Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bat's Day...Part One?

I think I've mentioned this before in brief, but I'll say it again for clarity's sake: once a year a bunch of goths get dressed up and go to Disneyland. This is known as Bats Day. It started back in 1999 when a group of about 80 death rockers, under the promotion of local goth/industrial and death rock clubs decided to go to have a blast at Disneyland in full goth regalia (which, keep in mind, would be normal attire for them). The next year they had about 200 people and the number has continued to grow. To quote the website, Bats Day has become possibly "the premier event on the West Coast for the Gothic and Industrial subculture of all ages." Yep, that's right. This event is entirely family friendly! There is nothing more adorable than seeing a young goth couple, dressed head to toe in black velvet and lace pushing around a stroller with a sleeping infant wrapped up in a pink blanky. Nothing.

Much like Gay Days, which should be obvious enough not to require furthur explanation, Disneyland is not officially associated with this event. Meaning, it's not an event run, advertised, or officially hosted by the park. That being said, nearly all the cast members know about Bats Day and the park treats it like any other group event or convention.

Those who know me in real life know that I'm not really what you'd call "goth" unless we're talking about the literary and historical sense of the word. I might have gone goth for a while when I was a teenager if it wasn't so much damn work and when it comes right down to it I am, after all, a lazy genius. So I spent Middle School with my nose buried in a book, wearing inordinate amounts of clacky jewelry and High School much the same...sans jewelry. But the one thing I have always loved since I was five years old is an excuse to dress up. An excuse to dress up and go to Disneyland? Even better!

So the next morning I woke up and went to make sure Evan was awake. Once that was done I decided to let the girls sleep for a bit while I took my medication. Afterwards I crept into Kyra's room to wake the girls. They rolled out of bed and I went to get dressed and do my goth makeup, which was pretty minimal considering how elaborate goth makeup can get. I made myself a skirt with a faux bustle (someone remind me to take a picture of that and post it) and a pair of purple bloomers with black lace that I wound up not wearing cause I thought it would be too warm. I'll probably wear them for Bad Faeries Day at the next Faerieworlds or something.

So I put those on and shared my lip stain and sparkles with Kyra and her friend Sarah. Evan came out in black pants and some kind of long sleeved shirt that made him look perfectly emo. We were going to put eyeliner on him but I knew if we did he'd be rubbing his eyeballs all day. So we left it at that and went out to say bye to Jolie. She took some pictures with her iPhone, which for some reason blogger doesn't want to upload. I'll try those again later.

The kids decided they wanted Jamba Juice and bagels for breakfast so we drove down the hill to...Ventura? Normandie? I dunno, one of those major streets in L.A. that runs along the 101. Anyway, the girls waited in the car while Evan and I split up to get breakfast. Evan went for the bagels and I got the smoothies. We met up back at the car and devoured breakfast before getting on the freeway and starting off for Disneyland. We listened to Kamelot and Ayreon on the way there, which is symphonic power metal and rock opera/progressive metal, not goth music. But it was fun anyway. I know, I know. I listen to to weirdest stuff. Anyway, going to Disneyland from Jolie's house is an interesting experience because it's almost like taking the 5 back to my house. It took a little longer than I'm used to but we made it there without any trouble.

We parked in the character parking lot and made our way down the escalator towards the tram. Kyra was feeling a bit nervous all dressed in black and pink and immediately started looking around for goths, as if I had made up the whole concept of Bats Day just for giggles. She didn't have to look hard though. As soon as we got down to the tram we were met by the familiar sea of black that marks Bats Day in the fun park. One guy in particular was standing in the middle open area of the tram stop sporting an elegant walking stick in one hand and a skull in the other. Don't know about the skull but he was wearing this beautiful 18th century floor-length coat that I totally wanted to steal.

I soon wished that I'd worn my bloomers. It was uncharacteristically chilly that day and I kept my pirates of the caribbean jacket on most of the day. It has skulls on it though, so it's all good. We got in line to buy our tickets and just as Evan was purchasing his and Kyra's tickets a group of three goths came up to us and asked how many tickets we were buying. It turned out that one of them worked at Disneyland and could sign in a certain amount of people and she needed to use up those spots before they expired. So Evan took his ticket that he'd already bought an Kyra wound up getting in absolutely free! How cool is that? This just goes to prove what I've been saying for the longest time: goths are really nice, friendly people underneath all that makeup and spooky clothing. We thanked them multiple times and wished them a happy Bats Day before continuing into the park.

I think the first thing we did was get junk food. Kyra had some cotton candy that she was nice enough to share with us. We ate that while we waited in line for Space Mountain. Here's Kyra in the black and pink tutu I made for her to wear on Bats Day. It's got a black velvet pointed overskirt with silver bells and it was hella easy to make.

She's cute, isn't she?

After Space Mountain we stopped to watch the Jedi Training Academy show. For those who have never seen this before, you are totally missing out. I wish I was seven years old again just so I could join in. It's totally unfair that this wasn't around when I was a kid, but I'll admit it's pretty cool for the kids that are around now. Basically they give a bunch of kids Jedi robes and lightsabres and teach them some moves with the lightsabres. Then Darth Vader and Darth Maul show up and each kid gets a turn to fight them. The guy playing the Jedi Master, who runs the whole thing is always wonderfully sarcastic and it's always enjoyable to watch.

Just look at this kid. Holy crap, it's Darth Vader! omgomgomg!! Remember your training, Kid! May the Force be with you.

