See, the summer block on our Disneyland passports finally ended, and we were able to go to the park! And not only that, but they started not one but two! fancy game type things that we wanted to check out. We didn't really know much about either of them (like, we had ideas, but we weren't sure how they worked), except that one involved little charm type things, and the other didn't. The one with the little charm type things was billed as going on "while supplies last," and they said come quick (as if they don't always say that), so our first stop was Adventureland to go on a Juju Quest! Or...seven? I think we did seven.
So here's how it works. You go to the Indiana Jones Outpost (a store in Adventureland) and first you get an Adventureland name. I was Bongo Alethea and Athena was Jungle Athena. When we were eating lunch later, we started wondering where the cast member came up with the name Bongo Alethea, and we only had one idea. I'll just leave it at that, except to say that we're still not sure it made that much sense, since I was wearing a shapeless t-shirt.
Once you have your Adventureland name, you can go buy quests. You might think, "What!? You have to buy the quests?" Well, actually you're buying the little charm thing, but you have to do the quest before you can actually have it, so y'know. We had been warned (by Kimee, who obsessively follows many Disneyland related internet sources) that the Juju Quests can get pretty pricey, but when we heard it was just $30 for all six non-food quests, we were sold! And there are actually two juju charms you can get without doing a quest--there's tooth/claw thing that they give to you and if you want you can make up a story about how you got it. When the cast member (whose Adventureland name that day was Katniss Evergreen) gave me the juju, she told me to hold it in my hand, close my eyes, and tell her how I got it. I couldn't come up with anything, so I said I forgot. She said, "It will come to you later," and since I'd already paid for it there was no penalty.
The other one that they give you right off the bat is the Treehouse juju, which you take to Tarzan's treehouse. Three rocks there had been struck by lightning, and if you insert the juju into each rock, it unlocks the magic. Apparently "the magic" is a musical chord that plays magically (where "magically" is the adjective given to the musicians to tell them how to play). The real magic is that even with that giant tree in the way, three rocks on the ground got struck by lightning.
For the quest ones, we got a little stuck, not because of the difficulty, because they're all pretty easy and the fun-loving Adventureland cast members don't expect much of you, but because we took them super seriously, which would have been fine on its own, but there was still the Frontierland thing to do, so we felt rushed. And all that I just typed was true, but was also my way of stalling until I remembered the first quest we did. After climbing Tarzan's Treehouse, we realized that we'd been on our feet for a while, and it's important to take breaks. So we went to Aladdin's Oasis to sit down and look at all the quest material they'd given us.
First, there was the Jungle Navigator Quest, where you train to be a skipper on the Jungle Cruise. You are required to complete 0% of the exercises in the Navigator's Handbook, and then pass the final exam by telling a jungle joke (which, according to the handbook, is a joke that's told in the jungle, so it can be about anything). The handbook was really awesome and gave us great tips, like how anything is instantly funny if you add "...AM I RIGHT?" to the end of it. It gave the example, "That tree is far away...AM I RIGHT?" (I think that was the example. I'm sure it's close enough.) We seriously considered using that trick for our joke, because even though we know some jokes that we think are pretty funny, we forgot all of them the instant it was suggested to us that we'd have to tell a joke. (Except for the "speed limit in Israel" joke, but we didn't think a bilingual joke would fly too well.)
So we moved on to the next bit of quest material. It was the Adventureland periodical, the Daily Gnus. The front page story was about a missing shipment of jujus. Anyone who tracked it down (after paying for the newspaper) could have one. There were clues on how others had tracked down missing shipments in the past, and we used them to find the shipment ourselves! Tadah! There were also some neat articles and ads, like for free kittens! They were orange and striped and exceptionally large. There was also an article about a strange phenomena of a flock of ducks that had taken up residence in the jungles of Adventureland, and how astounding it was that they could survive their non-native jungle environment without falling prey to the many predators along the rivers.
We also got a tabloid that talked about how the Tiki Room was looking for new talent, and so they were asking people to scout birds for them. This is another one that we took a little bit too seriously. But we ignored it for a long time, because the idea was to take pictures of the birds you scouted, and the only camera we had was on my dino-phone. I was exceedingly irked that we did not have our trusty camera, which already had many pictures of birds on its memory card. So, like I said, we ignored it.
Instead, we focused on our favorite quest, the Indiana Jones quest, which we're sure was actually called something else. But mostly it involved deciphering Maraglyphs. I may have mentioned this at some time in the past, but the Indiana Jones queue area has tons of inscriptions carved in the the walls of the temple of the Forbidden Eye, and way back when the ride first opened, it was sponsored by AT&T who provided decoder cards to help you read the Maraglyphs. We went on the ride a lot in 1998, so we ended up with many, many decoder cards, but more importantly, we used them to familiarize ourselves with the alphabet so we could read it pretty much without help.
For the quest, they've set up a decoder stone by the entrance to the Indiana Jones ride, and the idea is to take a colored pencil (provided by the goddess Crayola) and make a rubbing of the code so you can use that rubbing to decipher an inscription located elsewhere in Adventureland, which would then help you complete the quest. We were all, "Please, don't insult me. We've been reading Maraglyphs for years and years." So we refused to make a rubbing. Then we found the other inscription (thanks to the Maraglyph message printed on the map...and the fact that we had seen some other questers there earlier) and...had a hard time reading it because it used letters that aren't super common in things like "Beware the Eye of Mara" and "Behold the Gifts of Mara," which are the types of inscriptions written in the temple. And the font was narrower than your average Maraglyph.
Still, we figured it out (partially by referencing the message printed on the map (which we were able to read with little difficulty, she says to maintain her pride)), and we were able to complete the quest. While we waited to take the final test, Katniss Evergreen entertained us (to keep us occupied so we didn't copy the adventurers who got there before us) by telling us several jokes we could potentially use for our Jungle Navigator test. Then we got our juju and made our way to the Jungle Navigator check-in place.
But more on that later, because it's past our dinnertime and we need to re-raise our blood sugar levels after exerting ourselves for so long today.
Today I'm thankful for having a fun time at Disneyland today, getting lots of neat jujus, helpful Adventureland cast members, finally getting to use our knowledge of Maraglyphs, and finally having a name for Maraglyphs (we kind of feel like we've heard the term before, but now we know for sure).