Tuesday, January 5, 2016

How could Disney sit at a table and watch the guests in New Orleans Square below him in 1967?

We recently enjoyed a second dinner at Club 33. We were told by a hostess that the restaurant was completed in 1967. But after leaving, I thought to myself, “How could Mr. Disney sit at a table and watch the guests in New Orleans Square below him in 1967 when he died in 1966?” Could you straighten out the timeline of the Club 33 construction and completion for me?

Walt Disney never had a chance to sit in Club 33 and watch his guests below in New Orleans Square (as depicted in a well-known piece of artwork), because he died six months before the club was finished. He was very involved in the early planning of the club, and he and his wife, Lilly, had traveled to New Orleans with the club’s designer, Emile Kuri, to select the beautiful antiques to be featured there. But he never got to see the results as he died on December 15, 1966. The club opened on June 15, 1967.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Walt Disney World Location - Orlando or Ocala?

Walt Disney and his staff made intensive surveys of Florida, looking for the right amount of available and affordable land, proximity to Interstate Highways, ease of access, etc. It was deemed that area between Ocala and Orlando experienced a significant decline in minimum winter temperature; because cold nights tend to have an adverse effect on attendance and landscaping, the region south of Orlando was more appealing. It was the Orlando area property that fulfilled their needs.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Development of Figment and the Dreamfinder

Could you please tell us about the history and development of Figment and the Dreamfinder, originally from Journey into Imagination?

Dreamfinder and Figment originated as Professor Marvel and his green dragon friend at the proposed, but never built, “Discovery Bay” expansion of Disneyland. When Kodak signed on to be the sponsor of Epcot’s Journey into Imagination, the characters were re-imagined. Professor Marvel became the Dreamfinder, and his green dragon became Figment, who adopted royal purple pigment. Dreamfinder was developed as the kind, wise spirit of imagination (with the attitude of Santa Claus or The Wizard of Oz), and Figment became just the opposite—the curious and childish sidekick with a short attention span.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Abraham Lincolns Audio-Animatronics

Walt Disney initially had two of the Audio-Animatronics® Abraham Lincolns constructed. The one for the 1964 World’s Fair so impressed Mr. Disney that he had the second made for Disneyland. Whatever happened to the original that was displayed at the World’s Fair?

The very first Abraham Lincoln Audio-Animatronics® head is part of the collection of the Walt Disney Archives.

The first Disneyland version of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – named after the World's Fair attraction – opened on July 18, 1965, in honor of the official 10th anniversary of the park, in the new Opera House on Main Street, USA. The show in the main theater with Mr. Lincoln was a duplicate of the World's Fair attraction. The exterior and interiors of the building were given a new theme using Abraham Lincoln and Walt Disney exhibits, displays and films as the attraction was presented by Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, not the state of Illinois. It did not require an "A" through "E" attraction admission ticket. This version of the attraction ended January 1, 1973, along with the sponsorship by Lincoln Savings.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Space Mountain Song - Here’s to the Future and You

Who wrote and composed the Space Mountain song “Here’s to the Future and You”?

RCA’s song, “Here’s to the Future and You,” from 1974, had words by X. Atencio and music by Buddy Baker. Atencio and Baker also partnered on songs for other memorable attractions, including Haunted Mansion and World of Motion.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Design Ideas for the Tower of Terror Props

The props in the Tower of Terror are amazing! I’ve heard that the Mission Inn in Riverside, California, and the Biltmore in Los Angeles provided some of the inspiration for the design. Are there any other buildings that inspired this beautiful attraction?

The Imagineers looked at photographs of many elaborate buildings from the right era for their design ideas and then scoured Hollywood auction houses for the actual props. Some came from lavish estates of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. One set of chairs was 400 years old; other chairs came from the exclusive Jonathan Club, a well-known Los Angeles landmark built in the 1920s.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ticket Books Last Issued

In what year were E Tickets last issued? My sister who was born in 1973 says that she remembers them. Where they still around when she was a kid?

Disney stopped using the ticket books in 1982.

Vintage Walt Disney World: An ‘A’ Attraction or an ‘E’?

