Two New Podcast Appearances

Just wanted to do a quick post to let everyone know about two podcasts I appeared on recently:

First up was another visit with the WDW Kingdomcast. Always great chatting with these guys, since they really “get” the dark side aspect of Disney fandom. We had a great discussion about Habst and the Disney Saboteurs, the Dark Net, and the horrible rumors about a possible Frozen overlay in the Norway Pavilion. We also announced a contest where you can win a free download of the Habst audiobook!

Download the episode at www.wdwkingdomcast.com

Next up was my first ever appearance on the popular Disney Hipster Podcast! Andrew and Adam are always opinionated and entertaining, so I was really excited to come on and discuss Bamboo Forest, DSoD, and Habst. We also did a round of “Naughty Hypothetical Question”, which was a lot of fun, and yielded an idea for a strip club in the parks called “Lady and the Tramps”!

Download the episode on iTunes and also visit their website at www.disneyhipsters.com

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Another “Habst” Chapter with More Backstage Pictures!

Time for another chapter from Habst and the Disney Saboteurs, complete with the backstage research pictures I used while writing it! Credit for these goes to Google Earth, The Original E.P.C.O.T., Imagineering Disney (once again!), and an awesome friend who would prefer to remain anonymous.

If you enjoyed this chapter and the last one I posted, be sure to pick up a copy of Habst. I prefer the paperback edition due to some fun layout/font formatting that doesn’t transfer to the ebook, but if you’re still on the fence, the ebook is currently only $2.99!

CHAPTER 1

Reginald “Habst” Habstermeister pedaled down an empty road towards the Castle. He turned a corner, stopped, squinted into the sun, and choked back a wave of nausea. It was 10AM. He hadn’t been up this early in months.

He chained his bike to a light pole near the entrance to the Buena Vista Place apartment complex, pulled his fake ID out of his backpack, slung it around his neck, and walked across the street to the Cast Member parking lot. At the southwest end of the lot was a bus station. Since he’d arrived just after everyone assigned to the final morning shift would have clocked in, the bus stop was empty. He sat at the station, shaded from the sun by a green tarp, and waited. He sweated clear through his shirt.

MK CM Bus Stop

Habst checked the time on his phone. 10:30AM. Ninety minutes left.

“Stupid busses,” he mumbled. “How hard would it be to build some more PeopleMovers?”

The bus finally pulled up. Habst tapped his counterfeit Cast Member ID onto the RFID reader, which turned green. The name on the ID read “Blaine McKinnon”. As he boarded, he noticed that the air conditioner was broken. It was hotter in the bus than it was outside.

“Seriously?” he asked the driver.

“At least you don’t gotta sit in here all day, buddy,” said the old man. “I lost about twenty pounds in the past three hours.”

“Sucks to be you,” said Habst. He sat down in the first row. Aside from the driver, the bus was empty.

As they departed the station, he checked his phone for the sixth time in as many minutes, trying to memorize his marching orders. The encrypted message he’d received the previous night read:

Night-vision shot of Stitch. Please get two run-thrus – one from each theater. Also, Progress City model. Entrances, electrical, and close-ups of any broken parts. Need it by 12PM EDT. Payment is 2 VTC.

He locked the phone and put it away as the bus pulled into the station at the Utilidors entrance behind Pinocchio Village Haus.

“Stay cool,” he said, exiting the bus.

“Very funny, asshole,” said the driver.

Habst walked down the huge sloped ramp into the tunnels and was again overcome with nausea. Whenever the temperature rose over ninety degrees, which happened a lot in Florida, the Utilidors smelled worse than the local dump. The pipes that ferried the trash from the park to the central waste-disposal area were pneumatic, and they weren’t exactly airtight. Today they were dispensing a particularly pungent blend of puke and dirty diapers.

The Utilidors

He walked as quickly as he could towards Tomorrowland. A golf cart zoomed past him, nearly knocking him down.

“Learn how to drive, dickface!” he yelled.

“Fuck off!” the driver yelled back.

“Eat a bag of cocks, cock!” yelled Habst. “Jerkwad.”

“Well that certainly isn’t language befitting of a prince,” said a sing-songy voice to his left.

He turned and saw Jasmine, dressed in a blue jewel-encrusted bra and matching parachute pants. She twirled a finger through her pitch-black wig, sucked in her exposed stomach and thrust forward her deeply tanned breasts.

“Huh?”

“You’re a new ‘friend’ of Prince Charming, aren’t you?”

“What? Where the hell did you get that from?”

“All of the attractive guys down here are face characters!”

Habst stared at her. He was completely oblivious to the fact that she was coming onto him. He was always oblivious when a girl was coming onto him.

“Ooh, and you have Prince Charming’s lovely blue eyes, too.”

“Do I know you?”

“I don’t think so. Would you like to?”

“Uh, maybe? I mean, you seem nice enough. I’m kind of in a hurry, though.”

“Well, I’m going on my break, and I could use some help getting out of this costume. The clasp on the bra is really hard to undo.”

“That sucks. They should totally be able to help you with that in Costuming, though.”

“Oh, okay,” said Jasmine.

“I really gotta go. Good luck with that bra!”

Habst turned and quickly walked away, leaving Jasmine standing in the middle of the tunnel.

“Why are all the hot ones gay?!” she yelled, stomping her foot and storming off towards the Mouseketeria.

“What a weird girl,” said Habst.

