Categories
family

Goodwin Knight

After dabbling into my family’s genealogy, I learned that one of my Grandpa Marshall Milner’s first cousins was the late Governor of California, Goodwin Knight.

Goodwin is the grandson of John Brewitt Milner, the first Milner in my family to emigrate to the American continent.

My dad told me a story about how one time his parents, Marshall and Sarah travelled to California to visit their daughter Joyce who was on a church mission. It was at this time that Goodwin was the governor of California. They found themselves not far from the governor’s mansion and Marshall having never met Goodwin, wanted to knock on his cousin’s door. However, my grandma insisted that the governor was too busy and that it would be a bother to disturb him. They never did meet. It’s really too bad.

Here is Goodwin at the opening of Disneyland in 1955.

Here he is again speaking after Walt just gave his opening speech. He has a look that reminds me of my Grandpa Marshall:

When it comes to Goodwin Knight, however, possibly more interesting to most is the fact that he was closely involved in the Warren Commission, officially titled The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. The Commission took its unofficial name—the Warren Commission—from its chairman, Chief Justice Earl Warren, whom Goodwin served under as the 35th Lieutenant Governor of California in the years before he became the Governor himself.

Goodwin died in 1970. See his New York Times obituary after the jump.

Categories
life travel

Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure – Day 2

Day two at Disneyland. Because we hit the park hard yesterday we felt it in our legs today. That didn’t hamper our spirits though and we strolled over to the park after a couple of continental breakfast pastries. I was thinking about an early morning dip in the hotel pool but it doesn’t open until 9am pretty much guaranteeing any serious ride goer like myself won’t be taking advantage of their facilities.

Hollywoodland
Hollywoodland

Today was a chance to catch-up on rides and attractions that we missed on day one. We were not disappointed! Rides we went on today included:

  • Hollywood Tower
  • Goofy’s Flight School Rollercoaster
  • Soarin’ Over California
  • Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • The Matterhorn Bob Sleds
  • Aladdin
  • Dinner at Carthay Circle
  • The Muppets in 3D
Categories
life travel

Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure

On our third day in California, we rose bright and early to hit the road pretty much exactly when the rest of Calfornia was on their way to work. While I knew that it was going to be a driving adventure, navigating that many lanes (at times as many as 8 going our direction) was something I hadn’t totally expected. Luckily we arrived without incident.

A sign shows the lanes that will take us to Los Angeles.
Plenty of traffic.

Once in the park, the secret to getting the biggest return on investment is knowing which rides are worth waiting in line and which are better to get a Fastpass. The newish Radiator Springs Racers Cars is a very popular attraction, so first things first, we found the Fastpass station and got hooked up! The thing about Fastpasses is that you’re only supposed to be able to get one at a time, however, we raced over to the line for Fastpasses to the World of Color because I had read that it isn’t on the same system as the other Fastpasses and, just like that, we were already working the park like pros!

Grizzly River Run
Grizzly River Run
Ascending Grizzly Peak
Ascending Grizzly Peak

Having secured our afternoon and evening at Disney’s California Adventure, it was time for our first ride and since we were standing next to the 110-foot Grizzly Peak, it was an obvious choice. Our first ride would be Grizzly River Run, the white-water rafting adventure at the mountain’s base.

Being early in the day, and a bit cool still, meant that we wouldn’t be waiting in line for very long. After a mere 10 minutes we found our selves strapped into the giant rubber rafting tube, slowing ascending the rickety conveyor belt, wondering who would get soaked first.

I came away from the ride only a little wet, Andrea got it worse than me, but one of the other guys on our raft was almost completely soaked. It was a lot of fun.

The rest of the day was great too. Next we popped over to Disneyland and discovered we could hold Fastpasses for one of the attractions in this park at the same time as we held them for DCA. We made some great memories as we hit up:

  • The Jungle Cruise
  • The Pirates of the Caribbean
  • The Haunted Mansion and
  • Splash Mountain

Then it was back to DCA for our chance to race one of the cars from Cars.

Radiator Springs Cars
Cars from Radiator Springs Racers zoom by in the background.

Probably my favorite ride of the day was California Screamin. Here’s the video.

disneyland-jeff-and-andrea

The last ride of the night was Space Mountain and then it was a well deserved rest back at the hotel so we can do it all over again tomorrow.

Categories
travel

California Adventure

It’s been over ten years since the last time I set foot in Disneyland, and I’m so excited about my trip next week that I can barely contain myself.

