Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Bevy of Baxter – Disneyland Expansion during the Bicentennial

By EPCOT Explorer

At WED Enterprises, the 1970s were marked with an unmistakable drive of creativity that produced some of the most well known and iconic Disney experiences that still are held dear, today. This was the decade of Walt Disney World’s opening and all of the efforts to bring the fledgling resort up to operational and thematic speed. This is also the heady decade in which Walt Disney Productions would finally act upon Walt Disney’s idea for an urban community of tomorrow and produce a theme park, EPCOT Center, out of those ideas and plans. Additionally, this is also the decade when Disney looked beyond America and saw potential in building magic kingdoms around the world. Tokyo Disneyland’s creative nexus came about during EPCOT’s formal creation as a unified theme park and would go on to be a thematic entity based in the best parts of her Floridian and Californian sisters. But what of Disneyland, the original Magic Kingdom? Disneyland, too, was also the product of the driving spirit of WED’s enterprise during the mid 1970s and although what was built was slightly less than all of the plans and ideas fostered for the park, the process is astounding and a hallmark of the breadth of WED’s vision and skill. Under closer observation, Tony Baxter was instrumental in the creation of Disneyland’s efforts to expand. Join us today as we look back at Tony Baxter's development and influence on Imagineering’s way forward in perfecting the art of the theme park experience...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Disney in 1980: A Trip Through Time

By Keith Mahne

You hear me say it all the time, "wouldn't it be great if we could travel back in time and experience the Parks in a whole new way?" As you ponder the question, let's travel back to the Disney Parks of 1980. It was a great year for both Parks as Disneyland was celebrating it's 25th anniversary and Walt Disney World's 10th celebration was starting to take place as well. Let's take a look around each Park in today's new article...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Story of Walt Disney's Morgue

By Keith Mahne

It’s a place on The Walt Disney Studios lot that even on the warmest of days will give you goose bumps. Beneath the Studio’s courtyards, streets, and brick-and-mortar buildings is a maze of concrete corridors originally constructed to house and maintain plumbing and electrical systems. There’s even a passageway that leads from the Animation Building to the Ink & Paint Building, which in the early days of the Studio and during inclement weather, was used to transport animation cels from one building to another. Continue after the page break for an underground look at Disney's Morgue...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Space Mountain: Trust for the Journey

By Randy Crane

Space Mountain, a thrilling, imaginary journey though outer space, is not for the skittish. After the second lift you are in almost complete darkness for the rest of the ride until coming back into the station. Especially for those who don’t ride often, this is an almost completely unpredictable ride. How can we apply Space Mountain to our own lives? Continue after the page break and I'll tell you all about it...

Friday, June 26, 2015

Vintage Disneyland Gate Brochures

By Keith Mahne

Wouldn't it be fun if we were able to travel back in time and spend a day at Disneyland? Although that capability isn't yet available to us optimists, we do have the ability to see what the day to day activities were like at Disneyland by taking a look at the Park's old main gate brochures. Given to guests as they entered the park, these handy flyers were packed with all the current festivities and attractions. They also provided which type of ticket (A,B,C,D or E) each attraction required. Today, let's have a look at some of these wonderful brochures from 1968, 1976, and 1979 to really get a sense of what Disneyland had to offer its guests all those years ago. Continue after the page break for a nostalgic look into Disneyland's past...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Enchanted Windows

By Daisy Sparks

Hello, Disney Avenue readers! It’s time to visit Disneyland again. It’s pretty exciting when places or things that have been around at Disneyland for a long time can be re-imagined. An example of this is the beginning of the new “Enchanted Windows” series along Main St. USA.

Let's take a look at these magical Disneyland windows along Main Street in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #14 - Marty Sklar on the Opening of Disneyland

Welcome back friends to another special episode of the Disney Avenue Podcast. With all the excitement going on right now for the 60th anniversary of Disneyland, I thought…what could we do on this show to really make it special for you in commemorating the 60th? And then it hit me…let's invite the one and only Marty Sklar to come back on the show and tell us all about the opening of Disneyland because, well, simply put, Marty was there with Walt on that special day! Continue after the page break and hear from the legend himself as Marty Sklar takes us back to July 17, 1955 and the opening of Disneyland...