He turned left, and continued his trek to Tomorrowland. After a few minutes the painted stripe on the wall changed from pink to blue, and he reached a familiar stairway. He bounded up the stairs two at a time, went down a dark hallway, opened a door, and was blinded by the harsh Florida sun. Straight ahead was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and to his left was Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.

He stashed his fake ID in the front pocket of his backpack and pulled out a stacked bank of four rechargeable Polaroid infrared LED lights. He checked the charge on them and returned them to the backpack. Next, he pulled out his matte black, rooted, and heavily modded HTC One Android phone, switched to the camera app, and made sure the optical image stabilization was enabled and that he had plenty of free storage space. Everything checked out, so he put the phone away and nonchalantly walked over to Stitch’s Great Escape.

He hated this attraction. The thought of going on it twice depressed him. But 2 VTC meant a full ounce of pot, and that was easily worth two run-thrus.

Not surprisingly, he was the only one in each theater both times. So, twice he powered up his infrared light bank, held it next to his phone, pressed record, and endured ear-splitting sound effects and Stitch’s horrible fart burps. While he couldn’t see what was going on during the blackouts, his phone could record in the infrared spectrum and pick up everything with incredible detail. Even though he had no idea what he was pointing the camera at, he did his best to get a variety of angles in order to make his benefactor happy.

At the end of the second pass, he stumbled out of the theater into the Merchant of Venus, turned the corner, and entered Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. Checking his watch, he saw that he still had thirty minutes remaining.

Plenty of time, he thought.

He made a beeline for the Topping Bar, where he grabbed a small paper condiment cup, filled it with sautéed mushrooms, squirted hot processed cheese over it, and dumped the entire mess into his mouth. He repeated this six more times, earning a disapproving glare from the Cast Member attending the Topping Bar. He smiled at her charmingly and then walked over to a table across from Sonny Eclipse.

As the show played, Habst scanned through the Stitch videos, and was astounded by how much was going on that was never seen by Guests. The attraction might suck, but these were actually pretty cool behind-the-scenes videos. His one hundred thousand or so subscribers would be thrilled, and hopefully his benefactor would be, too. He opened his YouTube app and started uploading both takes.

He put his Cast Member ID back on and started recording again.

Across from the bathrooms by the patio entrance were two inconspicuous doors. He opened the one on the left, went through it, and walked up a staircase. A roar of white noise grew louder until he reached the top of the stairs, at which point the sound was almost deafening. Massive industrial cooling units filled the vast room. He walked past them towards a small steel ladder bolted to the wall. The ladder was draped in a black cloth.

The door on the left goes to Progress City!

Still filming, he pulled the cloth aside and climbed up the ladder to a catwalk. He hoisted himself onto the narrow walkway, which was flanked with a scrim that kept light from entering the dark tunnel below, through which the PeopleMovers traveled. On his right was a safety railing, and past the railing was a gorgeous overhead view of Walt Disney’s Progress City model.

Progress City Model view from the catwalk

The model had been built for Walt’s 1966 EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) promo film, and then expanded and displayed on the top floor of the Carousel of Progress in Disneyland. As originally presented, the model was a futuristic cityscape featuring a massive skyscraper hotel in the center, with PeopleMovers and monorails radiating outward from it. The model was a visual representation of what was to be an urban planning experiment unlike any the world had ever seen.

In fact, EPCOT was the sole reason why Walt had bought so much property in Florida. He had intended to create a new kind of city, where every detail was designed from the ground, and underground, up. In that EPCOT promo film, which was his last filmed appearance, Walt described the city as a project grander and more ambitious than anything he had ever attempted. Tragically, he died soon after announcing the project. Eventually, without his vision and leadership, plans for building the city were abandoned, and EPCOT Center, a theme park, was built instead.

Just as plans for the city itself were scrapped, so was a large part of the Progress City model. At least two-thirds of it had been destroyed when it had been moved from Disneyland to the Magic Kingdom in 1975. And even though the remainder had recently undergone a minor refurbishment, much of it was already in piss-poor condition due to non-existent maintenance. Many of the miniature lights were burned out, and none of the vehicles moved. Paint peeled in places, and there was a layer of dust coating the entire thing that appeared to be an inch thick in places.

The Disney Company had, both figuratively and literally, destroyed a large portion of Walt’s unique vision of the future of urban living, and had left the rest to decay through benign neglect.

It made Habst angry. Very angry. He couldn’t understand why something so amazingly awesome had been treated so poorly. It was easily the best part of the PeopleMover ride. He’d crane his head at extreme angles as the car whisked past the model, trying to soak in every last detail before it passed out of sight, and desperately hoping the ride would break down in front of it so he could stare at it for longer. He wanted to live in Progress City. It seemed like a place where nothing bad happened, and where technology had solved all of the world’s problems….

He filmed the model in great detail, zooming in for close-ups of every building. The camera shook slightly as PeopleMovers passed through the tunnel below.

View of the catwalk from the model

After ten minutes, Habst walked back across the catwalk, climbed down the ladder, and went through a door by one of the cooling units. The door opened to a flat wall, which was the model’s painted-sky backdrop. A square hole had been cut into the bottom of the backdrop. Habst crawled through the hole and into the underside of the model. He filmed all of the machinery and ancient wires routed under the city, trying his best to trace them back to their junction points. Some of the solder joints at the edge of the model had fallen apart, and wires were dangling free. He saw one arcing against a metal beam.

