(Fade in to Jerk kissing his long strands of hair at Disneyland)
Jerk: Luscious locks... (Notices the camera) Oh, hi. Some Jerk with a Camera here, and welcome to my second ever episode on the tenth anniversary of Disney's California Adventure. I originally shot this episode in February of 2011, the month of the ten-year anniversary, and was released March 8th, 2011. At that time they were refurbishing much of DCA, so the place was a veritable sea of work walls. Even the front entry way was blocked by a work wall and I got into a very heated debate with that work wall on some very impertinent issues. (Cut to clip of Jerk banging his head against the wall at the DCA entrance, foreshadowing what we'll be seeing later. Cut back.) Well, guess what? (Jerk turns the camera at a 45 degree to reveal that he's standing in front of the DCA gates.) I WIN!!!
(Cut to Jerk at Disney's California Adventure. The aforementioned attractions appear behind him as he says them)
Jerk: Nowadays, of course, the walls have long since tumbled down and DCA has opened such attractions as Buena Vista Street, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, and of course Cars Land. Maybe I'll review them someday. Who knows? But, in the mean time, please enjoy this nostalgic trip to DCA's first ten years. (fade out)
Jerk: To all who come to this happy place, welcome. I'm Some Jerk with a Camera.
(Titles; cut to footage of DCA commercial)
Jerk (v/o): On February 8th, 2001, for the first time in almost fifty years, a brand new Disney park opened in Southern California. Located across from Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure celebrated the natural and man-made wonders of its home state of...
(Cut to clip from The Wizard.)
(cut to Jerk at Disneyland entry way)
Jerk: I'm here ten years later in February 2011. I've been in a comma for the last ten years, but the last thing I saw before the accident was a commercial for Disneyland's glorious new second gate.
(Cut to said commercial for Disney's California Adventure; a mountain formation of a bear comes to life and roars)
Jerk (v/o): Holy shit, a roaring mountain? That's... (Caption appears: "Mountain does not actually roar") (Jerk groans) Considering the huge celebrations, they threw for Disneyland's tenth back in 1965 (footage form the Disneyland 10th Anniversary parade plays) and Disney World's tenth back in '81 (footage from Disney World's 10 Anniversary parade plays) ...
Jerk: I'll bet Disney's California Adventure is planning one mother of a blowout. You can't spell "decade" without DCA, or ECD (Elderly Cockroach Disease), or CAE (Charo's Aborted Elephants) for that matter. It's all discussed in my two-week seminar, How to Spell Things with Other Things next month at the Madison Radisson. But I digress. Come on, let's check out the birthday parade!! (throws a 'come on over' gesture, walks toward his right, and bumps face first into a wall at DCA's gate) A wall?
Jerk (v/o): Yes, DCA is turning ten years old, and like most California ten-year-olds, it's getting its first facelift. You can barely swing a dead pope around here without hitting a work wall, behind which something new is being constructed. And there's not even a sliver of a tenth anniversary celebration anywhere. How did it come to this? Why only now are they building so much stuff? Why building a theme park about...
Jerk (v/o): ... in...
Jerk (v/o): ...in the first place?
Jerk: (guessing) I'm gonna say... altruism.
(Flash picture of Michael Eisner wearing a golden pair of Mickey Mouse ears; Caption: "Greed" in green letters; Sound: wrong buzzer)
Jerk: Dammit! I never get these right.
Jerk (v/o): Ever since the 1980's, Michael Eisner wanted to expand Disneyland from, let's face it, the world's most famous local theme park into a full-blown resort, where tourists could spend days worth of money. And the best way to do this was to build a second on the old parking lot and move parking to a brand-new massive structure, the second biggest parking structure in the country warped only by the Detroit Airport.
(Cut to Jerk at Taste Pilots' Grill*)
Jerk: Because if I lived in Detroit, I'd want to leave, too. And if my car was built there, it'd probably get as far as the airport before it blew up.
- Note: Taste Pilots' Grill has since closed and changed into Smokejumpers Grill)
Jerk (v/o): But what could Disneyland's second gate possibly be? The original concept of Westcot, sort of West Coast Epcot, became too expensive and Eisner really wanted to save up for that huge yacht to hold all his smaller yachts, so, like any other creative evil genius, he tried to solve the problem by digging deep into its essences.
