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We’re finally past the halfway mark. It seems like ages ago that we started this experiment, as if we’ve been living at Disneyland for a month already.
I further optimized my Astro Blasters’ strategy, which allowed me to blow away my previous best and score 762,500 points a couple of days ago. When I got this score, I rode alone in the two-person vehicle instead of with Rachelle, so I didn’t have to worry about her being in the way of any shots, and there was no conflict over which way to rotate the vehicle (either player can rotate it clockwise or counterclockwise).
One thing I did differently to achieve this score was to turn around in my seat and keep shooting at targets that were behind me, even firing back into the previous room if those were the highest value targets in range. I focused on the best targets within a 360º range, not just the 180º field ahead of me, even when it was awkward to twist in my seat and fire backwards. Since the vehicles move relatively slowly, I was able to rack up a lot more points by shooting high-value targets behind me instead of low-value targets ahead of me. I faced forward again when higher value targets came into range. I’m sure this looked a bit obsessive to the other players, but maybe it will become infectious.
The game’s scoring readout only has six digits and maxes out just below one million points, so with a little more practice and some luck, I could potentially get there. However, I’m also finding it harder to care.
One thing that’s been dragging me down lately is the feeling that this whole Disneyland experience is rather pointless. The rides don’t matter. The shows don’t matter. It’s all just fluffy, chaotic, and impulsive entertainment – an endless series of emotional triggers. The entertainment value is declining due to oversaturation.
After repeating the standard Disneyland experiences over and over, most of them have grown pretty boring. Even if we make efforts to spice them up, which we’ve gotten really good at, why bother continuing to do so? It’s all pointless anyway.
Rachelle and I have been lollygagging it through the parks lately. We arrive a bit later. We procrastinate on going on rides. We take longer lunches.
The food is a drag too. Lately we’ve been going to the Starbucks in Downtown Disney to get their veggie salad for lunch since it’s healthier than any meals we can find in Disneyland. Sometimes we go to Whole Foods for breakfast first. It’s really nice to have at least some greens each day. I think it would really drag down our energy to eat only Disney food for the whole 30 days.
After 16 days of this, I’m not really looking forward to spending another 14 days here. Going to the same place each day is beginning to feel like a ludicrous job. We’re there 80 hours a week with no pay and no benefits, and the place is overrun with mice, dogs, chipmunks, and kids shooting bubbles.
Yesterday we watched the live Frozen show, which was very good, although we’ve seen it before on a previous trip. It’s basically the movie turned into a play. The guy who does Olaf is especially good, and of course everyone loves the “Let It Go” song. We would have enjoyed it more without the multiple screaming kids in the audience though. I wonder if my hearing may be taking some damage on this trip from having so many people scream nearby.
The worst part of this experience is the endless, non-stop, ceaseless, never-ending, and forever looping Disney music (which is even more repetitive than these adjectives). We hear it all day every day, and it never stops. It plays all around both parks, including in the shops, restaurants, bathrooms, and security lines. Consequently, the songs now loop in our minds at nearly all other times too, including in our dreams. Last night Rachelle couldn’t sleep well because the Haunted Mansion music kept playing in her mind. For me it was songs from The Little Mermaid and Frozen. Even as I write this update, multiple Disney songs are vying for airtime in my subconscious.
Imagine spending 30 days in a row listening to Disney music for 11 hours each day. As bad as you think that would be, it’s worse.
I feel sorry for the people who work there each day and can’t escape the endless exposure to Disney music. I’m not sure how they stay sane… or even if they do.
After this experiment is over, I’m going to need to perform some kind of musical detox, so I can let it go… let it go…
The next four days will likely be among the most populous of our entire experiment since we’re coming up on Veterans Day weekend. That means huge crowds, long lines, and a lot more bubble guns.
I should mention that Disney doesn’t market the bubble guns as guns. They’re sold as bubble wands. But they shoot bubbles into people’s faces just the same.
Yesterday Rachelle was noting that when she goes into the park, the ticket checkers often call her Princess, but they never call me Prince. If they call me anything, they call me Steve because my name is printed on the annual pass.
It’s surprisingly hot here. Yesterday it was 95 degrees. By comparison the high in Vegas is about 72 right now. Fortunately I’m used to the hot Vegas summers, and 95 is nothing by Vegas standards. I don’t mind if it stays hot since maybe that will cut down on the crowds a bit. The heat doesn’t bother me anyway…
D’oh! Make it stop!
Apparently another U.S. election happened while we were here. I was surprised by the result, although from my current perspective, it makes perfect sense. The flyover states don’t have Disneyland, so naturally they voted for more stimulation and amusement. California and Nevada already have easy access to Disneyland, so they legalized recreational marijuana to help calm themselves down.
When I learned of the results, I was genuinely amused. Maybe it’s my recent overexposure to amusement, but it made me smile in much the same way that I smile when I see people posing for photos with Chip and Dale at the entrance to Disneyland.
It’s hard to take a guy dressed up in a chipmunk costume too seriously, although you may feel a bit sorry for him when it hits 95 degrees.