“Total fire hazard,” he said into the camera. “Real nice, Disney.”

Satisfied that he’d filmed everything of interest, he stopped recording, opened the YouTube app on his phone, and began uploading the video to his channel, with five minutes left on the clock.

A job well done. Time for a celebratory toke.

Habst walked out of the small room and looked around, verifying that the coast was clear. He was pretty sure nobody ever came up here, as evidenced by a layer of dust on the floor. He confidently pulled a small baggie out of a special airtight compartment in his backpack. The baggie contained a glass pipe, a Colibri lighter, and some OG Kush. He stuffed the pipe, flicked the lighter, inhaled a huge hit, held it for a few seconds, and exhaled into one of the cooling units. The smoke disappeared.

Downstairs, a security guard passed a vent in the restaurant and sniffed the air. The scent was unmistakable. He pulled out his radio.

“Sam 12, copy?”

“Copy.”

“Uh, we’ve got a fragrant 904 coming from the vents in Cosmic Ray’s. Copy?”

“A fragrant 904?”

“10-4. I don’t think we have a code for this.”

“Ah, okay, copy. Can you trace the source?”

“Well, there are those chillers upstairs…. So….”

“10-4. 514 authorized for chillers. Have a feeling I know exactly who is up there. Dispatching three of the dwarfs to help clean the house. Sam 12 out.”

Upstairs, Habst packed his bowl for the fourth time. The OG Kush was strong, but his tolerance bordered on legendary. He pulled another hit and exhaled just as the security guard walked through the door on the other side of the room.

“Oops,” said Habst.

“Hey!” shouted the security guard.

“It’s for joint pain, I swear!”

The security guard ran towards him. Habst bolted, scaled the steel ladder on the other side of the room, and ran across the catwalk above the Progress City model. Only then did he remember that it was a dead end.

“Dammit!”

The security guard appeared at the far end of the catwalk, grabbed onto the railing, and bent over, sweat dripping from his face.

“Hey!” he yelled again, gasping for air.

“Can’t you say anything else?”

“Get over here, you fucking asshole!”

“C’mon, man! There could be kids down there!”

“Huh?” said the guard. A look of shock came over the his face as he felt the rumble of an approaching car and realized the PeopleMover track lay less than ten feet beneath them on the other side of the scrim.

Habst pushed the scrim aside, saw an empty car pulling into the tunnel, looked back up at the guard, smiled, waved, and jumped off the catwalk into the car below. The guard stood there, flabbergasted, as Habst coasted away through the dark corridor.

View of the TTA vehicles from the model

“Sam 12?”

“Copy.”

“The 904 guy just jumped onto a moving PeopleMover car from the catwalk above that future city model.”

“What?! I mean… copy? There’s a catwalk up there?”

“10-4. I’m standing on it.”

“I’ll be damned.”

“So… I guess send the dwarfs to the ride exit?”

“10-4. Rerouting dwarfs.”

“Good luck.”

“Sam 12 out.”

Habst saw the guards as soon as the car turned the corner into the long stretch back to the loading platform. There was nowhere for him to go. On this section of the track the drop from the car to the ground was a good twenty feet. He’d never make it.

He pulled off his fake ID, removed his shoe, put the ID in the shoe, and put the shoe back on. It was uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to risk a felony charge at this point. He pulled the baggie out of his backpack, ate the gram of OG Kush, threw the pipe over the side of the car into the tree on his left, and pocketed the Colibri. Moments later, the cab pulled into the loading area, where three security guards were waiting for him.

“Well if it isn’t Angry, Fatty, and Smelly!” said Habst. “Haven’t seen you boys in a while. How’re the families? Trailer park still treating you well?”

Fatty and Angry grabbed his arms. Smelly got up in his face.

“Mr. Habstermeister. After all the shit you’ve given us over the years, you can’t imagine how pleased I am to see you right now.”

“Jesus. Ever heard of a toothbrush?”

Smelly got even closer and punched him in the stomach. Habst would have doubled over if he wasn’t being held tightly by Fatty and Angry. He struggled to catch his breath.

“You jerks are one step below goddamned mall cops.”

“Yeah, well these mall cops just nailed your druggie ass,” said Angry. “I hope you get locked up and butt raped.”

“Dude! What is it with you guys?” Habst said, looking at the small crowd that had formed on the platform. A mother covered her daughter’s ears.

Angry looked at the mother and daughter, and turned bright red.

“Get him out of here!”

The guards roughly pulled Habst down the moving walkway. He stood there with them for a second as they descended, and then turned to Fatty.

“You got any snacks? I know you got snacks, dude. Like, maybe some pizza Combos? I love Combos. No joke, man, I’m super hungry. This is cruel and unusual punishment!”

Fatty shook his head as the four of them stepped off the moving walkway. The guards led him past the Tomorrowland Terrace, through a switchback that led backstage, and into the security office on the backside of Main Street.

Habst and the Disney Saboteurs can be found on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and B&N.

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DSoD now in Spanish!

Great news: The Dark Side of Disney has been professionally translated into Spanish and is now available at all major ebook retailers!

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
Kobo

Portuguese and Italian translations will also be coming in the new few months!

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“Habst” Chapter With Backstage Pix!

I thought it would be interesting if I posted a series of chapters from Habst and the Disney Saboteurs, along with the backstage photos I used to research those chapters.

