Saturday, April 29, 2017

35 NEVER BEFORE SEEN Photos of New Orleans Square Construction

By Alejandro Meza

Every so often something extremely magical pops up from Disney history. Today is one of those days. You are about to see an extraordinary find of never-before-seen photos featuring the construction of New Orleans Square found at an estate sale for the late Imagineering legend, Bill Martin. Join us in today's new article as you learn the story of how these amazing photos were found and you will also want to prepare your eyes to see New Orleans Square as Walt once did with these 35 never-before-seen construction photos...

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Disney’s Folly: The Making of Snow White

By Brittany Bell

Disney animated films are of the most beloved to ever grace the silver screen. The long line of these feature films dates all the way back to the 1930s when the young animator Walt Disney decided to take a leap of faith; he wanted to create a full-length, full-color animated film. Critics dubbed the film “Disney’s Folly”, for they doubted that anyone would want to see Walt’s film and that Disney had produced a flop. Audiences today now know that film as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the film that launched Walt and the Disney Studios into the realm of superior animated movies. Join us today and discover how Walt’s dream of making Snow White came to be a reality…

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Watch Lucille Ball Visit Disneyland in 1956 (Video)

By Matthew Buch

Lucille Ball, best known as the star of I Love Lucy, was a frequent visitor to Disneyland over the years. Lucky for us, one of these trips was captured on home video during a visit to "the happiest place on earth" back in 1956, just one year after the Park opened. Join us in today's new article as we travel back to 1956 and visit Lucille Ball and her family during a trip to Disneyland...

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Walt Disney and the Opening of Disneyland's Alice in Wonderland

By Ron Baxley

The Alice in Wonderland dark ride is a Disneyland classic. The 1958 version of the ride, with sets adapted from the animated feature by Imagineer Claude Coats, had little in common with Lewis Carroll's source books. Instead it used various environments suggested by the film to create loud, garish, and somewhat nightmarish scenes reminiscent of some of Fantasyland's other dark rides and the portable dark rides found in traveling fairs and carnivals. In today's new article, let's travel back to 1958 and join Walt Disney at the opening of Alice in Wonderland with some rare footage and also learn the origins of the classic Disney film…

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Rare Look at the New Tomorrowland of 1967 Press Kit

By Ted Linhart

In 1967, Disneyland had one of its most exciting summers in history. A summer jam-packed with the Park's largest variety of entertainment, the most attractions it ever had and even a brand new, $23 million (over $160 million in 2017 dollars) Tomorrowland. In today's exciting new article, we'll take a rare look at the New Tomorrowland of 1967 Press Kit. If you enjoy seeing rare pieces of Disneyland history then you are going to love this one...

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A Virtual Vacation Back to Early Walt Disney World

By Keith Mahne

Imagine yourself in the 1970s. For years, you have heard about Walt Disney's dream of building a "living showcase that more people would talk about and come to look at than any other area in the world." And now, that dream known as Walt Disney World, a magical oasis being built in phases on 27,400 acres of land and water southwest of Orlando, Florida, is a reality. It currently features a destination-vacation resort, and plans for the future still include an industrial park designed to highlight American industry at work, and, eventually, the city of EPCOT. The first phase of Walt Disney’s living showcase just opened its gates on October 1, 1971 and its time for us to visit this incredible new "Vacation Kingdom" and see the magic with our own eyes and ears. Join us as we embark on a virtual adventure back to early Walt Disney World and attempt to capture the resort destination in its early years...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Importance of the 1964-65 World’s Fair to Disney

By Brittany Bell

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are a place of magic, enchantment and wonder. Their attractions inspire generations new and old, utilizing technologies that even the smartest of visitors can find astonishing. Perhaps one of the biggest technological (and imaginative) breakthroughs for Disney came from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, which gave birth to classic Disney attractions such as “it’s a small world” and The Carousel of Progress. From the first human audio-animatronic to a gathering of nations, join us today and discover why the 1964-65 World’s Fair was so important to Walt Disney and the future of the Disney Parks…

