Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Strange Neighborhood on WDW Property

By Keith Mahne

You see that marker on the map above? I'm going to zoom in on it in a moment, but isn't that strange? It's a tiny neighborhood on WDW property! But who lives there? Who are these lucky people and why has Disney allowed them to stay there so long? Let's get our detective hats on and try to find out what exactly is going on at this tiny piece of paradise after the page break...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Motion Mondays: Pirates of the Caribbean 1967

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Monday article is a real treat! We are about to take a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean shortly after it opened in 1967. The original “Lust” sequence is still in place. Continue after the page break for a quick look at the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Evacuating the Caribbean: Seeing Pirates with the Lights On

By EPCOT Explorer

You are about to see some unique photos of Walt Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean in the throes of an evacuation and not under regular show lighting. (If you don't enjoy seeing attractions behind the scenes, please don't continue reading this article.) In 2015, WDW's Pirates of the Caribbean had been suffering from some operational problems causing the attraction to be evacuated more frequently than usual. Pirates has undergone a major refurbishment since this period which brought it back up to operational standards. While that refurbishment didn't necessarily bring any large scale aesthetic or thematic changes, it did correct some major problems with the Audio Animatronics and greatly enhanced the set lighting and effects we see today. In 2007, The Haunted Mansion underwent a refurbishment of the same length, and to be frank, that refurbishment totally revitalized that attraction, bringing it up to the level of quality and care that these classic rides deserve. Join us today for a rare look at this classic attraction during a 2015 evacuation...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Andre the Giant visits Disneyland - 1975

By Keith Mahne

As the picture states, "Disneyland has many astonishing wonders. Another wonder was added, if only for a day, as it was treated to a rare visit by Andre The Giant. It was a visit neither Disneyland nor Andre will ever forget." Today, we'll travel back to 1975 and visit Disneyland the day this wrestling wonder had the time of his life at the Happiest Place On Earth. We will even see a photo of Andre posing with the rarely seen Main Street Cinema ‘phantom’ somewhere in Fantasyland...a rare sight indeed! Continue after the page break and have a look as Andre The Giant has a little fun at Disneyland in 1975...

Friday, March 27, 2015

Disney Documentary Hour: Disneyland's 25th Anniversary

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to Disney Avenue's Disney Documentary Hour segment! This time we'll travel back to 1980 and celebrate Disneyland's 25th Anniversary. Filmed throughout the Park, this made-for-TV special hosted by Danny Kaye follows the story of a young boy (Adam Rich) on his first ever trip to The Happiest Place on Earth. While there, he encounters many interesting characters (all played by Danny Kaye) who tell him various tidbits on the park's history. We'll see musical numbers by Donny Osmond and Michael Jackson, as well as group sing alongs that include many actual Disneyland cast members and guests! Continue after the page break as we watch Kraft Salutes Disneyland's 25th Anniversary...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Visiting the new Smokejumpers Grill

By Daisy Sparks

Over the weekend, the former Taste Pilot’s Grill opened as Smokejumpers Grill. It is the first location to reopen in the now renamed area, Grizzly Peak Airfield (formerly known as Condor Flats). The transformation of this area from a barren airstrip that hosted test pilots, to a California High Sierras theme, will help with a seamless transition into the Grizzly River Run and Grand California Hotel area. Let's take a visit to the new Smokejumpers Grill in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Remakes…Remakes Everywhere

By Lindsey Allmon

There is something about remakes that simultaneously sends hope and excitement bubbling through our veins and a ball of dread sinking to the pit of our stomachs. On one hand, we love seeing our favorite stories come to life on the big screen once again, fresh and reimagined. Yet with that reimagining comes the fear that films that have been beloved for years may be slaughtered in their new production. While I understand the apprehension when it comes to these “new” films, perhaps there are some things that we can learn to love about remakes. Continue after the page break for six reasons why we shouldn’t hate the remake. (Warning: Spoiler alerts for films such as Cinderella(2015) and Maleficent(2014) ahead)...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Voices Behind the Disney Characters - Part II