This first chapter takes place in the Carousel of Progress. HUGE thanks to Hoot Gibson of Mesa Verde Times and F77 fame, and Mitch from Imagineering Disney for posting these pictures on their blogs, sending me additional pictures, and talking me through the floorplan and backstage layout.

- – -

CHAPTER 13

Habst and Monika skipped over to the Carousel of Progress, holding hands and smiling like little kids.

When they got close to the entrance ramp, Habst realized that he had no plan to get around to the back of the building without being noticed. The Cast Member at the greeting station could easily see anyone trying to sneak under the chains cordoning off the back of the building. The whole plan might be DOA.

“Oh, that poor little girl,” said Monika, pointing.

Habst turned to her, confused.

“What?”

“That little girl’s father just slapped her, told her to stop crying, and then threw her Mouse Ears into the trash can! What an asshole!”

“That’s really sad and all, Monika, but I’m trying to figure out some way to get backstage without being seen, and I can’t really be concerned about….”

She ignored him and walked towards the Carousel of Progress, still staring at the man who had slapped his daughter.

“Okay… so I guess I’ll just wait here and try to think of something, then?” asked Habst.

Monika approached the female Cast Member at the greeting station, whispered something into her ear, and pointed at the abusive father, who was entering a Companion Restroom next to Space Mountain with his daughter. The Cast Member gasped, grabbed her radio, and ran towards the man, yelling, “Sam 12, we have a situation! Need all the dwarfs you’ve got for a 514!”

Habst ran up to Monika, who was standing at the top of the Carousel ramp, smiling smugly.

“Holy shit, Monika, what the hell was that all about?”

“I told her that I was an off-duty Cast Member, and that I’d just seen that man slap his daughter and then put his hand down her pants and fondle her.”

“What?!”

“Security will be dealing with that situation for a while. Let’s get moving before the CM comes back to her station.”

Habst shook his head in disbelief as he watched the Cast Member point at the restroom and whisper into Smelly’s ear. Smelly quickly pulled a key out of his pocket, opened the door, and stood aside as Angry pulled the father out of the restroom and threw him on the ground. Angry, Smelly, and the father were immediately surrounded by ten other security guards, who formed a circle around them. The last thing Habst saw before the circle cut off his view was Angry and Smelly repeatedly punching and kicking the father.

“Wow, I just… wow. You are one crazy bitch. Remind me never to cross you again.”

“Never cross me again, Habst!” she yelled, smacking his ass. “Now lead the way, my fearless explorer.” She hooked her arm through his. “Adventure awaits around every corner!”

“Yeah… sure,” said Habst, tearing his gaze from the scene of havoc his girlfriend had caused. “I guess we should get going….”

Habst put his fake ID around his neck, pulled out his phone, checked the settings, and started recording. He pointed the camera at Monika, who blew a kiss at it and flashed her tits.

“Nice,” said Habst. “Maybe I’ll get an extra virtcoin for those.”

They ducked under the chains and made their way down the walkway until they reached two black doors a full one hundred and eighty degrees from the main entrance of the ride. They were now hidden from view, at least from anyone in the park.

Carousel of Progress layout

Monika opened one of the doors, which led to a concrete ramp. They both walked down the ramp and into a small circular hallway that wrapped around the core of the building. Throughout the hallway were doors that led to rooms directly under the stages. They opened the first door, entered a pie-slice-shaped room, and heard the show going on above them. John, the patriarch of the family, talked about the rat race, and his daughter Patty was trying to lose weight while blabbing to Babs about her dreamboat date. Massive motors on either side of the room powered turntables that rotated to reveal different characters over the course of the scene.

Turntable motor

Habst walked towards the outer edge of the building and yanked at a door labeled “Machinery Room”. The door wouldn’t budge.

“It’s locked,” said Habst, jiggling the knob. “This sucks. I’m supposed to film this stuff.”

“Move out of the way,” said Monika. “You’re useless.”

She pulled a bobby pin and a small flathead screwdriver out of her purse, stuck the pin into the lock, put the end of the flathead in the bottom of the lock, turned it to apply pressure, and raked the pin back and forth. After a few seconds, the lock clicked. She rotated the flathead clockwise and opened the door.

“That was maybe the hottest thing I’ve ever seen any woman do,” said Habst.

“Well, it’s a skill you learn pretty quickly when you want to party, but your bitch of a mother has locked you in your bedroom for the night.”

They walked down a dark path under the theater’s seating area, and into a small room. Inside the dingy, dirty alcove were mechanisms that controlled the movement of the main turntable. As the theater rotated, Habst shot close-ups of the main motor and all of the pulleys, gears, and chains that worked together to move the audience from scene to scene. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what sort of power was needed to move six theaters full of people around that central shaft, but the motor was huge, and it was noisy.

“I love heavy machinery,” said Monika

She pressed herself against the wall directly under the motor and moaned.

“Habst, it’s like the most powerful vibrator ever!”

“Get away from that!”

“Uhhhhh,” she said, her voice modulating with the rhythm of the motor.

“C’mon!” said Habst, trying to pull her away.

The motor stopped, and a large glob of grease fell onto his head.

“What the hell?”

He touched the top of his head and then looked at his hand. It was covered in jet-black lubricant.

“Serves you right,” said Monika. “Trying to stop me from getting off. Asshole.”

“Getting you off is my job, dammit!”

“The motor does it better.”

“You’ve never complained before.”