(Cut to Michael Eisner, played by Jerk wearing a black fedora and an eyepatch stroking a doll of Marie from Aristocats. His name is Jeffrey Kitty-Cat-zenberg.)
Jerk/Eisner: (German accent) We want the tourists to stay in the park. Why do they leave the park?
Jerk/Assistant: Well, uh, Mr. Eisner, sir. According to the market research we've done, people leave because so they can explore the rest of California.
Jerk/Michael Eisner: Then we will bring the rest of California... (Throws the cat doll in the fireplace) HEE-E-E-E-E-E-E-RE!!!
(Thunderclap as the opening bars of "Bells of Notre Dame" play; cut to clip from Young Frankenstein)
Frederick Von Frankenstein: IT!! COULD!!!! WORK!!!!
Jerk (v/o): Yeah, that's how you expand worldwide appeal, devote over 50 acres to 1/50th of a country. Even World Showcase got nine countries and that was only half the park. But beyond that, Disneyland had always been about the exotic, the nostalgic past, the world of fantasy, the rustic old West, the jungles of Africa, and a future that was too stupid to be. And to complement all that, its new neighbor would have key replicas of real things that are less than one day's drive away. Only here, they're smaller.
(Nearby the Golden Gate Bridge)
Jerk: Yeah it's okay, but if only it had a monorail going across it.
(At the Palace of Fine Arts)
Jerk: Yeah it's semi-breath-taking, but if only it had a Whoopi Goldberg film in it.
(At Disneyland's Main Entry)
Jerk: Yeah it's good, but if only it sucked. Then you'd have something!
Jerk (v/o): By the time opening day rolled by, they had 22 attractions ready to go. Some of them were really good (Soarin'), some of them were god-awful (Superstar Limo), and one of them was... a tractor.
(Cut to Jerk nearby a Cars Land work wall with a picture of a tow)
Jerk: That's right, a tractor. Not a working tractor, of course, that would be too interesting, but a real tractor that stood still and you could climb into it and look at the controls and imagine how farming works. That's not even an idea, that's just bad cellphone reception.
Jerk/CEO: We need something big that'll really attract people, some HUGE attractor.
Jerk/Contractor: (scribes down on his notepad) Huge, tractor. Got it. (Gazes at his notepad and regretfully walks away)
Jerk (v/o): To promote the park, they made these bizarre commercials where the Disney characters try to peek at the new park in town.
Goofy: Well, let's go see, 'em.
Buzz Lightyear: Easy there, big guy. Nobody likes a nosy neighbor.
Jerk: (confused) Kind of a mixed message.
(Cut to a gift shop where toy versions of Buzz Lightyear and Goofy (both voiced by Jerk) are talking to each other.)
Jerk/Buzz Lightyear: Look at that phenomenal theme park over there. Let's stay out of it.
Jerk/Buzz Lightyear: Uh... Because they don't need us.
Jerk/Goofy: They need us to promote it apparently.
Jerk/Buzz Lightyear: Nah, they'll be alright. They have a tractor.
Jerk/Goofy: (pause) I thought I was supposed to be the idiot.
Jerk/Buzz Lightyear: Look, let's just see how well they do without us and then- (flash image of a promotional image of Epcot Center) Oh, yeah, they're doomed. Alright, move'm out, let's go.
Jerk (v/o): They also produced an hour-long TV special about the park for ABC and the Disney Channel. I love how it (the subtitle under the title) says "In California" at the bottom, like any other state would give a shit. The special was hosted by Spin City's Barry Bostwick...
Jerk (v/o): ... and Richard Kind...
Jerk (v/o): ... Along with Whose Line Is It Anyway's Not-Wayne-Brady (Colin Mochrie) and Not-Wayne-Brady-2:-The-Legend-of-Curly's-Gold (Brad Sherwood).
Bostwick: Well, you got quite a little park, here.
Guard 1: Whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa-whoa whoa. This is hardly 'a little park.'