Disneyland won’t be the only place we’ll visit but it’s certainly the one I’m most excited about. I’ve been researching which days will be the busiest (they will all be equally busy), which rides to rush in and get fast passes for (the new Radiator Springs ride tops my list), and even which route we’ll drive when we get up early next week (it’s still up in the air between the California 91 Express and the 60) I guess I will decide based on that morning’s traffic report.

Here’s an animated gif of fireworks from the last time I was there. Back then, the closest thing my camera had to video capabilities was burst fire mode.

Animated Disneyland Fireworks

Categories
download Music

Disneyland Resort Paris Freebies

The Disneyland Resort Paris music site is offering used to offer free downloads of music from the park. The songs are available for two weeks and then rotated.

I’ll be interested if they offer any music from the attractions themselves or just area music. A while ago I started searching for some Pirates of the Caribbean music, but so far my search has been unsuccessful. Hopefully I’ll be able to find it here. (Yup, I got them)

Remember that you’ll have to unzip the files and enter the password they give you (www.dlrpmusic.com) but the downloads are free. You can also find more downloads in the bonus section.

Oh, and a word of warning, they have background music that plays automatically, ala webdesign 1996, but at least there is a stop button to turn it off.

(Leave me a comment if you’re looking for these files, I might still have a copy somewhere)

Categories
hypothetical

Disney to Build Third Park in Anaheim?

Rumours abound that Disney is buying up property to build another theme park next to Disneyland. It seems more likely the company just wants to build more hotels, but if they did build another park… I would love it!

The [Disney] company has slowly but steadily amassed 460 acres in Anaheim, including a prime chunk of strawberry fields down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland that is the designated site of a third park.

And someone is approaching the field’s neighboring landowners, trying to buy up land. Corona del Mar resident Benjamin Kraut, 81, said Disney offered to buy his 5 acres several years ago. Then, six months ago, a suitor Kraut declined to name offered him $14.5 million for the land where he co-owns a 90-unit apartment complex. He said it is not for sale.

Disney hasn’t unveiled plans for the Disney Resort—those typically come amid fanfare and orchestration&8212;but top executives have hinted at expanding existing markets and increasing its time-share offerings.

It’s fun to think about a new Disney theme park, but it’s safe to say that even if considerations for a new park are being thrown around, it will still be a good 25 years before anything comes to fruition. Disney’s California Adventure still needs more E-ticket attractions for one thing, and certainly in Disneyland itself they’ve got plenty of room to redevelop some of the less popular and less operational rides. (For example the revamping of the old Submarine Voyage into a Finding Nemo attraction.)

Categories
Art

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Papercraft Model

mansion3Last summer, Ray Keim of Haunted Dimensions released an extremely cool paper model of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

My brother and I started working on it as a summer project, but since he was only here for one afternoon, we didn’t get very far. Lately he’s been back visiting and it got me back working on it again. Today, it’s finally finished and it looks great!

Categories
Disney

Big Thunder Mountain Broken By Negligence

Not that we didn’t all know this before, but Disney has now officially stated that the Big Thunder Mountain railway accident last September was caused by poor maintenance.

Leslie Goodman, senior vice president of strategic communications for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts made the statement, “Our own analysis found that the accident was caused by incorrectly performed maintenance tasks required by Disneyland policy and procedures that resulted in a mechanical failure.”

The victim’s parents have made a settlement with Disney for an undisclosed amount of money.

Categories
friends travel

The Happiest Place on Earth

I am going to Disneyland. It’s official, Anna has purchased our passes, there is no turning back now. However I have some good news. It appears that I may be finishing school earlier than expected. I don’t believe I have any final exams outside of class time — which means I may be done as soon as December 6th. I am not sure how this will affect my desire to stay and swim for the last couple of weeks that Andy has practices sceduled. Actually I’m very certain this will negatively affect my desire to stay. Hmmm, and how am I going to explain my absence? I’ll keep you posted.

Categories
life travel

My Disneyland Vacation

Thursday, July 10th, 2003 – Early Evening

After deciding to actually go on this crazy trip the day had finally arrived (finally as in it had been almost 3 days since we got the tickets). I was planning to work both my life guarding job and then do 3 hours at the phone survey place. Well as luck would have it Anna-Maria talked me into phoning and getting the whole evening off so that we could just leave and get to Calgary. It was a good thing because it took me about an hour to get everything done I needed to, plus we ran over to Anna’s and then back to pickup some last minute laundry at my house. It was 9:30 by the time we arrived at Wally’s house. We ran out and got some food for Friday and Saturday from the nearby Safeway. Helga set the alarm clock for us and we hit the hay.

