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title of episode: grading the changes at the park"

Grading the Changes at the Park

#20: With Special Guest Billy Madden, better known as “The Movie Grader,” Happiest Pod jumps into his experience returning to Disneyland, sharing details about Webslinger. Stef, Ariel, and Billy analyze the changes happening in Disneyland parks, and how these developments are setting a precedent for other theme parks.

Read the blog post for this episode for additional references and resources.

Become a member of Geek Therapy on Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/geektherapy

Transcription

Ariel Landrum 0:11
Hello everyone! Welcome to the Happiest Pod On Earth!

Stefanie Bautista 0:14
I’m Stefanie.

Ariel Landrum 0:15
And I’m Ariel.

Billy Madden 0:16
And I’m Billy.

Ariel Landrum 0:18
And we’re all just me fans, but we’re really so much more than that.

Stefanie Bautista 0:22
I’m an educator who uses passions and fandoms to help my students grow and learn about themselves and the world around them.

Ariel Landrum 0:27
And I’m a licensed therapist who uses clients passions and fandoms to help them heal from trauma and mental unwellness

Billy Madden 0:33
And I am a content creator who shares my passion for film by reviewing movies.

Ariel Landrum 0:37
Happiest Pod is a place where we dissect Disney mediums with a critical lens. Why? Because just like we are more than just fans we expect more from the mediums we consume. So what Disney experience are we dissecting today everyone?

Stefanie Bautista 0:48
Well today is a fun episode because not only are we going to discuss something that is of recent events when it comes to the Disney Parks but we’re also going to be joined by a very special guest today. We will be talking about the virtual queue process. I know many of us have been seeing and following the news whether or not you have been to the parks, about the new virtual cube process and how all that works. But more importantly we are going to be talking about the new ride, Webslingers Ride at Avengers Campus. And our very good friend who will be sharing this experience with us today is Billy Madden. Welcome to the show Billy!

Billy Madden 1:24
Thank you guys so much for having me. It’s an honor.

Ariel Landrum 1:27
Yeah! So Billy or better known as the movie greeter that it is a friend who has grown up his whole life in the industry. He knows the ins and outs of movies and he has a podcast of his own called The Movie Grader and it comes out…

Billy Madden 1:41
The Movie Grader and Friends.

Ariel Landrum 1:43
And friends. He has guests I shouldn’t…

Stefanie Bautista 1:46
This Movie Grader has friends guys. Don’t forget that.

Ariel Landrum 1:49
And it comes out with spoiler free reviews of new movies and he actually does them fairly regularly almost like next day.

Billy Madden 1:56
Yeah, I mean I try to be as timely as possible but you know now that I do have a job…

Ariel Landrum 2:02
That J-O-B.

Billy Madden 2:04
The schedule is kind of hairy… So like you know like as Ariel said I am Billy I am the Movie Grader. And in a nutshell I’m just an avid movie goer and I enjoy I enjoy reviewing movies on my podcast and occasionally on the website. Which is you know, getting less and less love because of time in life. But um the whole Movie Grader idea was actually born from an idea that a friend of mine, Adam Goldberg had. He used to go see a movie and on Facebook simply give it a letter grade without any other any other explanation. I figured heck I mean my mom’s is a teacher and I at the time was actually considering considering going into the education field, you’re welcome kids that I didn’t…

Stefanie Bautista 2:48
They say “Thank you!” Just kidding Billy.

Billy Madden 2:51
So I thought like hey, you know what, I can add a little more to it you know, and just just start writing reviews. So I started writing reviews for you know, People of Con, which we have… Had, had I hope.

Stefanie Bautista 3:02
Have.

Ariel Landrum 3:04
It’s achrived.

Stefanie Bautista 3:05
Archived.

Billy Madden 3:05
Archieved. So I started being a writing for people con and then I thought you know what, I kind of want to do this on my own. So I created my website and then I after the website, I started up the podcast because I love podcasts and it’s been a lot of fun and I have friends and come on and do the show with me… And it’s not nearly the level of production that you guys do on this show. But I’m a total amateur amateur but um you know I just have fun with it it’s it’s it’s been a lot of fun I mean it’s been going on for… Jesus over over a year now I think actually so yeah, it’s it’s it’s simply that I mean I just I just grade movies and we talk about it discuss and you know, spoiler free zone. And yeah, that’s that’s pretty much it. I’m you know, I’m not a hero, like you guys are who actually change the world. A therapists and educators. Much respect.

Ariel Landrum 4:01
However you do bring the humor. I will say this to anyone who is listening to the podcast or just like follows Billy on Twitter. He’s just hilarious. He puts a smile on your face. He’s a really great friend to have.

Billy Madden 4:16
Oh I love you guys.

Stefanie Bautista 4:17
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 4:17
So I think like you’re the you’re the type of people I tell my clients to make friends with.

Stefanie Bautista 4:23
Absolutely. And on top of that, Billy, you know, you and the podcast were really instrumental of catching me up on movies that I did not see when all the movies were coming out.

Billy Madden 4:33
Right. right.

Stefanie Bautista 4:34
And I it gave me like an insight because as you know, coming out of the pandemic as a new mom, I just wasn’t readily available to go back to the movies right away. And it was great to always get those updates from The Movie Grader And Friends because I knew should I waste my time and money on this or not. You guys are just honest opinions and I love it. So thank you for that.

Billy Madden 4:56
There’s no problem. There’s that you know, that’s it slogan you know, “We watch it so you don’t have to.”

Stefanie Bautista 5:04
Thank you for your service.

Billy Madden 5:08
Oh please yeah you’re very treacherous going to the theater. I’ve sank many hours into movies that I’ve liked and yeah so it’s it’s it’s been fun I mean I just do it for for fun I mean. I don’t make a dime off of it it’s it’s it’s really just for my own entertainment and I guess it’s it does serve a use a purpose to people who like to go to the movies but are you know I guess a bit more timid to go see a movie. Like I don’t care I’ll go see anything really so…

Ariel Landrum 5:44
No prejudice. “It’s a movie I’m watching it.”

Stefanie Bautista 5:46
Yeah.

Billy Madden 5:46
Yeah, it’s fine.

Ariel Landrum 5:47
The really funny thing is we brought Billy on here to not talk about movies.

Stefanie Bautista 5:53
But low and behold The Movie Grader’s gonna movie grade.

Billy Madden 5:56
Yeah I went on assignment.

Stefanie Bautista 6:01
Yeah, I love how we did that we kind of we threw a curveball at you. We’re gonna take you a little bit out of your element but at the same time talk about something that you had a I guess a good experience with I guess we’ll find out the next couple minutes.

Billy Madden 6:16
Oh yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 6:17
Yeah, so Ariel, do you want to kick it off?

Ariel Landrum 6:19
Yes, I do. So again, our subject today is the virtual queue on the phone and specifically Webslingers. So I think it was Episode 12 or maybe 13… I don’t really remember 12 or 13 somewhere around there I talked about my experience of returning to the park and virtual queue crapped out on me multiple times. And I missed both chances to get into either of the rides, Rise of the Resistance and Webslinger. So I had nothing to report except for that it crapped out on me and I was sad. However, our buddy Billy was messaging us and just doing of course the very Billy thing which is selfies in the frickin line for an Instagram, was like “Hey yeah, I made it in haha look at all this stuff. You can see from my phone. Haha haha.”

Billy Madden 7:09
Not to toot my own horn but I’m free for three with with the what do you call it, the boarding passes.

Stefanie Bautista 7:15
You averaging.

Billy Madden 7:17
For 100% baby!

Stefanie Bautista 7:18
now I’m psyched because now you both have been to the parks and I’m going to be going very soon. So like Ariel’s experience was like, “Wah wah.. I’m never gonna get it.” And Billy is just, “I got all the things.”

Ariel Landrum 7:31
Well and I went again with my family same thing, got in none of them.

Stefanie Bautista 7:34
Dang.

Ariel Landrum 7:35
I mean none of them.