By Keith Mahne

What would our favorite characters be without voices? Today we will continue our look at the voices behind the Disney Characters. It's fun to see the faces behind the hand drawn animation. Seeing the person that gave the drawings spirit and a soul. Here now is Part II of The Voices Behind the Disney Characters...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Motion Mondays: Walt and the Shah of Iran

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article features Walt and the Shah of Iran from April, 1962. The Shah of Iran and his wife the Empress visited Disneyland on their state visit to America. Even in 1962, demonstrators stalked the royal couple.They were everywhere, a couple of meters from us sometimes, to the point that my husband had to speak up to be heard. From morning to night they didn’t stop screaming, and they were right beneath the windows of our hotel,” the Empress Farah Pahlavi wrote in her 2003 memoirs. Walt Disney gave them a guided tour of his amusement park, where they rode the Matterhorn bobsled and Disney presented the Empress with an enormous stuffed Goofy. Continue after the page break and take a look...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #12 - Terri Hardin and Imagineering

Welcome back friends to the March 2015 edition of the Disney Avenue Podcast! Host Keith Michael Mahne and Dusty Sage of MiceChat.com interview the queen of creativity herself, the amazingly talented Terri Hardin. If you've always wanted to know how to become an Imagineer or wanted to hear what being an Imagineer is all about then you are in luck as Terri is about to lay it all out for you! Terri is the definition of creativity and is just an amazing person! Continue after the page break for a truly amazing show...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tomorrowland 1967 Postcards

By Keith Mahne

As the summer of 1967 approached, public anticipation increased as news media and printed materials attempted to explain the “new” land. “With the tools of today, Disneyland creates a World of Tomorrow.” “Where the Dreams of the Future are Reality Today." Its opening was advertised as “The most exciting celebration since Disneyland’s opening day July 17, 1955.” With a New Tomorrowland came a new fresh look. The colors were that of the space age.  Everything had a wonderful mid-century style. The architecture was a perfect blend of form and function. The façade of each attraction perfectly fit its surroundings. Tomorrowland soon became the most popular land at Disneyland. What better way to look back at such a wonderful moment in Disneyland history than to take a look at some beautiful postcards of the day. Continue after the page break and enjoy these Tomorrowland 1967 postcards...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - The Tree of Life

By Krista Joy

Construction walls around the Tree of Life in Disney’s Animal Kingdom have been removed. The 145-foot-tall structure with its 103,000 leaves - has been the iconic symbol of the park since it opened in 1998. But now, it’s got some new roots! You’ll also find a widened walkway the next time you visit Discovery Island. Let’s take a walk around the tree to discover some new animal friends and visit some old favorites in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in 1969

By Keith Mahne

Join us as we travel back to 1969 with Mickey Mouse on a visit to Disneyland! It's always fun to travel back in time and see Mickey and the Park as they were back then. So grab your Disney Autograph Book and have a look at Mickey enjoying his day at Disneyland from 1969...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Voices Behind the Disney Characters - Part I

By Keith Mahne

The art of the voice-over is an interesting one. Many times, you’ll recognize the voice but you’d never be able to point out the person attached to said voice in a line-up. There are certain vocal performances in Disney classics – such as Belle in Beauty in the Beast and Walt Disney as the original voice of Mickey Mouse - that are forever embedded in our minds and memories. But we often have no real world reference as to who the performer is. And in other cases, Disney casts A-list talent, but the story is so strong that you completely forget that such a super star is behind the character on the screen. Let's take a look at some Disney characters and their respective voice actors in today's featured article...

Monday, March 16, 2015

Motion Mondays: Walt being Walt

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Monday article features Walt Disney being...well...Walt! Have a look after the page break...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Pinocchio Marionette Made of LEGO Does Have Strings!

