The Diamond in the Rough

One of my favorite topics is complaining about places at Walt Disney World that I’ve never been able to visit.  Ever since my post about the Catwalk Bar, I have been consumed with jealousy for people more privileged than myself.  I think it’s because when I was a young lad, I once begged for pennies outside the Gulf Coast Room, and was spit upon by more affluent parkeologists like Teevtee, whose parents would occasionally take him for a flambé feast before shunting him off to private boarding school in Vermont.

I snapped this candid photo of Teevtee at last year’s annual Parkeology gala, as he scrutinized my attire.  This was just before he and the golf pro got into that big fight over a game of bridge.

To recap, I never got to visit the Catwalk Bar above the Soundstage Restaurant at the Disney MGM Studios.  This is the same building that now houses Playhouse Disney.  Well, technically it now houses construction workers, who are busy installing Disney Junior, which is essentially the same thing as Playhouse Disney.  Much like Playhouse Disney, Disney Junior will not allow access to the Catwalk Bar, since preschoolers do not typically consume alcohol, unless their last name is Lohan.

I do not know why the Catwalk Bar should cause me such fascination.  It’s probably because I cling to the false hope that there are cats up there.  Big, fuzzy, cigar smoking cats enjoying a late afternoon martini before heading out to watch the “Calling Dick Tracy” show.  These sort of closed-door, long hidden areas are the cause of an unhealthy amount of fantasy on my part.  If only I had a time machine…
When I was younger, I could throw a football a quarter mile.  Then I got interested in theme parks.  Big mistake.

Let me share another little bit of history that I wish I had experienced.  You probably wish it too, as it is utterly juvenile and completely awesome.  Much like the Catwalk Bar, I cannot even find a picture of this thing.  But for a few months, shortly after DisneyQuest opened, it existed.  And then it was removed.  We here at Parkeology would never advocate physical violence, but we will not object if you find a lawyer and give her a dirty look.

DisneyQuest is a little heavy on Aladdin.  The genie acts as your host in the elevator on your rise to the top floor.  A painted cutout of the Cave of Wonders arches over the “Explore Zone” staircase.  The premier game used to be the Magic Carpet Virtual Reality thing (which has sadly been eclipsed by such wondrous entertainment diversions as my cellphone, Twilight novels, and waving a string at my cat).
But how many of you know there used to be an Aladdin ride?
In the future, we will all look like complete doofuses as we navigate polygonal worlds filled with four different types of texture.

It was a primitive thing on the top floor, right after you got out of the elevator.  It was named after the Cave of Wonders and it was a tube slide.  Literally, it was one of those things at the Boneyard or Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure.  It probably had that same silly Cave of Wonders cutout over it.  It went from the top floor at DisneyQuest all the way down to the ground floor (home of the Virtual Jungle Cruise, which has sadly been surpassed by such wondrous entertainment devices as picking lint out of my cat’s belly button and making obvious Lindsay Lohan jokes).

Based on my experience with late-night DisneyQuest teenagers, I don’t think I would call any of them “diamonds in the rough.”

The slide lasted only a few months before some kid died a horrible bloody death, falling from 5 stories up, then getting accidentally mauled by sharks that had gotten loose.  Or maybe they just got a rug-burn on the landing.  Anyway, if you want to stick a pin in a voodoo doll of a lawyer, we will not say anything.

Or feed them to a living statue.  Remember when they had living statues at Italy in Epcot?  They were a big hit.  Never ate anybody though.

And I never got to ride the thing, which is the real crime, because I totally would have spent all my time doing that rather than trying to figure out Missile Command.  Is there anybody who is good at that game?  I mean seriously, I am just awful at it.  Pretty good at Burger Time though.

Sega released this video game 18 years ago.  It surpasses all major DisneyQuest attractions in accuracy, beauty, and playability.  It has also been known to give noogies to “Ride the Comix”.

Comments (3)

  1. First of all I never spat on you… spitting if for uncouth slobs. I actually stepped over you while simultaneously having no awareness of your existence.

    Secondly school was in Connecticut. Vermont! What do you think I am, hill folk?

    Finally last years gala was smashing and you did a fine job of polishing the crystal in my Bentley, I commend you… BRAVO!

    Now snapping back to reality here…

    I remember that tube of death and recall thinking someone would kill themselves and that it likely would not last long… I just do not recall if it was in Orlando or Chicago that I saw it… now I have to do some research to see if Chicago even had one.

    And yes Shane… no joke, I have been to the Catwalk bar many times and it was pure awesome.

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