Thursday, April 30, 2015

More Vintage Disneyland Tickets!

So...this month I went a little eBay crazy.

Last June I told you about some old ride tickets from Disneyland I got off eBay last year. And this past month, I got three more ticket sets. Older ones. Like, "probably older than your parents" old.

Like I said in that post, Disneyland used to charge for tickets to ride the rides, with the better rides being on the more expensive D and E tickets and were usually sold in books to save money. Four dollars was a lot back in the '50s, which is roughly $26.50 today, a total steal.

And if you remember, the older and more complete a ticket book is, the more they're worth. The two I got last year ran me back about 40 bucks for the set, these three ran over a hundred bucks. Each. You'll see why in a bit.

This book comes to us from 1958 and is a little beat up, but hey it still looks good for being nearly 60. The sellers were quite generous about presentation and included C and D tickets that were from a different book. The chances of having a ticket book that old with at least one of each ticket inside is so highly, highly unlikely that it'd be worth a lot more than the $139 I paid for it. It's a miracle that the other tickets were included at all.

Look at all those rides that aren't there anymore! And if you're wondering where the E tickets are, they were introduced in 1959 with the opening of the Monorail, the Matterhorn and the Submarine Voyage.

Of note is the Viewliner on the B ticket. It was a "futuristic train" that only operated from 1957-58 and was replaced by the Monorail. Walt Disney really loved his trains, there were three different train rides in Disneyland at the same time:  The main Disneyland railroad, the Viewliner, and the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland (called the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train back then).

You'll also notice that there were also three different Autopia rides. You know, the ride where you get to drive cars to simulate the miracle that is the Interstate Highway System. I'm not joking, that was the basis of the ride. Walt Disney thought interstates were so novel that he wanted his own Auto Utopia. So now you learned a new fact today that you can bother your girlfriend with.

The one in Tomorrowland is the ride that's still currently in Disneyland, which was merged with the Junior Autopia in Fantasyland in 1999. The Junior Autopia was pretty much the same ride but for the kids that weren't tall enough to ride the regular one. The Midget Autopia on the other hand was for the really little kids and was short-lived, lasting until 1966 when "it's a small world" was built on its space. You can read more about it here.

I also bought a book from 1957 from the same people, which was in better condition.

There was one ticket of each type in the book, with only the B ticket not being original. The only difference between the 1957 book and the 1958 one is size, with the 1957 being a rare Jumbo version, compared here:

Other than that, the rides on the tickets are exactly the same, with the E ticket rides I mentioned before coming in 1959. One's just easier to read while the other fits more easily into a pocket.

And just as I thought I was done with impulsively buying these things, someone pointed me to an auction for an A and B ticket from 1955, the year Disneyland opened. That was too tempting for me to pass up and one massive bidding war later, I am now in the possession of a pair of Disneyland relics.

Tickets weren't available in books until late in 1955, and the "ride" underneath each letter was changed to "coupon" in 1956.

You can find ticket books that old, but be prepared to pay at least a grand for it, like this pair of 1955 ticket books that only have A and B tickets in them.

$1200 for the unicorns of Disneyland memorabilia, folks. Even if these are rare as hell, there's a much better things to blow 1200 bucks on. For that much money I could actually take a nice vacation to Disney World! Maybe four, five days tops.

But the main reason I bought these tickets is right on the B ticket.

The Phantom Boats was the first ride to be removed for the park, only lasting until July of 1956. What I do know that it was a weird looking boat ride that kept getting plagued with engine problems, which led to its early closure. As it only existed during Disneyland's first year, there aren't many pictures of footage of it in action and any evidence I find, photographic or otherwise, absolutely fascinates me. I'm really happy to tell you all that I now own official evidence!

This is one of the clearest pictures I could find of it. Not even Yesterland could help me, I had to dig a little deeper into Google to get to this one. I can be corrected here but I'm pretty sure that they were in the same lagoon that the submarines are in.

Tomorrowland was pretty empty in the first few years of the park, with stuff like Space Station X-1 (also called Satellitte View of America) and Monsanto's Hall of Chemistry being star attractions before better rides like Space Mountain, the Astro Jets and Innerspace were added in their place. Stuff in that section felt  old and obsolete pretty quick and attractions were replaced all the time.

And just when I thought I was really done with this spree and filled with regret, I discovered that the people that sold me the 1957 and '58 books included some special gifts with the '58 book.