After that I think we did the Matterhorn. I love the Matterhorn. It's especially fun when you're not sharing a seat with anyone else because then you slide all over the place. Weeee! We stopped in front of the castle at some point to see what the turnout was for the first scheduled group picture of the day and all I can say is Oh. My. God. You couldn't even see the castle from Main Street. Just an ocean of black across the drawbridge. I think the final count at the end of the day was around 2,000 people. We opted out for the castle picture and decided we would make it to the Haunted Mansion photo shoot later that night.

We went on Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean after that. Two major musts when visiting Disneyland.

Ooo, there's shiny things down there!

Avast me hearties! Ye haven't seen any 'o them Jack Sparrow fangirls hereabouts, have ye? They give me the willies.

We also made Evan go on Peter Pan. Why, you ask? Because Peter Pan is awesome, that's why. The line for Peter Pan is always an hour wait. No more, and hardly ever less. It used to be that every time I went to Disneyland I had to go on Peter Pan. I'd make my parents stand there and wait an hour for a ride that lasts less than two minutes. Remember those days, Dad? I'm sure you do. The fun part about waiting in line for Peter Pan is you get to stare at Snow White's Scary Adventure, which is right across the way and is easily one of the most hilarious rides in the park once you get inside. No, really. It's up there with Winnie the Pooh in terms of hilarity. Go ride it.

But the fun part isn't just staring at the outside of the ride, it's waiting for this to happen:


I'm kinda surprised how few people know about this, but I guess it just goes to show how many times I've been to Disneyland in the 22 years of my existence. For those of you who may not know, get this: there's a curtained window above Snow White's Scary Adventures and every five minutes or so (I've never timed it, but I probably should) the curtains draw back and the wicked queen appears in the window. Just look at that smug expression of her face. You know she's plotting something. This bit of Disney trivia brought to you by college students who have nothing better to do.

Here's Kyra and Sarah about to board the magical pirate ship that will take them to Candy Mountain Neverland.

Think lovely thoughts ^.^

We did lots of stuff after Peter Pan. Ran around, ate junk food, had our picture taken by random people while we were minding our own business. Some of them might wind up on the Bats Day website if the webmaster ever gets around to updating the photo section. I'm sure I made them go on Winnie the Pooh, which is the closest you will ever come to experiencing an acid trip. We thought briefly about going on Splash Mountain but Kyra was getting over the flu and it was still kinda cold so we decided not to. Perhaps next time.

Here's the gratuitous Timmy shot, kindly taken by Kyra's friend Sarah as we waited outside Pirates of the Caribbean.

Later in the evening the kids decided they wanted to go on Autopia before heading over to The Haunted Mansion. There's another ride I used to drag my dad on when I was little. Ah, how I fondly recall his argument of "I didn't drive an hour to get here just so I could wait in line an hour to drive again!" But hey, I was too short to reach the pedal so he went on with me whether he liked it or not. I get it now if it's any consolation, Dad.

Needless to say I didn't feel much like driving, so I decided to ride with Evan even though he didn't need any help reaching the pedal. Kyra and Sarah went for separate cars of course and the two of them thought it would be hilarious to practice their bad driving skills by calling each other on their cell phones. Evan got in on it too and called his mom as we raced with Kyra.

*Ka-THUMP!* Aw, snap. Floor it Kyra! I think that was Pluto you hit back there o.o

Evan, just so you know...I really don't wanna die.

Nah, just kidding. Evan did really good considering the Autopia is a heck of a lot harder to drive after you've learned how to drive a real car. Evan's getting his license soon, he's already got a car and everything. We got to go "off-roading" this time. I've never been on the dirt path before, it was neat. We managed to beat Kyra, which wasn't hard because she kept stopping every time she answered the phone. It was pretty funny.

After that it was time to get in line at The Haunted Mansion. There was a huge amount of people there. The cast members managed the crowd by having one line for people doing the Bats Day photo and another line for everyone else. We got into our line with all the goths and sat around to wait. Everyone was really nice ^.^ We made small talk with the people next to us and a couple others even offered us leftover Halloween candy! This is more or less what the line looked like from where we stood. Taken from the side of The Haunted Mansion

There were sooooo many people!

Eventually the line started moving and we got to have our picture taken at the front of the mansion. One of the dudes running this thing was counting us as we went in. I think Kyra was number 1,500 or something and the guy threw up his hands and shouted, "Congratulations! You win...nothing!" We laughed and kept going. I think the final count by the end of the night was around 2,000 people. We had our picture taken and then went through the ride. Everyone there was really cheerful and witty and we had a bunch of fun participating in this whole thing :D

Afterwards we went and saw the fireworks cause the fireworks are awesome. Evan was sad because we missed Fantasmic, though. Sorry, Evan. We'll get it next time. We tried to go on Indiana Jones but it was broken :( Jolie called right around then and told us we had to go home because poor Kyra had school the next morning. So we went down to Main Street so I could load up on caffeine for the drive home.

I got my nummy Disneyland coffee and we got on the tram and fetched the car. Evan stayed up for a bit but the girls passed out the minute I got on the freeway. I made it back to Jolie's without any problem, though I had to change the music to something less predictable when I started getting drowsy. I switched it over to one of my mix cds and the girls woke up when the Moulin Rouge songs came on because they recognized them. We got home shortly after (around 11:45) and all went off to bed.

I wish I had The Haunted Mansion photo to post, but I'm still waiting for the website to put them up :( I keep checking frequently and will post it here as soon as it's up. According to the Bats Dat website, Bats Day has been moved...again. This Bats Day was in November, before that it was in August. Now they're moving it to May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and saying that it's going to stay there. So who knows? We may wind up going again. Yay for Bats Day! :D

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