Thursday, March 29, 2012

Early April Fools Apology: Coming Clean on the Disneyland Mansion "New Que" Hoax

  I feel that I owe a written apology to some of the members of the Haunted Mansion's online fan community for my early April fools joke. I want to let you all know I never intended for it to get so much heat. For those of you who didn't witness what spread like wildfire on March 27th through March 28th, let me recap what happened, and give you my personal insight on what went through my mind as I saw what was meant to be a  simple April fools day joke get way out of hand.

  It all starts with last year's joke, really. The image above. I wanted to out-do myself. This hastily created digital Hatbox Ghost image wasn't given nearly as much coverage as I'd hoped originally. For all the work I put into it, I still had some non-believers. I kept it up for a week before letting everyone know it was a fake, something a lot of people already suspected. I knew I could do better. Next year, I thought; something better...

  The original plan was to release the fake blueprint image early; then on April 1st, I would reveal it was an elaborately planed April Fools joke. Of course, I had to end it early because it was far to effective, and I didn't want anyone to put too much thought into it.

  Above is the blueprint which I created in Gimp (A freeware Photoshop Program, along with the aid of Google sketch-up) and claimed was sent to me by a "Source" whom I couldn't reveal. Because I am sent stuff by anonymous sources from time-to-time, (although I have never been sent something this important and confidential) this idea wasn't too far-fetched. I started with the current layout, and thought hard about where and what would realistically make sense if WDI actually were planning to do this. The fast pass area was clearly an under-used area. Because I'm not too familiar with the way the que is routed at Disneyland's Mansion, I tried to come up with a layout that would look as though it made sense. I also covered the sides because I was to lazy to create a phony sidebar on the blueprint with fake information regarding a fake project. In all honesty, when I completed the image, I was skeptical that anyone would actually believe the image to be real at all. Boy, was I wrong...

 Because I had my doubts, I posted a status to the Facebook in order to boost the credibility of what I though was a lackluster Photoshop-job on my part:
Is tired of seeing all these Disneyland groupies bash the interactive que who haven't seen it in person. I'd stop the yelling now if I were you; you're going to have to swallow your pride really soon...
 I thought that I could potentially create some acceptance of the whole  "interactive" concept in the Disneyland-Mansion community. At first, things looked like they were going well. I didn't realize however, that my little prank had already made the jump over to the long forgotten forum Mice Chat via Grinning Ghost. This was meet by some mixed reactions off the bat. Later that night, past midnight; so really, the next day; I released the blueprints earlier then I planed to because so many people seemed to be guessing at what I did have planed as my hoax. I released the blueprint, and was met with an instant chain of reactions. One thing that surprised me off the bat; some people actually seemed genuinely excited to hear that they were planing such an addition. Perhaps I had taught a few people to accept the new additions. Well, I went to bed, knowing that in the morning I would have plenty of feedback to go through...

  I got up; got on Facebook, an realized that the hoax was still going along as I had planed on Facebook. Still surprised that I hadn't had one person question the blueprint, which was missing things like grids, measurements, and things like that, I continued to play it up. I knew sooner or later that someone must come along and question the blueprint's credibility. I spent the day finishing up my review of the Walt Disney World interactive elements. I then got a notification on Facebook that HBG2 had commented on my image on Facebook. I didn't think he was following my page; perhaps he just joined? I realized very quickly that this was getting way out of hand after he began asking me about ink blotches. I then realized that perhaps he might have been informed from his normal base of operations on Mice Chat. I quickly got over there to find that the topic was carrying along there with quite a bit of life to it. Analysis of the ink blotch patterns, and things I never even dreamed would come out of it. Somebody had to suspect it was fake at some point now... It's not that good I kept thinking...

One quote after another, I started to feel bad, because I know on the internet, it is very hard to read emotion; there really isn't a science to it because everyone has a different style when they post online. But these quotes had me worried; I wouldn't be surprised to hear that I might have cause a few tears...
UGH - the Disneyland Mansion is getting the new queue. Just as I feared.
I'm not going to lie, I got a little bit dizzy when I read this. I hope this will not start a domino effect of changes that will eventually lead to HHG modifications.
If this thing really goes in, and it turns out to be nothing more or less than PLQ2 ... I don't know. I may just Yesterland the Mansion in my mind and bid a sad adieu to all that. Thou art dead to me.
 I could tell right there that I had effected a few people more then I anticipated. I felt pretty bad, and wanted to let it all end there, but after consulting my brother, he insisted that I should keep it going until April first. So I thought, give it one more day, and see how it plays out. I went to bed again, completely forgetting the power of the Long Forgotten forum.

  Last year, I released the Hatbox ghost image on April 1st, and therefore, plenty of people thought it was fake right of the bat. It got very little coverage on Mice Chat, because at that time, there was plenty of mansion news coming out of Walt Disney World's Mansion, and what was clearly an joke to some wasn't worth talking to much about. This year, my plan to better my joke really wasn't necessary now that I look back on it. Nothing of interest has been happening at ether mansion as of late, and that would leave a thirst for something new to talk about anywhere; especially somewhere that has burned through seven forum columns for several years, looking over everything from backstage photos to the tracking of moving pieces of junk in the attic scene over the years. When something like this comes along, and enough people believe it; you have a story worth talking about.

  I woke up this morning to find what I could have anticipated was going to happen at some point. The Hatbox Ghost was raging online everywhere he could about my fake blueprint. Nobody had yet suspected it was fake... and further more, people were analyzing it. People thinking the smudges might be new lighting fixtures, or the dread family busts. I was shocked by it all. I knew it was only a matter of time before someone did a blog post about it. I knew once that happened, whether April 1st had come or not, it would be time to kill it off. But it was the Hatbox Ghost's angry ranting that had me realize I could kill it off before it even reached that point. I would assume that had I kept it going, both Hatbox Ghost and Long Forgotten would have had blog posts up analyzing it at the end of the day. This hoax was too good for my own good. For anyone who put to much though into it, I apologize. All arguments about the que idea aside, this was really only meant to be for laughs.


1 comment:

  1. I forgive you, even though you did make me lose my head.