Interview with Walt Disney Incarnate David Skipper - Part III

By Ron Baxley

When actor David Skipper performs as Walt Disney in one man shows, he seemingly becomes him. See David Skipper become Walt Disney incarnate in a three part series of interviews by Disney Avenue contributing writer Ron Baxley, Jr. in which David not only discusses Walt and his own life but will actually transform into him before your very eyes. This time around David discusses Walt Disney’s background in television and portrayals of him in film, television, and documentation that shows how Walt was in real life affects his performances. Join us today for the final interview with Walt Disney incarnate David Skipper...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

20 New Tracks Just Added to the Disney Avenue Music Player

By Keith Mahne

Ahhh the soothing sounds of Disney Park music. What would a Disney Park be without music? What would the atmosphere be like without those magical music loops? I can't even bare the thought. Another thing I don't want to think about is Disney Avenue without the Disney Avenue Music Player. Have you seen our new music player that now works with mobile? You asked for it and we delivered. I'm also always looking for ways to fill our playlist with more magical tunes that will not only transport you to your favorite Disney spot, but also ease your soul and relax your mind. And so friends, I have 20 new additions to the music player that I think you are going to love. Prepare your ears for the magical sounds of the Disney Avenue Music Player...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Get Your Disney Attraction Posters Here

Anyone who has ever walked through the gates at a Disney Park knows that there is a magical experience waiting to be had on the other side. All of the telltale signs are there: the sound of joyful music pipes across the promenade; the smells of popcorn and cookies waft through the air; and the colorful attraction posters depicting all the wonderful rides and shows created for Guests by the Imagineers. Like songs that play in your head long after a visit to a Disney Park, the iconic images you find in a Disney Attraction Poster have the ability to fill your mind with emotions the second you lay eyes on them. Allow me to fill you in on how you can bring these beautiful attraction posters home today...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

An Ode to Wishes – A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams

By Rebekah Coley

It is with a distinct element of sadness and nostalgia, that WDW fans will be saying adieu to a beloved nighttime spectacular. On May 11th of this year, the Wishes fireworks show will have its final performance in the sky. Join us in today's new article as we pay homage to one of the most spectacular Disney firework shows to ever light up the night sky...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Interview with Walt Disney Incarnate David Skipper - Part II

By Ron Baxley

When actor David Skipper performs as Walt Disney in one man shows, he seemingly becomes him. See David Skipper become Walt Disney incarnate in a three part series of interviews by Disney Avenue contributing writer Ron Baxley, Jr. in which David not only discusses Walt and his own life but will actually transform into him before your very eyes. This time around David discusses his acting in general and how it relates to Walt Disney. Join us today for Part II of an interview with Walt Disney incarnate David Skipper...

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Disneyland Magical Audio Tour - Chapter 2: Town Square

By Chris Lyndon

It's time to continue our new series of articles here on Disney Avenue celebrating the sounds of Disneyland. At contributing writer Chris Lyndon's website called you will find a collection of nearly 1300 audio tracks taking you on a magical musical visit through the Happiest Place on Earth. We will be highlighting each of the 25 chapters included in this "Magical Audio Tour" in the weeks and months ahead. Join us today for our second stop on this nostalgic audio tour of Disneyland's yesteryear as we enter the Park in turn of the twentieth century, Town Square...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Interview with Walt Disney Incarnate David Skipper - Part I

By Ron Baxley

When actor David Skipper performs as Walt Disney in one man shows, he seemingly becomes him. See David Skipper become Walt Disney incarnate in a three part series of interviews by Disney Avenue contributing writer Ron Baxley, Jr. in which David not only discusses Walt and his own life but will actually transform into him before your very eyes. Join us today for Part I of an interview with Walt Disney incarnate David Skipper...

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tips for Dinner and a Show at Disneyland the Easy Way

By Carey & George Kiraly

The Disneyland Dining Dilemma. It’s something every person has to face if they want to have a nice, sit-down meal in the Parks. With all the excitement surrounding you, the last thing on your mind is food. A quick churro here or there, and you’re fine, right? Boy, could that be any more wrong! Don’t get me wrong, who doesn't love churros, but if you want the stamina to catch all the shows and use all your FastPasses, you’d better plan your meals in advance. Join us in today's new article for some helpful tips for dinner and a show at Disneyland the easy way...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rare Footage of Japan's Emperor Hirohito Visiting Disneyland (1975)

