So, I haven’t made a personal post in a while, so I thought I’d update you on my life a bit. First off, the biggest news since the Shining Stars Young Adult Rocky Mountain Adventure is that I went to Disneyland! It was quite an experience.
First off, let me explain how I ended up going to Disneyland. I went with Maus because he was going as part of this group called the Ultima Dragons. You see, Ultima is a computer game series first created when computer games were starting to become a thing. The first games were created on computers like the Apple IIe and such, and a few of the games, particularly Ultima 4 and Ultima 6 I believe got ports to other platforms such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The thing about the Ultima games is that they were, in their own way, genre-defining for computer role-playing games, or at least very very influential. If you have ever used any type of “morality” system in a computer role-playing game, you can thank Ultima for the influence as Richard Garriot, the designer of Ultima, created the (in)famous virtue system and the character known as the Avatar. See, in Ultima 4 I believe, “Quest of the Avatar” the game was set up in such a way that you didn’t really slay a particular evil beast or rescue a princess. Instead, you went on a “spiritual” quest to become the “Avatar,” and to do so you had to master the eight virtues. Back in the day, this was totally different than most other role-playing games.
So, also back in the day, there was a fan community started on the online service Prodigy called the “Ultima Dragons”. This fan community became quite large and successful and eventually migrated off of Prodigy and onto the internet (known as the “Internet Chapter”). Well, this year they celebrated their 25th Anniversary and decided to do so at Disneyland in California. In fact, Richard Garriot, otherwise known as “Lord British”, was also going to attend the 25th Anniversary. Seeing as how Maus owns his book and loves his games, we had to attend. Maus has been a member of the Ultima Dragons for quite a while now, and the organizers asked him to sing at the event! So, he did some pieces based on the eight virtues, including the famous “Stones” song that is found in the Ultima games. Below is a video excerpt I captured of his performance:
Anyways, I thought I’d feature some of my journey through the posts I made on Instagram. We got to the airport, and only then did we realize we didn’t have headphones. I usually pack mine, but I had forgotten and didn’t pack them. So I was like, “Okay, easy, we’ll just buy headphones.” Yeah, right, headphones in the airport are expensive! We went into the book store and found some headphones, I thought these looked perfect for Maus:
Heehee, well, they would’ve been perfect for Mr. Princess but it was not to be. I found some interesting glasses too, which we almost got:
Fortunately for us, there was a kiosk that was selling all sorts of different headphone and sound-related equipment, and I had the keen eye to spot some earbuds for only $15. So we got those for Maus. He said he needed some headphones so he could study the music he was going to be singing at the event. I did not buy myself any headphones, I could live without music if they were going to cost as much as they did at the bookstore. I hate earbuds, they make my ears hurt. I only wear them when I fursuit.
So we get on the plane, and yes, I did go through the machine in security where it scans your whole body. If you know me, you know that this is a big deal, as I was very wary of the previous incarnations of the machines and how much they violated your privacy. But, the new ones allegedly only tell the operators where potential things are as opposed to showing them your naked body, so I’ve decided that they are okay to go through now. We got on the airplane and flew to California. It was a 10 PM flight, so we ended up getting to the smallest hotel I’ve ever seen at about 1 in the morning. Unfortunately, this meant Maus only got several hours of sleep before he had to sing. So we Uber on up to the Disneyland Hotel (which I hope to stay at someday), and of course, I have to take a pic of The Mouse:
I accidentally forgot my medication back at the hotel room, so I had to Uber my way back to the hotel and get them (because I hadn’t even taken them). D’oh! But, as soon as I got back to the hotel, Maus pulled me aside and asked, “Do you want to take a picture with Lord British?” I was like, “Uh, yeah!” So I got a picture with Lord British!
That was pretty neat. He’s really a cool seeming guy. From what I interacted with him, which wasn’t very much, he was pretty neat. He actually did give talks at the event for hours, which was pretty cool. I also met Dr. Cat, but unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture with him. I actually introduced myself to Dr. Cat at the luncheon, which if you know me is a big deal. Dr. Cat is the programmer behind Furcadia and also worked on the Ultima series. That was pretty neat.