By Michael Comeau

**Editor's Note**: We have a guest writer and friend of Disney Avenue here today to tell us about a wonderful project he and his wife have put together and need our support. It's free to do so and a great way for our community to come together and help out fellow Disney fans. And now here's Michael...

- Keith Mahne

If you are a fan of Disney’s Pinocchio and LEGO, then you will be happy to learn that my wife and I have submitted a project to LEGO Ideas for a working Pinocchio Marionette with a Jiminy Cricket minifigure. What is LEGO Ideas you ask? It’s an official LEGO site that allows LEGO fans to submit their own ideas on potential future LEGO sets. If the project reaches 10,000 supporters, LEGO will review it. Supporting a project is free and only requires creating a login. If LEGO approves the project, it is sold in retail stores and online with the credit for the idea going to the creator(s) in a special instruction book. LEGO ideas projects also get special packaging. Continue after the page break for more on our project...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vintage Disneyland Polaroids

By Keith Mahne

Like many of you, I absolutely love vintage photos of Disneyland. I post several on our Disney Avenue Facebook page for the daily "Picture of the day" segment there. These types of photos bring a wonderful sense of nostalgia and allow us to look back at the beauty and wonder of Walt Disney's gift to the world. Today's article features vintage polaroid pictures of Disneyland taken on April 1969. You'll even see the back of them displaying a hand written description of each photo. I have fallen in love with these beautiful pictures and I think you will too! Have a look at them after the page break...

Friday, March 13, 2015

New Music Added to the Disney Avenue Music Player

By Keith Mahne

One of my absolute favorite things to do each day is to slap on a pair of headphones, head to the DisneyAvenue.com desktop site and listen to the magical music from our Music Player. While listening, I like to search my favorite Disney blogs and just escape reality, unwind, relax and enjoy the world of Disney. I've recently added a wonderful new album to the Playlist. Find out more after the page break...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Disney Avenue Update

By Keith Mahne

We have a quick Disney Avenue update for you today! There are a couple of big things to share with you involving the upcoming Disney movie Tomorrowland and a big news announcement coming soon by Bob Iger. Join us after the page break for more...

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Sleeping Beauty Castle

By Daisy Sparks

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, California is perhaps one of the most famous and most photographed castles in the world. It was one of the first structures to be completed at Disneyland. While the park was being built, Walt Disney wanted the Castle to motivate and inspire those working on making Disneyland come to life. Join us as we take a look at this beautiful icon in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Making of: Tower of Terror

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to our popular Making of segment. I don't know about you but I love videos on how Disney attractions are made. I came across this one recently on the making of Disneyland Paris Tower of Terror. It's crazy to think how much Disney spends on their rides and also how much work and engineering and art goes into creating them. Have a look at the creation of one of Disney's top attrations after the page break...

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Making Every Day a Disney Day: Marvel’s Ultimate Movie Marathon

By Kristina Brandt

The Disney parks aren’t the only place you can find heroes from the stories we all know and love. Especially if you’re looking for superheroes. With Marvel’s newest movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron” set to hit theaters May 1, movie theaters across the country are getting ready for the franchise’s biggest event yet, the Marvel Ultimate Movie Marathon. Learn more about this "super" event after the page break...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Motion Mondays: Walt Disney on building Disneyland

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to another Motion Mondays article! This week's post features Walt Disney discussing the price to build Disneyland. Disneyland cost Walt $17,000,000 to construct, which in 2015 dollars would be approximately $151,128,731.34! Continue after the page break and have a look...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Tale of Two EPCOTs - Part II