A complete book of Magic Key tickets! These were special tickets that got you on to any ride in the park. The catch is that you couldn't get these through normal means, you had to be in some sort of club or knew someone that worked at Disney or something to get these. But it really doesn't seem that exclusive since finding these on eBay is relatively easy, and this specific book was in near-pristine condition. A small crease on the back cover is what keeps this from being a 10/10 on terms of minty-ness.

According to the checklist on the back, this book seems to come from between 1974 and 1977 since it includes both the Mine Train (removed in 1977 to make way for Big Thunder Mountain) and America Sings (opened in 1974 and later had all the animal performers migrate to Splash Mountain). Since they're so common, these usually go for about $15 but getting one for free and in this great of condition was a really awesome treat.

I also got this Magic Key ticket in that same package and in sure it's older. If anyone can tell me what year this is from, that would be great.

And with that I had my eBay privileges revoked, at least for now. 

Be sure to check out Yesterland for more info in the extinct attractions and to Disneyland Memories' eBay page, where I got most of these tickets from.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

No Soup For You!

A few weeks back I got a chance to scratch an entry off my Bucket List. Hell, it was an entry on my "I'd Never Think I'd Ever Get To Do This" bucket list, right up there with meeting Stan Lee.

You guys remember the classic Soup Nazi episode of Seinfeld, right? The really mean soup guy who had a really specific set of instructions to order his soup or else you didn't get any? Sure you did, it's an American Classic. Not only one of the best episodes of Seinfeld, but one of the greatest half hours of TV. 

Did you know that he was based on an actual person and after years of being pissed off by that episode, decided to franchise his soup kitchens? He did, and there's an "Original SoupMan" soup stand in the Roosevelt Field Mall. 

For the last several months the mall completely renovated its food court and two Saturdays back it was finally ready for the public. You know who they got for the grand re-opening?

The fucking Soup Nazi. Larry Thomas himself would be on hand to serve soup from 11-3pm and you know damn well that I was gonna be there.

So here it is:

A bit blurry, but that's me getting soup from the Soup Nazi. I know, it's pretty great.

What's odd was that his presence wasn't that well known. One little blurb on Newsday's website and Twitter feed the day before was the only reason I knew he was coming. Lots of people were just passing by and gawking like "is that the Soup Nazi?" And then not going up to meet him like the jerks they are. Fortunately, this led to a pretty short wait.

But the 15 minutes I waited for this picture was worth every second. Totally nice guy to boot.

As long as you bought something from there, you got the following for free: the picture you see above, a box of SoupMan chicken noodle soup, and this pretty sweet autographed picture: 

So I guess you're thinking to yourself "did he say all the classic lines like 'No soup for you,' or 'bread THREE DOLLARS EXTRA'" and the like?

To answer your question: yes. Yes he did. You'd think after 20 years of that he'd be sick of it but he was pretty happy to scream all those classic lines at you. Hell, his handlers were egging people on to ask him for extra bread. There's no feeling like hearing that in person, and directed to you no less!

And if you must know, I got the lobster bisque. The guy really knows how to make soup, it was pretty freaking good.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

7 and Spock

Hey, guess what? Beaming For Bunnies is officially seven years old!

Yes, on February 27th, 2008 I started up this little corner of the Internet to combat my crippling depression following a recent breakup, and it's grown so much since then. The energy died down a few years back, but dammit I'm stubborn and I refuse to shut this place down!

So it's been quite a weird month, so much has happened in 28 days.

For one, this shark from the Super Bowl halftime show became a worldwide phenomenon.

As did a color-changing dress.

For the record, it was blue & black. Dumbasses.

After playing Pokémon games for 17 years I finally won the freaking lottery.

And now to never care about it again.

That dumb movie version of 50 Shades of Grey came out and was quickly forgotten, save for the thousands of memes it spawned.

Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel won big at the Oscars, proving whimsy has a place at fancy award shows (but sadly not movies about LEGO).

Seriously, so much whimsy is packed into each frame.

My Amiibo collection grew by quite a bit. Wave 3 finally came out and my God did preordering save a ton of frustration. I've got all 4 store exclusives (dubbed "The Four Horsemen" by how sought after they are). 

Below are Lucario (TRU), Rosalina (Target) and Shulk (GameStop):

And then came Meta-Knight (Best Buy):

Wave 4 is officially the Mario Party line, which I'm really not interested in save for Toad (who is already preordered).

I'm waiting for the Waluigi Amiibo, too. Soon...

And just when I thought I was in the clear, they announce this one:

Gold Mario, only exclusive to Wal-Mart. Son of a BITCH.
SNL celebrated its 40th anniversary nine months early (it premiered in October 1975). It was three and a half hours long but only about half of it was worth watching. Just like a regular episode!