Billy Madden 7:36
It’s kind of like a I guess you could say like a two edged sword because yeah, I mean you feel bad for the people that don’t get so lucky. But like if you do happen to luck out the process is freaking phenomenal. You… I can’t complain because I’ve never been denied a boarding pass so it’s like I don’t know what that’s like. I can only imagine.

Ariel Landrum 8:02
Rejection. It’s like rejeciton Billy.

Stefanie Bautista 8:04
We know this hill that you’re preaching on now for context.

Billy Madden 8:08
I’ve standed on the shoulders of giants so it’s like.. It’s really honestly it’s a matter of luck I mean, like I if there’s any tip I could give I mean like you know, I had my Apple Watch and like I had it down to like, where it shows the time in seconds. So like, you know, if it was like, it was the 7am one you know, I would literally watch my watch for like 5 seconds till then count in my mind as I watched it and then you scroll down to refresh the page. And that’s just go for it.

Ariel Landrum 8:43
I did not do that.

Stefanie Bautista 8:44
That’s a good tip. Yeah, maybe, maybe we can walk through it. As you were like getting ready because I know for some people, Disney days start at different times some people..

Billy Madden 8:55
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 8:56
Like to do the 7am thing so they’re up by 6 getting ready. Some people just like to kind of be a little bit more relaxed about it where they kind of just mosey into the park whenever they want to. I guess now in recent times, because you have to have your reservation and if you’re park hopping, you have to do a lot of pre-planning just like how we mentioned in Ariel’s episode, but maybe I guess we could start with Billy what time and you live in the San Fernando Valley like we do.

Billy Madden 9:19
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 9:19
What time did you start getting ready to head out to Anaheim?

Billy Madden 9:24
Well, like I showered I woke up at like I think 6 I want to say then I was showered and ready to go you know in case it did happen at 7 o’clock and which it did so like I immediately left for Disneyland right after I got the reservation. So like it took me I think like hour, hour and some change to get to Disneyland and like during I think like when I was like 20 minutes out I think they called my boarding group. You have an hour to get to the line.

Ariel Landrum 9:53
And an hour.. Oh, that would have start panicking.

Billy Madden 9:57
No no, you have an hour. So it’s like… But I was kind of confused too because like on the website it said the California Adventure didn’t open till 9 and my boarding group got called at 9 I think it was… Like it was supposed to be at 9 there I couldn’t get there earlier than 9 or something and I was confused. So like I go and I parked like off site where…

Ariel Landrum 10:21
Toy Story?

Stefanie Bautista 10:21
Is it like the Toy Story Lot?

Billy Madden 10:22
Over by the hotel like further down like they have…

Stefanie Bautista 10:25
Like the near Hilton and the Marriott?

Billy Madden 10:27
They have like a Churrascaria over there and stuff. It’s across the way. It’s a pretty short walk basically it’s like

Stefanie Bautista 10:33
Like across Harbor? So you crossed….

Billy Madden 10:35
Yeah Harbo, that’s what it is yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 10:37
Okay okay.

Billy Madden 10:37
I parked over there and you know just jammed over to Disneyland I mean like I was getting there and I was like thinking, and you know what I asked the guy the security guy there’s “What time do you guys open? “Oh, we opened at like 7:30 or something…” I was like….

Stefanie Bautista 10:52
You were lied to.

Billy Madden 10:52
It worked out.

Ariel Landrum 10:54
Okay, wait, wait. Really? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Did you get two tickets for both parks and did you have to choose which one you were going to go to first because I that I know that’s what I had to do.

Stefanie Bautista 11:04
Yeah.

Billy Madden 11:05
Yeah. I The deal was I had a Park Gopper.

Stefanie Bautista 11:08
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 11:08
Oh okay.

Billy Madden 11:08
Gifted to me by my brother. So like yeah, and like I tried to use it previously when I went before like was it a month or 2 ago? Or 2 months ago? And that specific ticket it was blocked out for reservation so I actually had to buy my ticket the first time. But anyways, this ticket like it was it all dawned on me to go and I was listening to your podcast about we’re returning to, to Disneyland. On a whim I was like “Oh my god the reservations are for Friday I can go on Friday! Boom! Book it! Okay.” So you know it just happened to be available so I had this ticket…

Ariel Landrum 11:45
Okay, so you already had a ticket you just reserved. Got it. Got it. Okay.

Billy Madden 11:49
Yeah. So you know I reserved it as soon as I couldn’t you know when I saw it and then like I had to start off at California Adventure which wasn’t a problem that’s fine I want you know, my main goal was to go and Webslinger as anyways so I wasn’t crying about that that’s fine and yeah, I mean I just got there and it’s it was a very smooth process. I mean like, I got into the park and you know, I just made a beeline straight to the Avengers campus and you know I found found the ride and you found that the the cast member who who has taken you know she took your phone I think. Like I had to hand her my phone or share my reservation for my board my boarding pass sorry and you “Okay go on that line.” And I got into line and you know, I honestly like we walked right on I mean you. You don’t you don’t have much time to really like take pictures of the line I mean in the pictures that I showed you that the quality of them was pretty bad because I was in motion. You don’t have time to smell the roses you know…

Ariel Landrum 11:57
Walk and snap. Walk and snap.

Billy Madden 12:59
Which is cool because you get on the ride really quickly but like bad because you can’t really like drink it all in you know.

Ariel Landrum 13:04
Yeah okay.

Billy Madden 13:05
And there’s a lot to see so it’s like.

Stefanie Bautista 13:08
Yeah, and I totally understand that I feel like for for ride so I’ve been on that have been like very high high volume like the Avatar Rid and Walt Disney World there’s so much to see inside the line. Because they want to make that..

Billy Madden 13:22
Oh yeah Pandora.

Stefanie Bautista 13:22
Yeah, in Pandora Yeah yeah yeah.

Ariel Landrum 13:24
Yeah yeah yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 13:24
But when we went we had also had fast passes so I couldn’t see everything like they had the lab and they had you know all of these little Easter Eggs and stuff and I was just like walking through and like you said like you don’t have time to like, I mean you are excited because you’re going on the ride like you’re not waiting forever playing heads up and what have you with like 5 of your friends but yeah, you’re gonna be on the ride soon. It’s just like you can’t soak in those details that you know Disney’s already like setting up for you.

Billy Madden 13:53
Oh yeah.

Ariel Landrum 13:54
It’s really interesting because when I had I had recently gone again to Disneyland because I had family fly in from out of town, my, my dad and my stepmom and my niece. And my stepmom kept talking about how just like wonderful the line in Indiana Jones was and how immersive. And she was like, “Are we going underground? Are you sure we’re not in a cave?” Because it just felt like that.

Billy Madden 14:23
It’s such a cool line.

Ariel Landrum 14:23
And I had taken it really for granted. And then that just like that moment stuck in my mind and then recently I got free tickets to go to Universal Studios. And I was on the like the Jurassic World line and it’s literally a rope and some TVs. Not immersive at all. It hadn’t even occurred to me that’s like, “Oh yeah, here’s another way that the Imagineers like really cater to us.” And that when you’re standing in line, you have things that you’re looking at and you feel like you’re in that world. You’ve been taken out of like a specific part of the park and you’re just in just completely immersed in this space that like is meant to amp you up. Really.

Billy Madden 14:59
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 14:59
Yeah.

Billy Madden 15:00
Oh yeah. it’s I mean Disney has always been about the details I mean like the the brief period that I was in line that I got to see stuff I mean it was cool like they have like I think they were like plans… That were in like the lab. For um as a Doc Oc’s lab or something that that Peter’s in.. That you’re supposed to be in there and I mean like it was kind of hard to understand what like what the story of the ride was. But I think like it’s about like a Peter in a spider bots and like the spider bots something goes wrong and like I guess they there’s more of them than there should have been. So it’s all about controlling the spider bots and like I think just like decimating them to a controllable population.

Ariel Landrum 15:47
It’s this like like the Mickey Sorcerer with all the brooms.

With all of the little brooms?

Billy Madden 15:54
I mean like it’s like do you have the right is it’s a game really and you know they have like a whole bunch of different like movements for your hands and like you could like apparently grab stuff and…

Stefanie Bautista 16:04
Oh okay cool the good part like pause.

