Monday, July 18, 2011

Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color - All About Magic

Q: How could one go about viewing an episode of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color that originally aired on January 30, 1957 entitled "All About Magic"?
Mitch, Cave Creek, Arizona

A [Dave Smith]: Until they are released on DVD, the early Disney television shows are unavailable. But this one was released on The Sword in the Stone (Gold Collection); the DVD was released in 2001. 

[Marcio Disney]

"Walt Disney began hosting his own television show for ABC in 1954 in an unusual contract: Disney provided ABC with a weekly hour-long television program in exchange for funding for the construction of Disneyland. As a result, the television show was also originally named Disneyland. The anthology series has since gone through a number of name changes over the years: Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, The Wonderful World of Disney, Disney's Wonderful World, Walt Disney, The Disney Sunday Movie, and The Magical World of Disney. The series spanned an incredible 54 years—13 seasons of which were hosted by Walt Disney, himself.

Walt shows off some magic tricks with the studio props and then turns the show over to the Slave in the Magic Mirror, who hosts a look at some magic-themed cartoons.

Aired on Wednesday, January 30th, 1957 on ABC at 7:30pm
Aired on Wednesday, June 12th, 1957 on ABC at 7:30pm
Aired on Sunday, October 23rd, 1960 on ABC at 6:30pm (under the heading of Walt Disney Presents)"

Saturday, July 16, 2011

When Mary Poppins Flew Over Sleeping Beauty Castle

Q: Some of my favorite childhood memories are of visiting Disneyland with my parents, two sisters and brother in the 1960s. This may be just a fanciful childhood memory, but I seem to recall that during that time period, in addition to Tinker Bell's flight, from Matterhorn Mountain to Sleeping Beauty Castle, there was on occasion a flight of Mary Poppins, her umbrella up and carpet bag in hand. Is this just a wishful memory?
Donna, West Covina, California 

A [Dave Smith]: There was indeed a Mary Poppins who flew over Sleeping Beauty Castle in 1966.

[Marcio Disney]

 You can find the original article bellow in our The Best Disney Parks Videos blog!

Summer fireworks at Disneyland began way back in 1956. Five years later, the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks show debuted and ran until 2001. The next year a new show began, “Believe … There’s Magic in the Stars.” It ran for three summers. The summer of 2005 exploded with new fireworks in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland. Guests were treated to “Remember … Dreams Come True,” a nighttime spectacular, narrated by the legendary Julie Andrews, that took guests on a nostalgic journey through the park’s history. It was a touching tribute to 50 years of magic. Last summer a new show lit up the sky. “Magical” premiered, and that’s the show currently running. Check out this video of the summer fireworks past and present, and then come see them in person.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The First Tinker Bell to Fly in Disneyland

Q: The first Tinker Bell to fly in Disneyland was Tiny Kline. Can you tell me her age when Walt hired her? I have read that she was either in her 60s or 71. Do you know the date?
Debby, Oakdale, California 

A [Dave Smith]: Circus performer Tiny Kline was 70 years old when she began flying as Tinker Bell over Sleeping Beauty Castle as part of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show on June 9, 1961.

In 1905, Kline immigrated to the United States with a dance troupe. She started as a burlesque dancer, but moved on to perform in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus as Tiny Duchée. There, she met rodeo trick rider Otto Kreinbrink (stage name Otto Kline). Two years later, they married. When he died during a ride, she took over and learned acrobatic tricks, including the "aerial iron jaw act", where she would be suspended by the mouth on a long glide wire.

In 1961, Walt Disney began a search for a Tinker Bell to wow crowds at Disneyland. Kline was hired to glide down a wire connecting the Matterhorn to Sleeping Beauty's Castle. She retired and died in 1964.

In this video you can see Otto's tombstone:

"My family and I went to see my Great-great uncle: Otto Kline. He was married to Tiny Kline. Tiny was in the circus like Otto. She was also the first tinker bell (hired by Walt Disney) She also flew across Time Square hanging by her teeth."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Disneyland Showtime with Kurt Russell

Q: A few years ago I saw a movie on Disney Channel that featured Disneyland back in the late 50s or early 60s. I'm not sure but I think it starred Kurt Russell. (I looked through his credits and can't find anything that sounds like this movie.) I just remember them running all through the park. Any information would be helpful!
Kathy, Naperville, Illinois 

A [Dave Smith]: You are remembering "Disneyland Showtime," a 1970 TV show that featured The Osmond Brothers (Donny gets lost and the others are searching for him) and Kurt Russell narrating a look at the work that went into the creating of the Haunted Mansion. 