“I’ve never had a thousand-watt vibrator before. You know what they say, ‘Once you go Carousel of Progress turntable motor, you never go back.’”

“That doesn’t even rhyme.”

“You don’t even rhyme.”

“What? Shut up. Help me get this crap off my head!”

She looked around and found a dirty shop rag on the floor. She picked it up with her fingertips, held it at arms length, and handed it to Habst. It was stiff.

“Gross,” he said.

He dabbed his head with it, realized he was just getting his hair even dirtier, and threw it on the ground.

“Screw it,” he said, running his hands through his hair and slicking it back.

“You look like Ronald Reagan,” said Monika.

“Ronald Reagan?”

“Yeah. Your hair is all black and slicked back. It’s sexy.”

“You’re seventeen. How the hell do you even know what Ronald Reagan looks like?”

Hall of Presidents? Duh. I gave a guy a blowjob in there a few years back, and ever since then I’ve had a thing for Reagan.”

“Give me a goddamned break.” He wiped his hands on his jeans. “Let’s go.”

They exited the machinery room, went back down to the circular hallway, and walked counterclockwise to the next room. Upon opening the door, they heard two 8mm projectors whirring away. Lying on the floor was a huge box full of broken and split filmstrips. Monika pulled one strip out of the box and held it up to the light.

“Hey,” said Monika, “it’s the boxing match that Grandma is watching in the Halloween scene!”

Grandma (upstairs view)

Boxing match filmstrips

“Cool,” said Habst, shoving the filmstrip into his backpack.

Moving to the next room, Habst could hear Grandma winning at a virtual reality space pilot game directly above them. He turned the camera upward, and filmed the pumps, fluid lines, valves, and filters that controlled the motion of the animatronic figures above. Thick steel plates were bolted to the ceiling where the figures were mounted. Small stress cracks spread from each plate, but the damage to the concrete didn’t seem to be significant.

They walked to the next room, which was much darker than the others. Habst pulled a flashlight from his backpack and turned it on, pointing it towards the wall.

Monika screamed.

The flashlight illuminated a severed animatronic head. It was Sarah, the mother of the show, hairless, with her eyes gouged out and the skin of her left cheek torn and hanging grotesquely over her mouth. As Habst move the flashlight around they saw shelves filled with spools of wire, crusty pumps and split valves, and entire animatronic bodies, stripped of their skin, missing various body parts, and contorted into disturbing positions.

Busted Animatronics in the CoP basement

“This is creepy as hell,” said Habst, filming the whole thing.

“I’m freaking out, Habst. Can we get out of here? Like, now?!”

They went back to the hallway, and Habst pointed to a stairway in the center core, opposite the rooms they’d been exploring.

“There,” he said, pointing to the stairs. “We have to go up, shoot the backside of the Christmas stage, and get some different angles of the figures. Then we can get out of here.”

Monika nodded.

“Ladies first,” said Habst, motioning to the steep stairway.

Monika started climbing. Habst filmed her going up a few stairs, and then followed, positioning the camera so it shot up her skirt. He stopped climbing and zoomed into her pink thong, which fell a few millimeters short of covering what it was made to cover.

“I’m gonna get so much Google ad revenue from this if I ever make it public,” said Habst.

Monika looked down, saw what he was doing, and instinctively kicked him in the face. He fell backward, tumbled down the stairs, and landed on the concrete floor.

“Ouch.”

Monika finished climbing the stairs and looked down at him.

“Is your phone okay?” she asked.

“My phone?”

“Stop being such a pussy, Habst. Are you still recording?”

Habst lifted his hand, checked the phone, and verified that it was indeed still recording.

“It’s okay. It’s still filming.”

“Good,” said Monika. “Then quit perving around and get your ass up here.”

Habst sat up and groaned.

“I’m okay, by the way. Thanks for asking. I’m fine. My nuts are halfway up my ass, but other than that, I’m perfect.”

He stood, stretched, and felt and heard what he assumed was a disc slipping back into place. He groaned and climbed up the steps, which opened into a large circular room, sparsely lit by cheap fluorescent overhead lights. He could see small sections of each of the turntable sets, flanked by scrims and dark wooden flats which made up the backside of their backdrops.

Backstage at CoP

Backstage at CoP

Monika opened a door and disappeared behind one of the flats. Habst followed. He looked to his left, and saw her standing midway across the backdrop.

“Come over here, and then look around this corner very slowly,” she said, pointing forward.

He did as instructed, and found himself looking straight at the faces of at least a dozen people sitting in the Carousel Theater. He yanked his head back, surprised.

Monika giggled.

Habst looked around. Apparently, they were behind the kitchen in the Christmas scene.

“Jackpot,” he said.

He positioned the camera just over the window ledge to the right of the John animatronic, and slowly panned it around from one end of the set to the other.

Backstage of the "Christmas" Scene

He pulled the camera back, looked to his left, and saw that the walkway between the set and the backdrop curved around the corner.

He motioned to Monika to follow him. She nodded.

Continuing to film, he got on his hands and knees and crawled past the windows. His hands kept pressing into screws, bits of wire, and large chunks of splintered wood. He was glad he was wearing jeans.

He turned the corner, verified that this side of the set was a solid wall with no openings to the audience, and stood up.

Habst looked back to see Monika wincing. Since she’d worn a skirt, her knees were bare, and the trash covering the dirty wooden walkway had cut her up pretty badly.

“This sucks,” she said, brushing herself off as she stood up.