A few weeks ago, I shared my very first ticket to Walt Disney World Resort. This prompted blog reader Skip to ask if we had any photographs of the old A to E tickets used at Magic Kingdom Park. With the help of my friends at the Walt Disney Archives, I was able to track them down.
The Omnibus, an 'A' Ticket Attraction at Magic Kingdom ParkA Vintage 'A' Ticket for Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park

Want to take a ride on the Omnibus on Main Street, U.S.A.? Grab your A ticket and enjoy the double-decker view!
The Mike Fink Keel Boat, a 'B' Ticket Attraction at Magic Kingdom ParkA Vintage 'B' Ticket for Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park

Don’t know what to do with your B ticket? Climb aboard a Mike Fink Keel Boat and sail around the Rivers of America.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, a 'C' Ticket Attraction at Magic Kingdom ParkA Vintage 'C' Ticket for Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park

That C ticket you’re holding would have been perfect to take a spin aboard Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
The Admiral Joe Fowler, a 'D' Ticket Attraction at Magic Kingdom ParkA Vintage 'D' Ticket for Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park

Already ridden on the Omnibus and a Mike Fink Keel Boat? Why not make it a trifecta with a voyage aboard the Admiral Joe Fowler with your D ticket?
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, an 'E' Ticket Attraction at Magic Kingdom ParkA Vintage 'E' Ticket for Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park

Use that E ticket wisely. Take a dive underwater on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Although all-inclusive passport tickets were introduced at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland park in June of 1981 in advance of ticket books being phased, we still often lovingly refer to attractions by their ticket letter.

Check out these posts for more “Vintage Walt Disney World”:

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Magical Songs at Disney Parks

Q: There have been so many fascinating documentaries about the making of the Disney parks and individual movies, but I do not recall ever seeing a documentary about the musicians who contribute to the Disney experience with their music. Music in the parks and at their events is such an integral part of the experience. It would not be a true Disney experience without the music! Who are the people that provide these experiences for us? Cheryl, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 

A [Dave Smith]: Music has indeed been an exciting part of our parks, and while there is no documentary film, the contributions of composers have been mentioned in books. At first Walt Disney used his staff composers — such as Oliver Wallace, George Bruns and the Sherman Brothers — to write the music he needed for Disneyland. Perhaps the most prolific of the composers for Disneyland and the later parks was Buddy Baker; he remained a staff composer until 1983. In more recent years there have been people like George Wilkins, Bob Moline, Don Dorsey, Russell Brower, Bruce Broughton, Joel McNeely, Edo Guidotti and Richard Bellis creating the music.

More to see at Marcio Disney History Youtube Channel [Marcio Disney]

Now we have an amazing documentary about the Sherman Brothers (which I love the most) called The Boys. Check out the trailer:

Here you can see the complete scene with the Sherman Brothers and Walt Disney together playing "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow"

A Night With Richard Sherman - I love the version of "It's a Small World" in this video :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Mickey Mouse Revue

Q: In 1973 my wife and I visited the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on our honeymoon. We saw and loved an attraction called the Mickey Mouse Revue. If I remember correctly it was similar to the Country Bear Jamboree. On subsequent visits we could no longer find it. Could you tell us what happened to it? 
Ronald, Boca Raton, Florida 

A [Dave Smith]: The Mickey Mouse Revue, an Audio-Animatronics® attraction featuring Disney characters performing some of the most memorable Disney songs, was created for Walt Disney World, opening in 1971. In 1980 the attraction was removed and sent to Tokyo Disneyland, where it played from 1983 to 2009. Mickey's PhilharMagic is now in the former location of the Mickey Mouse Revue in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

There´s 2 videos above about Mickey Mouse Revue. The first one is the original version in the Magic Kingdom and the second one is the Tokyo Disneyland version.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Madame Leota and her Floating Crystal Ball

Q: In the 2007 revamp of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion did they replace the original Madame Leota crystal ball to make it float? And, if so, is the original in the Archives? 

A [Dave Smith]: Yes, the floating Madame Leota crystal ball that was installed in the 2007 refurbishment uses an internal projection to make the effect more realistic, so the former prop was replaced. It is now part of the Archives.

Madame Leota is the spirit of a psychic medium, conducting an otherworldly séance in an attempt to summon spirits and assist them in materializing and was played by Leota Toombs (face) and Eleanor Audley (voice). Before Leota Toombs was chosen for the face of the medium in the crystal ball, Imagineer Harriet Burns was tested for the part. Leota Toombs also played the Ghost Hostess who appears at the end of the attraction, though it is unknown whether or not she and Madame Leota are meant to be the same character.

"Serpents and spiders, tail of a rat / Call in the spirits, wherever they're at. / Rap on a table, it's time to respond / Send us a message from somewhere beyond. / Goblins and ghoulies from last Halloween / Awaken the spirits with your tambourine. / Creepies and crawlies, toads in a pond / Let there be music from regions beyond. / Wizards and witches, wherever you dwell / Give us a hint by ringing a bell."

For Disneyland´s Haunted Mansion Online Audio, Click Here!

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