Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Jazzy "Part of Your World" Cover

By Keith Mahne


A friend of Disney Avenue, Andrew Berg of the Andrew Berg Quartet, reached out to me recently about a wonderful video he and his friends created featuring a bossa nova cover of "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid". I really think a lot of Disney fans will certainly appreciate it. Another fun fact is that all the musicians are either Cast Members or Annual Passholders of Disneyland! I must say, I really enjoy their cover and have even added it to the Disney Avenue music player which can be accessed via our desktop site. Continue after the page break for an amazing cover of "Part of Your World"...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tale of Two EPCOTs - Part I

By EPCOT Explorer



EPCOT has always had the rare distinction of having its conceptual core rooted in Walt Disney’s litany of personal products and projects. As one of the last ideas to come from the world’s greatest showman, The Walt Disney Company has always striven to tie EPCOT, as an entity, to their founder so as to appear respectful to his legacy and grand plans for the Walt Disney World Resort. Of course, the Florida property itself was the engine for Walt’s original idea for a grand center of urban planning and industry, so the narrative of both city and resort are highly intertwined. All of this remains inherent, even today, despite the city never materializing, and instead a theme park being built bearing the iconic and storied acronym. Continue after the page break for part 1 of a Tale of Two EPCOTs...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Lunar New Year 2015

By Daisy Sparks



Last weekend I had a chance to check out the Lunar New Year festivities at Disney California Adventure. They have offered this celebration the last couple of years now. The Lunar New Year events were only offered this past weekend (Thursday - Sunday) so it was pretty popular due to its very limited engagement. Join me as we take a look at the event in this week's A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition article...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mickey’s Birthdayland 1988-1990

By Keith Mahne



In 1988, the year of Mickey Mouse’s 60th birthday, Walt Disney World celebrated the opening of Mickey’s Birthdayland. The land was themed as Duckburg the town from the Ducktales show. Mickey’s Birthdayland attractions included: Grandma Duck’s Farm with live animals (chickens, ducks, goats, pigs, cows and miniature horses), Mickey’s house including a Birthday Party Tent in the back yard which featured Minnie’s Surprise Party, a Mickey Mouse meet and greet in the dressing room at Mickey’s Hollywood Theatre, a train station for the Walt Disney World railroad, and a live show featuring Disney characters. Join us as we take a look back to 1988 and the opening of Mickey's Birthdayland...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Motion Mondays: Walt Disney’s Home Movies

By Keith Mahne



This week's Motion Mondays article is one of my favorites so far and is pretty special. They feature some clips from Walt Disney’s home movies. Continue after the page break and have a look...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Main Street Cinema: Getting Past the Noise

By Randy Crane



The Main Street Cinema is a quaint little attraction on Main Street U.S.A., and a nice place to get out of the sun (or rain) for a while. It’s also a great reminder of the power of focus—and how important that is. What little detail have you possibly missed that teaches this? Continue after the page break for more...

Friday, February 20, 2015

Disney Characters Shadow Unsuspecting Mall Shoppers

By Keith Mahne



A friend of Disney Avenue brought a wonderful little video to my attention recently that I thought you'd love. As I'm sure you know, the northeastern US has had some record low temperatures as of late. What better way to cheer up everyone than with a little Disney magic?!? The pixie dust came out in a big way recently as some surprised Long Island mall shoppers found themselves being shadowed by some famous Disney characters for a hidden camera stunt to promote the companies "Disney Side" campaign. Continue after the page break for more...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - An Evening at the Magic Kingdom

By Krista Joy


The wonderful thing about Disney is that there is always more magic to discover or rediscover! Just when I think I have seen it all – there is another incredible experience just around the corner.  Travel with me today - as I share the latest edition of A Walk in the Park with Disney Avenue! You may just see some things you have never seen before as well...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #11 - Dave Smith Interview




The Disney Avenue Podcast is back with this month's show featuring another fantastic interview with Disney Legend, Walt Disney Archives founder and former chief archivist David Smith! Dusty Sage, of MiceChat.com, teams up with host Keith Michael Mahne for another amazing show. It was a wonderful conversation and a whole lot of fun. Continue after the page break and have a listen to the show...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Art Babbitt and Walt Disney

By Bram Bruers



Editor's Note: Members of the Disney Avenue family, please help me welcome another talented contributing writer to our amazing team. Bram Bruers truly is a one of a kind Disney fan who comes to us from the Netherlands. He also enjoys collecting animation art and even has a few from the private collection of Walt Disney himself! Bram has been fortunate enough to develop some wonderful relationships with many Disney legends including members of the Disney family. In fact, Roy E. Disney once said he thought of Bram as the biggest fan of his uncle Walt. Bram is looking forward to sharing some wonderful Disney history and objects from his collection with the Disney Avenue readers!

- Keith Mahne

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Many Disney fans have heard of the Nine Old Man. They were Walt Disney's favorite group of Animators. But some times people forget that in the 1930's the nine old men where nine YOUNG men. And the best animators in the 1930's at the Disney studio were the people the nine old men looked up to and learned their talents from. One of these special animators was Art Babbitt. Join us today as we take a closer look at the man who had gained a reputation as “The Greatest Animator Ever” and his relationship with Walt Disney...