Jerk: Okay, I missed something. When did "hardly" mean "exactly"?
Jerk (v/o): The special is mostly terrible, but it is kind of a nifty time capsule of what the park was like in its first year.
(Cut to Jerk at a game shack at Paradise Pier)
Jerk: And it's the perfect basis for DCA's brand new game show, (logo appears on screen) IS IT STILL THERE!!!
(Circle swipe transition to Jerk hosting his new game show. Music plays during the intro and sounds of applause accompany)
Jerk: Hello, and welcome to America's only game show, "Is It Still There." I'm Some Jerk with a Camera. Let's meet our contests. From Somejerkwithacamera.blip.tv, It's Some Jerk with a Camera!!
(On Jerk's left is Jerk 2 waving to the audience, sounds of applause are heard)
Jerk: And all the way from the Twitter Feed, at TonyGoldmark, it's Some Jerk with a Camera!!
(On Jerk's right is Jerk 3 waving to the audience, sounds of applause are heard)
Jerk: Alright Jerks, you both know the rules. You both have those sound effects painfully implanted in your palm. (Demonstrates by pounding his fist on his palm; the sound effect is taken from the Fast Money board in Family Feud) Let's play the game.
(Cut to footage from DCA Special with the featured attraction)
Jerk (v/o): The Bountiful Valley Farm, where California farming comes alive and kills everyone with boredom and the cast members forget their own memories!
Female farmer: California is the... the top producer in... more than 350 different varieties in farm products, including cheese.
(Cut back to the park)
Jerk: For ten points, is it still there? (Jerk 3 buzzes in) Jerk!!
Jerk 3: Hell yeah, it's still there, because who doesn't love tractors!
Jerk: Ooh, I'm sorry. Even as we speak, it's being turned into a portion of Cars Land. (We see The Bountiful Valley Farm surrounded by a work wall; back to park) No dare at stake, no money changing place. Next question!
(Cut to the special with another DCA attraction)
Jerk (v/o): The ABC Soap Opera Bistro. This special devoted four and a half minutes to this soap-themed eatery with a long pointless bit in which Not-Wayne-Brady (Brad Sherwood) thinks a bunch of soap stars are their characters.
(Inside the Bistro, Guard 2 is sitting at a dinner table opposite actress Jacklyn Zeman, from the daytime soap General Hospital.)
Jacklyn Zeman: I'm an actress.
Guard 2: (melodramatically suspicious) You sure are... like when you fooled everybody to thinking you were having a baby!!
(Back to Jerk)
Jerk: For 20 points, is it still there? (Jerk 2 buzzes in) Jerk!!
Jerk 2: Well, Jerk, you know I love my stories and I'm pretty sure everyone's me. So, I'm going to say "yes."
Jerk: Ooh, I'm sorry. It lasted less than two years.* Only bored housewives care about that crap. Okay, the score's tied at zero to zero and now it's our final question worth one hundred points rendering this entire exercise meaningless.
- ABC Soap Opera Bistro has now been changed into a Disney Junior Dance Party.
Jerk (v/o): The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail with a... (we here an unknown buzzer)
Jerk: Who buzzed in? Jerk or Jerk?
Jerk 2: It was Jerk.
Jerk: Jerk, what do you think?
Jerk 3: Gone! It's gotta be gone, right? It was here, so it's gotta be gone!
Jerk 2: Uh, Jerk? (points toward Jerk 3 indicting to look behind him. Confused, Jerk 3 does and sees that the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is behind him and therefore still there. Wrong buzzer.)
Jerk: And that's the game. Neither of you won, so you'll BOTH be sold off for medical experiments!
Jerk 2: Dammit!
Jerk 3: Again?!
Jerk: Join us next week for whatever reality show winds up replacing, IS IT STILL THERE!!!! (The logo appears onscreen and theme plays; Jerk dances to the song.)
(Cut to commercial taping of DCA)
Jerk (v/o): At last, the big day came: February 8th, 2001.
(Cut to Jerk at the left side of a wall with the words reading "Once Upon a Time")
Jerk: Disney's California Adventure opened it's golden gates and immediately failed to meet projected attendance.