Billy Madden 16:07
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 16:07
Okay so we’re okay we’ve gone through like the line What does so you know how whenever you’re going to a new ride you see all the people board and you’re like “Oh that’s how it’s gonna look.” Like what did you see? Like what does the vehicle look like? Can you describe that to us?

Billy Madden 16:24
The vehicle is.. It’s big it looks like I don’t know how to describe it really? Okay…

Ariel Landrum 16:30
If you think of the other rides it Disneyland?

Stefanie Bautista 16:32
Yeah.

Billy Madden 16:32
Okay yeah it’s comparable to like the the ride the cars from like Toy Story Mania I guess so.

Stefanie Bautista 16:39
Like a duel like you’re you’re facing back to back with someone?

Billy Madden 16:43
Bigger. Yeah, yeah, there’s like I believe there’s spots for 4 people on each bench. They put you back to back but like it’s bigger than like Toy Story Mania. It’s like this whole like

Ariel Landrum 16:55
Contraption?

Billy Madden 16:57
Cargo thing. I mean it’s it’s big.

Ariel Landrum 16:59
Like is there a bar, a lap bar?

Billy Madden 17:03
A little lap bar that you know goes over your over your lap and…

Ariel Landrum 17:06
And you said that it is a game so do you have like a gun or do you put something on your hands?

Billy Madden 17:11
Um there’s something to that so like… I you know like I heard that you could buy like these these actual webslingers you know and it’s like a pay to win type a deal thing. Whoever I don’t know they have whole bunch of different webslingers you could buy to put on your hands and I guess it multiplies your score so like..

Ariel Landrum 17:32
Oh.

Stefanie Bautista 17:33
Interesting.

Billy Madden 17:33
It’s very pay to win you know, it’s Disney, they like to get money.

Ariel Landrum 17:37
Oh this is the cheat code I didn’t know about.

Stefanie Bautista 17:41
See okay I’m gonna look out for this if I get on.

Billy Madden 17:43
I think they’re like 25 or 30 bucks or something. I didn’t spring for that because I didn’t care about my score. I just wanted to experience it, you know what I mean? Like I wasn’t going for a high score but does kind of slow down right before you get into the line where it does allow you an opportunity to read the like the brief little message of all the different moves you can do during the ride to play the game.

Ariel Landrum 18:06
Okay. Okay. Tutorial.

Billy Madden 18:07
Yeah, tutorials. Like you could use like one hand for like a web sling or you could use two hands and like you know, it’s like the…

Stefanie Bautista 18:15
Thwip-Thwip

Billy Madden 18:15
Yeah, yeah, you have to position your hands and stuff I mean like It’s nuts. I mean like the crazy thing about it was it’s in 3D and you have glasses but like prior to getting on the ride, I forgot to mention this. It’s like the story that they do they do show you it’s like a hologram but it’s like in 3D and you’re not wearing 3D glasses. You’re kind of sitting there is like, “How did they do this?”

Ariel Landrum 18:40
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 18:41
Disney magic!

Billy Madden 18:43
You see a cool movie before you get on the ride you know. But like it was just so much get you know going on at that time and I was just super excited and I wasn’t really focusing on it I was trying to look at everything I could possibly see before they you know I ushered us into the ride. And yeah I mean the technology of this ride was was just something else,

Ariel Landrum 19:03
Well oh so so because because of the amount of people you mentioned were you alone or did you go with other people to Disney? This was the sounds like it was huge was there like single rider?

Billy Madden 19:13
It was a solo mission. I mean I’m not sure if they offer single rider. It’s just like the group you with other people I mean in my in my row. There was only 2 of the girls to my right.

Ariel Landrum 19:23
Okay okay

Billy Madden 19:23
And I beat them both with that stay on the record. So yeah, I mean I wasn’t really trying I mean one girl one girl wasn’t that good at it but one girl you know she gave me run free money but I managed to eke her out.

Stefanie Bautista 19:38
So is it like Toy Story Mania where you see your score on like your screen in front of you?

Billy Madden 19:43
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 19:43
Okay.

Billy Madden 19:44
there’s a little screen in front of you. And it shows you everybody’s score in your row. And like everything is I think it’s everything is like color coded. And like, and honestly like when you’re experiencing your ride. It’s chaos, man. There’s so many spider bots on screen so many explosions going on I mean. Honestly I have to read it again in order to like really like see what what’s going on because it’s pretty chaotic and it’s cool but it’s very chaotic and like it’s just like so much stuff it’s like. You shoot at stuff and like you don’t know if you really hit anything or not but like you see your score go up and like and it’s exhausting man. It’s like it’s a workout you’re constantly moving your arms and like yeah, your arms hurt by the end of it.

Ariel Landrum 20:35
Is Spider-Man following you throughout this or talking to you, or are you?

Billy Madden 20:38
Yeah he kind of he kind of dips in and out of the scene.

Ariel Landrum 20:41
Okay.

Billy Madden 20:42
Yeah he like he…

Stefanie Bautista 20:43
Ohhh. I like that.

Billy Madden 20:43
Yeah, I don’t want to give away the story because like I’m not sure if I…

Ariel Landrum 20:48
Oh you can give it away this is not a spoiler free zone.

Stefanie Bautista 20:50
This is not. Disclaimer.

Billy Madden 20:53
I don’t want to give out misinformation because like…

Stefanie Bautista 20:56
Oh I see. I see.

Billy Madden 20:56
I said you know I don’t want to get it wrong. Like…

Ariel Landrum 21:00
There’s a Spider-Man.

Billy Madden 21:01
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 21:02
Yeah.

Billy Madden 21:02
Spinder-Man is in the ride of course so but he dips in and out and he he does I think it kind of helps you. Like he says “Oh look over there spiderbots are, are jumping onto that box. Get them!” And like he he’ll he’ll give you tips basically.

Ariel Landrum 21:16
Okay.

Billy Madden 21:17
As you play the game.

Ariel Landrum 21:18
Okay.

Billy Madden 21:18
It’s like, “Oh look at those explode look at those gasoline cans. If you if you if you hit those they’ll explode and you can take out more spiderbots at once.” Basically, he gives you there to kind of give you tips.

Stefanie Bautista 21:32
That’s cool that’s so cool. I love that. I’m excited for that because I think seeing Tom Holland like in real life but not really real life, it’s a definite pull for me I think.

Billy Madden 21:45
It’s a great time I mean it’s exhausting. It is fun.

Stefanie Bautista 21:48
Would you say it was like would you say it’s sensory overload?

Billy Madden 21:51
Yes yes.

Stefanie Bautista 21:53
One thing little spiders coming at you are a little creepy right and I mean luckily their robots…?

Billy Madden 21:59
They did it in a cute way. It’s not bad.

Stefanie Bautista 22:01
Okay that’s good because it’s not like you know the part of Indiana Jones where like all of the bugs come out and then they’re like doing that like pressure thing to you like that’s creepy

Billy Madden 22:11
No, it’s not like that. It’s kind of cool that they gave the the spiderbots a cute personality.

Stefanie Bautista 22:17
Okay.

Billy Madden 22:19
You’ll see during the line like air duct basically with with vent and you can see the spiderbot crawling along the vet and like you kind of look at the crowd, and then go on his way. It’s pretty cute. I mean it’s like it’s one of the things that you could easily miss you know what I mean? So it’s you know again details but yeah.

Ariel Landrum 22:37
What is the spider so it sounds like the spiderbots are friends?

Billy Madden 22:40
Yeah, they’re friends but like…

Ariel Landrum 22:42
They’re like bud, they’re like your buddies? Your helpers?

Billy Madden 22:44
You have to like control them I guess contain them. And like because they get out of hand basically…

Ariel Landrum 22:50
They’re my dog!

Billy Madden 22:51
Yes. Yeah, it was like an experiment gone wrong I think something. I could be wrong and it was like I said I don’t really understand the whole gist of the story but that’s what it was like too many spiderbots. Population control. You know?

Ariel Landrum 23:06
It sounds like the story is chaos.

