Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fantasyland Board Game by Parker Brothers

Q: A friend of ours gave me a bunch of old Disney stuff from her attic and among them was a Fantasyland board game. The instructions have gone missing, but it looks like you make your way through Fantasyland, passing through the rides (which only seem to include those that were around Opening Day). I would love to know more about this game. What can you tell me about it?
Lauren, Merced, California

A [Dave Smith]: The Fantasyland board game was made by Parker Brothers in 1956, so it does indeed include only the earliest attractions in that land. Parker Brothers was a Disney licensee for many years, beginning in 1933. The game was reprinted for sale at the Disney parks a few years ago, along with three others in the set: Monorail, Riverboat, and Adventureland.

[Marcio Disney]

--- Description

Players move on board and try to collect stars and tickets with high numbers as they move along path in Fantasyland.
In 1956, just one year after the opening of Walt Disney's Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California, Parker Brothers produced a series of board games based on four of the themed sections within the park. The Fantasyland board game is one example. A very simple race and point game for small children, the game box features the iconic symbol of Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty's castle, as well as most of the popular early Disney movie characters.
Description courtesy of (Creative Commons, BY-NC-ND)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How were the Countries selected to the World Showcase

Q: First of all, thank you for your historical contributions to all of us as Disney fans. My question focuses on EPCOT. How were the countries selected to create The World Showcase?
Larry, Marion, Indiana

A [Dave Smith]: Disney originally sought sponsorship from governments of different countries (they had in mind a group of key countries which they felt had to be in World Showcase, such as Canada, Mexico, England, China, France, Germany, Italy and Japan) but found such a pursuit to be difficult. Disney then sought sponsorship from companies that operated within the countries, and here they had more success. Canada and Mexico were placed closest to Future World as they are the countries that border the U.S. (originally The American Adventure was to be placed between them). As sponsors were found, the countries of Norway and Morocco were added, though some, including Costa Rica, Spain and Equatorial Africa, never came to fruition.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Reluctant Dragon

 Q: I am an avid Disney movie watcher, and I own all the Disney animated classics. What I have not been able to figure out is if the film The Reluctant Dragon is considered one of these classics. Although it is a stated to be in a variety of sources, it seems too short to qualify as a feature length film. Was it originally released as a combo film, or is this just a special circumstance where a short is considered a movie? 
Dylan, Los Alamitos, California 

[Dave Smith]: The Reluctant Dragon was actually a 73-minute feature film released in 1941. It featured, in live action, a tour of the Disney Studio with humorist Robert Benchley, along with cartoon segments such as "How to Ride a Horse," "Casey, Jr." and "The Reluctant Dragon" (this segment was also released separately years later and, since it was the same title as the feature, this is probably the reason why you are confused). 

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