By Keith Mahne

During his reign, the Japanese hardly ever got to see Emperor Hirohito. It was only about 15 times a year that the gates of his Imperial Palace in central Tokyo would open and a custom Nissan Royal limousine would roll across the moat to carry the Emperor and his ceremonial sword and stone toward some ritual of life on the throne: the opening of parliament, the viewing of a sumo wrestling match, the greeting of a state visitor. But in 1975, just like other imperial visitors before them, including Ethiopia's late Emperor Haile Selassie and the Shah of Iran, Japan's Emperor Hirohito and his wife Empress Nagako paid a visit to the most magical kingdom of them all, Walt Disney's very own Disneyland. Join us in today's new article as we return to Disneyland of 1975 during the Emperor's visit to Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Time and Again: Walt Disney World (Video)

By Keith Mahne

Time and Again was a retrospective television series that aired on MSNBC from 1996 until 2000. The show, hosted by Jane Pauley, ran 60 minutes and its format consisted of showing clips from NBC News archives throughout the years, revolving around historical events or groundbreaking pop culture icons. In this episode of Time and Again, which originally aired in 2000, the show covers news events that focused on Walt Disney, the creation of Disneyland, the creation of Walt Disney World, interviews with people like George Lucas and how he brought Star Wars and Indiana Jones to the Parks, the controversy around EuroDisney and the infamous theme park that Michael Eisner tried to build in Virginia called Disney's America. This is truly a unique look at the history of the Disney Company and it also contains one of the most fascinating segments around how Walt Disney World came to be...

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Secrets of the Kingdom - Exploring the Magic in the Details

By Patricia Bednarofsky

There are so many wonderful and immersive experiences at Walt Disney World which include 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and the newly refurbished Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney. Not to mention, the ever evolving and expanding lands that keep us coming back for more year after year. The entire Walt Disney World Resort complex is brimming with activities to entice and delight any age. Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure when on Disney property at any given time you are transported away to another world. Disney takes you away from the woes of everyday life and into a land of pure Disney bliss. Underneath that beautiful façade is a deep rich history; each curve in the pavement and every color variation has a story. One magical place that particularly sticks out in my mind is the Magic Kingdom. Every window, building and sound has a specific purpose and meaning behind it. Even the juxtaposition of the lands within the Magic Kingdom are planned in a specific way to tell a story. And oh, what a fabulous story it is. Join us as we discuss the secrets of the Magic Kingdom and explore the magic in the details in today's new article...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Rare Look Inside WED Before and After Walt Disney’s Death

By Ted Linhart

When an eponymous corporation loses its founder, especially if he/she is still in charge at the time, that company is challenged with finding a new leadership team while still maintaining that person’s vision and continuing business as usual for the sake of its employees. The Walt Disney Company went through such an ordeal when Walt died on December 15, 1966. This article looks at a remarkable “Six-Month Report For WED Enterprises” that covers a unique time frame -  the three months before and after Walt's death when multiple, iconic Disney Park creations were coming to life. The copy of this report that you are about to see was sent to Roy O. Disney, Walt’s brother, and creates an extraordinary look at the DNA of Disney theme parks. Join us as we take a peak inside WED Enterprises during one of its most challenging and yet inspirational eras of its history...

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Time Walt Disney Passed The Peace Pipe To His Brother Roy

By Keith Mahne

The basic difference between Walt and Roy Disney was Walt's readiness and willingness to jump off and follow his dreams, while his brother Roy preferred a grounded approach to things that were a bit more solid. Since the two brothers were children of a working class family who had to count every penny to get by, Roy's somewhat conservative attitude is easy to understand, but Walt's seemingly boundless enthusiasm and confidence is not. Both were extremely talented and creative men, and both had great heads for business. Roy's somewhat cautious nature served as a perfect counterpoint to Walt's flamboyance, and that one characteristic strengthened the company. However, these differences between the two brother's way of thinking would sometimes cause them to clash just as they did in the early 1960s over the sale of Walt’s company WED Enterprises and all of its holdings. Join us as we return to Walt and Roy's negotiation over the sale of WED and learn what caused Walt to eventually pass the peace pipe to his brother Roy in today's new article...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Tiger in the Room: How Joe Rohde Pitched Animal Kingdom

