TDL celebrated it's 23rd Anniversary on April 15th, 2006 and TDLFAN was there to witness the chaos. Also, this was debut day for TDL's brand new special event "Lilo's Panic: FIND STITCH!", featuring the spectacular rolling show and parade "Huli Huli Ohana Bash!" The story behind the event is about Stitch getting loose at TDL and literally trashing the place. We must try to find Stitch (who is hiding in some places around TDL) and stop him from causing any more further damage to TDL's lovely surroundings!! Sadly, we are too late. Stitch has taken up to repaint and trash the park mercilessly. Armed with paint and brush, Stitch destroys everything in sight and leaves an unsightly mess everywhere he goes. Graffiti is everywhere as Stitch does not leave a stone unturned, turning TDL into a messy kingdom of artistic proportions. He even paints graffiti all over the parade floats!! Terrible!! Terrible!! TDLFAN here almost had a heart attack when he arrived at TDL this glorious anniversary morning!!!
Now to some real comments... Trashing TDL must have been a huge undertaking for those in charge of planning this event. Its a thin line to walk when you trash TDL for show purposes. They succeeded beautifully.... sometimes a bit too realistic at times... I was going "OMG!! OMG!! What has happened to *my* park!?!?!?" But I do appreciate the approach they took...that of the point of view of a child. Most of the graffiti looks like it was painted by a preschooler kid, and at times... it's cute to look at the final result and the amount of thought it took to design and strategically place it. That's what redeems the effort for me. Details are everywhere in the graffiti. If you don't look twice, you will miss the hidden Mickeys and other jokes. The funny thing is... when I saw it in person.. I actually did like what they had done a lot, but once these pcitures came back... I was truly HORRIFIED at how realistic all this mess looks on photos!! KUDOS to the crew of artists who were able to recreate this entire show and challenge us to look pass the mess and find the small beauty and whim of the final product. But I have to confess... I am glad this "look" will only be there until late July... and I am looking forward to seeing TDL return to it's former glorious state.
As for the main event... the brand new "Huli Huli Ohana Bash!" parade/show... an impressive effort that again, challenges us to NOT to take it at face value. The parade is impressive because it features a FUN FUN FUN musical soundtrack that makes guests clap and tap along with the music, but also features a collection of Disney characters that feel appropriate for the show. It also has the distinction of debuting some new rubber head characters never seen outside Japan before... mainly characters from the Lilo and Stitch TV series, and these new characters translate well into rubberhead form here. The floats... which you will either hate or love due to the graffiti smeared on them, are quite well designed and feature TONS of details that any regular guest will miss with just one viewing of the show, or if you simply do not pay attention. The floats also feature such elaborate extras, like inflatable props, bubbles, exploding confetti streamers and many many many inside-jokes and details worth talking about. It was that level of surprise that exceeded my expectations and reason why I am rating this new parade/show quite highly. It must have been a serious brain-storming session when they put this rolling show together folks, because I was blown away by the sheer amount of details and attention to color placement here. This parade is a huge Hawaiian Rainbow gone MAD right in front of our eyes. Probably one of TDL's most colorful and thoroughly enjoyable parades I have ever seen at that park.
Anyways... without further ado... I sure hope you will find this photo album enjoyable (even with all that mess around TDL). In it, I tried to document the colorful damage caused by Stitch, where he is hiding around the park (why do you think the event is called "Find Stitch??") while also highlighting some lovely new tees and stuff on sale at the park, how crowded it got, a tiki bird doing Cross-U in Adventureland, and many many other sights brought on as a result of this most interesting special day at TDL.
With that in mind... please explore this most colorful (and untidy) look at TDL. Oh yes... HAPPY 23rd TDL!!! We love you!!!