OC Atheists (So Hot Right Now) Hold "I Am Charlie" Event to Let Everyone Draw Cartoons

Thumbnail image for charlie-hebdo-cover_1-14-15.jpg
Charlie Hebdo
UPDATE, JAN. 22, 1:44 P.M.: Atheists are so hot right now, and by "right now" I mean "tonight through Sunday morning." As mentioned in the original post (that has all the details), Orange County's Backyard Skeptics hold a "speed discussion" event with a Christian Toastmasters group at a Huntington Beach church tonight, and an OC atheist is recruiting like-minded folks to counter-demonstrate against Christians in front of Disneyland Sunday morning. Now, Backyard Skeptics say they'll shoehorn in another gathering Saturday: an "I Am Charlie" demonstration at Huntington Beach Pier, where passersbys will be encouraged "to draw cartoonish pictures of any prophet, deity or religion in a funny or mocking way."

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2 More Orange County Measles Cases; 59 in State with 42 Linked to Disney Resorts: Update

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A boy after three days with a measles rash. This photo was created in 1963.
UPDATE NO. 6, JAN. 21, 3:58 P.M.: On the same day Orange County health officials revealed there are now two more cases of measles in the county, state health officials announced at a press conference there have been 59 confirmed cases in California since December, which 42 of them linked to initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure.

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Jonathan E. Olsen Accused of Selling Inactivated Disneyland Tickets via craigslist

Categories: Crime-iny, Dishney

Courtesy of Costa Mesa Police Department
Jonathan E. Olsen was popped for petty theft and drug paraphernalia possession.
A parolee faces theft charges for allegedly selling invalid Disneyland tickets to a woman who responded to a craigslist ad, according to Costa Mesa Police--which does nothing to disprove my time-tested theory: You don't mess with The Mouse.

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Bob Iger: Star Wars to Have Greater Presence at Disneyland, Just Not the Star Wars We've Seen

Lucasfilm Walt Disney Co.
Back to Star Tours and the Indiana Jones ride, old man!
Star Wars has been associated with Disneyland since before Star Tours opened at the Anaheim theme park on April 12, 1992, and now two years after the Walt Disney Co. bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion, the entertainment giant's chief has revealed the movie franchise will be even more greatly integrated into the Mouse House.

Well, at least part of the Star Wars franchise will be ...

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Disney Urged to Animate Disabled Characters So Disabled Children Have Role Models

Alexsandro Palombo
Unrelated to the new campaign, Italian artist Alexsandro Palombo created a series portraying Disney princesses in wheelchairs or with missing limbs to comment on the lack of amputees and the disabled in pop culture.

Will we one day see costumed characters with disabilities at Disneyland? That could eventually happen if a new petition drive is successful. In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a San Francisco family is calling on Disney Animation Studios to represent children with disabilities in their animated films.

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Lawsuits by Families of Autistic Children Challenge Disneyland Policy for Disabled Guests

Magic Kingdom meets wheel life.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts--which includes Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim--is being sued over its new Disability Access Service policy.

And that has prompted a confession: I have been part of the abuse of the old Disability Access Service policy that led to its change.

How it used to work was anyone could go to Guest Services in a wheelchair (rented from the park or otherwise), claim to be disabled and get a special pass. The pass got that person and everyone in his/her party to the front of lines, even the most congested ones winding toward the most popular rides.

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Disneyland: The Gayest Place On Earth

Photo: Austen Risolvato | Rendering: Dustin Ames

Two young men are walking down Disneyland's Main Street on a chilly September evening, holding hands. The older one is wearing a flamboyant blue kimono with a dragon emblazoned on the back. He shows no signs of nervousness as he tries to comfort his companion, who's dressed simply in a pair of pants and a shirt. Escorted by half a dozen security guards, they make their way toward the park's entrance.

The guards are unhappy, their faces stern. They direct the two men to the office, located next to the entrance gate, just inside the park. It's dark out, and most of the crowd--younger couples out on a Saturday-night date--are still deep inside Disneyland. But the night is over for this pair.

The date is Sept. 13, 1980, and 19-year-old Andrew Exler and 17-year-old Shawn Elliott are about to be thrown out of the park because they wanted to dance.

With each other.

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Melting in Line Waiting to Get Into the Frozen Room? Disneyland Now Offers a Faster Way In

Categories: Dishney

Many are melting this hot-ass summer waiting to meet Anna and Elsa in the Frozen Room.

You know how Disneyland has those Fastpasses that let you reserve a place in line closer to the front of the most popular attractions? Apparently the movie Frozen (right down to that annoying song) is so popular that the Mouse is extending the Fastpass concept to the line leading into the Frozen Room, which is where future princesses go to meet Anna and Elsa.

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Disneyland's Flag Retreat: Semper Gunny

Dustin Ames/OC Weekly
And the band played on . . .

Every morning and every evening since it opened in 1955, Disneyland has raised and lowered the Stars and Stripes at the flagpole on Main Street USA, per American flag etiquette. But that wasn't enough for the Happiest Place On Earth; in 2005, the park began hosting the Flag Retreat, a daily ceremony that makes George M. Cohan seem as un-American as Abbie Hoffman. There's a barbershop quartet, shout-outs to each branch of the military and sing-alongs to the Great American Patriotic Songbook. On busy Saturdays, it attracts passersby and garners a crowd of 30 or 40 people.

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Bryan William Anast, Ex-Disneyland Machinist, Gets 55 Years; 2 of 4 Girls He Molested Speak

See the update at the end of this post on Bryan William Anast being formally sentenced to 55 years in prison and four victim impact statements being made to the court, including two from girls he molested.

Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's office
Bryan William Anast

ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 11, 1:36 P.M.: Moments before jury selection in Westminster in the trial of Bryan William Anast, the former Disneyland machinist pleaded guilty to molesting four girls, three of whom were family members.

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