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.

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