Monday, December 29, 2014

Motion Mondays: "it’s a small world" Opening

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article takes us to the opening of It’s a Small World at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Continue after the page break for the wonderful event...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Opinionated Analysis of Walt Disney’s Original Magic Kingdom

By EPCOT Explorer

For almost all of my life, I’ve been a fan of Disney. Mickey Mouse presided over my first birthday. Childhood birthday gifts and holiday tidings usually brought a Disney film on VHS. And since the ripe old age of two, my family and I have spent time in the Vacation Kingdom of the World, happily just 230 miles up Florida’s turnpike and the perfect distance away to still be a satisfying and enchanting weekend escape that maintained the mystery of a far away destination, but close enough to capture my attention and establish a sense of familiarity that makes a return to WDW so comforting. That is the real crux of my involvement in Disney. Disney World was the physical manifestation of the incredible feeling and mood and happiness that Disney, as a whole, brought. EPCOT Center dominated the formative years of my interest and is still the cornerstone of my ongoing proclivity for themed design and Disney history. EPCOT provided a linkage to how the real world worked. Its optimistic drive and broad creative aims inspired an understanding in not only the exhibitive aims of the park but in how Disney used technology and art to convey a message and create an environment. Enjoyment and appreciation of EPCOT, funnily enough, broadened interest in the rest of the Disney world and the Magic Kingdom.

In an attempt in getting me excited (was that even really needed?!) for one of our earliest trips to WDW, my parents bought me a ‘Disneyland Fun’ VHS so as to familiarize me with what we would soon be visiting. Although for a park a continent away, the familiar visuals and localities on screen did their job and ‘Disneyland Fun’ became my mental image of the Florida property, despite glaring differences. That’s not our castle. Our Haunted Mansion looks scarier. We don’t have Star Tours in Tomorrowland, that’s over in MGM! And where is EPCOT!?

And so, I was aware of “an other”. There was an other Magic Kingdom out there. One that was seemingly older, had more in it, and yes, lacked an EPCOT. Despite that “flaw”, I was interested.  And as I got older and learned more about Disney World, so came knowledge of Disneyland. Here was Walt Disney’s original park…. While Disney World captured my immediate attention for research and, ultimately, this entire blog, Disneyland was always revered, in my mind, as the gold standard for history and the park that set down the precedence for what thematic entities followed. Of course, with that, came a desire to visit.

Florida, sadly, is very far away from California. My family and I have always been very lucky when it comes to traveling and we have seen much of the east coast.  While always an event to plan around, a vacation up to New York City or Washington DC was always more economical and feasible than an odyssey out west. Being from a family of teachers, and a student of history myself, who can complain when your destinations take you the very epicenter of what you study? And with Disney World just within reach for an easy getaway, Disneyland was really a world away. Happily, however, my chance to aim for Disneyland came earlier this year…. And as evidenced by this writing, I made it after almost twenty years of waiting and wondering.  What follows, and what this entire post is meant to be, is a reflection of Disneyland, as seen through the eyes of someone who grew up entrenched by Disney World, or, frankly, any other Disney park. This is not history; this is going to be an opinionated thematic analysis of Walt Disney’s original Magic Kingdom as seen by someone for the first time. Continue after the page break for the rest of the story...

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - Best of 2014

By Krista Joy

Hello again Disney Avenue readers! It has been so much fun taking you on these walks through Walt Disney World, and I look forward to many more walks with you in 2015! However, since this will be my last article this year, I thought I’d bring you some of my favorites from 2014 that you haven’t seen yet. I hope you enjoy them. Have a magical and Happy New Year!!! Continue after the page break and enjoy this week's A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition article...

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas from Disney Avenue

Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse from the Fantasy on Parade. Vacationland magazine, Fall 1967.

Merry Christmas from everyone here at Disney Avenue. Thank you for making part of your "Disney world." Enjoy this Christmas Day post as a gift from us to you. Happy Holidays everyone...

Monday, December 22, 2014

Motion Mondays: Tiki Birds

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article has a look at the first audio-animatronic Tiki Birds for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Continue after the page break and have a look...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - A Rainy Day at Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

This week's A Walk in the Park article takes a look at a rare event that happened at Disneyland rained!!! It doesn't rain much in Southern California and when it does, it's kind of a big deal. The news channels become excited with top stories from "Storm Watch 2014!" The rain is most welcome in drought ridden California and it really does clean the air. We've had on and off rain over the last week. It sure makes for some pretty pictures and sights throughout the Disneyland Parks. Continue after the page break as we walk Disneyland during a rare, rainy day...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #9 - Christmas Special with Jim Korkis

The Disney Avenue Podcast returns with a wonderful Christmas Special that is sure to get you in the Holiday spirit. Disney historian and author Jim Korkis joins host Keith Michael Mahne for a wonderful interview on Walt Disney featuring some amazing and rarely heard Christmas stories from his life. Jim is the ultimate "go-to guy" on Walt Disney and we couldn't think of a better person to have on this Christmas Special. Jim tells us about Walt's love of the Holiday Season, what Christmas was like for Walt as a child, about a special gift to Lillian that inspired a classic animated movie, and so much more. So get cozy by the fire, grab a warm cup of hot chocolate and enjoy this Disney Avenue Podcast Christmas Special...

Monday, December 15, 2014

Motion Mondays: Turning On the Lights at Disneyland

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article is all about turning on the lights at Disneyland. I especially love the Main Street lights! From the Disneyland Tenth Anniversary Show (1965). Continue after the page break as Disneyland hits the lights...

Friday, December 12, 2014

EPCOT’s Journeys In Space

By EPCOT Explorer

As early as 1975, the EPCOT Theme Center (Future World) boasted a Space Pavilion that would have featured a massive omnimover detailing the perils and positives of man’s history in space. Today, let’s take a look back at EPCOT’s long, and frankly, painful history of the Space pavilion concepts designed for the park...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - Magic Kingdom Holidays

By Krista Joy

Welcome back to another A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition article. This week we travel to the Magic Kingdom during the holiday season 2014! Today we'll have a walk down Main Street to check out the new decorations, seasonal cupcakes inside Starbucks, Hildegard Olivia Harding signing autographs inside The Plaza Restaurant, Mickey Mouse in the new ‘Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!’ Street Party and stroll through the Emporium to check out some of the wonderful Christmas gifts and ornaments for sale! Finally, we will head to the Train Station for a look at the Christmas tree upstairs, the view of the crowds below, and of course, the old train pulling in for a stop! Join us after the page break...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Motion Mondays: Walt Disney and Trains

By Keith Mahne

Walt Disney was a HUGE fan of model railroads, just look below at his face lighting up as he brings up that train! This week's Motion Mondays article is from Where Do the Stories Come From (1956). Continue after the page break and check it out...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Christmas Time in DCA

By Daisy Sparks

Ready for another Walk in the Park article? This week we travel to Disney California Adventure to have a look at the wonderful Holiday festivities around the park. No need to make travel arrangements for this Disney experience, simply join us after the page break…

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Two New Special Exhibitions at The Walt Disney Family Museum

Photo courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum
By Tim McRaven

In the last month The Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presideo of San Francisco, has opened two new special exhibitions sure to interest the Disney fan in all of us, and those drawn more toward the esoteric. Continue after the page break for a look at these two new wonderful exhibits...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Motion Mondays: Tomorrowland 1958

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article takes us to Tomorrowland, 1958. Check out the construction of the monorail, submarine voyage and the Matterhorn! From Kodak Presents Disneyland ‘59. Continue after the page break and have a look...