By EPCOT Explorer

Although the ideas and plans surrounding EPCOT in its formative states deal holistically in futurism, technology, and industry, the project was equally peppered with an international flair and a driving cultural theme. From the earliest concepts of Walt Disney’s EPCOT City, areas of the complex were to be dedicated to international shopping and cuisine. This was an inclusion of Walt’s own choosing, as various attempts to make Disneyland support an international venue to exhibit and showcase had faltered. Walt Disney always had an eye toward international fellowship in his productions, both the product of an optimistic message that his studio fostered, but also as a reaction to the calamitous 20th century itself. From an ethos of a peaceful future in the earliest iterations of Tomorrowland, to the “prayer for peace” that is “it’s a small world”, the idea of any EPCOT entity bearing a home for international culture and learning comes from what Walt Disney set out to do with themed entertainment. Continue after the page break for Part II of a Tale of Two EPCOTs...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men (Used to) Tell Tales

By Randy Crane

Pirates of the Caribbean is one of the truly great Disney attractions, but did you know it’s also a time-travel attraction? As Guests go back in time to experience the plundering pirates, we ride through an object lesson on the dangers of unrestrained indulgence. After the break, dead men will tell tales…

Friday, March 6, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando - Part 3

By Sam Vlas

Ahoy there travelers! Prepare to set sail, or set flight actually. In this chapter of A Dutchman in Orlando we finally board the plane on the way to the Sunshine State and the beginning of my magical journey as a International Cast Member at Walt Disney World. Let’s get this party started and continue after the page break where we left off…

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Walk in the Park: WDW Edition - Flower and Garden Festival 2015

By Krista Joy

Welcome to another edition of A Walk in the Park! Spring has definitely sprung at Epcot! Let's take a stroll and check out what the Flower and Garden Festival 2015 has brought to the front entrance, the UK pavilion, and some of the merchandise being offered for this beautiful time of year! There is so much more to see  - so stay tuned to Disney Avenue for more photos coming up in the next edition! Continue after the page break and enjoy this week's "walk in the park"...

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Making Every Day a Disney Day: Disney’s Cinderella Collection at Kohl’s

By Kristina Brandt

Editor's Note: Disney Avenue is thrilled to welcome our newest contributing writer to the site, Kristina Brandt. Please join me in welcoming Kristina to the Disney Avenue family!

You don’t have to be at the parks in order to get your daily dose of Disney. No matter where you live, you can incorporate the magic of Disney into your everyday routine to make the ordinary into a fairytale experience. One way to achieve that, is to look the part thanks to Lauren Conrad’s new Cinderella collection which can be found at your local Kohl’s stores and online right now. Join me after the page break for more on this beautiful collection...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Moment in Time with Marty Sklar

By Keith Mahne

Welcome to a brand new segment here on Disney Avenue called A Moment in Time where I ask big names in Disney history to share the backstory on a particular picture and post their response here for your enjoyment and knowledge. I absolutely love looking at old photos throughout Disney history. If you follow Disney Avenue on Facebook you'll see what I mean. But I often come across a photo like the one pictured above and think, "What was it like that day?"..."Where was this taken?"..."Who is that guy on the left?"..."Look at all those amazing drawings on the wall and that model on the table!" Unfortunately,  we don't always get an opportunity to know the backstory of a particular photo, we just let our imaginations run wild. Well today friends, you'll know the one about this photo as I forwarded the picture to Marty Sklar and asked him to share as much info as he could for the Disney Avenue readers. Join us today for Marty's response to this wonderful "moment in time"...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Motion Mondays: Walt and his Monorail

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Mondays article features Walt Disney lending a hand to build the Disneyland-Alweg Monorail beams. From the Disneyland Tenth Anniversary Show (1965). Continue after the page break and have a look...

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Disney Documentary Hour: Welcome to the "World" - 1975

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to the popular Disney Documentary Hour here on Disney Avenue. Today's show is called Welcome to the "World" that originally aired in 1975! If you can make it through the full 54 minutes you'll come away tap dancing and searching your old boxes of clothes you been meaning to throw out for your favorite pair of polyester paints. This campy spectacular aired as an episode of The Wonderful World of Disney. Host Lucie Arnaz is joined by Lyle Waggoner and Tommy Tune as they introduce viewers to Walt Disney World's newest attraction, Space Mountain. Continue after the page break and be prepared to be time warped...