Delgado Does Disney: Part 4 – EPCOT

Sorry for the delay in getting the rest of these out. It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Casa Delgado, but I wanted to make sure I shared the rest of my experiences with you all. So let’s get right back to it and talk about EPCOT. Not many people realize this, particularly if they haven’t taken the time to see any of the documentaries about Walt, but EPCOT had always been a part of what he called “The Florida Project”. Walt was a visionary, and as much as he liked making people happy, he also wanted to help bring them the future. EPCOT was supposed to be the realization of that dream. And while it’s not precisely what Walt envisioned, I think he would be proud of the showcase of culture and technology his dream has become.

Walt was dissatisfied with cities in the 50′s and 60′s. He saw city life as the antithesis of what he was trying to create at Disneyland, and the “Florida Project” as the perfect opportunity to put his ideal community into place. He called this new city, EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow, and he wanted … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Delgado Does Disney: Part 3 – Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios Star Wars Breakfast

For the third installment of my vacation blog, I wanted to talk about Disney’s Hollywood Studios (henceforth HS), the second youngest of the four parks at WDW, and the one that’s gone through some considerable changes in it’s (relatively) young life. HS doesn’t really have an analog at Disneyland, but many of the rides featured here are found in the California Adventure park out west. What started out as an expansion at EPCOT has become one of the most visited theme parks in the world. And while it’s beginnings were certainly humble, the park is really coming into its own. The acquisition of Lucasfilms by Disney plays into this as well, as the park has already begun to expand its existing Star Wars related offerings. But I’ll get to that in a moment. Let’s look around first.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios, more commonly just referred to as Hollywood Studios or just HS, was the third park built at WDW. As I mentioned before, this park had humble beginnings – The Great Movie Ride was originally conceived to be a pavilion added to EPCOT’s Future World. Then-CEO Michael Eisner decided it would be better served surrounded by it’s own theme park. In 1989, the … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Delgado Does Disney: Part 2 – Magic Kingdom

So now that you know what I thought about the Pop Century Resort, I wanted to talk about our time in the Parks. Going to Walt Disney World (henceforth WDW) isn’t like going to Disneyland. In essence, Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are the same park, though with some notable differences. I won’t go into those here, but suffice it to say that if you’ve been to one, then the other would seem very familiar to you. I’ve not been to Disneyland yet, but I’m sure I’ll get there some day. Anyway, I’ll split this piece up to address each of the parks on their own, since each of them is very different. So without further ado:

Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom (henceforth “MK”) opened in 1971, and was the beginning of the full realization of Walt’s dream. Disneyland started as a space for people to realize the worlds Disney was building while visiting the studios in Burbank. Immediately, he knew they would need more space, so he purchased some orange and walnut groves in Anaheim and the “Happiest Place on Earth” was born. But still Walt wasn’t quite satisfied. He wanted something even more expansive, so he started scouting out unused swampland in Florida, something he eponymously … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Delgado Does Disney: Part 1 – The Resort

Some of you might know that I went on a well-deserved vacation last week. The family and I spent 10 fun-filled days at the self-proclaimed place “Where Dreams Come TrueSpecifically, that’s Walt Disney World (since Disneyland is the “Happiest Place on Earth”) for the uninitiated. I’ve had a love affair with Disney World (which I’ll abbreviate as WDW to save my fingers) since I was a child. My parents – that’s my mother and adoptive father – took me and my older brother, Joe, to WDW on their honeymoon. Real sports, if you ask me, since I wasn’t quite 4 at the time and I know how much of a task that I can be. You see, we started taking my daughter when she was 3 as well. All in all, I’ve been 8 separate times. The first time, there was only Magic Kingdom, and my most striking memory is that I was terrified of The Enchanted Tiki Room – there are faces on the wall and they chant and move. Honestly, I don’t know how ALL kids aren’t. Of course, all kids didn’t have evil faces in the grain of their wood paneling, either. When I went in High School, EPCOTRead the rest of my thoughts…

The Hidden Hatred

It makes me sad that I have to pull my soapbox out for this, but I’ve just seen too many stupid comments flying around about a myriad of issues that all involve the same thing:

HATRED

There are lots of different kinds of hatred, but I think we can all agree that now, more than ever, two forms seem to be dominating out collective consciousness – misanthropy and racism.

We’ll talk about Racism first.

