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Sue Kruse
Dear Sue - Mail for the week of August 30, 2000

Dear ReadersÖ

I get mail. Yes, I do. Lots. And, I just adore hearing from you. You are all dear to me, you know that donít you? You send me the kindest thoughts about my words and you share with me the most wonderful stories of your own. Today I thought I would share a few of your letters with everyone.

Dear Sue for 8/30/00:
Jeannie writes:

I think it may have been in one of your reports (sorry if it wasn't, but all the good info seems to be in your reports!) that you had talked about a special anniversary map of 1958 Disneyland... anyhow, I was at the Disney Gallery the other night (my first trip to Disneyland in over a year, but I did finally renew my annual pass, so I'll be there weekly from now on!) and was told by the CM that the map is NOT going to be offered in the park anymore once they get more in stock.

It's only going to be available by Disneyland mail order, and I guess annual passholders are the ones who are on that mailing list. Just thought you'd want to know.

Iím not sure I was the one who wrote about the wall maps (Iím so pleased, Jeannie, to hear that you think I have good information), but I can say a few words about them now. They are wonderful and I for one am thrilled that Disneyland once again has wall maps.

The Anniversary map Jeannie mentioned was released in July for Disneylandís 45th Anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, you had to be quick to get one as they sold out rather fast. I think Disneyland underestimated the popularity of the item. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. I mean, you had a map, how long have we been clamoring for those? And, the map was accompanied by some very nice pins. 

Logo Pin

Below and above, the pins  that came with the 45th map
Pin art © Disney

Map pin

Given that pin trading is very popular at the moment, it was not a surprise to me that the maps were gone in a blink of an eye. I do recall seeing one gentleman with a large amount of maps getting them stamped to collect his pins. He must have had at least a hundred friends he was giving a map to, such a generous fellow, no?

Map stamped

Above, how the 45th map was stamped, below the complete map package
Art © Disney

Complete map package

Maybe next time Disneyland will limit the amount each guest can purchase. That would be fair, donít you think?

Well, Dear Readers, if you are one of those who lusted after said map and pins only to be left standing empty handed, donít cry, donít despair and for goodness sake, donít bid on one on eBay... your desired map is just a phone call away (well, that and a few dollars charged to your credit card).

Disneyland is re- releasing them on September 15, 2000. The catch is you cannot purchase them at Disneyland, they are only available by calling DelivEars at (714) 781-4236 or e-mailing them at Annual Passholders, be sure to tell DelivEars who you are when you make the purchase. In addition to the map, banner pin, and "I walked in Walt Disneyís Original Magic Kingdom" button, you will receive an exclusive Annual Passholder map pin that is pretty nifty. [see above]

Oh, and for those of you, for whom one wall map is not enough, there is also a brand new regular wall map available in the park. Itís reasonably priced and if you cannot get to the park to purchase one for yourself, Iím sure MouseShoppe will be glad to help you procure one.

Do tell Adrienne I said hi, wonít you?

My article on doing nothing at Disneyland struck cord with a lot of you, Dear Readers. It seems I am not the only one who spends time at Disneyland that way...

Scott writes:

I enjoyed your column about "doing nothing at Disneyland" immensely. I lived in Cerritos, CA for six years (until I was six years old) and lived on once- a- year trips to DL for several years. After a six- year hiatus (college, etc.) I finally made it back with my partner for a three- day vacation. We packed it in, did it all and had a great time. I made up for those six years in those three days.

Last April we went again. This time we planned on four days. Not because we wanted to pack more in, but because we wanted to really relax (it's a vacation, isn't it?).

If you are doing a reader column, here are some fun things to suggest:

1) I know what it's like to stand at the opening line and take off running. This time we did a Magic Morning and sat down near the Plaza Inn to watch them go running. It was so memorable.

2) Breakfast at the Harbour Galley. Great food, great prices, great service, cute birds, and not many people. Plus, the Rivers of America is beautiful in the morning.

3) Take one Coffee and one Blue Ribbon Cinnamon Roll and sit down in the side-street near the lockers. Yeah, there are a lot of people going in and out, but listening to the "Painless Dentist" and the showering hotel guest is fun!

4) Browse the shops from the north side of Main Street all of the way to the South side. There are soo many nook- and- crannies in there! (The East side is usually less crowded than the West)

5) As smokers, we rated the different smoking areas. They made some big mistakes (esp. the Haunted Mansion area. It *is* the most beautiful area to sit and sip a Mint Julep, but non- smokers shouldn't have to deal with the concentrated amount of smokers, and smokers shouldn't have to deal with trying to appease non- smokers. Big Thunder Trail is a perfect smoking area. It's plenty to the side and no one sits *right* there.

6) Take a flask and some Captain Morgan's Rum and ride pirates a couple of times. Not to get tipsy, mind you, but the taste of rum and the sounds of "Yo Ho" are priceless!