Bill Murray giving his all as Nick The Lounge Singer
And finally, not only did we lose famed voice actor Gary Owens (best known for Laugh-In, Space Ghost and Powdered Toast Man):

Wonderful writer and comedian Harris Wittels (who coined the word Humblebrag):

One of my favorite shows from the past ten years Parks & Recreation:

LITERALLY the saddest & most satisfying ending ever.

But also Leonard Nimoy, Mr, Spock himself. He's had many roles in his long and prosperous career, but I'll always remember him from his appearances on the Simpsons.

"My work here is done."
"But you didn't do anything!"
"Didn't I?"

I don't need to tell you guys how awesome "Marge vs The Monorail" and "The Springfield Files" are, but I urge you to check them out again for old times sake. 

I'm going to go curl up into a ball and think about the good times, singing this song along with Mr. Nimoy. It's only fitting that we honor his memory in such a way.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pics of My Cat

Don't have much of an idea for a post this month, so here are some pics of my cat.

As you can see, I like taking pictures of her. How can you not love those eyes?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

What I Did This Year

2014 is about to come to a close and I'll admit, this is one of the first New Year's in a while where I DON'T feel like a pathetic pile of shit. I think it'd because the year overall was pretty lousy what with all the death and awfulness in the world and everything.

But this year I've learned to reflect on just how good I have it. Despite all that awfulness, I've had a pretty damn good year. I know I haven't detailed much of it here (and I'm making the umpteenth promise to fix that for the next year), but I should share just all the good things I did in 2014.

Since its December, I should post what I got for Christmas.

Amiibos! Yes, over the past week I added 5 more Amiibo to my growing collection, bringing the total to 10. Above you see Yoshi, Kirby, the Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac, and Luigi. They join Diddy Kong, Marth, Mario, Link and the Animal Crossing Villager. Captain Falcon and Pit (Kid Icarus) are currently in transit.

I don't think anyone saw the demand for these things skyrocketing coming, as any Amiibo that aren't Nintendo staples like Mario, Link, Peach, Pikachu, etc. are next to impossible to find. You can blame low production numbers and slow shipping rates for most of that. Hell, Wii Fit Trainer, Villager and Marth are considered the "Holy Trinity" due to being shortpacked at day 1. I just had the amazing foresight to get Villaget and Marth on launch day after learning they were gonna be rare. My buddy Steve picked up the Trainer a few weeks back with two others through some godforsaken Wal-Mart miracle. 

I'm not going for "gotta catch em all" for these things so I wasn't that interested in her initially (or Diddy Kong for that matter), but dammit I rode the hype train for them and I'm feeling very full of myself that I have them now and you most likely don't.

DVDs! Yes, my Christmas staples are all here: the latest Simpsons, Parks & Rec and Community seasons. This list has been getting shorter since Archer isn't out yet and Futurama ended last year.  The three on the top of the stack were generously gifted from my friend Goobian, thanks so much for being awesome! (Although getting the Animaniacs & Looney Tunes sets out of sequence is irritating my OCD, I appreciate the gesture all the same)

I also got gift cards (iTunes, Nintendo eShop, Panera, Subway), the latest Hess Truck (which is awesome), the traditional 25 $1 scratch off lotto tickets I get on Christmas Day (won $19!), and a Roth IRA. I keep being told that future financial planning is a fine gift, so I'll go with that.

I went to Vegas in March! I meant to write that up back when I actually did the trip, but I just wasn't up for it, I guess. I scratched a few things off the old bucket list while I was there, though. Going to Vegas itself was a big one, as was experiencing a different time zone for the first time. That one was weird, when it was time for dinner there, it was already 8pm back here. Of course, once I got used to it, I had to go home and readjust. Such is life.

I climbed to the top of the Stratosphere, the highest point in Vegas. 

Me looking at the view from the top. A panorama of most of the Las Vegas area on such a lovely day (nary a cloud the entire time I was there) is a sight that I totally recommend. Did I mention that there's rides on the top, too? Yep, and I got to ride them.

This is Big Shot, a launch tower that shoots you to technically 1,000 feet off the ground. The view I had from that point is incredible, I could see for miles. and it's a view that I swear I will never see again. I like thrill rides and all, but the feeling that I was going to be launched into the stratosphere and thinking for a split second that nothing was going to stop me is only worth doing once. My heart couldn't justify going on reride just for the view.