By now, if you don’t know about Donald Sterling, you live under a rock, or you’re renting out the Unabomber’s cabin for the Spring. The (hopefully soon-to-be ex-) owner of the LA Clippers Basketball team said some less-than-appropriate things during a phone call to his alleged mistress,  V. Stiviano. During the call, Sterling urged his frequent court-side companion not to bring black people to the games, and to stop associating with them altogether. This was after he mentioned previously asking her to remove all the pictures of black people from her Instagram account. I won’t recap the entire discussion, but suffice it to say that it can concluded that … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Show Me The Monetization

My daughter is getting to the age that she likes to play games on her mother’s iPhone or my tablet (which runs Windows RT – that’s another article). We didn’t let her play those games for a long time because once she charged $60 on my credit card purchasing in-game money for a game I didn’t even really like. I got my money back… eventually… but that event really made us aware of how careful we should be when letting her play on our devices. Even now, some years later, I still warn her not to purchase anything in the game.

It brings to light, at least for me, the paradigm shift in the video game industry that’s been more than a decade in the making. In fact, I would say that it goes back even farther. Like the Hebrews proclaimed:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. -Ecclesiastes 1:9

Back in the fledgling days of computer gaming, developers were borrowing money to build the games, and then distributed part of the game for free. If you liked what you got, you could pay for more episodes for a … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Star Wars: A New Hope… Against Hope

I saw an interesting article at blastr.com (which in turn was a repost off a story from IGN and Deadline) regarding casting for the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise.  As evidenced by this post from a friend on Facebook, there is some mixed reaction to this news…

The discussion, short though it was, centered around the idea that somehow, adding a daughter to Obi-Wan’s story would somehow sully the character, the Jedi, and the Lore. Of course, this is just another in a long line of contentious statements involving the franchise since Disney’s 2012 purchase of Lucasfilms. Much of that discussion questioned whether or not Disney, obviously best known to children’s films and animated epics, would be a good steward for the our beloved long ago and far away galaxy.

Star Wars Disney

For my part, I think it would be harder to find a company better suited than Disney to continue the franchise. Here’s why:

They’d already been purchasing the Rights
A lot of people don’t realize this, but … Read the rest of my thoughts…

Why I Secretly Hate MacGyver

Since I work from home, I need to have some noise playing so that I don’t go crazy – you know, to replace the din of the office. So, I normally have something inane on Netflix playing to which I don’t need to pay attention. MacGyver fits that bill. Not that it wasn’t a great late 80′s action/adventure show – it was – but I never really watched it as a kid. But even back then, it was so popular that MacGyver (played by sci-fi favorite, Richard Dean Anderson) had already seeped into the collective consciousness as the ideal man. He was kind, ingenious, non-violent, athletic, and didn’t drink or smoke. The perfect role model and the perfect Mary Sue.

But honestly, MacGyver had some serious character flaws, despite always saving the day, and single-handedly keeping the Swiss Army Knife and Duct Tape industries afloat in the 80′s. It makes me wonder if at the end of the day, he’s really the role model we want him to be. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of good in the character, but I think you’ll see there’s plenty of bad too. For instance:

MacGyver … Read the rest of my thoughts…

(Almost) Everything I Needed to Know, I Learned From Pro Wrestling

Everything I Need to Know I learned from Professional WrestlingOK, I know I’m a little off of my normal topic set on this, but since I’ve been gone for a while, and the Professional Wrestling has been in the spotlight a bit lately, I thought I would get back to my roots. See, what most of you don’t know about me is that in a past life, I used to write reviews and recaps for a local Independent Professional Wrestling organization called the HWA (the Heartland Wrestling Association) as “Crusher” Koontz. It’s been over a decade now, but the memories and lessons still cling with me. I’d like to share some of them with you now.

Lesson 1 - If it happens in the ring, or on the screen, it’s a “work”
That means it’s fake. This is why I can’t suspend my disbelief enough to believe any reality TV show isn’t fixed ahead of time. I don’t buy for one second that best singer wins American Idol, or that the votes even mean anything. Paranormal State had a “psychic” who is … Read the rest of my thoughts…

The Life and Times of PC Gaming

A while back – something like May of last year – I read about the web-based version of the classic PC game, Wolfenstein 3D. If you aren’t familiar – and if you aren’t, we can’t be friends - Wolfenstein 3D is the iconic Id Software game that became the grandfather of the modern first person shooter. What did I love about it? Personally, it was the bad guys shouting “MEIN LEBEN!” But for many people, it was the combination of the first person perspective and the constant action of a platform shooter. It was unique, and even if it wasn’t really 3D, it was such a jump graphically from the previous shooter games, that it felt like 3D.

Wolfenstein 3D really made me into a PC gamer. At the time (1992), The Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis were the most commonly owned platform gaming systems. Sega CD was brand new, and the first Playstation was still two years away. CD-ROM games were still uncommon and my PC at the time didn’t have a CD-ROM drive. To be honest, I was lucky to have a CD player for music in 1992, let alone a CD-ROM drive. My PC was … Read the rest of my thoughts…