Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 233: Happy Birthday to...Jonny?

Nah, I'm just kidding! Happy Birthday to my brother Jonathan! He's turning 14 today, which I suppose is pretty awesome. That does mean that he really is, officially, a teenager though. Since today is his birthday, I figured I'd talk a little bit about some of his favorite stuff. I mean, he likes completely different stuff from what I do, and I sometimes feel bad that I just talk about the same stuff over and over again, so let's mix it up.

I'm honestly not sure what my brother's favorite stuff is, but I do know that he has a strange obsession with three things. 1. River Country, 2. Discovery Island and 3. The Disneyland Peoplemover. So I suppose let's take a quick look at each of these:

River Country

River Country was the first Disney water park. My brother would be angry if I left this out, so it opened June 20, 1976 and closed on November 2, 2001. Basically, it's theme was the "Good Old Swimmin' Hole." It featured numerous pools, but the most famous was the one actually connected to Bay Lake. It had body slides and even a Barrel Bridge, similar to the one currently found on Tom Sawyer Island. Oh, and apparently there were also Pony Rides. I'll have to ask my brother about that one. River Country was closed for numerous reasons, but I'll have to do a separate blog post on that sometime. If you want to see what it looks like now (SKETCHY) go back to my blog post from my Disney Trip in July and there's a vlog there where I went to River Country.

Discovery Island

The second of my brother's obsessions is Discovery Island, and I don't mean the area of Animal Kingdom called that with the Tree of Life and everything. No. I'm talking about the first, original Discovery Island. The one on Bay Lake that was honestly pretty close to River Country. Currently though it's called Riles Island, which was it's original name before Discovery Island (or Treasure Island technically. It opened on April 8, 1974 and closed permanently on July 9, 1999. It was an area for guests to basically be surrounded by nature. Mostly birds honestly. In fact, there is one species of bird known to have gone extinct on the island, meaning that the last remaining bird of that species lived there until it's death. Looking at the island closely this past trip because being so close (Bay Lake Tower), it's easy to see that there are still tons and tons of birds there. It's illegal to go to either of these places, just to let you know...and you'll probably be banned from all Disney Parks for life if you attempt to get there, but here's the incredibly creepy story of Shane Perez's Illegal sneak over there a number of years ago:

The Disneyland Peoplemover

Now, as much as I've seen the past two (I've actually been to Discovery Island), I have never even actually seen the Tomorrowland PeopleMover of Disneyland...other than the about 60 pictures that my brother took of the empty track when we were there back in 2011. That's really it when it comes to this one. It opened July 2 of 1967 and closed on, of all days, my brother's birthday in 1995 (yes, that's today). It originally opened as a part of New Tomorrowland, and can still be somewhat found in the PeopleMover in Magic Kingdom. It was also themed for a while to TRON, at least I believe it was. Oh, and here's an interesting fact, two people have died on it, trying to jump between the moving vehicles and dying because of it! The lesson? Keep your hands, arms, feet and legs inside the vehicle at all times!

Does my brother have any thing else he loves? Sure. Test Track for instance. That's one of his favorites, but other than that I'd have to say that these three things really are his main interest. He'd give anything to be able to walk into River Country (ok...he took a picture in the bathroom......) or take a ride to Discovery Island. We keep telling him he'll get killed or suspended from the parks, but it's just something he really wants to do.

I guess that's good though. I'm glad he's interested in something like that. He could be interested in something crazy you know. Like Universal.

Here's today's Disney History: 2007: The "Muppet Mobile Lab," featuring robotic Muppets Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his pale assistant Beaker riding in a two-wheeled rocket-ship, interact with guests at Epcot. The lab is part of a play test that Walt Disney Imagineering is running for the next few weeks, giving the research and development staff a chance to try out a more advanced robotic, interactive and transportation technologies, mixed with human comedy talent.

Have a magical day!