ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT ’94 EARTHQUAKE
ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT '94 EARTHQUAKE
If you’ve lived anywhere up and down the west coaster some time, from Alaska to Mexico, You’ve experienced a few Earthquakes. I grew up in LA, so all my life I’ve ridden some good ones. One of the most memorial actually happened 29 years ago. January 17, 1994. It famously became the beginning of my, Disneyland Hotel Earthquake Curse.
My wife, daughter, and I were staying on the 2nd to the top floor of what is now the Fantasy Tower at the Disneyland Hotel. I was working at KWIN in Stockton, California at the time, and we finally got a much needed vacation. And it would be the first time my 2 year old Londyn would experience The Happiest Place on Earth.
I was fully awake at 4:30am when I felt what was just a small shake. I told my wife, "No worries. It's a small one. It'll stop here in a minute." Suddenly all hell broke lose. And I mean, all hell broke loose. Everything not bolted down started flying across the room. We jumped on my daughter's bed to protect her from debris. This thing was strong and lasted longer than normal, in part because the hotel is on rollers.
The curtains opened and I caught a glimpse of the other two hotel buildings across the pool, violently swaying back-and-forth like a Disney cartoon. I remember screaming, "OK! You can stop already!"
It finally did. I later called into my morning show at KWIN to do a report, noting that I could see the Big A at Angels Stadium had been knocked over. All the while I'm trying to sound calm. But the truth was, for the first time, even after living with so many Earthquakes as a kid, this one scared me. To a point where I thought we were going to die.
The next day we went to go visit my friend Jim Sharpe who was doing mornings at STAR 98.7 at the time. During the drive, we flipped over to KROQ when a strong after-shock hit. The DJ was talking as it started to shake. And we could feel it in the car. We were stuck in traffic...under a overpass. Yeah. That was scary.
From then on over the next 20 years, whenever I would stay at the Fantasy Tower of the Disneyland Hotel, as God as my witness, an Earthquake would hit. Often times it was almost comical. There was one time as I was checking in they put me up in of course the Fantasy Tower. I told the Cast Member at the front desk about the curse. She laughed and said, “It’ll be ok on this visit.”
I went up to the room, and like always, checked out the view that looked out over the pool. At the time, they had sliding glass doors. As I opened it, the door came off the rail and could not get it back on, so I called maintenance. The maintenance guy came up to try to fix it, but to no avail. “I’ll have to get this replaced.”
“I swear I didn’t break it on purpose. Maybe it’s part of my curse.” The maintenance guy looked at me and said, “Oh! You’re the guy that thinks every time you stay in this tower, there’s an earthquake.” He laughed and said, “No worries today. I’ll be back to get this replaced and fixed.”
As he’s walking out the door, the room started to shake. We looked at each other and I said, “Are you messin’ with me?” The shaking stopped and he begins to smile. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” “I told you!” “Let’s get you into another room in one of the other towers.” True story!
The curse lasted until 2014 when for the first time since 1994, my daughter joined me and we finally stayed at the Fantasy Tower at the same time. And I believe because we were together for the first time at that tower, there was no Earthquake. The convergence of it all, coming full circle, ended the Disneyland Hotel Earthquake Curse.