Tag Archives: Disney Parks

WILL DISNEY CHANGE TOM SAWYER ISLAND?

12 Jan

 

The welcome sign on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island in 2005.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of or read about the recent controversy over a newly-released NewSouth Books edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which changes certain words, including the word “injun,” as in “Injun Joe.”

I grew up in a house in which my father the English teacher read me both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn when I was very young, and he was careful to explain everything in a historical and respectful context. He also stressed that the word “injun” was, in addition, not only part of a dialect, but also an indicator of education. (Webster’s Dictionary still notes, beside the current definitions, “a common misspelling or typo”[1] of the word Indian, which of course today we use to refer to people from the country India and not indigenous Americans). “Huck and Tom aren’t very educated,” Dad had explained. “So that’s why they talk that way.”

With regard specifically to Twain, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, this word isn’t just in Twain’s books. It happens to be on many of the signs of the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom/Disneyland Frontierland Attraction, Tom Sawyer Island, so as we visited the Island in the parks as a kid, I simply took it as bad spelling among all the other badly-spelled words. These signs lend to the charm of the place. Visiting the Island is stepping into Huck and Tom’s world (it’s even rumored that the island itself has a Missouri zip code[2]). Consider the following signage (in some places, the letter ‘S’ is backwards; I’ve denoted that here with a *).

WELCUM!

IF’N YOU LIKE DARK CAVES*, MYS*TERY MINES*, BOTTOMLES*S* PITZ, S*HAKEY BRIDGES N BIG ROCKS* YOU HAVE COME TO THE BES*T PLACE I KNOW. IF’N YOU DON’T LIKE CREEPY OLD S*CARY PLACES* DON’T WORRY……HUCK FINN N MYSELF WUZ PLENTY S*CARED TOO. HUCK WUZ MORE S*CARED THAN ME.

TOM

WUZ NOT HUCK

~

The Harper's Mill sign, WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

HARPER’S MILL

THIS HERE DESERTED GRIST MILL WUZ NAMED AFTER MY FRIEN JOE HARPER’S OLD MAN. IF N YOU CHOOZE TO GO INSIDE, PLEASE DON’T SCARE THE BIRDS THAT YOU WILL FIND THERE UNLESS SOME NO GOOD DONE SCARED EM BEFORE YOU DID.

TOM S*AWYER

~

OLD SCRATCH’S MYSTERY MINE

I HAVE EXPLORED MANY OLD MINES, BUT THIS UN IS THE BEST EVER! STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN IN HERE TO KEEP A SHARP EYE OUT AND DON’T STOP FOR NUTHIN!

TOM

And even this, which appears in the fort:

USE COTT’N WHEN S*HOOTN

Nathan--swear to God, the world's biggest Twain fan--in front of Injun Joe's Cave warning sign on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

And then, of course, there is the Island’s big ticket item: Injun Joe’s Cave. Not only are there directional signs everywhere on the Island pointing you in that direction, it is labeled as such, and the following warning is posted for visitors:

DO NOT WURRY…

INJUN JOE AINT BEEN SEEN IN THESS PARTS FOR ALONG TIME. HIS* CAVE IS DEESERTED! P.S. IF N YOU WANT TO MAYBE YOU COULD WURRY JUS*T A LITTLE BIT.

TOM

The cave’s mouth is so dark and emits such terrifying sounds that I didn’t go through it for the first time until I was in my late twenties. It turned out it wasn’t as scary as I thought—but I felt a sense of privilege and really appreciated the resourcefulness of this fictional character, who had done all sorts of clever things to his cave (want a brief tour of the cave? Check it out here at Zannaland: http://zannaland.com/tom-sawyers-island-pictorial-review-part1/)

While it looks as though the controversy is dying down a little bit and it appears, from all the news and blogs I’ve been reading, that most people are not liking this new edition of the book, it does makes me wonder: If this becomes widely accepted, what is Disney, in the wake of all this, going to do about the signs on Tom Sawyer Island?

DO NOT WORRY…

INDIAN JOE HASN’T BEEN SEEN IN THIS AREA IN MANY YEARS. HIS CAVE IS DESERTED. P.S.: IF YOU’D LIKE, YOU COULD WORRY JUST A LITTLE BIT.

TOM

I somehow suspect that if that happens, visiting ‘Indian Joe’s Cave’ just won’t be the same.

Me, in front, and Nathan, in the hat, navigating that crazy barrel bridge on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

SO, WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE TO LIVE WITH A DISNEY PARK FREAK?