Stefanie Bautista 23:10
And I think Billy you mentioned something that is very common with Disney rides where you already said you have to ride it again. So there is already an incentive to want to experience it another time.

Billy Madden 23:21
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 23:21
So you can grab those details and I think what Disney does really well with rides like that is that there’s tiers to experiences. So there’s like your first time brand new experience you’re just like “Oh my gosh, what is happening?” Very basic, scratch the surface level. And then when you do like as you keep riding the ride, it’s like you get a different experience which kind of makes it more. There’s longevity it’s it’s sustainable.

Billy Madden 23:47
It is no it’s, yeah, it’s not only you know, like it has replay value I guess you could say…

Stefanie Bautista 23:54
That’s it yes. If we’re talking about video games, yes.

Billy Madden 23:57
I’m not sure if you get a different experience. I’m not sure if the AI changes at all at any given time that I don’t know. I would have to maybe do some research on that. But I can say the experience is very cool. I mean, like, I mean, I know Ariel, you’ve had the Xbox Kinect you know and…

Ariel Landrum 24:14
Yeah

Billy Madden 24:15
For your because a dancer does a Dance Central? Or what game do you like on there?

Ariel Landrum 24:21
Oh Just Dance?

Billy Madden 24:21
Just Dance. That’s it.

Ariel Landrum 24:23
Yeah.

Billy Madden 24:24
Like the technology is insane because like it could tell if you know your hands are in the correct spider sling a spider web slinging kind of position or if they’re up and trying to grab something. Like it’s crazy how accurate the camera is and like all your all your wearing is glasses. I mean it’s pretty nuts.

Ariel Landrum 24:42
The Millennium Falcon Ride the ummm..

Billy Madden 24:45
Smuggler’s Run?

Ariel Landrum 24:46
Yes, Smuggler’s Run. Yeah. So I remember the first time I was on that, like, just just crash just crashed horribly. I think like what the pilots were because we didn’t know anything about the ride we of course stupidly let the 2 children who can’t even drive pilot the frickin ships…

Billy Madden 25:07
No you kick those kids back to engineer, come on!

Ariel Landrum 25:10
It was huge chaos and I couldn’t I couldn’t if if you interviewed me after that ride I wouldn’t have been able to tell you anything I’d been like, “There’s some buttons… I think heard Chewie. We died. Right?

Billy Madden 25:21
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 25:21
Now I’ve been on it so many times I’ve gotten the idea.

Billy Madden 25:23
Course.

Ariel Landrum 25:23
I know to set my gun to automatic so like oh like actually aims for me I don’t like I don’t even know how I was supposed to aim but I’ve never figured that out just doing the automatic thing. But yeah, that’s that’s the same experience in regards to it sounds like this ride is just like there’s just so much sensory overload there’s no way to really prepare yourself.

Billy Madden 25:42
A lot going on. Yes. No doubt.

Stefanie Bautista 25:44
It seems like from the beginning like from the moment you step into the line there’s already a lot going on.

Billy Madden 25:49
Oh, yeah As far as like stuff to see and stuff to like secrets to fit to find I mean, there’s, there’s a lot in there. They’ve they’ve done a fantastic job.

Ariel Landrum 25:59
Did you happen to find any Easter Eggs? Or could you tell?

Billy Madden 26:02
Um, well, like what I did spot was like, there’s a mural, like where Spider-Man does his show? And like I mean, this sounds kind of obvious, but like the the artists who does the meet the mural is Miles Morales because he has his name Miles on it.

Ariel Landrum 26:22
Yes.

Stefanie Bautista 26:22
Yes.

Billy Madden 26:23
But there’s a lot more I’m sure I saw but like I’m not sure if I would count them as an Easter I don’t know. There’s a lot there.

Stefanie Bautista 26:31
That’s so cool. And I think um, I guess what I’m wondering is how long do you think the ride lasted?

Billy Madden 26:36
Oh god um, I would say it’s about 5 minutes around there. 3 to 5 minutes I would say.

Stefanie Bautista 26:42
Okay, do you think it was too short too long do you think it was like a good amount of time for what was happening?

Billy Madden 26:46
Your arms say it’s just right.

Ariel Landrum 26:51
Okay, so so basically, you’re gonna have to do some workouts.

Billy Madden 26:54
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 26:56
I guess it’s kind of like I mean, Toy Story Mania is a workout like I know my forearm is like especially at the end when you’re trying to like hit all those targets like right away in succession like yeah, I go all out and I’m like, “I don’t care if this hurts right now it’s worth it.”

Billy Madden 27:09
Well with with Toy Story Mania it’s just like one basic you know motion the paddle there and the ball.

Stefanie Bautista 27:14
Yeah yeah yeah.

Billy Madden 27:15
With this there’s more you can do I mean, they’re all the different motions you could do. There’s more combinations. So…

Stefanie Bautista 27:21
Okay, so I guess there’s like it’s not just one motion because that’s what made my arm hurt and Toy Story Mania is that you’re you’re pulling that little like lever with the ball. And I’m just like, there’s only so many ways I can do this without getting a cramp in my arm. But so I guess I mean Webslingers for you was a grand old time?

Billy Madden 27:43
Yeah, it was it was worth the stress to you know, hall ass to get to Disneyland on time.

Stefanie Bautista 27:50
Because I mean really, if you think about if we pulled back a little bit for a 5 minute ride, you prepared hours in advance.

Ariel Landrum 27:58
Hours.

Stefanie Bautista 27:58
To be able to do that. And I think that like ties into your tech savvy, you know, your you know, like, you have your timeline for Disneyland. You knew to park across Harbor. I know for Ariel, like one of the things she mentioned about going to the park is the fact that there is no tram. So when you park at Mickey And Friends, you’re already getting a workout walking from there to the parks. And that Harbor kind of crosswalk is maybe a fraction of that walking time. I mean, I think we’ve talked we’ve touched upon how, you know, because Disneyland has been so popular and that, you know, Avengers Campus is their brand new attraction with Webslingers. We know how popular and successful the Spider-Man franchise has been, especially with the Tom Holland reboot, and I think they knew and they anticipated that you know, everybody was going to flock to it, which they did.

Billy Madden 28:50
Of course.

Stefanie Bautista 28:51
And so they put all of these hoops I guess you could say to jump homebrew, and Billy, you were able to jump through all those hoops sucessful?

Billy Madden 28:58
Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 28:59
Unfortunately, not for Ariel, but…

Ariel Landrum 29:01
You were an Olympic champ. And I was a kindergartener.

Billy Madden 29:05
It will happen Ariel don’t worry. Don’t worry. I got faith in you it’ll happen I mean I’ve been fortunate fortunate for me I mean like Spider-Man honestly is my favorite Marvel character so…

Ariel Landrum 29:17
Awww..

Stefanie Bautista 29:17
Yeah.

Billy Madden 29:18
This was just like awesome to me. Like I mean like I’ve loved the Spider-Man.. The newer Spider-Man movies. I thought the ones with Andrew Garfield were PFFT

Ariel Landrum 29:32
What grade would you be giving those?

Stefanie Bautista 29:33
Yeah!

Billy Madden 29:35
I don’t want to say.

Stefanie Bautista 29:38
N/A. It’s N/A.

Billy Madden 29:39
On the second one actually was the first movie ever walked out on I can tell you that much.

Stefanie Bautista 29:45
Interesting. I don’t even think I saw the third part of that like trilogy. I think I only stopped at the second one.

Billy Madden 29:51
I think there was only two actually

Stefanie Bautista 29:52
Was there. Did it stop at 2? Maybe. Okay.

Billy Madden 29:55
It should have.

Ariel Landrum 29:57
any of them I was on a cruise ship. Once. And it was playing in the background. So that would be my only experience with Andrew Garfield Spiderverse.

Stefanie Bautista 30:07
I mean there was nothing memorable about it like when you think about other than the fact that he was Spider-Man. Tobey Maguire was such a more memorable Spider-Man to me.

Ariel Landrum 30:16
Way more memorable.

Billy Madden 30:17
And Tom Holland is the best honestly, I think he’s my favorite.