[Marcio Disney]

Kurt Russell singing "Sugar Sugar" at Disneyland 1970. This is a clip from The Wonderful World of Disney:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Truth About "If you Can Dream It, you Can Do It"

Q: I have found the quotation, "If we can dream it, we can do it," attributed to Walt Disney, on the Internet. Do you know when he said it?
Thomas, Lincoln, Nebraska 

A [Dave Smith]: Despite its frequent publication, that is not a Walt Disney quote. We checked with Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald for the definitive answer: "I am very familiar with that line — because I wrote it! It was written specifically for the Horizons attraction at Epcot and used in numerous ways, from dialogue in the ride to graphics. I find it amusing that the Science of Imagineering DVD series attributes it to Walt Disney, but I guess I should be flattered." 

 [Marcio Disney]

He is one of the Walt’s original Imagineers and nowadays, you can read articles wrote by Tom Fitzgerald for the Disney Parks Blog! He's all about Star Tours. Just Visit:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Who played Iola Morton in the "Hardy Boys" on the Mickey Mouse Club?

Q: Who played Iola Morton in the "Hardy Boys" serials on the Mickey Mouse Club? Was she one of the "original" Mouseketeers?
Dave, Denver, Colorado 

A [Dave Smith]: Iola Morton was played by Carole Ann Campbell. The young actress was not a Mouseketeer; she retired from acting shortly after the serials aired. She passed away in March 2010 from cancer, at the age of 65. 

[Marcio Disney]
Moments after Iola is killed in a car bomb.

In "Hardy Boys", Iola Morton was Joe's girlfriend in about every series but the Casefiles. In the Casefiles she is killed by a bomb meant for Frank and Joe. Her death seriously affected Joe and he was grave and quiet after her death for a long time.

She is described as Chet 's sister and has dark hair, with a pixie like face. She kept a very detailed diary and liked sending audio tapes to friends instead of writing letters. However, in the Hardy Boys Undercover Brothers series, she is alive and well and was Joe's girlfriend in Ocean of Osyria. She was working at Phil's Phries and Phranks to pay for a trip to Montreal in Murder at the Mall.

Hand-picked by Walt Disney for the role, Carole Ann Campbell had some stage, film and television experience before appearing in both Hardy Boys serials as a younger female tag-along to the boy detectives. A singer as well as an actor, she left performing behind after finishing high school.

Released Christmas Day 1955, the film had the fifth highest gross take of 1956. Carole had some poignent scenes in this, playing Lillian Roth as a child. She later related that when called upon to cry on camera, the director had her imagine a little puppy being hit by a car, the same technique reported by Margaret O'Brien and other child actors. Her performance impressed Walt Disney, who personally ordered that she be hired for the role of Iola Morton in the upcoming Hardy Boys serial, according to contemporary newspaper accounts. 

About the same time as her second Disney serial, Carole had an uncredited bit part in a 20th Century Fox teen film called Bernadine (1957). Her last on-camera performance followed a year later, when she guest starred in an episode of the western series 26 Men. The end of her acting career may have been her own choice. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Hotel that Walt Disney Stayed in Vienna

Q: I live in Vienna and recently I read in a magazine that Walt Disney stayed in one of Austria's most famous hotels. It's called Hotel Sacher. Do you know if he really stayed there?
Thomas, Vienna, Austria 

A [Dave Smith]: In 1959, 1960, 1961 and 1962, the only years that we know Walt Disney went to Vienna, he stayed at the Hotel Imperial. We are not aware that he ever stayed at the Hotel Sacher.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The A113 Code in Pixar Movies

Q: In the movie WALL·E, the directive not to return to Earth was called A113. In the new movie Toy Story 3, the license plate on a van is shown as A113. What is the significance of this number?
John, Windsor, Connecticut 

A [Dave Smith]: The number refers to the animation classroom at CalArts, where some Pixar students studied.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why has Figment left Epcot?

Q: Why has Figment left Epcot? I last took a picture with him by the "leaping" fountains in 2006 and now he is gone. There are traces of his history there, but no more Figment or Dreamfinder, for that matter. What happened?
Connor, San Antonio, Texas 

A [Dave Smith]: Figment is still the mascot of the Imagination pavilion. In 1999, with the premiere of Journey Into Your Imagination, he only had a cameo role. However, after an overwhelming number of guests pleaded for his return, the attraction was refurbished again, and since 2002, Journey Into Imagination with Figment has featured the playful dragon. Dreamfinder holding a small Figment used to pose for photos outside the pavilion until 1998; Figment alone made appearances after 2004, but not recently. 

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