There was a cool band there besides Maus called “Recap”. I’m not sure what happened to the name exactly because I guess they were known previously as something related to Ultima. Anyways, they were pretty cool, and I captured Lord British dancing, as well as a tribute they did to Star, otherwise known as “Lord Blackthorne”:
From there, we went to Disneyland the next day. And of course, I had to do one thing for sure… and that’s to ride Space (or Hyperspace now) Mountain!
Disneyland was an interesting experience. There were times I could tell it was built in the fifties, which isn’t a bad thing, it’s just kind of… old. And I never had the chance to experience Disneyland as a kid, as Maus had, so I didn’t have any feelings of nostalgia with it. That’s the thing I think I was missing a bit. My mother the Enlightener told me that she thinks I’ve become somewhat jaded, which I hate to think is true. It was interesting seeing the rides from an adult perspective, and seeing what people were willing to stand in line for an hour for. Not that any of it was bad, I had a very good time, I’m just not sure if it was as magical for me as Maus and I had hoped. It made me think quite a bit of my former friend Poison Fairy. When I was growing up in Handyville she was one of my few close friends from school, and she talked about Disneyland and Disneyworld like it was this amazing magical place. And it is, I can see that. But I thought about how here I was finally experiencing the Haunted Mansion, something she talked about specifically, and she’s blocked on Facebook. Not that I would change anything, she’s blocked for a reason, but I just waxed emotional because here I was, and there she wasn’t, after all this time (about 15 years). However, I did know one thing, and that was the quote from the Golden Girls: “Let’s go to Disneyworld and ride the teacups!” / “Too wild Rose!” So of course, I had to do this:
Rose sure knows a good time! Let me tell you, the teacups were fantastic. We went on all the major rides except for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland (cause it was closed), and Snow White’s Scary Adventure. It actually was drizzling most of the time we were there, which was okay, it just meant a few things were closed. Thankfully it didn’t interrupt the fireworks or the electrical parade. Maus was able to capture both of those. Here’s the key, go on a Sunday and get a good seat for the fireworks and then you can glide over and get an awesome seat for the second parade:
The next day we went to California Adventure, which I thought was a little neater. The first ride we did was the Toy Story ride, where you get to shoot these guns onto 3D screens. That was kind of interesting, and Maus totally smoked me score-wise. But this eight-year-old on the other cart had twice as many points as Maus did! At the entrance to California Adventure, I was able to capture one of the characters hiding from the drizzle outside. Because it was drizzling the characters weren’t really out in the public doing their thing, so it was nice I got Pluto:
In a way, I suppose I wish I could be a “fur” at Disneyland. What that means is that I’d be a character who doesn’t show his face, such as Donald Duck or Pluto. I’d love it if my job were just to walk around interacting with people in a costume like that. I mean, I do that for fun for free! But alas, it is not to be for the moment… So we went around California Adventure for a bit, rode all the cool rides. The Radiator Springs ride was actually really good. I was impressed with the animatronics, they were pretty good. Of course, I particularly enjoyed California Screamin’, finally convincing Maus to go on the ride. He was hesitant, but afterward, he was like, “That didn’t seem as scary as I remember it…” Perhaps a bit of the loss of magic in him as well? Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go on the Ferris wheel or see the World of Color show because both were currently out of commission. But, I did capture the Ferris wheel on my crappy iPhone camera (zoomed in):
So, we wandered our way home and in Downtown Disney I spotted this cute little guy at the Build a Bear shop:
I would’ve built a bear, cause it was just TOO cute, but we were on a bit of a budget, and saving our money for the Rainforest Café, which we DID go to. We wanted to go to the Carthay restaurant inside California Adventure, but apparently, you have to book that a couple of days in advance, and there was just no way we were getting in on a walk-in basis. Ah well, Rainforest was nice. I have WAY more pictures than I posted on Instagram, and I’ve collected them together into a gallery below:
And finally, below, are some random video bits Maus and I were able to capture throughout Disneyland that didn’t make it onto Instagram either. First is the music machine that plays in the candy shop which was kind of neat. Maus tells me that there is something like that in the center of the Carousel as well. Then it moves on to the Small World ride show when the clock bongs and the figurines come out. After that are a couple of window displays, one without sound. The Ferris wheel’s brilliant colors are displayed, and then, finally the Toon Town Electric Company Door. It’s pretty impressive in person.
That’s it for now! Disneyland was awesome, and I’m looking forward to someday visiting Disneyworld. Maus says it’s bigger better and more exciting!