Monday, February 16, 2015

Motion Mondays: Construction of the Jungle Cruise

By Keith Mahne


This week's Motion Mondays article features clips from the construction of the Jungle Cruise in Disneyland. From “Disneyland Goes to the World’s Fair” (1964). Who doesn't love some crocodile surfing?!? Continue after the page break for more...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando - Part 2

By Sam Vlas



Hello Disney Avenue-pedestrians and welcome to Part 2 of A Dutchman in Orlando, where I recollect memories from my time in Walt Disney World. If you haven't had a chance yet, please make sure to read Part 1. In this segment, I will tell you all about packing for the trip. I’m glad you tuned in and I hope you’ll have a fun and informative read. And now… ONWARD...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Indiana Jones Adventure: Integrity

By Randy Crane


Editor's Note: Disney Avenue is thrilled to welcome a new contributing writer to the site, the amazing Randy Crane! Many of you in the Disney community may already know Randy from his books and his wonderful podcast Stories of the Magic. Randy has some amazing new articles lined up for us that fuse together life, scripture and, of course, our love of Walt's park and attractions. So please join me in welcoming Randy Crane to the Disney Avenue family!

-Keith Mahne

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Disneyland is all about story. Every land in the park tells a story. Every attraction tells a story. Some of the stories are obvious. Some are hidden, but still there. Walt Disney was among the best at making movies that tell stories, and Disneyland is the ultimate, immersive, interactive “movie.” The park is one huge narrative. These articles are going to unpack those stories in new ways because like all good narratives, there are lessons, examples, reminders, and warnings throughout. So, starting with the Indiana Jones Adventure we're going to dig into these tales and see what we can learn from them to take with us outside the park and into our daily lives. Some will be about character. Some will be about faith and spirituality. All will be a new way to look at a familiar place. So let’s start the journey...

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Happy 14th Birthday Disney California Adventure!

By Daisy Sparks





The original cost to build Disney California Adventure was $1.4 billion. When the California dream didn’t quite connect with visitors as shown in lackluster attendance, Walt Disney Imagineers went back to the drawing board. In 2007, they announced that they would allocate $1.1 billon over 5 years to reset and re-imagine Disney California Adventure. This past Sunday, Disney California Adventure (DCA) quietly celebrated its 14th birthday. Let's have a look at the park in this week's A Walk in the Park article...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An Appreciation of Spaceship Earth’s Mirror Column

By EPCOT Explorer



Sometimes you just get a strange idea about something very simple and fairly obvious. This is one of them. A few months ago, I visited EPCOT to say goodbye to Maelstrom. As I always do, I took numerous photographs of Spaceship Earth, but this time I focused on the mirror column that graces the front of the structure. And as I did so, I realized how many people stopped to take a picture of themselves, reflected on the structure. Noticing that sparked this odd but, hopefully interesting line of thought: Spaceship Earth’s mirror column offers an architectural trick to make the building seem like it is floating… but it also offers a chance for symbolic introspection. Continue after the page break for more...

Monday, February 9, 2015

Motion Mondays: Mary Blair Explaining “it’s a small world”

By Keith Mahne



This week's Motion Mondays article features Mary Blair explaining “it’s a small world” as part of the Disneyland 10th Anniversary Special (1965). Continue after the page break and have a look...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Horizons Models and Concept Art

By Keith Mahne



If Disney suddenly called me up right now, offered to fly me to their corporate office in Burbank, and sat me down at the desk of CEO Bob Iger for a meeting, you can bet your bottom dollar that at some point in said meeting I would beg for the return of the best Imagineering dark ride ever created, Horizons! As Ron Schneider, the original Dreamfinder, said in my interview with him for the Disney Avenue Podcast recently, "Horizons was flawless, it was a perfect ride. The ride system, the show, the story, the effects...everything about it just hung together and just transported you." His words surely resonate with fans who were fortunate enough to take a journey through this marvelous experience. I recently came across some old photos of the attraction's concept art and models and thought I'd share them with you here today. It's photos like these that keep the attraction's spirit alive, at least until I get that meeting with Bob...

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando - Part 1

By Sam Vlas




Welcome foolish mortals to “A Dutchman in Orlando”. Now this title seems pretty straightforward, but let me explain… As some of you may know, I was an International Cast Member at Walt Disney World from July 2014 to last January. It was an awesome, educational, meaningful, emotional, fun and eye-opening experience. I meant to do this series while I was in Florida, but every minute of my spare time was spent in and around Walt Disney World. I collected enough stories to share with you guys and I hope this will help those of you who want to be a Cast Member through the Disney College Program. So, if your imagination is ready, here we go…

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - Peter Pan's Flight Queue

By Krista Joy



Peter Pan's Flight has been a favorite attraction of many Walt Disney World fans since 1971. The bathrooms near Peter Pan's Flight closed when the Tangled facilities began construction in New Fantasyland, and since that time, we have been anticipating a new interactive (air-conditioned) queue. Personally, I am beyond thrilled that it has finally been completed and can't wait to share it with all of you! Join us on this week's A Walk in the Park article as we take a closer look at the new Peter Pan's Flight queue enhancements...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Disneyland at 60: Shadows of the Past

By Mark Landucci
 



As Disneyland rapidly approaches its 60th birthday, I’ll be developing a series of articles that deal with possible future attractions, future plans, land re-theming and the current state of the attractions. Okay. Now to the task at hand.  We, as fans, are always waiting for the next big E-ticket attraction or the next big restaurant or the next new land.  I’m guilty of this. However, before we get into any in the future, we have to look at our past. Disneyland sparkles with hope, newness and the promise of a great big beautiful tomorrow, but there are traces of past. A past in which more than a few of us wish we could revisit again. I’d like to take a quick journey into a few of the relics that remain inside the park today. Now I know that some of you have seen a few of these artifacts before, but others haven’t. Either way, they are lying in wait for your exploration. So click on to read more about the shadows of Disneyland’s past...

Monday, February 2, 2015

Motion Mondays: Production of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln

By Keith Mahne



This week's Motion Mondays article features Walt explaining the production of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln for the State of Illinois Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Walt Disney and the Imagineers were an integral part of the most popular pavilions at the Fair. Also, Walt was a huge admirer of President Lincoln, and this was a personal passion of his. Continue after the page break and take a look...