“Sorry about that. We’re almost done.”

He filmed the back of the kitchen set, capturing the pneumatic pump that blew open the oven door when John’s voice commands overloaded it. He also filmed the pump and atomizer that produced the smoke that comes from the burned turkey inside the oven.

Behind the "Christmas" scene

“Okay, that should be enough,” whispered Habst. He stopped recording, uploaded the video to YouTube with the private option selected, added the DisGeek1966 account to the access list, and put his phone away.

“Mission accomplished,” said Habst.

He was more relaxed now that his job was done, and was actually getting a little excited about exploring the rest of the sets.

“You up for looking around some more?”

“I guess. Not too much longer, though, okay?” She looked down at her dirty, bloody knees. “I need to get cleaned up. So do you, Mr. President.”

“Cut that crap out. Let’s just see what’s over here, and then we’ll leave, okay?”

She nodded, and they crossed over to another stage. Habst opened the door leading to the set, and they stepped into a beautiful backdrop of a sunny outdoor scene, complete with clothes drying on a clothesline.

Unfortunately, once again, there were windows in front of the backdrop, so if they walked a few steps further, the audience would be able to see them.

“Dammit,” said Habst.

They doubled back to the main room. Habst looked to his right and pointed.

Uncle Orville himself lay in his bathtub in the rotating side-stage vignette next to them. His skin ended at his torso, which was hidden from the audience by the bathtub. Below the waist Uncle Orville was simply a mess of metal and wires. His skin did resume mid-thigh, although he had a speaker conspicuously placed directly between his legs where his man-bits should have been.

“Poor Uncle Orville is a neuter!” said Monika.

Habst laughed.

“No privacy at all around this place,” he said, and kissed her.

Uncle Orville’s vignette started to rotate counterclockwise. The small turntable that the set rested on creaked, and Habst could feel the vibration of the powerful motor in the basement as it moved hundreds of pounds of sets and animatronics.

“Here we go!” said Habst, leaning forward and patting Uncle Orville’s leg as it passed by. “Orville, buddy, it’s your time to shine!”

Monika giggled. Habst ran his fingers through his hair, and kissed her again. The floor continued to vibrate, and he reached out to the wall for support. His greasy hand slipped, and he fell forward, head-butting Monika.

“Oh shit! Sorry!”

She fell backward, and instinctively put her hands behind her to stop her fall. A second after she hit the ground, she started screaming.

Habst looked down and saw that her right hand was caught between the static wall of the main set, and the thick moving partition separating Uncle Orville’s scene from Jimmy’s scene on the other side of the turntable.

“Habst! It’s crushing my wrist!” screamed Monika.

“Holy shit!” yelled Habst.

He thrust his shoulder against the partition and pushed as hard as he could, but it wouldn’t budge. The motor was simply too powerful.

Monika screamed even louder as the force of the moving wall broke multiple bones and crushed her radial artery.

A few people in the audience heard the screaming and started looking at each other, wondering if it was rusty machinery, or if they were really hearing someone behind the set.

Habst put his back against the partition and pushed, using every ounce of strength that years of bike riding had given his leg muscles. This stopped it from closing further, but didn’t come close to moving it enough for Monika to be able to release her hand. His feet threatened to slide along the wooden floor, and he knew he couldn’t keep pushing for much longer. But if he let go, her hand would be severed.

Blood from Monika’s artery started shooting rhythmically onto the stage. Someone in the audience saw it, pointed, and screamed. The whole audience started freaking out, and the auditorium quickly turned into complete chaos.

“Somebody help!” yelled Habst through the crack between the partition and the stage wall. “I need some muscle back here! Help! This goddamned thing will cut her hand clean off!”

A small wiry man jumped on the stage, wedged his fingers into the gap between the stage and the base of the partition, and started pulling. The turntable moved a full inch. As astounding as this display of strength was, it didn’t create enough of a gap to free Monika’s hand, and the loss of pressure on her severed artery made her bleed out even more.

She fainted.

“Monika!” yelled Habst. “Holy shit! Mister! Mister! Help her!”

Habst craned his head sideways and looked pleadingly through the two-inch crack, glimpsing the thin outline of the face of the man on the other side.

He had a long, slim face, a well-manicured moustache, arched eyebrows, and dark, straight hair.

The man looked exactly like a young Walt Disney. Habst was momentarily stunned.

“Wake up, son! We need to coordinate our efforts!” said the man, speaking in a confident, familiar cadence.

“What?!” said Habst.

“Pulling at it won’t do a damn thing. Turntable motor’s too powerful. We need one quick burst of force to jump the chain from the sprockets. I’ll hold it in place. You get as far back as you can, get a running start, and slam into it with your shoulder. At the same time, I’ll give it a good hard tug.”

“Whatever you say, mister!”

Habst let go of the partition, flipped around, and ran to the other end of the room. He spun and bolted at the partition with as much speed as he could gather, yelling “One, two, three!” as he ran. On “three,” he slammed against the wall, shoulder first, putting the entire weight of his body into the blow.

At the same time, the man on the other side of the stage yanked at the base of the partition with what seemed to be superhuman force.

The motor underneath the turntable screeched, the chain attached to it jumped a sprocket, and the wall moved at least four more inches.

Monika’s hand slumped to the ground. Habst pulled it from the crack.

“You both clear?” yelled the man.

“Yeah!” said Habst.