7) Talk to Rod, the piano guy. He gave me Cynthia's number and said to get a management job. "We need more people like you."

Just a little list and hopefully some hints to help others oversee the eminent decline of some aspects of Disneyland. As long as they don't ruin DL's atmosphere, I'll still go.

Thanks for all your suggestions Scott. Iím sure more than one of my Dear Readers will find a helpful hint they can use on their next trip to Disneyland.

On one of the rare occasions that I have been to Disneyland before the sun goes down, I too sat on the other side of the rope drop and watched the guests get on their marks, get set, go! I do have to admit it was fun to see. It didnít merit dragging myself from my lovely soft feather mattress and black satin sheets at that hour of the day, but it was amusing. Everyone should do it at least once.

And I concur with you that Harbour Galley was the best. Was, is the operative word here. Harbour Galley has gone to Yesterland. That does provide moments of despair for me. How I used to love their tasty tuna sandwiches served in a little paper Columbia boat (you notice I am not mentioning how I loved breakfast there, do you not?) and their marvelous curly fries. Gone now forever to be replaced by, I shutter to mention this word -- McDonalds, so I hear. Ugh.

Now Scott, I do have to admonish you a bit. Sue stamps her dainty foot and shakes her pretty finger at your bad behavior. You are not supposed to drink Captain Morganís in the park. Alcohol in Disneyland, indeed ;^) You must save that for Disneyís California Adventure, dear (That is unless you are lucky enough to be dining in the cozy atmosphere of Club 33. Then, by all means, imbibe).

More than a few of you wrote to tell me about your own experiences with "Nasty Excuses" in the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. It seems we have all run into them. It also seems we appreciate the marvelous Cast members like Jacob who turned a bad experience for me into a magical one. 

Next time youíre at Disneyland try to spend some time to be extra nice to the Cast members. Say hello and ask the them how their day is going. Youíd be surprised how much a little pleasantry like that is appreciated. And just maybe, your little moment of kindness to a Cast member will transmute into a magical moment for another guest.

Mark sent these kind words to me:

Sue, I am so happy for you that you had such a special experience in the Mansion! When even Disneyland regulars such as yourself can still be delighted by great cast members, it lets me hold out hope that the Disney magic we all love hasn't been entirely banished from the Park!

In my fantasy version of that ride you took... Sue and group remain behind in the stretch room. The other guests, with the Idiots leading the pack, are directed down the corridor. They walk the dark hall toward the doombuggies. Wait -- what's this? -- this is different... An appropriately attired and ghoulish looking maid appears in the middle of the passage, and pulls open a panel to expose a previously unseen doorway.

She instructs the guests to use this alternate route to their destination, as the normal path is temporarily "under destruction". After the last Idiot is through, the door is slammed shut. The other guests proceed normally to the ride. The Idiots walk to the end of their own corridor, push through the door, and find themselves in the fresh cool California night air.

It makes me so angry when jerks are disrespectful of other guests in that attraction! I'm 42 and have loved Disneyland all my life. But since I live in Michigan and have never had lots of money for travel, I've only been able to make two visits. Fortunately, my last visit to the Park was a multi- day one, and I was able to ride my favorite attractions many times. About half the times I visited the Mansion, there were jerks who were quite noticeably either making fun of the attraction in line or inside, screaming and carrying on in the stretch room, or mis- behaving so blatantly in their doombuggies that the ride was brought to a halt. I was irritated enough that they were diminishing my experience, but, like you, I was especially angry that they were subjecting first timers to their ride- spoiling idiocy.

I know it's not fair to hold one person (or company) responsible for someone else's behavior, but I really wish the management at Disneyland would come up with a typically clever way to stop this sort of thing from happening...

Obviously, you've given me my first opportunity to vent about something that's bugged me for a while -- I'm sorry if I've gone on too long! Thank you very much for writing that piece. (Not to mention all your other

interesting contributions to the site.) And I can't wait for Part II!

Here's to many many more enchanted times in the Park --

You did not go on too long, Mark, vent away! And, I loved your fantasy for the Nasty Excuse- type of person. Would that we could rid ourselves of them that easily. I concur that it would be marvelous if Disneyland had a way of dealing with these folks, but unfortunately Disneyland cannot do much... as where do you draw the line? One personís fun is another personís annoyance. It puts Disneyland in a bad spot and I truly believe they do the best they can in handling unruly guests. 

And you must remember, there are the Cast members. Most of them are sterling and very under-appreciated (especially by management ó in my not so humble view). They do their best to make each guestís experience a positive one. Every now and then you get a Cast member like Jacob who goes an extra step to make one guestís day a truly magical one.

And that, Dear Readers is, as they say on Casey Junior, "The end of the lion"...-



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