According to our good friends in the band Spinal Tap, sometimes things are left better “unsolved, really.” That has long been our approach to the insanity that transpired outside Disneyland and California Adventure in mid-May, 2007. For the first time ever, we are going to briefly describe the grisly events that took place.
All we really know for certain are the final fear-inducing moments that haunts Rex to this day. The backstory and explanation are conjecture at this point, but we feel like we have some fairly solid footing to make our claims. Here’s what happened…
Rex and I were taking in a final attraction at Disneyland before exiting the park. We had not yet experienced California Adventure and were looking forward to seeing what it had to offer. The final attraction we rode at Disneyland was the famous Jungle Cruise. Here is where a bit of geography becomes essential.
Jungle Cruise is located inside Adventureland near the entrance of the park, just west of Main Street, USA. You will notice on a Disneyland Park Map that the Enchanted Tiki Room is right next to Jungle Cruise, a small walk toward the east, back toward Main Street, USA. Now, here is where things get interesting. Nestled right between Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room is a simple but well-themed snack bar called “Tropical Imports.” So, you have the various animals and creatures from Jungle Cruise in close proximity to the various birds making up the tiki totem poles at Enchanted Tiki Room, and both of those are bridged by a Tropical Imports snack bar.
Notice carefully the photo below of the Tropical Imports snack bar. You will notice that one of the trademarks of this particular “snack bar” is that they receive “new shipments daily.”
It is the belief of RATB that the Tropical Imports market doubles as a liaison for the arrival and departure of a wide variety of exotic animals for both the Jungle Cruise and Enchanted Tiki Room. The location of the market is strategically placed on the Jungle Cruise waterway which provides easy access to both the Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise attractions (not to mention the Tropical Hideaway Dole Whip station that potentially adds another element to this whole ordeal, but I don’t have time to elaborate).
So, what happened in May of 2007? It is our belief that a shipment of animals – in particular, birds for Tiki Room – arrived at Tropical Imports the night before our visit to the park and were either incorrectly shipped to Disneyland, or were compromised in some way during the night. The birds became erratic, unpredictable, and generally insane. Whatever the reason for the madness, the managers of Tropical Imports correctly evaluated the unfortunate situation and were poised to return the animals forthwith, but they, of course, had to wait until all park guests were safely out of the park before they could risk moving the birds.
Enter Rex and the Beast. We simply do not know why, but after our journey on Jungle Cruise, the aforementioned “crazy birds” targeted Rex as either 1) an enemy or 2) a friendly cohort. It could have been the bright orange shirt he was wearing or some other phenomena, but nothing was going to prevent these misplaced birds from following Rex out of the park.
For reasons that are not immediately clear to me, Rex and I had to separate ever so briefly as we exited Disneyland. We were going to reunite at the entrance to California Adventure. It just so happens that I was video taping while looking for Rex outside of California Adventure. All of a sudden, I see a flash of orange go racing across the entrance of the park. I was initially caught off guard and couldn’t help but laugh at the scene I just witnessed, but after I finally found Rex, he explained to me what had happened.
This is the dialogue caught on tape:
Beast: What’s going on, man?
Rex: I don’t know man, did you see these things tearing after me?
Beast: No, what? Where?
Rex: I have no idea, they’ve just disappeared. I was having to, you know, kick out of there. I had just come out of Disneyland over there and I, uh, I look behind me…right out of the Jungle Cruise and Tiki Room…these crazy birds flying at me. So I cut around the California Adventure and just bust right through the people, apparently, it scared them off.
Beast: Ah man, well, I’m glad you’re ok.
Rex: Yeah, thanks. Let’s, uh, let’s hit it here.
You can view the video segment by clicking here.
The rest of our vacation was uneventful, but I don’t think either of us will forget that moment when Rex was targeted by crazy birds in the middle of the happiest place on earth. Below is a capture of Rex running for his life during that fateful moment. The video quality is simply horrific in every way, but you can at least see the frantic nature of his running.