Sunday, August 14, 2011

Graveyard Playground

Alright, so I'm posting on Sunday instead of Monday or Friday. It's still this week, give me a break.

Since I was old enough to walk, my favorite theme park attraction in all the world has been The Haunted Mansion in Walt Disney World (Orlando, FL). Despite all the project turmoil and personal tragedy its creators endured, the mansion ended up a masterpiece of atmosphere, detail, and fun, the hallmarks of classic Disney. Filled to overflowing with clever gags, eerie characters, and evocative music, millions of people have made their way through this retirement home for the dearly departed since it opened in 1971 (the original opened at Disneyland in California two years prior).

It was also the perfect way to introduce young'uns to spooky concepts. The place was just unsettling enough to be interesting, but once you got through to the end of the ride, you realize that all the ghosts (at least, all the ghosts you come across) are a jovial sort who just want to have a good time, and there's no real danger. Outside though, the brick and mortar looms over guests like a living thing, and the wolf howls don't help to ease your sense of fear.

For 40 years, the mansion remained largely unchanged. Oh sure, there'd be audio tweaks, and they did add a new bride to the attic, but for the most part all 999 happy haunts kept themselves to themselves, waiting for us inside. That is, until this past April, when Disney employees (I refuse to call these jokers Imagineers, they don't deserve the title) made huge, expensive, and idiotic changes that forever altered the vibe of this once-great attraction.

The day the mansion died.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Sun, Lies, and Tortured Souls

Alright, if any of you are still paying attention to the drive-in after nearly three months of silence, you are my heroes. I think we've all learned a little lesson: never believe Rabbi when he makes a promise. Twice in the last 10 weeks, I've "promised" to get back to blogging so you'd all have something new to absorb. The archives that Daffy and I built up are impressive, but they don't take one-fifth of a year to read.

The plain and simple fact is that I've been busy. I've got a new full-time job (and two other part-time jobs). I'm hanging out with friends. I'm visiting family. And I'm going to Mickey's Not-so-scary Halloween Party this October, so I need to focus on saving my cash, not to mention thinking up an awesome costume. Given the current length of my beard, I'm considering attending as Rebeus Hagrid.

There's something else that's kept me away from my keyboard lately. It's just too darn nice outside. Let's be honest here, it's hard to be a spooky kid when the weather beckons for you to take a swim. I like the cold, the dark, and the scary, sure. But I won't pretend I don't like a pool, a tan, and a game of frisbee as well. I'm not a Goth. I need to explore the outdoors once in awhile.

So all that said, it's been tough coming up with things to write about. Some people figured I got bored with the idea. Nope, not even close. I've just been hibernating from horror a bit. Now that summer is on its last legs and Halloween is a couple months away, my blood and guts is once again hungry for some blood... and guts.

I haven't spoken to Daffy since his last post, but I'm sure he's eager to continue on. The guy is just as busy as I am, if not more so, so he's had much the same problem coming up with content. Hopefully, he'll be back with a new piece later in the week. I've given up on posting every day; mostly because it's difficult thinking of compelling material, but also because the both of us have now posted plenty of interesting blogs with worthy topics of discussion, not to mention our book and movie reviews. If you haven't combed through all the old posts yet, please do and add to the discussion! I think you'll like what you find. I'm planning on updating the site at least once a week, possibly every Monday and/or Friday night. Don't hold me to that though, we know how I tend to welch on commitments.

Those of you who've been reading us from the beginning are the coolest, and I want to say thanks for sticking with it. Keep telling your friends and readers about The Haunted Drive-in, we appreciate the help.

I don't want to close this return post by being all mushy and sentimental, so I'll let you all in on a tidbit. Curtis RX of the band Creature Feature has just released the second single for his upcoming pet project Rufus Rex. Click here to download "Worlds In-between" with its sweet "Name Your Price" feature. Nifty guy that he is, Curtis would rather people have the song for free than not have it at all, but if you can donate any amount (all the money goes towards completion of the album, which he hopes to release before Halloween), then cheers!

Stay spooky everyone...