Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Walt Disney and the CIA

A new book claims Disney conspired with the CIA to buy up cheap land in Florida for Disney World and orchestrate a unique legal situation that makes the theme park above the law. The company took advice from former CIA agents and lawyers to engineer statutory grounds which still allows Disney World to avoid taxation and environmental regulation, it is alleged. The special legal situation underpinning the site is not only unconstitutional, it is claimed, but allows the company to avoid any inconvenient decisions democratically taken at the local level. Continue after the page break for the rest of the story...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Walt, Roy and Retlaw

Retlaw, Walter spelled backward, was incorporated on April 6, 1953. The company would provide Walt a way to fund the development of Disneyland. He owned one-third of the company, and his daughters owned the other two-thirds. Walt negotiated a deal that in return for licensing his name to Walt Disney Productions, he would receive either a five-percent royalty from every merchandising transaction, or he would take a share of up to fifteen percent in every Disney project. Considering that the Disney name appeared on virtually everything, the agreement was especially lucrative to Walt and his family. This eventually created tension between Walt and his brother Roy. Continue after the page break for the remainder of the story...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Cute Little Story

No one knows better than Alex and Donna Voutsinas that it’s a small world after all. Thirty years ago, when they lived in separate countries long before they met and married, a family shot of little Donna at Walt Disney World captured Alex in a stroller in the background. “It just blew our minds when we realized,” Alex Voutsinas, a 32-year-old transplanted Montrealer told the Star Thursday from south Florida. That fateful realization came just one week before their wedding eight years ago. Alex and Donna had been going through old family snapshots. There, in the blurry background of a 1980 picture of 5-year-old Donna was 3-year-old Alex being pushed down Main Street in a stroller by his father. The senior Voutsinas’s distinctive jet-black hair with its white tuft caught his eye. “My mother pulled out albums from the same trip. My dad is wearing exactly the same outfit.”

30 years ago, this family photo at Disney World captured a woman’s husband in the background long before they met. That's pretty darn cool!