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Did you know that you can get Roz to sing Happy Birthday to you at the end of Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue attraction?? There’s a bit of a trick to it, but I’ll tell you more on that later…
Day 2 was interesting in that I was not working that day, so I was able to stick close to the computer and follow the family around Disneyland. We had been jokingly referring to it as my “stalking” them. To explain a little further, I was using the “Find My iPhone” application. Becky & I both have iPhone 4’s, and this is part of our Mobile Me subscription service. The “Find My iPhone” app is now available to iPhone 4 users, even if they do not subscribe to Mobile Me. So, if I am at home in front of the computer, I can find Becky’s iPhone by simply logging into our Mobile Me account. I can do the same by going straight into the app on my iPhone; since, the phones are on the same account. The application is intended for finding your phone if it is missing or stolen. In the unfortunate case of your phone being stolen, a person could not only find their phone but could also lock it so that it was useless to the phone thief. The fine folks at Apple probably did not think someone might use it to virtually go on a Disneyland vacation. In a little bit more practical application, Becky will sometimes use it to track me on my way to work on days when the weather is bad, just so she can see that I make it OK. The kids also like to use it follow me on my way home sometimes, just for fun.
An interesting feature of this application is that when you search, there are three choices of maps on which the location is plotted. First, there is a plain street map. Second, there is a satellite view, and the third is a “hybrid” or a combination of the first two. My personal favorite is the satellite view, especially, in a place like Disneyland. It is very much like looking at Disneyland on Google Maps, except of course there is a blue dot where the phone is located. One can zoom in and see quite a bit of detail on the buildings and landscape. It is not perfectly accurate, and sometimes it will get a little confused when the signal is not really strong. When the family went inside a ride, for example, the app might suddenly place them just outside the park. Most of the time, though, I could follow them throughout the parks and Downtown Disney, and I even watched them cross the street from the Grand Californian to the Paradise Pier.
Another new technology that we were experimenting with was Skype. OK, it’s not really that new, but it was kind of new to us. We had recently started using it at home over the computer and also added it to our phones to see what we could do with it on this trip. As I said on my Day 1 report, we did a video call that night, and the kids gave me a great tour of their room and their awesome view of California Adventure. On Day 2, we attempted to do a “ride-through” with Skype video. We thought it might be fun for the family to ride Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The plan was for the kids to ride in a car in front of Becky while she Skype’d, so I could watch them spin through the back alleys of Toon Town with Roger. Unfortunately, the signal wasn’t good enough, and the video call dropped soon after they got into the queue. We were surprised to learn later on that the video calls over Skype used much less data over the network than we expected. Another thing to note about all our communicating is that it was done without using WiFi. We are not keen on using the public WiFi’s anyway, so this was all done via cellular.
Other cool tech-type things for Day 2 ? Well, I guess you could count the fact that the family went to The Disneyland Story featuring Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. They stayed through two showings of the Disneyland 50th Anniversary film, the one with Steve Martin and Donald Duck. Why twice you might ask? Once to watch it themselves, and once to video tape it for me. Becky knows I am a huge fan of both Steve and Donald. DS8 likes to tease me that my temper is just like Donald’s – at least I hope he’s teasing me… That video and a lot of ride videos have been converted to iTunes after they got home, and we have been enjoying them over our Apple TV. Am I starting to sound like a commercial for Apple products? Hmm…maybe they could sponsor our next vacation.
If you are still wondering how to get Roz to sing Happy Birthday to you, here’s how that all happened. DS8 made sure to get his birthday call from Goofy at Disneyland City Hall on Day 2 and wore his birthday button all week. He’s basically been celebrating his birthday all month, and he tells anybody within earshot all about his birthday. When the family took a ride on Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue, the CM at the entrance saw the birthday button and gave them a little tip. When they got near the end of the ride, in the scene where the reporter is interviewing a member of the CDA, there is a monster holding a camera. When they were facing the camera, Becky & DD11 shouted “BIRTHDAY!” When they arrived in front of Roz, she sang “Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, You look like a monster, And you act like one too!”
That night ended early for me because I had to go to work early the next morning. Too bad though; since, the family was going to see World of Color that evening – from the front side this time. That might have been an interesting Skype video…
Stay tuned. Becky will be back with “She Said” Day 3 on Monday.