15 Nov

Well, if there’s anyone that could tell you that, it’s Nathan. He decided to share his trials and tribulations with the popular Disney Park Podcast Inside the Magic, and so he created the LIVING WITH DISNEY segment, which ran on the show’s Episode 284 in September.

To listen to the whole episode—if you’re a Disney Park fan, you NEED to!—you want to hit this link here for http://www.insidethemagic.net/podcasts/284/

Those of you who aren’t Park fanatics and just want to hear Nathan make fun of me, you can visit www.kristipetersenschoonover.com and listen the segment right from my site: http://wp.me/pIXRs-mY

IMAGINATION-CAFÉ HERALDS SKELETONS AS ‘CLEVERLY WRITTEN’

4 Nov

Sandie Lee, of the Imagination-Café Blog out of Canada, has heralded Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World as “cleverly written and adds just enough creep factor to keep you flipping the pages.” Check out her full review at:

http://imaginationcafeblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/disney-taken-to-whole-new-level.html

SKELETONS TO BENEFIT MASONIC LODGE AT “SECRET LIFE OF GHOSTS”

3 Oct

Put a little haunt in your Halloween—join the host of A&E’s 2-Night Special Extreme Paranormal, members of a paranormal team regularly featured on the Maury Show and others as they share “The Secret Life of Ghosts”–and pick up a copy of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole, which will be publicly available for the very first time at the event!

The event raises funds for the repair of St. Peter’s Masonic Lodge in New Milford, Connecticut, on October 15.  Haunted Disney Tales will make a donation to the Lodge for each copy of Skeletons sold.

Nathan Schoonover, occult specialist for the A&E 2-Night Special Extreme Paranormal and co-host of the popular Internet Radio Broadcast The Ghostman & Demon Hunter Show, plans on first giving the public a glimpse into the making of a paranormal reality TV Show before moving on to share his most terrifying experiences.

“I want to cover not just the technical side, but the spooky side of paranormal investigating—the scary stuff,” Schoonover said.

The following will present plenty of EVPs [Electronic Voice Phenomenon—ghostly voices captured on tape] and evidence from recent cases: Andy Seidel and Donna Parish-Bischoff, of the Maury Show-featured East Coast S.C.A.R.E. Society; Carrie Kerns and Mike Mafera of Connecticut Paranormal and Encounters Research (CPEAR); and Orlando Ferrante  and Joe Franke  of the Connecticut Paranormal Research Society.

The event will be held Friday, October 15, 2010 from 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. at St. Peter’s 21 Masonic Lodge, 11 Aspetuck Avenue, New Milford, CT. Admission is $5 and all proceeds will benefit the repair fund for St. Peter’s Masonic Lodge.

For more information on the event or its participants, visit http://www.ghostanddemon.info/ghost_tour.

SKELETONS GROOVES WITH THE ZYDECO MOSHERS AND WANDERS IN MY ECLECTIC MIND

26 Sep

Skeletons is already climbing out of the swimmin’ hole and going places—like this past weekend, when it went to the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival in Saugerties, New York! Below, Skeletons grooves with the awesome band Captain Squeeze and the Zydeco Moshers and gets spooked with the wonderful artwork of Heather Gleason at My Ecelctic Mind.


SKELETONS SPONSORS NEW VENTURE

24 Sep

Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole is the first official sponsor of the Be the Light Chapel, a non-denominational gathering which, at the moment, has no home, in the Land O Lakes, Florida, area.

I grew up in a myriad of small organizations that were just getting started in the late 1970s and 1980s, so I felt like this particular thing was calling to me. I sure hope they find a home soon, but I’m glad Skeletons will be there to help! For more information on Be the Light, you can visit http://bethelightchapel.com.

SKELETONS GOES GAGA AT THE LUMBERYARD!

19 Sep

Skeletons is such an unusual book, I decided to do something unusual in celebration of its release—I’m going GAGA—Lady Gaga, that is—at The Lumberyard Pub.

I’ll have a reading and signing of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 30, just before The Lumberyard’s Lady Gaga Halloween Theme Party—which will run until 2 a.m. and include a $100 prize for the best Gaga Costume, body painting by Michelle at Artful Inc., live music, Jello shots, and more!

I couldn’t think of a more fun way to spend Halloween weekend. Come on down and join the fray! The Lumberyard Pub is located at 2 Main Street, Georgetown, CT. For more info, The Lumberyard’s site is www.lumberyardpub.com


SKELETONS TO HAUNT BANK STREET!