Friday, July 11th, 2003 – Early Smearly

I guess somehow the alarm clock was set half hour fast and at 3:30AM the annoying sound of an alarm clock went off, (actually it went on. To say that it went off would be lying. It was definitely on.) Anyway Wally was so kind as to drive us to the airport a little after 4:00AM as planned and then we were really off. After a quick layover in Seattle we arrived in sunny California and the fun began. Hitching a ride on the Disneyland Shuttle it didn’t take more than 45 minutes to be in the park. We bought our tickets and entered the happiest place on earth. It still gives me tingles just thinking about it. We did so much that day, it’s hard to remember all the places we went. Toon-Town to Roger Rabbit’s ride, bought some cotton candy, Splash Mountain, oh and we even went over and checked into our hotel. It was so much fun! Then evening we went into the Haunted Mansion and saw the truly spectactular show, Fantastica! It’s a laser/light/fireworks/live actor/animitronic masterpeice that takes place on Tom Sawyer Island and the Rivers of America. Truly an amazing site to see.

Saturday, July 12th, 2003

We got up early, went and had our complimentary hot breakfast in the train car restaurant next door to our hotel, and then walked over to the Disney Cast Building. I don’t know how nervous Anna was – I know I was nervous for her. I didn’t want to tell her I was nervous for fear that I might throw her off. She however seemed cool as a cucumber. The way the audition works was that everyone was assigned a number, and if when it came time for them to make cuts they read off numbers. If your number was called, that meant you were being cut. She said the highest number she noticed was 139. I left her to audition and hit Disneyland and California Adventure on my own. I remember as a kid, some of my fondest memories of Disneyland were from Tom Sawyer Island. I decided, well I’ll check out the old island and just see what’s over there. On the trip over I saw the character Tom Sawyer chatting it up with some of the other park guests, so when we arrived I followed him and he showed us around the Island. He showed us where Injuin Joe’s Spirit was trapped in a cave and what to do if we see him. He took us to his stash of pirate treasure that he and Huck Finn stole from Captain Hook’s own ship. Apparently Captain Hook has been circling the Island ever since trying to get his treasure back. Tom also took us through his caves up to a lookout fortress where we played “Fox and Rabbits”. It seemed a lot like hid and go seek, but a lot more fun since I was bigger than all the other kids playing. Actually I was on pretty even ground with them in my sandals, plus I wasn’t trying my hardest – didn’t want to look like a psycho. We stopped by the old graveyard, and up into Tom and Huck’s tree house where I learned their secret handshake. We also went down fishing – well attempted to fish, but they didn’t catch anything. They just didn’t have a clue as to how to catch fish. They figured it must have been some bad luck from “signing their names in all them people’s books”. Park guests would come up to them asking for autographs.

Later that day I checked up on Anna-Maria and we went to Taco Bell to get her some supper. She was doing great in her audition and she gave me all the details of her day so far. She had to go back for another couple of hours during which time I went and took in the X-Games at California Adventure.

Sunday, July 13th, 2003 – Call Backs and good news

Anna and I got our free breakfast again this morning and then headed to Disneyland to get in as much fun as we could before her 2:00 call back. We rode the matterhorn, Splash mountain, and California Screamin’ (the sweet rollercoaster they have in California Adventure) as well as the Jungle Cruise and Tarzans Treehouse. I can’t remember all the places we went, but we did a lot. We saw Muppets 3D and the Bug’s Life 3D movie as well. There was the Sword in the Stone Ceremony, not to mention watching all the parades and fireworks that evening. There were so many things we did that day. Anna went back and finished her call back and was offered the job. Whether she takes or not, well I’m not sure what she is going to do. Anyway we hooked up with cousin JP after the fireworks were over and he took us to his place in Fullerton. It’s a really cool place – I especially love the fact that they have an outdoor pool that their landlord maintains for them.

Monday, July 14th, 2003 – From Hollywood and Highland to Home

John Paul took us to Hollywood Blvd. where we checked out the Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We saw the cement handprints of famous actors from the last century and then took in lunch at Mel’s Diner. What a great day it was. Then it was off to the airport where we flew back to Calgary and slept another night at Wally’s. This time I set the alarm clock myself.

If anything this trip was not only a not a waste of money, it has been quite possibly the best trip I’ve ever been on. Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth. If you don’t believe me, then go check it out yourself, you won’t regret it.