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The World of Walt Disney

By Keith Mahne

Have you ever wondered what Walt Disney's world was like? This 1962 Newsweek article does a pretty good job of answering that question. As the article begins, "In the world of children, he is the rich uncle - the casual ordinary-looking man with the graying mustache and the baggy eyes who shows up from time to time, does funny tricks and gives wonderful presents, and then goes away until the next time. He makes everybody laugh, and everybody wonders about him - because like any proper rich uncle, he presents a fascinating mystery." Continue after the page break as we take a look back at the "World of Walt Disney" in 1962...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Making of: Splash Mountain

By Keith Mahne

Believe it or not the Los Angeles freeway, George Lucas, and a children’s book about a squirrel all had a lot to do with the creation of America’s favorite flume ride. It was the summer of 1983, when a variety of projects were circulating through Imagineer Tony Baxter’s mind. “I can’t say I actually thought of Splash Mountain on the freeway,” says Baxter, “but I did ponder it on more than a couple of rides to and from work. I would say that I definitely had time to think about it while sitting in traffic.” Dick Nunis, President of Walt Disney Attractions at this time, was very instrumental in getting a flume type ride in the parks. Nunis wanted something similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, but more exciting. This all lead to one of my favorite Disney attractions, Splash Mountain. Let's take a look at the Making of this park favorite in today's featured article...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Magic Worlds of Walt Disney - National Geographic Aug '63

By Keith Mahne

The 1963 issue of National Geographic magazine provided an amazing snapshot of what the Disney company was like in '63. This lavish article your about to see is all about Walt Disney and Disneyland. The article is truly spectacular at 50 pages in length! Including some of the best photos of Disneyland at that time, it also boasts a three page fold out map of the park and, on the reverse side, a nice three page panorama shot of the Rivers of America. Let's take a look at it all in today's new article...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Rare Look at Walt Disney Like You've Never Seen Before!!!

By Keith Mahne

A hand-made spiral-bound book popped up at an auction in 2011. Titled “Walt Disney demonstrates an appendectomy with Drs. Bowers, Avery & Nelson,” the photos depict Walt doing all sorts of crazy things like wearing his suit inside-out, checking his heartbeat, wearing a make-shift surgical cap and mask, and performing an operation on an orange. The set ends with a priceless maniacal look as he cuts into an orange. Continue after the page break for a rare look at Walt Disney like you've never seen before...

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Wonderful World of Water Ski Show

By Keith Mahne

The sight of Goofy, Donald or Pluto splashing their way across the Seven Seas Lagoon on waterskies would have been a familiar sight to WDW guests riding the ferryboat to or from the Magic Kingdom in the early 1970s. When the resort was in its infancy, a wide range of entertainment options were being tested. One of these more odd offerings flashed briefly along the surface of the lagoon and was titled The Wonderful World of Water ski show. Let's take a look back at this short lived, early piece of WDW history in today's new article...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Making of: Main Street Electrical Parade

By Keith Mahne

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... Disney Avenue proudly presents the making of the spectacular festival pageant of nighttime magic and imagination in thousands of sparkling lights and electro-syntho-magnetic musical sounds—The Main Street Electrical Parade! In today's article, we take a look into the making of this beautiful parade featuring history, music and even a wonderful video. Continue after the page break as we return to Disney Avenue's popular Making of series featuring Disney's Main Street Electrical Parade...

Monday, June 15, 2015

Motion Mondays: Disneyland Around the Seasons 1966

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Monday segment features Walt Disney proudly recapping where Disneyland was in 1966. Check out the amazing working “it’s a small world” scale model clock, too! This is from Disneyland Around the Seasons (1966). Continue after the page break and have a look...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

What if Disney had built WESTCOT?

By Keith Mahne

In 1991, Disney announced plans to build WESTCOT on the site of Disneyland’s original parking lot. It was to be themed around a Utopian vision of the future, similar to Epcot at Walt Disney World. Aside from some of the most beautiful concept art I've ever seen, this park never made it off the drawing board and the site location is where Disney’s California Adventure sits today. But what if Disney had went forward with the plains to build WESTCOT? What would that have been like? Let's find out in today's new article...

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Making of: Animal Kingdom's DINOSAUR

By Keith Mahne

DINOSAUR has always been one of Animal Kingdom's top attractions. Keep in mind that the park's offerings on opening day were extremely lackluster with only 3 main attractions and also the Festival of the Lion King show. If you think about it, DINOSAUR is really a next generation, classic Disney dark ride which is a big reason why it quickly rose to the park's top "must ride" attraction, particularly before the addition of Expedition Everest in 2006. Join us as we take a look at the creation of DINOSAUR in this Disney Avenue Making of segment...

Friday, June 12, 2015

54 Rarely Seen Epcot Construction and Opening Day Photos

By Keith Mahne

Looking at vintage photos of Walt Disney World is one of my favorite things to do, especially of Epcot. With that in mind, and for your viewing pleasure, I have compiled 54 rarely seen Epcot construction and opening day photos that I think you'll really enjoy. For all you original EPCOT Center lovers out there, this article is for you. Continue after the page break and enjoy...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Disneyland 60th Celebration is Here!