“Good! Now get as far back from the turntable as you can!”

Habst scooted away from the set, pulling Monika with him.

“Okay!” said Habst.

The man let go of the partition and it slammed backwards with a force that shook the whole building.

Habst pulled off his shirt and wrapped it tightly around Monika’s wrist.

“Is the girl okay?” yelled the man from the other side of the stage.

“I don’t know!” said Habst. “She’s not conscious, but she’s still breathing!”

“That’s good, that’s good! I’m sure somebody has called for help. I’m sorry, but I have to leave!”

The man jumped off the stage and ran out the door.

“Thank you, Walt Disney!” screamed Habst at the top of his lungs.

Habst looked down at Monika and softly patted her cheek.

“Stay with me,” he said. “This was such a totally dumb idea. I never should have brought you with me.”

“You didn’t have a choice, asshole,” said Monika, opening her eyes and smiling weakly.

Habst gasped.

“Most exciting day of my life,” she said. “Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

He held her tightly until three paramedics raced in. They loaded her onto a stretcher and wheeled her to the parking lot behind the building, where she was put into an ambulance and rushed to the Celebration ER.

Charlie breathlessly ran into the room seconds later, and Habst tried to lift himself off the floor, intending to make a run for it. But he’d dislocated his shoulder when he’d slammed into the wall. So, his arm gave out completely, and he fell to the floor, hit his head, and passed out.

He woke up a minute later to the sound of Charlie smacking him in the face.

“Wake up, Habst!” yelled Charlie.

“Cut it out!” said Habst.

Charlie knelt down next to him.

“I need to pop your shoulder back into place,” said Charlie.

“Where’s Walt Disney?” asked Habst.

“Who?!”

“Walt Disney. He saved Monika.”

“You’re in a lot of pain. You don’t know what you’re saying.”

“No… I swear… it was Walt….”

“Hold still. This is going to hurt.”

Charlie grabbed Habst’s forearm, pivoted it to a ninety-degree angle, and twisted it inward, popping his shoulder back into its socket.

Habst screamed and passed out again.

- – -

Habst and the Disney Saboteurs can be found on Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, and B&N. I highly recommend the paperback version!

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Finally, a new DSoD video!

Happy to announce the release of a brand new DSoD video!

During the EPCOT Center 30th Anniversary celebration I was invited to a private party in the Norway pavilion’s VIP lounge. I did not sneak in there, I promise! But, of course, I did shoot video up there. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to get into the Norway VIP lounge, and what it looks like, here you go!

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DSoD Doc a Go, and Habst on Audiobook

It looks like Philip Swift has successfully funded his “Dark Side of Disney” documentary, which means it is a go!

It was truly amazing, and humbling, to see so many DSoD fans go out of their way to promote the project and spread the word so Philip could reach his goal. It’s also super cool to know that there are so many people out there who really want to see the book adapted into a film by a respectable, talented filmmaker. And believe me, I’m just as excited to see the final film as all of you! So, thanks to everyone who contributed, and good luck and godspeed to Philip as he sets off on the second leg of this adventure!

In other news, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs is finally available on audiobook. Narrated and produced by yours truly!
You can find it at iTunes, Amazon, and Audible.

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Hidden YouTube vids and Habst reviews!

Another blog post, and another exciting announcement! On Wednesday, 5/14/2014 from 7PM-10PM EST, anyone who contributes to the DSoD Documentary Kickstarter campaign, or increases their current contribution, will receive exclusive access to four DSoD YouTube videos that are currently locked and hidden from the public. One of them has never been seen before, and the other three were taken down over a year ago because they were too extreme, incendiary, or incriminating!

So, the way it works is that when you contribute anytime from 7-10PM EST on Wednesday, you’ll be added to the access list for those videos and sent a link to them, and you’ll be able to watch them for 48 hours. After that, they’re gone, never to be seen by anyone ever again!!!!!
Here’s the link to the Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/philipbswift/the-dark-side-of-disney-a-documentary-film

Shifting gears, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs has been out for a few weeks now, and is getting some awesome reviews. People are loving this book!

From Jeff and George over at Micechat:

“Besides being very excited to see high-quality fiction about Disney come out of Bamboo Forest Publishing, it’s great to just see really intelligent, exciting and funny fiction about Disney…. Overall, the book takes you to places that others have not been before, especially in a Disney setting.”

From Scott at Disney Fan Ramblings:

“Leonard Kinsey hit one out the (theme) park with HABST AND THE DISNEY SABOTEURS.  His fictional follow-up to OUR KINGDOM OF DUST pulled me in almost immediately and he kept his foot on the gas pedal for the entire book, creating a funny and exciting novel about every Disney fan’s dreams.”

And, finally, a slightly more hesitant, but entirely accurate review from Between Disney:

“If you are uncomfortable with books that detail drug use, including Habst’s guide to buying drugs online, or sex acts with minors, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs may not be for you.  If you are comfortable with these fictional situations or willing to look past them you are likely to find an interesting and fun adventure story set in one of your favorite places.”

Habst and the Disney Saboteurs can be found on Amazon in paperback (highly recommended due to some fun formatting and pictures) and Kindle versions, and digitally on iTunes, B&N, and Kobo. You can even buy the ebook versions with Bitcoin!!! Audiobook coming soon.

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DSoD Documentary?!

