This morning I left the liberal comfort of the Bay Area to take the 90 minute flight into John Wayne Airport in Orange County, then grabbed a taxi to just outside of the Disneyland Resort, where I'll be spending the next five days participating in Indie Fest USA, where my short film Gravehunting With Steve: A Journey Beneath Los Angeles will have its theatrical premiere Wednesday night.
Today was about getting here, getting settled at the hotel, and checking in with the Festival folks to pick up my "VIP Filmmaker" passes. The Festival is taking place at the AMC Theaters in Downtown Disney® - a place that did not exist the last time I went to Disneyland, well over 20 years ago.
Downtown Disney® is an outdoor mall/restaurant district placed between Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure on one end and the hotels of the Disneyland Resort on the other, featuring such restaurants and shops as House of Blues, Rain Forest Cafe, Sephora, and at least three different Disney stores that I could count.
If bad haircuts, inappropriate shorts, and fanny packs are in this year, then this is definitely where all the cool people are hanging out. I was also warned ahead of time that the rules of conduct on all Disney property is quite strict, so I checked ahead on the FAQ of What items are not permitted within the Downtown Disney® District.
On that FAQ I was surprised to see "Cremated remains (e.g., urn, vase, box)" included on the forbidden list. Luckily, my friend Bill enlightened me at to why it was necessary. According to the Mice Age website, there's quite a problem with people wanting to spread their loved one's cremains around the Happiest Place on Earth (scroll down to "A Pirate's (After) Life For Me"). The Haunted Mansion is the top choice, followed by the Pirates of the Caribbean, but some tone-deaf Disneyphiles actually choose to spend the rest of eternity listening to It's a Small World.
Of course, not only do they not spend eternity at Disneyland, but they rarely spend more than a few hours on their favorite ride as Disney "cast members," armed with special vacuums with HEPA filters, quickly dispatch them to their true final resting place - somewhere decidedly less campy, and certainly without the animatrons and constant music.
Anyway, Indie Fest starts in earnest tomorrow, and I'll spend the next several days watching movies non-stop - a favorite activity I haven't indulged in like this for several decades.
If you're in Southern California, and are willing to brave Downtown Disney®, please consider joining me Wednesday night for Gravehunting With Steve. Click here for ticket information....