(The music slows to a stop when Jerk says "failed". Dissolve to the image of the bear-shaped mountain with the sound of crickets chirping.)
(Cut to a clip from Al TV, a bunch of farmers and tourists gaze at something from distance)
Announcer: There's a whole bunch of people looking at some- (excited) what's everybody looking at? It's A TRACTOR!! WO-O-O-O-OWWW!! Look at that tractor!! Boy, I've never seen a tractor like that one before!!
(Cut to clip from Young Frankenstein)
Frederick Von Frankenstein: (Strangling the monster) SON OF A BITCH!! BASTARD!! I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS!!!
Jerk (v/o): The lack of originality would hit you literally right out of the gate when you entered Sunshine Plaza and heard a collection of famous pop songs about California.
Jerk: Because nothing says cutting edge theme park like a K-Tel record!!
Announcer: (voiced by Jerk) Now available from the Sunshine Plaza loudspeakers, it's (Also Caption) Now That's What I Call Theme Park, featuring a million familiar hits that you're sick to bloody death of because why create when licensing is way more expensive. Only from Disney, the corporation that hates money.(Showing a list of California-based songs: "California Dreamin'," "California Girls," "California, Here I Come," "California Sun," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose," "Hollywood Nights," "Hooray for Hollywood," "Hotel California," "I Love LA," "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena," "Rape Me," "Route 66," "San Francisco Bay Blues," "San Francisco (Flowers in your Hair)," "Smack My Bitch Up," "Surf City," "Surfin' USA," "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport," "Too Drunk to Fuck," "Weasel Stomping Day" )
Jerk: But what about that most crucial element of a theme park's success? The central icon, the huge towering structure that beckons you forward from the entrance. Would it be a fantasy castle? A towering tree of life? A ginormous golf ball? Or something bigger and better than the three combined?
(Cut to that very icon of Disney's California Adventure, The Sun Icon at Sunshine Plaza, set to a big epic chord; cut back)
Jerk: (disappointed) A big old hubcap that looks almost exactly nothing like the sun. (walks closer to the camera) It's like you want to fail.
Jerk (v/o): And fail it did. But, unlike a failed movie which can leave theaters after a few weeks, DCA just sort of stood there, like an annoying neighbor who just won't move away. Sure, he's got a cool flight simulator in his basement (Soarin'), but then you got to talk to the guy... and he's boring (Golden Dreams). The biggest complaint was that too many of its rides were unoriginal, generic amusements that might feel more at home at a Six Flags or a county fair.
Jerk: Paradise Pier was built in tribute to the legendary seaside amusement parks of decades gone by. Only a confused, old fart like this guy wouldn't approve of that.
(Cut to an interview of Walt Disney where he discusses his building of Disneyland)
Walt Disney: I felt that there should be something built, some kind of an amusement paradise built, where the parents and the children could have fun together.
Jerk (v/o): (in a wacky voice, spoken over circus music) HEY KIDS!! Come down to Paradise Pier and be jostled around a lot!! We've got the Roller Coaster (California Screamin'), the Spinny Thing (Orange Stinger), the Ferris wheel (Sun Wheel), the Droppy Thing (Maliboomer), the Other Spinny Thing (Golden Zephyr), the Other Roller Coaster (Mulholland Madness), (the words "Don't worry, parents! We got booze!" flash) the Smaller Droppy Thing (Jumpin' Jellyfish), and the Other Other Spinny Thing (King Triton's Carousel)! Only here at the Santa Monica Pier!! (normal voice) Even California Screamin', which might be one of the best roller coasters ever built is still just a roller coaster. An awesome roller coaster, but not quite a Disney roller coaster.
Jerk: How can the Imagineers sleep at night (face turns from disappointed to excited) over the screams of hundreds of thrill-seekers accelerating from zero to 55 miles per hour in four seconds, plunging down an exhilarating hundred-foot drop, looking to the face of God (there used to be a Mickey Mouse insignia in the back of said loopdy-loop) on the loopdy-loop and... there's no story, so it's no good. (crossing his arms and throwing his chin up) Hmmph!!