Stefanie Bautista 30:20
He just he like the Peter Parker in him is just like, it’s kind of one person to me. Like, it’s always what I envisioned when I read, like, read the comics, and he brings like, a modern twist to it. Because you know, Peter Parker nowadays is like, you know, Tom Holland and his friends in tech school.

Billy Madden 30:39
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 30:40
Yeah. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 30:40
It makes sense.

Billy Madden 30:41
It does. You know, what’s really great too is like, you know, Miles Morales and like…

Stefanie Bautista 30:46
Oh yeah.

Billy Madden 30:46
I thought into the spider verse was such a phenomenal movie but yeah.

Ariel Landrum 30:50
But was made by Sony and is not a Disney franchise.

Billy Madden 30:52
Yeah, that’s true. Disclaimer sorry.

Stefanie Bautista 30:54
But holds a special place in Marvel and Disney fans hearts. Yes, it’s earned. It’s earned at stripes.

Ariel Landrum 31:02
I think Disney needs to finish their Infinity Gauntlet and go-ahead and buy Sony.

Stefanie Bautista 31:06
Seriously. Seriously. I guess from you, Billy, what advice would you give me as you know, me and AJ are going to the parks. And we do want to ride Webslinger is however, we have afternoon tickets to a California Adventure. What would be your advice to us?

Billy Madden 31:23
Oh, pray? I mean, literally, it’s it’s it’s honestly just luck. I mean, I’ve been fortunate where I’ve been able to score boarding passes for the rides that I’ve wanted to go on. And, you know, it’s like, I can’t say one way or another that there’s anything to it. My, to my success. It’s just I just been lucky. I mean, like I’ve you know, I’ve seen like the faces of other people who aren’t so fortunate. And believe me, I felt bad for them. But like, sorry.

Ariel Landrum 31:56
I think I really do have to believe this luck thing because umm Billy, I think you’re the only person I know who’s won anything from those Taco Bell.

Billy Madden 32:06
I won two Xboxes from Taco Bell.

Ariel Landrum 32:08
2!

Billy Madden 32:08
Without eating a single taco or purchasing anything from them. So…

Stefanie Bautista 32:13
I on the other hand, I’ve had so much Taco Bell, never won a thing.

Billy Madden 32:17
Thank you so that litterbug for the first one, by the way. Shout out to whoever you are threw your box on the ground.

Stefanie Bautista 32:25
Billy is one lucky individual and we’re always in awe whenever he goes, “Hey, guys, guess what happened to me today? Like I have a thing.” Okay, cool cool cool. But also it gives us a full sense of hope that it will happen to all of us.

Ariel Landrum 32:39
Yes yes, we can visualize it now. Because we have something in our mind to mind’s eye to look at.

Stefanie Bautista 32:47
We can just manifest it.

Billy Madden 32:48
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 32:48
Into the universe.

Billy Madden 32:49
Right?

Stefanie Bautista 32:49
Into the Spiderverse I guess.

Billy Madden 32:49
Yeah into the Spiderverse. It makes total sense.

Ariel Landrum 32:54
So I know that we were really just focusing on Webslingers and we were really just focusing on the virtual queue. But Stef and I will be shooting an episode on the new Magic Key System. And even the the Genie Genie Plus that we’ve heard about. So we won’t give away full details. But we’re just curious for you, Billy, The Magic Key System. Yay or nay for you?

Billy Madden 33:22
Well, I wish I knew more about it. Honestly, I haven’t taken the time to really study what it’s about. So I don’t understand the Magic Key System. I mean, it sounds like to me it’s it’s just like another Annual Pass but with like stricter blackout dates, I want to say,

Stefanie Bautista 33:43
Yeah, well, you’re not wrong.

Billy Madden 33:47
I mean, yeah, I mean, I don’t understand. I mean, it’s, that’s what it sounds like it sounds just like it’s it’s just blackout dates galore. And I guess I might consider in the future. I mean, I don’t know. I mean, my situation is different. Because you know, my brother works for Disney. And usually he just hooks it up with a free Disney ticket for me. So like, I mean, like, would I spend that massive amount of money if I didn’t have that hook up? Probably. You know, it’s like I don’t know how the common family can do that. But But Disney fans are different or different breed I mean, you see families go to Disneyland. I mean, they’re they roll like 8 people deep or something. Like, I mean a just if you figure just like for a basic ticket, it was like $200 or something. I mean, that’s, that’s, that’s more than $1,000 before you can get into the door.

Stefanie Bautista 34:48
It’s true.

Billy Madden 34:48
It’s insane. I don’t know how people do it.

Ariel Landrum 34:50
Yeah, I think I think you really bring up a good point in that. That I think is what makes a Disney fan is they just kind of find a way to make to spend the money to get there out of the park to have their experience they just they literally just find a way and… And shout out to Jamie who just got married, Billy’s brother!

Stefanie Bautista 35:12
Yeah!

Billy Madden 35:12
He’s getting married in October 23. Not married yet.

Ariel Landrum 35:14
No just got married like he has been with his woman her likes since they were toddlers basically.

Billy Madden 35:19
Over 10 years now I think yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 35:21
Wow fantastic.

Billy Madden 35:22
It has been a long time but anyways back back to those Disney fans. I mean like you guys mentioned in the previous podcast about like the those families that were the matching, you know, t-shirts and stuff like that.

Stefanie Bautista 35:36
Yes.

Billy Madden 35:36
Those guys are the diehards and like…

Stefanie Bautista 35:39
It’s true.

Billy Madden 35:39
Yeah, well I agree. I think it’s pretty stupid matching t shirts. I wouldn’t be caught dead doing that. I do give those families a lot of respect I mean those guys you know they do whatever they can to make it happen for the family to go to a public park that you know the common family can’t can’t afford to go to I mean it’s. It’s not an easy thing to get to get into Disneyland. It’s it’s quite a Herculean task.

Stefanie Bautista 36:05
It is and I think that also speaks to the different ways that we have been able to experience Disney I mean like like for you Billy like you have a family member who works for Disney. I was privileged enough to be able to get the military tickets because I have you know, I haven’t I’m part of a military family and so that they would have discounted tickets packages that you could buy every single year. Just to thank you know, service of men and women but aside from that, I hadn’t had an Annual Pass and so long because it was starting to get really pricey and just seeing the prices of the Magic Key kind of brought up those feelings again… About you know, “Oh my gosh, like I have to set aside money and you know, I know I’m gonna be buying things because they have discount for merchandise.”

Billy Madden 36:54
Oh super crazy.

Stefanie Bautista 36:55
Like there’s so many incentives that make you want to spend more but if you still want to be smart with your money and not be you know, just throwing bills around you do have to take a step back and really assess like, what tier is good for you? And so for so many Disney fans is like, “Obviously I’m going to get the highest tier because I don’t want to be seen as any less of a Disney fan.”

Ariel Landrum 37:18
Yeah, yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 37:18
However, it’s like that it’s it’s that just a personal arguing back and forth about you know, what do you need and what do you want?

Billy Madden 37:26
Yeah, of course.

Ariel Landrum 37:27
And for me, I I don’t have anyone in my life that works for Disney and my dad was in the military. You don’t get discounts anymore, I guess when you’re a veteran for Disney. So there you go for that.

Billy Madden 37:40
Somebody should fix that.

Stefanie Bautista 37:42
They should fix that.

Ariel Landrum 37:43
They should.

Stefanie Bautista 37:43
They should.

Billy Madden 37:44
That’s not right.

Ariel Landrum 37:45
But I did get the highest tier I paid for it last time when they were Annual Passes. And really, it’s because I almost am always working 3 jobs. I just left one and now I’ve started another one. So I’m currently working 4. And I don’t drink alcohol. So I don’t spend a lot of money when I go out to like my friends. Who one drink cost my whole salad.

Billy Madden 38:08
Oh yeah, I’m sure alcohol drives the price up of any meal. I didn’t. I didn’t drink any alcohol at California Adventure or the Avengers campus. I mean, I should have because that bar looked pretty awesome.

Ariel Landrum 38:24
I know you went to Pym’s Test Kitchen I thought you bought the drink there.

Billy Madden 38:28
Oh why it was the soda the Pingo Doce.

