Anyway, it's our ward's turn to clean the church building this month, and despite being pretty worn out from the events of the week, we figured we might as well help out. This idea was partially spurred on by the fact that we were already planning to get a whole day's work done on some manga, and remembering that we feel like we have lots of time on Saturdays when we wake up early for building cleanup and then do our grocery shopping on the way home.
So that's just what we planned to do! We dragged ourselves out of bed at seven-thirty, and proceeded to very slowly get ready to walk to the church building. We were a little too slow, though, and when we got there, they had already finished! Oops. Eh heh heh. But the members of our ward are very kind and we got a ride to the store anyway. We did our grocery shopping, fought some Heartless at Kingdom Hearts [chi], and got to work at about our usual getting-to-work time. And now, here we are, finished with work at our usual finishing-with-work time.
Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to get back to work on our other project...but we're not going to.
Now, as for that Indiana Jones panel. Oh! First I forgot to mention. The annual passholder events tend to come with free gifts, and this time! This time! They gave everybody a decoder card like the ones they used to hand out in line to the ride! The ones that tell you how to read Maraglyphics. Oh, it was such a blast from the past. We were really excited.
Okay, now the panel. Tim O'Day asked Tony Baxter to basically just tell us the history of how the ride came to be. I'll just mention some highlights. First, Mr. Baxter told about how after they did Star Tours, the idea was brought up about an Indiana Jones ride, but the higher-ups said they wouldn't do it unless people were interested. So the Imagineers took a video camera and interviewed guests about what kind of things they'd like to see in an Indiana Jones ride. A lot of people said there would have to be a giant boulder and a snake pit, and the last interview they showed us was with a couple that said it would have to have enslaved children. "Anything else?" They look at each other. "No, that would be good enough for me." Then Mr. O'Day asked the audience how many people would like to see enslaved children in the ride and some of us raised our hands (including us; we've just done too much babysitting). Then he said, "Okay, keep yours hands up. Raise 'em high. ...Security!" And we all had a good laugh.
The other especially interesting story was about the snake pit. Tony Baxter wanted to have a fifty-foot snake, but George Lucas was all, "Um, we like to stick to a certain amount of realism in our movies. There's no such thing as a fifty-foot snake." And Mr. Baxter explained to him that in Raiders of the Lost Ark, of course there aren't any fifty-foot snakes, but there are extreme close-ups on snakes, which makes them look fifty feet long. But they can't close up on things like that on a ride, so they make the snake fifty feet instead. So Mr. Lucas compromised and said they could have the fifty-foot snake if they put a thousand real-sized snakes in the snake pit. And Mr. Baxter said, "So if you look, you'll see that there are a thousand snakes in that room. But everybody is looking at mine."
Oh! And the other fun thing about the panel is that they had to call the ride vehicles "troop transports." They couldn't say the J-word. Then Mr. Baxter made Mr. O'Day panic by talking about his own Jeep, which he figured he could totally do without any legal ramifications. Fortunately the corporate lawyer was no longer in the audience (she had attended the previous panel). Then they spent the rest of the panel trying very hard not to say the J-word, and...mostly succeeding.
After that, we were all reminded how much incredible attention to detail was put into not just the ride but even the queue area (they told us that before the ride opened, they opened the queue area to guests to see if it would be interesting enough). I kind of feel like they don't always pay that much attention to detail at Disneyland anymore, and it makes me sad. But! then we went on the ride and were able to appreciate all the details even more.
Oh! and apparently there used to be a part of the ride where they dropped rocks on you! That only lasted for about a month, and we didn't go on the ride until it had been around for a year. (It opened March 3, 1995, but we didn't go on it until May 16, 1996. We almost went on it on January 4, but we chickened out and took Sarah on the Jungle Cruise instead. 1996 was the year Athena was remembering dates.) The rocks were made out of ice, because it was less damaging than real rocks. Rubber was another option they considered, but they didn't want the rough edges to wear away and leave them with a bunch of rubber balls bouncing around everywhere, plus the bouncing wouldn't be as authentic.
And there you have it. It was a pretty neat panel where we learned some cool stuff.
Today I'm thankful for getting all our work done today, having what looks like some time to relax, Pepperidge Farm cookies being on sale, friendly ward members driving us places after building cleanup even though we didn't help, and Page once again being super cute.