Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Look Back at Walt Disney World's First 10 Years

By Keith Mahne

From the Walt Disney World Vacation Kingdom dedication plaque in Town Square: "WALT DISNEY WORLD is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney and to the talents, the dedication and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true..." Walt Disney's dream...what a dream it was: a complete vacation resort destination; a total environment that Walt himself referred to as "a new, different kind of world...big enough to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine." And the dream came to life and started to grow: the Magic Kingdom, resort hotels and villas, campgrounds, abundant facilities for recreation, shopping and entertainment; all set against a lovingly preserved and designed backdrop of rolling landscapes and winding waterways. And, as Walt had suggested, there was still plenty of space for the Disney-style thinking, tinkering and building called "Imagineering." Today, this 27,443-acre wonder stands as the leading vacation destination on earth and the first 10 years of its existence played a big part in that. Let's review Walt Disney World's first 10 years and discover why it remains as happy and joyous a place as the day it opened on October 1, 1971...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Disney Look Cast Member Handbook

By Keith Mahne

Since Disneyland opened in 1955, guests have treasured the elements that set the Disney theme parks and resorts apart — the cleanest venues, the friendliest cast members, and the most exceptional show. Though each of these three things are extremely important and are what keeps Disney a step ahead of the competition, Disney's cast members are by far the most important of them all. But did you know that there is a secret ingredient used within the company that keeps cast members looking their best while "on stage"? It's called the Disney Look. This look has changed with the times, yet always remains true to Disney's ideal of offering wholesome family entertainment in the world's top vacation destinations. In today's new article, let's peek inside the pages of a Disney Look handbook and see what it really takes to be a Disney cast member...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Echoes of Disneyland

By Keith Mahne

If you're a fan of Disney Avenue, you probably realize how much we love Disney music around here. Let me tell you about a classic Disneyland album you're going to love. It's called Echoes of Disneyland and it was created by a man named Dee Fisher, a true staple at Disneyland during its first fifteen years in operation. Dee was the manager of Disneyland's Wurlitzer music store at the corner of Town Square and Main Street USA. On many a quiet evening he would fill the air with the haunting yet subdued tones of his electric organ in a twightlight concert of familiar Disney tunes. After many guest requests, he recorded the album, live at the Park, for Disneyland records in 1957. Listen to this beautiful, vintage album in today's new article. You have got to hear this...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Story of Disneyland's Original Music Man

By Keith Mahne

In more than a half-century as one of the world’s greatest bandmasters, Vesey Walker’s proudest achievement was his Disneyland Band. Vesey organized and directed more than 50 college, military, school, and youth bands over his career, but at Disneyland, the master “music man” finally found the one place in the world to organize a thoroughly professional band, performing daily throughout the year—not just for Saturday football games or annual parades. This is the story of Disneyland's original music man, including a rare 1956 Disneyland concert recording, that you won't want to miss...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

4 Reasons the “Festival of Fantasy” Parade is a "Must See"

By Rebekah Coley

One of the many things that set Disney Parks apart from their amusement competitors is their enchanting entertainment. In lieu of campy “rocking to the oldies” musical revues, Disney Parks Entertainment prides itself on creating shows that thematically fit with their assigned park. Recently, the parks worldwide have been “pulling out all the stops” in terms of debuting inventive parades, firework displays, and stage productions. With all of these new options, it can be easy to forget about the incredible productions that just hit the Magic Kingdom streets a couple of years ago. Specifically, we are referring to the parade “Festival of Fantasy”. Check out today’s article for 4 reasons the “Festival of Fantasy” Parade is not to be missed...

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Tale of Two Soarin’s

By EPCOT Explorer

In some ways, nothing has changed. There’s still grandiose and emotionally charged music. Cultural and natural landmarks beckon and shimmer. Excited passengers gasp and whoop when surprised with a bird’s eye view of the world that they very rarely get to see from such an angle. But in other ways, everything has changed: Soarin’ is no longer flying over California, but is now flying around the world. The scope of the attraction has changed, altering the thematic landscape of EPCOT. In so doing, Soarin’s change is less of a transformation, but a transition from a narrow and specialized approach to an experience that is now broad and sweeping. These changes are both harmful and helpful to how Soarin’ now operates and how it makes a thematic statement that fits into EPCOT. In today's new article, let's attempt to describe and analyze each version of the attraction, and showcase their strengths and weaknesses in this Tale of Two Soarin's...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A History of The Muppets

By Brittany Bell

With recent news about new Muppets attractions at Walt Disney World, it’s safe to say the franchise is getting a revival at the Disney theme parks. Though they have had a presence in the Parks since the opening of Muppet*Vision 3D at the then-named Disney’s MGM-Studios in 1991, the rebirth of the TV show, along with new Muppets movies, makes it safe to say that the silly and whimsical group is ready to make a mark on the Parks once again. However, these characters were not always a part of Disney; in fact, they date all the way back to 1955, when creator Jim Henson was still a college student at the University of Maryland. The rich history of these now-beloved characters is where our journey takes us today in this history of the Muppets…