Ariel Landrum 38:31
Oh I didn’t know they had a fancy soda I didn’t get one!

Billy Madden 38:35
And apparently like it has a story behind it it was crafted apparently by The Hulk.

Stefanie Bautista 38:40
Oh.

Ariel Landrum 38:43
Oh, where does the name come from that has anything to do with The Hulk?

Billy Madden 38:46
I don’t know it was it’s apparently a Bruce Banner creation and…

Ariel Landrum 38:50
Okay.

Billy Madden 38:51
Like, I think that was the story behind it. It was delicious. I can tell you that.

Stefanie Bautista 38:58
I heard a lot of things at Pym’s Test Kitchen were really really good. Can you share with us what you ordered besides the drink?

Billy Madden 39:05
I had the I forget what the official name of it was but it was the it was the chicken sandwich. The fried chicken sandwich and like…

Ariel Landrum 39:13
That’s right the giant chicken!

Stefanie Bautista 39:15
The big one!

Billy Madden 39:16
And the whole thing with Pym’s Test Kitchen I guess you may or may not already know is like they play with their food to like shrink it or or increase it. And like in this case, the bun is an absolute joke compared.. I mean it’s like this little tiny like bun. I don’t think it’s even the size of a hockey puck I would say. And you get this huge piece of like giant chicken and like it’s not a sandwich. It’s like chicken fried steak you know.

Stefanie Bautista 39:50
Which I love. Oh, so it’s called The Not so Little Chicken Sandwich.

Billy Madden 39:54
That’s it. Yeah I couldn’t remember.

Ariel Landrum 39:56
It is not so little.

Stefanie Bautista 39:57
It’s not so little. I swear. I saw the picture and I was just like, “That is hysterical and I needed in my life right now. What is this?”

Ariel Landrum 40:05
I cracked up laughing when you posted that in the group chat.

Billy Madden 40:10
It really was delicious. I mean, like a fan of spicy food. And you had like the sauce had a little kick to it, which I really liked. And like the chicken itself, it was it was cooked, you know, great. And like it was good. And again, like the bun was a complete joke. I mean, like, when I finally got to the bun, like the bun was kind of like hard. The bun wasn’t so great. So like, you could really just tossed the bun to the side and you’re fine.

Stefanie Bautista 40:34
It’s there for photo opportunities, I guess.

Billy Madden 40:36
Yeah it’s there as a joke I mean it’s…

Ariel Landrum 40:37
So really going with with more of the phone app. Did you have to reserve this food on your phone?

Billy Madden 40:43
Yeah, that’s the only bummer I could really say about it. I mean like you can’t just go and order it you have to you can’t go to the counter and order it. But actually I think you could but like the wait for that was astronomical so I just went with the phone I had I had that for lunch. So yeah, I ordered that on the app and I think the wait for that wasn’t that half hour so it wasn’t terrible. So I just kept myself busy. What did you do other things until it was my turn to go back to the Pym Test Kitchen and pick up the food. But then like for dinner, I went back to California Adventure and I wanted to get the shawarma off the cart.

Stefanie Bautista 41:21
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 41:22
Yeah.

Billy Madden 41:22
Which you do, which you do when you go you walk up and you order it and like any other food cart you don’t have to order, okay.

Ariel Landrum 41:27
Oh okay.

Billy Madden 41:27
So..

Stefanie Bautista 41:28
Okay.

Ariel Landrum 41:28
Okay, that was the shawarma?

Billy Madden 41:30
Very good. They were both really good. That Pingo Doce say soda. It’s really good.

Stefanie Bautista 41:36
I have to remember that.

Billy Madden 41:37
Yeah, it was kinda like..

Stefanie Bautista 41:38
That is not something I’m gonna remember but…

Billy Madden 41:39
It was kind of like I want to say like a citrusy Mountain Dew with like vanilla. It was it was delicious. You can only get there which pisses me off. Because you know, they had like those awesome Coca Cola freestyle machines, you know?

Ariel Landrum 41:59
Oh okay.

Stefanie Bautista 41:59
Yeah.

Billy Madden 42:00
Which they have like AMC theaters and stuff. It’s like they could so easily put it there in the theater too. They could program those machines do anything any flavor you want. It doesn’t have to be just at California Adventure.

Stefanie Bautista 42:13
It could be everywhere else. Make it happen Disney.

Billy Madden 42:17
I mean I get why it’s only exclusive to there but…

Ariel Landrum 42:20
We shake our fists!

Billy Madden 42:23
Like I kind of cheated to me. I guess I could make this on the podcast. They give you a cup and like I just saved my cup and I went back for refills. I just had my backpack and stuff like I just you can walk right in and refill your cup as many times as you want… So there’s another tip!

Ariel Landrum 42:40
There’s a tip!

Stefanie Bautista 42:41
There’s a tip. There’s a tip.

Ariel Landrum 42:41
Save your cup. What you did was you lowered your carbon footprint.

Stefanie Bautista 42:45
That’s it thank you Billy.

Billy Madden 42:45
Exactly. I wanted to save cups okay.

Stefanie Bautista 42:50
So I guess here I looked up Pingo Doce a and what it is it’s a guarana soda beverage bottled in Rio de Janeiro. So guarana is kind of like yerba mate guayakí. And during the time Bruce Banner lived in Rio de Janeiro he worked in the Pingo Doce a bottling plant. After Banner was cut his gamma era dated irradiated blood dripped into one of the bottles where it was eventually drunk by The Watcher Informant in Milwaukee. So there is a story to this.

Billy Madden 43:18
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 43:19
Wow.

Stefanie Bautista 43:19
I guess Bruce had a job over and the plant. And and I wonder if now they will incorporate the story into the new movie because that’s something that I don’t remember in in the previous Ant-Man movies. But it’ll be I will now be looking out for this soda in the new movie.

Ariel Landrum 43:41
Look at Disney throw in Easter Eggs in there food and drink line the lineup.

Billy Madden 43:48
Well like I said you know Disney’s all about the details. Even the soda has a backstory that’s pretty nuts.

Stefanie Bautista 43:53
Yeah. And I know this is probably this will probably be discussed in another episode but watching behind the attraction on Disney+ lately has really given another element of how much thought goes into these rides and like the making of the rides not just here in Anaheim but also in Hong Kon,g Shanghai, Tokyo hopefully we can have an episode about that but I think this is definitely one of those.

Billy Madden 44:20
Well i think that the new episodes drop on the 25th right?

Stefanie Bautista 44:23
Oh fantastic! I watch them all they were so good.

Billy Madden 44:26
I watched all of them too. There’s so well done. Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 44:29
You burn right through them they’re great.

Billy Madden 44:30
Yeah, they’re so great. I think I think there’s more to come on the 25th. I could be mistaken.

Ariel Landrum 44:36
Okay, okay.

Stefanie Bautista 44:37
yeah, cuz I’m wondering how they’re going to do because I know they opened up Avengers Campus in Florida as well. And I wonder if it’s identical or if they changed a couple of things because they have a bigger area to work with out there.

Billy Madden 44:48
I’m sure it’s bigger I can I can imagine that.

Stefanie Bautista 44:51
I another one a one off like a question just for me because I love The Bugs Land because I love A Bug’s Life. Is there any trace of it looking like A Bugs Land at all when you are is it completely so transformed that you like if you didn’t know it was A Bugs Land you like wouldn’t even think about it.

Billy Madden 45:14
It’s got trees.

Stefanie Bautista 45:17
Cool cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Ariel Landrum 45:20
Foliage.

Stefanie Bautista 45:22
‘Cause I know some people were devastated like I wasn’t like heartbroken but ’cause I love both.

Billy Madden 45:27
You would you would never know Bug’s Life, Bugs Land existed. Sorry.

Stefanie Bautista 45:32
Okay.

Ariel Landrum 45:32
I don’t remember seeing any, any remnants of it. And I think like, I know you mentioned that some people were heartbroken, but I feel like when it comes to Disney fans of the parks, specifically, any change and it’s like everybody goes upstrel, upset. Sleepless nights doing Tweets and comments on the Facebook.