By Daisy Sparks

After a much anticipated and very well attended 24-hour party, the Disneyland Diamond Celebration is here. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are now fully decked out in the blue, white, silver, and diamonds. Sleeping Beauty Castle and The Carthay Circle are now adorned with their diamond medallions. Let's take a look at all the beautiful 60th decorations in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando - Part 5: Epcot Food & Wine Festival

By Sam Vlas

Welcome back dear Disney Avenue pedestrians to another appetizing installment of A Dutchman in Orlando. This time, we’ll talk about my experiences working at one of my personal favorite things: the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, more commonly referred to as “Binge Fest”… at least for me! Continue after the page break for the next course of my adventures in the Disney College Program…

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Pictures of Progressland – The Artistry of Corporate Showmanship

By EPCOT Explorer

The New York World's Fair, a billion dollar enterprise, was one of the great spectacles of the 20th century. Among its many outstanding attractions was General Electric's Progressland. Out of all the pavilions that Walt Disney exuded influence over for the New York World’s Fair of 1964, the one that bares the greatest hallmark of Walt’s personal touch was also General Electric’s Progressland. The star of the show was the Carousel Theater of Progress, a depiction of suburban life throughout the 20th century and how appliances and the electric age influenced how the typical American family lived, worked, and played in a quickly changing and dynamic time. Let's take a look back at GE's Progressland Pavilion and at the artistry of corporate showmanship...

Monday, June 8, 2015

Motion Monday: Riding on the Jungle Cruise in 1959

By Keith Mahne

This week's Motion Monday article takes us on a 1959 ride aboard the Jungle Cruise. Remember, when riding on the Jungle Cruise in 1959, be sure to bring your Kodak Brownie movie camera! Only $7.50 down. From Kodak Presents Disneyland ‘59...

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Home Movie Footage of Walt Disney and Ward Kimball

By Keith Mahne

Outside of the studio, Walt Disney and Ward Kimball shared an amazing love of scale-trains, thanks to Ward introducing Walt to this wonderful pastime. Another thing we can thank Kimball for was his far-sightedness to film his life. As you'll see in a moment, we have some fantastic home movie footage of Walt Disney personally operating a scale-train for the first time in his life. It's truly a fantastic moment to witness. Continue after the page break for some great home movie footage of Walt Disney and Ward Kimball...

Saturday, June 6, 2015

15 Vintage Photos of the Magic Kingdom by Starlight

By Keith Mahne

Walking the Magic Kingdom at night is always an extraordinary time. It's like the Park transforms into a whole new world. What would it be like to walk the park under the stars in the early days? Let's find out in today's new article featuring 15 vintage photos and even a video of the Magic Kingdom by Starlight...

Friday, June 5, 2015

The History of the Walt Disney World Swan Boats

By Keith Mahne
If I had the opportunity to travel back in Walt Disney World time one of my top choices to revisit would have to be a ride on the swan boats. As you find yourself crossing from Main Street into Tomorrowland, you might notice the remnants of one of the Magic Kingdom’s most beautiful, serene and relaxing attractions. Open during peak seasons from early 1972 to late 1983, the Swan Boats traveled the waters around Cinderella Castle in style. Let's take an in depth look at the history of Walt Disney World's Plaza Swan Boats in today's new article...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Disney Documentary Hour: A Day at Disneyland - 1982

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to a very popular segment here on Disney Avenue called Disney Documentary Hour where we have a look at some amazing videos throughout Disney history. Today, we'll get to see a real favorite called A Day at Disneyland from 1982! This video took viewers on a tour of Disneyland, as they watched their favorite Disney characters experience the many rides, shops, restaurants and attractions in the park. Continue after the page break and have a look...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

14 Disney Movies We Can't Wait to See

By Lindsey Allmon

Disney has made the executive decision to both excite and agonize us by releasing their movie plans all the way up through 2017, with Marvel extending to 2019. While we now have plenty of movies to look forward to, we now have to play the tormenting waiting game as we anticipate and speculate about what is to come. Continue after the break for a look at what we know about the new Disney films arriving on the big screen...

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Beautiful Disneyland Family Photos - 1968

By Keith Mahne

We have some wonderful, vintage family photos of Disneyland from 1968 to share with you today! These beautiful family photos are a fantastic look back at Disneyland and a big THANK YOU goes out to Wendy Kruger for sharing these amazing family photos with Disney Avenue. Let's take a look at these great pictures after the page break...

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Musical Souvenir of Walt Disney World - An Evening in the Vacation Kingdom

By Keith Mahne

We return to our musical journey through Walt Disney World's past with an evening in the Vacation Kingdom. We'll hop on the Monorail after spending a wonderful day at the Magic Kingdom and head on over to the Contemporary and Polynesian Resorts for a night of fun. If you're all set, let's head to the monorail station...