By Brittany Bell

Animal Kingdom is irrefutably one of the most creative and unique Disney theme parks ever created. It’s immersiveness truly brings guests to a far-away land, one of adventure, mystery, and mystique. And, with Pandora opening this year, Animal Kingdom is about to get a whole new level of inspiring and educational entertainment. Interestingly enough, behind the complex theme park that is Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an equally amusing story about how the Park came to fruition. Joe Rohde, one of Disney’s top Imagineers and the man behind Animal Kingdom, had to put his imagination to the test when he pitched the idea of an “animal park” to the former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner. Learn the amazing story of how Animal Kingdom got the green light in today's new article…

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Video Tribute to Walt Disney - The Ultimate Dreamer

By Keith Mahne

Walt Disney is a legend, a folk hero of the 20th century. His worldwide popularity was based upon the ideas which his name represents: imagination, optimism and self-made success in the American tradition. Walt Disney did more to touch the hearts, minds and emotions of millions of Americans than any other man in the past century. Through his dreams, he brought joy, happiness and a universal means of communication to the people of every nation. Join us as we celebrate a man who has given and continues to give so much joy to so many with this video tribute to Walt Disney, the ultimate dreamer...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

56 Vintage Walt Disney World and Disneyland View-Master Photos You Have Got To See

By Keith Mahne

An old pastime among Disney Park fans that would often occur between trips was to flip through View-Master reels of Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Looking at these reels of the Disney Parks and Resorts was sure to fill one with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia. What made looking at Walt Disney World and Disneyland View-Master reels particularly special was how the device would take advantage of a human’s stereoscopic vision by presenting a slightly different image to each eye. The brain then combines both together to create a three-dimensional image with a sense of depth. This created the perfect way to escape back to the Parks between family vacations and that's just what we'll do in today's new article with these 56 vintage Walt Disney World and Disneyland View-Master photos that you have got to see...

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Look Back at Walt Disney World's Buena Vista Land Company

By Keith Mahne

When Walt Disney World first opened its gates in 1971, the entire Vacation Kingdom utilized only 2,500 acres of the total 27,500-acre site owned by the Disney Company in central Florida. The 43-square miles of land represented a substantial opportunity, and an equally significant responsibility, for the Walt Disney Company to develop and enhance the lives of those that would live, work and visit there. Out of this need came the Disney owned Buena Vista Land Company. Let's take a look back at the organization originally responsible for the development of the Walt Disney World property and examine what plans it had back in 1972 in today's new article...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Story Behind Disneyland's Original Main Entrance Music Loop

By Chris Lyndon

Background music in the Disney Parks is an important subliminal way to help transport guests into a different time and place. Join us in today's new article as Disney Avenue contributing writer Chris Lyndon, through his extensive digging and research, explains the story behind Disneyland's Original Main Entrance Music Loop...

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Donald Duck In Nazi Land

By Stokes Laird

Throughout the years of the United States’ involvement in World War II the entire country was involved in helping out with the war effort. Walt Disney and his company were no exception. During the years of the war, Walt Disney Productions released a number of films and short cartoons that were meant to encourage citizens to buy war bonds to help out the Allied cause in the war. These films varied in topic from attempts to sell theories on how long range strategic bombing could help win the war to more whimsical cartoon exaggerations meant to serve as propaganda. No other character short film released by Disney during the time of the war has had as lasting of an impact as one starring Donald Duck appropriately titled, “Der Fuehrer’s Face”...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Force Is With Carrie Fisher and Me

By Ron Baxley

When Disney bought the "Star Wars" franchise, they inherited a different kind of princess, a feisty, independent one named Princess Leia played by the recently deceased Carrie Fisher. (In fact, some people are petitioning on the Internet to make her an official Disney princess.) Although Disney Avenue contributing writer Ron Baxley, Jr. will, of course, never be able to interview Ms. Fisher, he did write this tribute column shortly after her passing in December 2016 and has adapted it specifically for Disney Avenue readers. It is sure to resonate with many long time "Star Wars" fans…

Sunday, January 8, 2017

HORIZONS: A Detailed Look Into an EPCOT Classic

By Ted Linhart

There isn't a former Disney attraction that inspires as much passion presently as Horizons. From 1983-1999 GE’s follow-up to the Carousel of Progress took EPCOT guests on a ride into the 21st Century for a purportedly realistic look at life in the future. Join us today as we take a detailed look back at Horizons via a 1983 cast member booklet and a GE corporate magazine as we remember the most legendary dark ride to have ever come out of the minds of Imagineering...