Here we see "X-Scream," a calm little spinner ride that's enjoyable when you try to forget that you're hundreds of feet in the air. It goes off the side of the building.

This was the aptly titled "Insanity," a teeter-totter-like coaster ride that convinces you that you're going to be shoved off of the tower. I rode in the back because there was no way in hell I'd sit with an unobstructed view straight down. Seriously, look how tiny those houses look.

What was interesting was that someone's brochure for the tower fell out of their pocket and I watched it fall all the way to the ground. Luckily it was just paper and not anything injury-worthy.

I got to eat at a buffet, which Vegas is considered the Mecca to that method of dining. Sadly, I only was able to go to the Paris buffet and the breakfast buffet (seen above) was far better than the dinner one. I'll have to wait to go to the one in Cesar's, which is considered one of the best (and quite pricey).

I also tried each of the "Cokes Around The World" at the World of Coca-Cola store. Sixteen sodas all hailing from different corners of the world, each drink a mystery to its flavor until you drink it. Like carbonated Russian Roulette. My favorite was the one you see above, Fanta Kolita from Costa Rica. It tasted like that bubblegum toothpaste that the dentist gives you, trust me when I say that it was totally amazing.

This one is the infamous Beverly from Italy. This is what I wrote about it: 

"They warn you about this one. There are people coming around the tables with cameras telling you to try it. You see others around you drink it. And then you try it for yourself, you think you'll be ready for what comes next.

No matter what you think, your body will not be ready for this. It looks like seltzer water, but it's not. This is something Italians just sip on to cleanse their palate, it's just meant to be the most bitter thing you'll ever taste. This stuff nearly ruined my my entire day, the taste will take hours to leave your tongue, and it will not want to stay in your body for very long. Pick an orifice, you'll want it to come out of it as quickly as possible.

In short, you must try this at least once in your life."

And yet I couldn't stop drinking it. I had the runs for the rest of the day, I pretty much took the Las Vegas Bathroom Tour. Cosmopolitan, New York New York and Margaritaville's were my favorites.

I got to see the Bellagio Water Show, from pretty much all angles and lighting. It helps that I was staying at Bally's, which was right across the street.

Just a good pic of the Paris that I took.

I wanted to go to my first In & Out, but since I didn't have a car and that it was waaaay over there, I was forced to wait for another time.

Oh yeah, I gotta tell you about the swanky room I stayed in. When I got to Bally's, I was told by the nice receptionist that I was given a complimentary upgrade to a suite. I thought that meant that my room was going to have a fridge in it. Ooh, boy was I wrong. I got the fridge but so much more.

Thus is what I saw when I walk in. Fuck a hotel room, this was a mini apartment! There was a little bar area to the right, a dining area to the left and its own living room.

The fucking bathroom was the size of a regular hotel room! Yes, that's a hot tub in the middle, and the shower/sauna was behind it.

The bed was way too big for my purposes, but oh so comfy.

Checking out was the hardest thing I had to do that trip. That place was wasted on a shlub like me, but I know that I was damn lucky to have it.

I also rode in a limo for most of the trip, thanks to a aunt that had lots of comps from gambling her life away.

One day I'll show you the rest of the highlights of that trip. But now, other things.

I went to the end of the world, as detailed in this entry.

I also went to NYCC, seen in this entry. But I also got one awesome pic:

Me with the cast of the Thrilling Adventure Hour! You might recognize some familiar faces: John Hodgman, Paul F. Tompkins, Paget Brewster, Jonathan Coulton, Marc Evan Jackson (Brookyn Nine Nine), Scott Adsit (30 Rock, Baymax of Big Hero 6), and Janet Varney (Korra). With everyone else, that was at least $250 worth of comedy for one $20 picture. I was with them for about a minute but that was by far the friendliest swarm I've ever encountered.

I got to watch 90% of the Every Simpsons Ever marathon! The best twelve days of my life! That other 10% was due to work, sleep, and being out of the house for most of Day 2. Hell, I convinced some Simpsons crewmembers that I never even slept at all! That's how dedicated I am.

Got to see the Oddball Comedy Festival at Jones Beach! Lots of great comedy in ove place! (you can see blurry Louis CK above) 

Got to take my pic with two doctors at LI Who Con! That was a fun weekend, I even got to catch the finale with a room full of Whovians, which was followed by an hour of that same room discussing what the hell we just watched.

Got a WiiU! Sure it's mostly a $200 Mario Kart and Smash Bros machine, but I love it.

So that was my 2014, hope yours as equally as awesome. I'll see you all in 2015!