Stefanie Bautista 45:54
Keyboard warriors.

Ariel Landrum 45:55
Unliking and, and hashtags. And then it comes out it that last for the noise lasts for like a week, and then all of a sudden, it’s a beloved national treasure of a change. So…

Billy Madden 46:08
The fact of the matter is, no matter what they do, you’re never going to please everybody. There’s always gonna be some critics about something. Sometimes it’s something so insignificant, it’s stupid, but it’s important to them so they raise a stink about it.

Stefanie Bautista 46:22
Yeah, I think the cycles of they use this term in behind the attraction where they’re not repurchasing. But like refacing something just like he did with Tower of Terror. I think enough time passes were like, you know, A Bug’s Life was big when we were much younger like my brother was a kid when it came out and like he is now obviously grown 20 something and I think like those feelings would probably not be so strong like if you had changed the ride that a kid loved five years ago and that kid is still a kid that would be pretty devastating to them, to like not being able to see you know, it’s like right on flicks ride you know

Billy Madden 47:03
It’s part of the fabric of their life. Yeah.

Stefanie Bautista 47:05
Exactly.

Billy Madden 47:07
That would be devastating to anybody.

Ariel Landrum 47:09
That is really interesting though, that we I don’t think we’ve ever seen the Imagineers put like an homage to what was originally there like a hidden Easter Egg somewhere that reminds you of what used to be in that ride or that area.

Billy Madden 47:20
Yeah, I’ve never heard of that before.

Stefanie Bautista 47:21
Yeah. I wonder if anybody out there would know because I feel like they would do that in Guardians of the Galaxy mission breakout. Because Hollywood Tower of Terror was such a beloved ride and it still exists in Florida but because the structure of it is kind of there’s so many details especially in the line. Maybe there is something in Tivan’s collection that alludes to Tower of Terror who knows. I don’t know if you all know please let us know.

Ariel Landrum 47:24
Someone knows.

Billy Madden 47:25
I haven’t been on the Guardians of the Galaxy mission breakout because honestly Tower of Terrer, the Tower of Terror terrified me. The last time I went on it right I seriously thought I was gonna die. I walked out of that ride like, “Oh my god I dodged a bullet man.”

Ariel Landrum 48:07
Well the last time I went on that ride was when it was Guardians and Stef brought me.

Stefanie Bautista 48:12
Yeah it was awesome!

Ariel Landrum 48:14
And I threw up.

Billy Madden 48:15
You threw up, oh my god.

Ariel Landrum 48:17
I enjoyed it walk to the nearest trash can vomited.

Stefanie Bautista 48:22
I have a love hate relationship with that feeling you get of near death so I love the fact that I know that I only scream bloody murder on that ride. Like I that is the only ride that that would happen but…

Billy Madden 48:37
It’s so scary.

Stefanie Bautista 48:38
If there’s so many like instances where like so I I’m a pin collector so I would wear my pins. I’ve been hit in the face by my pins. I have like my popcorn like my Sulley popcorn bucket that like I saw rise up next to me as we were going down. Like “Is everything here?” And I’m definitely gonna wait until Arlo’s much older and like maybe even almost my height because I would be clinging on to him for dear life wondering if he’s just slipped out of that belt and like ended up in the front of of the tower. But I mean it’s it’s a very unique ride and now that I know how it works because of Behind The Attraction. It the mechanics makes so much sense to me now.

Billy Madden 49:20
It does.

Stefanie Bautista 49:20
It totally I nerd it out hardcore.

Billy Madden 49:24
It still terrifies me.

Stefanie Bautista 49:25
It still terrifies me which is great. It’s great because I feel like sometimes when you go to like Six Flags and you ride those roller coasters, like after a while becomes like a chore and your body just hurts going for that but this one doesn’t do that.

Billy Madden 49:39
I can’t do Six Flags anymore.

Ariel Landrum 49:43
There’s an age and a season

Stefanie Bautista 49:45
Oh yeah.

Billy Madden 49:45
Like I wrote that. That one is called X I think the one…

Ariel Landrum 49:49
Oh yeah the fast one.

Billy Madden 49:50
Yeah, you’re you’re…

Ariel Landrum 49:51
You rotate.

Billy Madden 49:51
Spinning every every which way at any given moment. I mean, I think my brain is still trying to get unscrambled from that.

Stefanie Bautista 49:58
I guess keeping with the theme do you all think that other theme parks are going to go down this route of reserving and just being all technologically you know base? Because i know I mean Ariel you said you went to Universal not that long ago like did you see some of these things implemented there?

Ariel Landrum 50:22
Yeah the the new Secret Life of Pets ride.

Stefanie Bautista 50:24
Ah okay.

Ariel Landrum 50:25
It’s a virtual queue that you have to you have to get on which I didn’t even know. That’s the place where I do know somebody that works there I know I know a few people and they all told me that yeah, that’s that’s the only one that you have to have like a queue reservation for. And even even there now they’re also building the Nintendo Land and so I expect that there’s going to be probably more phone type app and and queue and game things.

Billy Madden 50:57
It’s a sign of the times. I mean, like I you know like like you Ariel. You know, we have common friends that work at Universal Studios and one of my friends who works for security for Universal Studios because he’s the hadd a security. He says that basically they copy whatever Disney does. Like in the know if Disney raises their prices universals prices go right up to. In order to keep people out of the parks. But that really doesn’t work because Disney paint fans pay anything so. They got they got to re strategize that angle.

Ariel Landrum 51:30
I think the phone which stinks because like like the app does just eat up so much battery life.

Billy Madden 51:35
Oh god yeah.

Ariel Landrum 51:36
But I think that the way that Disney has like they have they have a game in there that you can play in different areas of the park and throughout the park like I was… When when Batuu had first opened I was like scanning all kinds of stuff and trying to switch weird light buttons to try and like win for the for the Jedi I don’t know. It was I can’t… I don’t know why. I was… I paid all this money to be at a theme park and here I am on my phone but it’s it is the sign of the times. It I think like augmented reality. I mean we play Pokemon Go like it i think that that that kind of advancements going to stay.

Stefanie Bautista 52:13
And I just hope that you know they don’t go too fast too soon with a lot of these changes. Because I mean people are not only trying to gather the money to get to the parks but also they’re trying to navigate a new way to be at the parks. And although I know that they’re kind of widening that gap with people who just go, “I’m just not going to deal with this maybe I’ll just wait a little bit,” and then they’re like when they like pander it to ultimate Disney fans. I just hope that they don’t make that gap too big that it discourages people who are you know just there to enjoy being at the parks and not necessarily you know, make it a big thing?

Billy Madden 52:53
I agree.

Ariel Landrum 52:54
Yeah, I think it’s part of that you know digital divide in regards to generations but I think it also encompasses what we’ve talked about is like the the technology access and means versus really that… For maybe our generation definitely the generation that’s growing up now it’s it’s ingrained in the culture. But if we’re talking about socioeconomic status and access and means you know I I think my my dad saw as a flip phone.

Stefanie Bautista 53:28
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 53:30
And if he if I hadn’t gone to the park and known about reserving the food on my phone like how was my family supposed to eat? I mean they couldn’t pack something but that was taken a lot of for thought because when the carts were still really down and people were lined at them to get food when all of the the virtual food was had already been reserved. So if the experiences right now it’s because of COVID right? But experience starts to stay that way where you’re going to have to have some mobile device there are going to be a substantial amount of people who are going to be disenfranchised by the experience.

Billy Madden 54:08
Oh yeah absolutely. Didn’t the CEO of Disney say like he said something about like virtual queues are here to stay. Chapek? Bob Chapek? So it’s I don’t know I’m not a fan honestly. Even though it has worked out for me every time I don’t mind waiting in a line.

