programs on the first floor.

Next to the fireworks, you can play a game with other guests where a CM tells you things to hunt for on the Internet. If you want to just get on to look up my latest column, you can do that too. This is also the area where you can ride the elevator upstairs.

On the second floor, there is a game that you play against another guest. You stand on a grid, and the screen tells you which square to step on. By stepping on the correct square, you make a Disney character dance on the screen. You try to out-dance your opponent! Whoever ends up with the most points wins! This was high energy, and was actually a little trickier than it sounds. Six games can be played at once. It's really entertaining to watch people dance, too. It is great fun!


The restored Chevy at the Virtual Resort

While you're there, check out the virtual resort. This is Innoventions' newest exhibit, sponsored by Pioneer. A virtual bellhop instructs you on what to do. You can learn a few things about being a disc jockey from him, too. There is an old, beautifully restored Chevy convertible sitting right outside the resort where you can play video games, watch movies, and try out other cool features. What made this so exciting was that the screens are built right into the car! Sure, you can already watch movies in some cars, but this was really great.

Screens throughout the exhibit display clouds, flowers, trees, the beach, and other relaxing surroundings. Here, your vacation is totally virtual. There are two "hotel rooms" where you and your family can make reservations and come back in a few minutes. We waited about 10 minutes to get in. Inside your room, you choose from a few beautiful vacation destinations. When you choose where to go, the room instantly changes from a plain white suite to a castle tower, a Greek island, a New England town near the ocean, or an Alpine cabin. The TV screen in this room is the best TV I have ever watched. A huge number of pixels creates the clearest image you can imagine.


There are plasma screens everywhere

Plasma screens around the resort allow you to become one with the virtual fish they display. By touching the fish, you can change the background of the aquarium, make bubbles, make them shrink or grow, or even change them into completely different fish! By dragging your finger around the screen, you can make pictures or words that will float around in the water.

Also on the second floor is the General Motors exhibit. Here, you get to see what GM is designing. Through virtual reality, you get to help a little mechanic monkey get out of trouble and drive a new, very impressive, GM vehicle. The chairs you sit in move with the "vehicle" to make it seem even more real.

You might want to check out some of the older exhibits too, like the one sponsored by Kaiser near the GM exhibit.

My mom likes the second floor better than the first, because she says it has more interesting and innovative "Innoventions." You should go check this attraction out to see what your favorite part is. New things are happening all the time, such as AT&T, which will be opening a new exhibit on the second floor soon. So next time you're at Disneyland, give Innoventions another chance. You might be surprised!

Ciao!

~Jewel


Jewel's FastFact: In Peter Pan's Flight at Disneyland, the blocks in the Darling childrens' room spell "Disney."


Have any questions, comments or suggestions for future columns? I'd love to hear what you have to say! Drop me a line at coolkids@mouseplanet.com.

Innoventions: Another Look

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jewel
Hi!
My name is Jewel.

I am 13 years old, and a typical junior high student. I live with my mom, dad, and little brother. My family and I have annual passes to Disneyland so we go quite often. I love school, and science has always been a favorite subject of mine. I am in band and hope to be involved in music for the rest of my life.

Right now, my career goal is to become a deejay. In my mind, that is the coolest job in the world! My hobbies include: listening to and playing music, reading, writing, messing around on the computer and hanging out at Disneyland. We have seven cats (four of them found us), a black Labrador, and I have a goldfish.


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