Jerk (v/o): Okay, so DCA was not completely devoid of wind, but, for the most part, it was still the Jan Brady of theme parks, the Art Garfunkel of theme parks, the Disney's California Adventure of theme parks. And just to add insult to injury, later that same year, the Tokyo Disneyland Resort opened it's own second gate, Tokyo DisneySea.
Jerk: Tokyo Disneyland? They're not even owned by the Disney Company. What kind of dog and pony show did they call a theme park?
(Footage from Tokyo Disneyland, set to the Sherman Brothers tune "Meet the World")
Jerk: (outraged) The Japanese beat us at something that combines technology with artistry? How's that even possible? We're way smarter than the- (realizing something) well no... Our cartoons are way better than (realizing again) Well, no... Our sexual perversions- (hesitates) Ugh! ... we're taller! That's right! We are taller than them!! U.S.A!! (Immediately starts crying) U.S-- I'm gonna go get drunk.
Jerk (v/o): So, time marched on. The pointless musical Steps in Time was blown away by the winds of time, which also blew away the truly repulsive Superstar Limo.
Announcer: And the worst thing is... it blew away the tractor and now we have nothing to look at!!
Jerk (v/o): Another common complaint was that there wasn't much in the park for little kids. So, in 2002, they opened A Bug's Land, after California's most famous insignificant blood-sucking parasites. (Cut to a photo of the logo for TMZ) Yep, too easy.
Jerk: A Bug's Land gave this park exactly what it so desperately needed: More generic rides!!
(Footage from the rides play as the circus music starts going crazy; speeding up and slowing down and back and forth)
Jerk (v/o): (even wackier voice) The Spinny Thing (Flik's Flyers), the Other Spinny Thing (Francis's Ladybug Boogie), the Choo-Choo Train With The Voice Of a Dead Man (Heimlich's chew-chew train), and the Bumper Cars That Are Too Slow To Bump (Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies)!! It's too exciting!! I can't stand it!!
Announcer: (Doodles Weaver from the Spike Jones arrangement of "Dance of the Hours" by Ponchielli) Number ten is taking the lead around the park. Turning cars number 13, 16, 17, the green car, blue car, the first car by the ...
Jerk (v/o): Then in 2003, they opened Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular.*
- Note: Of course, the Aladdin Show has been replaced with Frozen -- Live at the Hyperion
(Cut to Jerk standing by a window at Hyperion Theater)
Jerk: Apparently, Agrabah was in California the whole time.
(Cut to a still of palace in Agrabah; Caption reads: "When cameling on I-5, visit beautiful Agrabah, CA")
Jerk: Well, it does explains the customer service.
Merchant: Do you know what the penalty is for STEALING?!!
Jerk (v/o): The show was a Broadway-style extravaganza filled with bad acting and even worse improvising.
(Cut to a clip from a staging: Aladdin jumps over the balcony)
Jasmine: Ali!! (The actress runs toward the balcony and trips midway and crashes into it, literally breaking the scenery)
Jerk (v/o): Way to showboat, princess. Then in 2004 came the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror,* a haunted elevator drop ride that thrilled guests at Disney World for ten years and inspired a shitty Steve Guttenberg movie. (Caption: "Is there any other kind?")
- Note: Need I say more?
Jerk: But even with those astonishing three new things, DCA still wasn't quite a match for the greatest theme park of all time (Disneyland). So, the folks at Disney rolled up their sleeves... and basically gave up.
Jerk (v/o): They went FOUR YEARS before opening their next huge ride. They opened a couple of smaller things like Turtle Talk with Crush and a Monster's Inc dark ride, but no one seriously expected those to turn the tide. When Disneyland celebrated its golden anniversary in 2005, they barely mentioned DCA at all.
Jerk: We're here to celebrate fifty years of this wonderful magical theme park. What's that? Oh, the thing outside. That's not a theme park, that's ...um, that's, mummu muuum uum you imagined it. It was a dream. You saw nothing.
(Cut to clip from Men in Black where J and K are erasing the memories at the audience. Fade from white to that clip from The Wizard.)