Stefanie Bautista 54:28
It’s true old school. You know, and I mean, who knows, like I think all of these added layers of like I said, all these extra hoops that you have to jump in order to have a memorable and positive Disney experience. I mean, thinking of it as a parent now like I have a child that has very little to no patience. And if he wanted a Pingo Doce a soda or if he wanted a not so you know what is Not So Small Chicken Sandwich. If he had to wait for it and I wasn’t prepared for that that could have made or make or break you know your Disney experience and multiply that by a lot of children you know. iIt could be very very frustrating and I just hope that they keep like the shawarma cart I hope they keep you know, yeah, churros. Like if I have to get my butt into a virtual line for a corn dog, I don’t know I would have to like kind of, like weigh out my options at that point. Like, “Do I really have to be here for my corn dog or not?”

Ariel Landrum 55:28
Yeah, and I think the other thing is that we’re talking about our experience at Disneyland. I really don’t know what it’s looking like at Walt Disney World in regards to some of the changes they’ve made because they are just bigger and they have more space maybe they don’t have the same struggle in regards to the virtual ordering of food and virtual queue everything you know.

Billy Madden 55:51
I imagine they do because I think it has to do with like the COVID mandates and stuff like that. I would I would imagine they’re gonna be the same thing.

Ariel Landrum 55:59
Well, it’s Florida.

Billy Madden 56:00
Yeah, that’s true. This word I but it’s, you know, it’s Disney’s rules, you know, I mean.

Ariel Landrum 56:05
Touché.

Stefanie Bautista 56:05
And also before, I mean, Ariel, you and I were able to use magic bands, which is their virtual system for checking in and out. Paying for things it’s basically like a RFID wristband that you wear and then you sync it to your Disney app. And that’s how you pay for things. I thought that they were going to bring that over to Disneyland one day but then now they’ve relied solely on the app which eliminates using a wristband but also like you said there’s the navigating of another app on your phone. Not to mention you know you’re taking pictures you’re looking around the parks you’re playing Pokemon Go like all like these open tabs and open windows that you have.

Billy Madden 56:49
They just eat up your battery life.

Ariel Landrum 56:52
Yeah, I would have really liked it if they brought the bands which made sense cuz like people spend a lot of money customizing just those bands.

Billy Madden 57:00
Oh yeah, I heard that’s a thing. I don’t know much about it. But I’ve heard that is a thing so.

Stefanie Bautista 57:05
Yeah. So I’m curious to see if they’ll keep that and I’m just I’m just hoping that..

Billy Madden 57:10
I think they will I yeah, unfortunately I think they will.

Stefanie Bautista 57:13
But maybe if one of us makes it out there we can report back but um, unfortunately we do deal with our Disney culture here in California and that is such a unique niche for fans of Disney for Los Angeles Southern California fans of Disney. It like you said it’s a different breed when you’re dealing with Disney fans. It’s an added layer of a different breed when you’re dealing with Annual Pass Holders from Southern California so. We can only hope for the best when it comes to the future of virtual queue but definitely like for me as an educator keeping in mind that Disneyland isn’t as accessible as it used to be I will be more mindful when I talk to students because you can’t just always go, “Oh you know you haven’t been to Disneyland?” That’s something that you know some kids haven’t just because it’s it’s so unattainable for some families.

Billy Madden 58:11
It’s not easy to get into. It’s the reality of it.

Stefanie Bautista 58:14
Something yeah it is the reality of it and you know I hope Disney continues to be inclusive as much as they can be. It’s getting hard.

Ariel Landrum 58:24
Yeah as much as a large conglomerate corporate can.

Billy Madden 58:27
Yeah, I mean like of course they want to get everybody in the park but like they try to manage it to a safe capacity I guess like you know, they try to piece price people out which sucks. But like I get it. But then again it really doesn’t work. So I don’t know how they handle that problem. But definitely the price inflation doesn’t help.

Ariel Landrum 58:54
Well to try and on on better terms on our Happiest Pod On Earth.

Billy Madden 58:59
Yeah

Ariel Landrum 58:59
Billy? I’m curious. Do you have anything lined up for your podcast with Movie Grader And Friends?

Billy Madden 59:06
Um, yeah, we’re gonna record I think our podcast episode tomorrow. And we’re pretty behind on movies so it’s gonna be a big episode much I honestly forget which ones we have to cover. It’s been so long. Like we got I got backed up because I wasn’t I wasn’t able to go to the movies last week because I did go to my brother’s bachelor party. So

Stefanie Bautista 59:33
Which is a good excuse.

Ariel Landrum 59:34
Had to go to his brother’s wedding part 2.

Billy Madden 59:38
I had to play movie catch up so I went to go see what did I guess the I saw? Oh, Respect and I saw Free Guy so.

Stefanie Bautista 59:50
Yes, I was gonna say probably Free Guy. Any of those stand out to you.

Billy Madden 59:54
Free Guy was excellent. It was probably like, I would say it’s probably the best video game movie I’ve seen.

Stefanie Bautista 59:59
Nice. Oh excited for that. Yeah we me and Billy have gone to Retro Gaming Expo before…

Billy Madden 1:00:06
Oh yeah!

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:06
Had such a blast doing that so…

Billy Madden 1:00:09
I missed that so much!

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:10
I know I missed that so much.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:11
That convention needs to come back.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:13
Yeah.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:14
Fricking COVID!

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:15
But anything video game related Billy’s your guy so I trust you to say that Free Guy is good so

Billy Madden 1:00:20
And like the crazy thing is it’s not even based on a video game.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:25
But all of the promotional like posters that they have that mimic existing games are so good.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:30
Like Animals Crossing one.

Stefanie Bautista 1:00:32
Yes the Animal Crossing one. So good!

Ariel Landrum 1:00:34
Minecraft!

Billy Madden 1:00:36
They totally play on like different genres and stuff like that obviously the biggest one being the open world type deal that’s like kind of Grand Theft Auto or whatnot but yeah it’s it’s really well done go check it out.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:49
Well thank you Billy for joining us here on Happiest Pod

Billy Madden 1:00:54
Thank you for having me.

Ariel Landrum 1:00:56
Where can people find you and follow you?

Billy Madden 1:01:00
Um, let’s see on Instagram I basically @TheMovieGrader and my websites www.themoviegrader.com and you could find me on any podcast platform you listen to, you know, let’s see Google, Apple Podcasts, Spotify. Just search for The Movie Grader And Friends podcast and it’ll come right up.

Ariel Landrum 1:01:23
So we hope all of you follow our, our best bestie Billy and then if you have any, any information in regards to the Easter Eggs and the Webslinger ride that we that are our friend Billy might have missed go ahead and Tweet us @HappiestPodGT and or message us and DM us on Instagram at @HappiestPodGT.

Stefanie Bautista 1:01:47
Yep, we’d love to hear your experiences at Webslingers and Avengers campus. I feel like everybody’s had a different one so far so it would be great to hear from you all. Thank you Billy. We had so much fun and hopefully we can all do this again soon.

Billy Madden 1:02:03
Oh, God. Yeah. Please. Any time. Good luck to everybody out there trying to get a boarding pass!

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:09
I know. Including me.

Ariel Landrum 1:02:12
Good luck, everybody. Bye!

Stefanie Bautista 1:02:15
Alright, bye!

Billy Madden 1:02:16
Bye!

Media/Characters Mentioned
  • Spider-Man
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Tower of Terror
  • Disneyland
  • The Imagineering Story
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Jurassic World
  • Universal Studios
  • Secret Life of Pets

Topics/Themes Mentioned
  • Socioeconomic Status
  • Disenfranchised
  • Pricing out
  • Signs of the times
  • Digital divide
  • Augmented reality
  • Technological advances

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

 Website: happy.geektherapy.com
 | Instagram: @HappiestPodGT | Twitter: @HappiestPodGT | Facebook: @HappiestPodGT |
 | Stef on Twitter: @stefa_kneee | Ariel on Instagram: @airyell3000 |

Guest Website: https://themoviegrader.com/
 | Billy on Twitter: @themoviegrader | Billy on Instagram: @themoviegrader | Billy on Apple Podcasts: The Movie Grader and Friends Podcast

Geek Therapy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission of advocating for the effective and meaningful use of popular media in therapeutic, educational, and community practice.
| GT Facebook: @GeekTherapy | GT Twitter: @GeekTherapy |
| GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.com  | GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord |

1 thought on “Grading the Changes at the Park”

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