18 Sep

Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole’s first official public reading and signing will be held at Bank Street Coffee House at 56 Bank Street in New Milford, CT, on Sunday, October 24, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

While Bank Street Coffee House is known for its fine coffees, teas, pastries, great service and comfortable atmosphere, it’s on a street that, for years, has had its share of ghost stories, too.

I grew up in New Milford on haunted property and graduated from New Milford High School in 1989, so I’m especially pleased about the location for that reason. As kids, we heard all kinds of rumors about the buildings on Bank Street being haunted. It made it a perfect match for Skeletons.

The reading and signing will be held Sunday, October 24, 2010, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bank Street Coffee House, 56 Bank Street, New Milford, CT.

GIVE-A-WAYS FOR NANOWRIMO!

16 Sep

Copies of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole are going to be given away as prizes for the National Novel Writing Month Fairfield County, Connecticut Region’s “Afternoon of Writing Dangerously” on Saturday, November 20, 2010!

If you don’t know anything about National Novel Writing Month, it’s a marathon in which writers are challenged to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. It’s great fun–and it’s free to participate!

The “Afternoon of Writing  Dangerously” is an event at which NanoWrimo participants gather with coffee and laptops or whatever and bang out as many words as they can, engaging in such contests as Word Wars (who can write the most words in five minutes).

The time and location of Fairfield County’s event is yet to be announced, but if you’re Nanoing this year, come on down and engage in some great word wars and get a shot at winning a free copy of Skeletons!

OF MASKS AND MAKING IT HAPPEN

15 Sep

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be signing books at the wonderful Annex! Comics at 314 Broadway in Newport, Rhode Island, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2010.


Owner Wayne Quackenbush is a very interesting guy who’s made Annex! Comics into more than a shop—it’s become not only a gathering place, but a hub of pop fan art and culture in not just the world of comic books. He holds, for example, “Zombie Fridays” (check out his Facebook page for all the gory details – search on Annex Comics). He’s open to holding signings and other events. My favorite feature? He’s got an awesome selection of Japanese horror films. He also has a fantastic street-front gallery window and is always looking for artists to fill it with their work. Free gallery space on one of the most happening streets in any city is hard to find. If you’re an artist and you’d like to submit something for his consideration, you can visit Wayne’s web page at www.annexcomics.com for guidelines.

Right now, Wayne is preparing the MASSIVE GROUP WALL OF HALLOWEEN MASKS, which will run from the middle of October through the middle of November. He’s inviting anyone and everyone to send him a mask for display.

When I talked to him on the phone about the event, he said I should send him a mask for this show. I’d been tempted to do something because I’d seen his posts on Facebook, but shied away from making anything—I’m not very good with visual art. Like, AT. ALL. I’m pretty sure I even draw a crappy stick figure. But Wayne suggested that even one of those old plastic masks that used to come in the kits would be great—just anything that expressed my personality.

Well, that sounded fun. An excuse to go shopping.

What I really wanted was a Disney character mask—Alice in Wonderland, specifically, because of all the Disney characters I’d been as a child she was my favorite (and my mother hand-made all my gowns—this was in the days before they pre-fabbed costumes), but I’d take anyone pretty. Then I was going to get some small doll parts—arms, lets, maybe some heads—and glue them on there. You know, like a ‘bad memory of childhood’ type of idea.

But my local Party Stop didn’t have anything remotely close to what I was looking for—in fact, it didn’t even have those cheap mask-with-plastic bib kits; the shelves were crammed with the “realistic” costumes that way back in the 1970s my mother had to make (she’d have made a FORTUNE had she lived. She was way ahead of her time). So I decided to get creative after all. I bought a clear mask at the party store, then headed over to Michael’s to comb their aisles for anything I could mutate into creepy dolls.

In the scrapbooking aisle, I found an entire section of official Disney embellishments. The It’s a Small World set featured the familiar happy doll children—easy enough to make a little creepy by X’ing out their eyes with a Sharpie. I was also attracted to some Halloween-themed cloth flower embellishments. I figured I could use them to fill in the eyes (I mean, no one’s really going to wear this anyway, right)?

So, here is my pathetic attempt that I’ll send to Wayne later this week. I dunno, I think for somebody who has not one lick of visual artistic ability I did pretty well. When I stood back and looked at it, it had a Dia-de-los-Muertos feel to it—at least for me.


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