Jerk (v/o): But that all started changing when Disney finally traded the SN in Eisner's name for a G. Bob Iger replaced Michael Eisner in 2006. And while Eisner tried to sweep DCA's problems under the rug, Iger admitted in the press that the park was mediocre and promised to expand and improve it. And in 2008, the first fruits of those labors were seen with Toy Story Mania, a kick-ass 3D video game ride. It was the first thing on Paradise Pier that really felt like Disney had created it. And almost three years later, it still gets massive lines, even in the off-season and even with a home version available. Nothing could erode public interest in breaking dinner plates in 3D. Come here you little fuckers! I'll break you yet! Fuck you, mom!
Jerk: And that was just the beginning. Before long, they re-Disney-fied everything on Paradise Pier, starting with their new and improved Ferris Wheel (Mickey's Fun Wheel)! It's the exact same ride, but now Mickey's on it! Hi, Mickey!! He never waves back.
Jerk (v/o): They also turned the Spinny Thing into a different Spinny Thing (Silly Symphony Swings), they're turning the Other Roller Coaster into another Other Roller Coaster (Goofy's Sky School), and they dropped the Droppy Thing entirely.
(Cut to Jerk in front of Paradise Pier; Caption: "An Imagineer Who Looks Like Me")
Jerk/Imagineer: What more could you monkeys possibly want? You want money? Is that it? Is that it? Okay, there's a dollar under every se- there's not really a dollar. Um, sorry. uh.... Look, this money's gotta last us for like five or ten years, I mean we already spent the first half billion on the giant Mr. Potato Head. (At that same attraction, Jerk whispers to the camera) It's a real potato. We genetically mutated it. It's gonna kill us all some time in the next five years. Shh!! Keep it happy. (Turn back to Mr. Potato Head and pretends to laugh)
Jerk (v/o): Then, in 2010, came the World of Color, a truly magnificent nighttime spectacle of water and music and color and light. DCA finally had a lot to sell, but they still couldn't quite use DCA to sell it.
Announcer: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at the Disneyland Resort. (edit) Toy Story Mania, now open at the Disneyland Resort. (edit) World of Color, now at the Disneyland Resort.
Jerk (v/o): Subtle. Look how small the word 'resort' is. Then, you'd get there and they'd be all...
Jerk/Worker: Hi! Welcome to Disneyland! If you're here for that cool new thing we've been promoting incessantly, it's in that park! (points to the left) The one that does exist evidently, who knew?
Jerk (v/o): And there's even more on the horizon. They're opening a shiny new Little Mermaid ride on June 3rd. And, for next year, they're building a brand new land based on the movie Cars and turning that craptastic entry plaza into the extremely promising Buena Vista Street.
Jerk: And that's what these work walls are for. It's been over ten years since Disney paved the parking lot and put up Paradise Pier and only now are they really trying to make it worthy of the Disney name. I just wish they started a couple years earlier so it could be done by now and they can celebrate the ten-cennial in style. Why do we even have ten fingers if we're not gonna use the number? Oh well. By 2012, assuming the Mayans were wrong and this doesn't happen, (showing clip of the Earth exploding) DCA will gloriously rebirth itself for a much better 11th anniversary, because they like to go one step beyond. In the meantime, if you're coming to Disneyland, don't be deterred by the work walls, embrace them, like this. (turns toward a work wall behind him, spreads his arms out, and hugs it) Come here you rapscallion.
Jerk (v/o): I mean, this isn't Wally World. They're not gonna waste everyone's time by closing the park for weeks. They put up work walls so they can keep the park open. A work wall means progress, a work wall means the future, a work wall means, "come back and give us even more hard-earned money next year."
Jerk: And what could possibly be more Californian than that? (snaps his fingers; Suddenly, he's riding on California Screamin') Until next time, I'm Some Jerk with a Camera. (The ride starts)
(End credits, set to "Second Best" by Barenaked Ladies)
(Static; cut to Mr Potato Head animatronic)
Mr Potato Head: Let's try that again. I love you, Mr. Potato Head!
Crowd: I LOVE YOU, MR. POTATO HEAD!!
(Jerk pops in front of the camera)
Jerk: It demands your worship.
(Static; end credits continue)
(Geekvision.tv and Channel Awesome logo)