Yes, the rumors are true: someone is making a DSoD documentary!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/philipbswift/the-dark-side-of-disney-a-documentary-film

If you haven’t already heard about it, here’s the scoop: Philip Swift made an amazing film about Celebration, FL called “The Bubble”. I loved the film, he loved my books, and we struck up a friendship. So, when Philip came to me with the idea of a DSoD documentary, I was both excited, because I knew he’d do an amazing job with it, and reluctant, because I knew there was a good chance he’d get banned, and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. I’m also totally out of that game, and wasn’t particularly thrilled with the idea of another resurgence of negative press and the subsequent backlash from Pixie Dusters (not to mention Disney Security, Disney Legal, certain people at D23, certain Imagineers, and all of the other people at Disney who already really hate me).

But, after a lot of thought, I decided to give Philip the go-ahead for the film. I have NO financial stake in it, and I absolutely do not condone any backstage shenanigans or illegal activities that he and his crew might engage in. But, I’m VERY interested in seeing how the whole project turns out. I truly believe that Philip is the real deal, and that he’ll handle the subject matter professionally and will treat the parks, Guests, and CMs with the respect they deserve.

Given what I’ve seen so far, it looks like my instincts were correct: this thing is going to be totally fucking awesome. Check out the vids he’s already posted on the Kickstarter page! They’re incredible!!!

Anyway, bottom line is that this movie isn’t going to get made unless he can raise the money he needs via Kickstarter. And with only 10 days to go, he’s getting down to crunch time. So if you want to see a DSoD documentary made by an actual, real, professional filmmaker, please back the project!

-Leonard

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HABST and the DISNEY SABOTEURS is out!!!

Darknet drugs. Sex and seduction. Disney’s destruction. Just another day for… HABST and the DISNEY SABOTEURS!

Meet Reginald “Habst” Habstermeister: burnout, urban explorer, and loveable loser.

Leeching off his oversexed underage girlfriend, and living the life of luxury in her wealthy mother’s mansion, he doesn’t have a care in the world.

But when Habst unwittingly becomes the prime suspect in the sabotage of Walt Disney World’s most hated attractions, he has no choice but to enter a seedy web of Darknet intrigue in order to clear his name.

One part comedy, one part mystery, and one part sci-fi futurism, Habst and the Disney Saboteurs is Kinsey’s most ambitious and exciting book yet.

Out now!

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Habst-Disney-Saboteurs-Leonard-Kinsey-ebook/dp/B00JYJVQSS
Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Habst-Disney-Saboteurs-Leonard-Kinsey/dp/0991007921

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Non-Bamboo Forest Awesomeness!

Wanted to let everyone know about some non-Bamboo Forest projects I’ve really enjoyed recently!

First up is Styrofoam Throne, by David Bone, which is, as of this writing, free on Kindle! This is a coming of age type of book about a young, kinda awkward guy who lands a coveted job at Castle Dunes, a haunted house on a California boardwalk. He ends up drinking excessively, doing a lot of drugs, meeting a hot girl, getting into fights, and other such shenanigans. It’s definitely R-Rated! Reminded me a bit of Adventureland, but funnier and less angsty. It also helps that David is an excellent writer, and the book is well-edited and professionally laid-out. Highly recommended read!

http://www.amazon.com/Styrofoam-Throne-David-Bone-ebook/dp/B00FW0UT0E

Next up is Communicore Weekly: The Musical. I guess this is sorta connected to Bamboo Forest since Jeff co-wrote the songs, but honestly, if it sucked, I would have made fun of him mercilessly until he cried like a little girl. But, fortunately, it doesn’t suck. At all. In fact, it’s pretty amazing. The musical numbers alternate with spoken-word/story tracks, and while the story tracks were interesting the first few listens, I eventually ended up removing them from the playlist because I just wanted to listen to the incredibly catchy songs! The melodies, production, and musicianship are top-notch, and the lyrics are fun and clever. For example, “I grew up wearing mouse ears. They helped me through some hard years. My head keeps getting bigger, but the same pair always fits.” Love it. Lots of DisNerd jokes and a bunch of riffing on Eisner are also included, as are some killer guitar solos. The whole thing reminds me a lot of something Flight of the Conchords or Tenacious D would do if someone asked them to write a musical about how Jeff and George saved the world from Evil Eisner.

Only $2.99 on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Communicore-Weekly-Musical/dp/B00HXYNISC

And last but not least is Ward Dizzley’s 100% True Life Action Adventure Comics Digest, Issue #1, by Dave Ensign, aka Hoot from MesaVerdeTimes.blogspot.com. Full disclosure: I’m excited to say that Bamboo Forest will be publishing Issue #2 of this comic! However, we had nothing to do with Issue #1 – it was all Dave’s doing.

I always knew Dave was a talented artist, but I didn’t realize that he might be an actual genius-level artist! This comic absolutely blew me away. It’s funny, it deals with a whole bunch of DSoD-esque material, and it is presented and drawn to look exactly like the old Walt Disney Comics Digests from the 60s and 70s, all the way down to the age spots and yellowed paper. But you don’t have to be a comic book geek to appreciate the hilarious stories told here, or the pro-level artwork. I can easily say that any fan of DSoD or Mesa Verde Times will get a real kick out of the decidedly adult adventures that Hoot and Co get into in this comic.

Print edition is $8 + shipping from http://www.warddizzley.com/  and eBook is $6 at http://www.amazon.com/Dizzleys-Action-Adventure-Comics-Digest-ebook/dp/B00H07NV98

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