Monday, August 31, 2015

The Story Behind Donald Duck and the 50 Real Ducks That Followed

By Keith Mahne

On  May 19, 1984, as Donald Duck celebrated his 50th birthday, Donald and a group of 50 live Peking ducks took a stroll through the Magic Kingdom. This was no easy feat getting 50 ducks to follow someone through a crowded theme park of all places. The backstory is just as exciting as watching the cute ducks follow Donald on that eventful day in 1984. Continue after the page break and I'll tell you all about it...

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Disney in 8mm: The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

By Keith Mahne

Today we return to a popular segment here on Disney Avenue called Disney in 8mm. These segments feature old souvenir films Disney produced and sold in the gift shops. As you can imagine, they include some amazing, vintage footage of the Park. It's so fun to watch these retro 8mm films of the Magic Kingdom as we get to return to a time when the Resort was just a few years old and bursting with enthusiasm. It's also great to see shows and attractions that are long gone. So, if you're all set and ready to go, let's return to Walt Disney World of the late 1970s in today's featured article...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Experience the Disney Avenue Music Player

By Keith Mahne

If you've been a member of Disney Avenue for awhile, you probably realize just how crucial music is to your experience here on the site. I'm always looking for new music to add to the Disney Avenue Music Player and I'm excited to fill you in on some new additions to our playlist. Join me after the page break and let's get taken away on some magical new tunes...

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Daisy Goes to the D23 Expo

By Daisy Sparks

This past weekend, I was able to attend the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was 3 days of all things Disney. It’s the perfect place for a Disney fan event being that it's literally across the street from Disneyland. For those of you who weren't able to attend this time around do not fear. We are about to checkout some wonderful moments right here on Disney Avenue. Join me as we travel to the D23 Expo and experience this magical event in today's new article...

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Magic of Disneyland (Video)

By Keith Mahne

Walt Disney always believed that dreams really do come true. Disneyland is certainly the monument of that belief. A land of inspiration where yesterday still lives and tomorrow is already here. Today, let's journey back to the Park in 1968 as we watch The Magic of Disneyland...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Love of Walt and Lillian Disney

By Keith Mahne

The story of Walt’s early romance with Lillian Bounds is as good a fairy tale as any in the Disney stratosphere. The couple, who met in the 1920's while Lillian was working in the Ink and Paint department at the studio, was married for 41 years. Walt's nephew, Roy E. Disney, once said of Lillian Disney, ''She was a great lady, full of laughter and fun and always prepared to speak the truth, tough and loving at the same time.'' Walt and Lillian shared a wonderful, exciting life together, and they loved every minute of it. Walt was a wonderful husband to Lillian and a wonderful and joyful father and grandfather. Let's take a look back at the love of Walt and Lillian Disney, including some rare home footage of the couple, in today's new article...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Weird Disney: A Strange Look at Disney's Past

By Keith Mahne

The Disney Parks contain some of the most spectacular attractions and experiences the world has ever known. But just like everything else, it takes time to perfect that Disney quality. Back in the early days of the Disney Company, particularly Disneyland, several strange and just downright weird things were created to entertain guests or for marketing purposes. Things you wouldn't have thought were capable of existing inside a Disney theme park. Well, as you'll witness today, they sure had a few doozies. Join us as we have a look at some of the strangest things to ever exist in Disney history...

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Dutchman in Orlando (Part 7) – Shenanigans

By Sam Vlas

Hello Disney Avenue pedestrians and welcome to Part 7 of “A Dutchman in Orlando”. To all who have read along thus far, welcome back and I’m so glad I can share my Disney Cast Member stories from Florida with all of you. The Disney International Program has really changed my life and today you’re going to get a little insight into how a Cast Member spends their days off in Walt Disney World. There are a lot of stories to go through, so buckle up, click on and let’s get to it…

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Amazing EPCOT Model

By Keith Mahne

Walt Disney's original plan for EPCOT was truly spectacular and the model displaying his "latest and great dream" was no different. At 115 feet wide, 60 feet deep, with 1,400 individually street lights, 2,500 moving vehicles representing future transportation, 20,000 trees and 4,500 structures and buildings is nothing short of astonishing. Today, I'd like to take you on an in-depth look at the making of Walt Disney's amazing EPCOT model. Join me after the page break and let's have a look...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The 7 Eras of Disney Filmmaking

By Brittany Bell

Before Walt Disney created his empire, he was an animator. Even before the imagining of Mickey Mouse and the founding of Walt Disney Studios, Walt worked on animated short films such as the “Alice Comedies” and “Laugh-O-Grams”. Since then, Disney continued to revolutionize animation, creating full-length films that became the first of their kind. From movies animated and directed by Walt himself to entirely digitally-made movies, Disney filmmaking has evolved immensely over the past 100 years. Join me as we go back to the beginning and explore the 7 eras of Disney filmmaking…

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Look Back at the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village

By Keith Mahne

Before Disney Springs, Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island, there was once a quaint little village nestled at the southern end of Walt Disney World called the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village. Back in 1975, shopping took on a whole new meaning at Walt Disney World when the area opened with shops such as the Toys Fantastique, The Flower Garden and The Pottery Chalet. Wouldn't you love to take a trip back in time and see what the Disney Springs area was like originally? Well, let's do just that in today's new article as we take a look back at the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Roy Disney Builds the Magic Kingdom (Video)

By Keith Mahne

I'm a big fan of seeing how the Magic Kingdom was constructed out of swamp land and made into the vacation kingdom of the world. Seeing this brings of flurry of thoughts to mind. The one main thing though is witnessing Walt Disney's dream being carried on out of love. Love from his brother Roy Disney to see his baby brother's dream made into a reality. Today, I'd like to share with you some wonderful construction footage of Walt Disney World featuring Roy Disney leading the way...

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Looking for Mickey Quest

By Daisy Sparks

Disneyland's birthday celebration continues at the happiest place on earth. Just days before the birthday party, the Disney Parks Blog announced the “Looking for Mickey Quest”. This Disneyland Park adventure requires the purchase of a special map with clues to hidden Mickey’s. There is a separate map quest for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure (DCA). When you complete the quest, you receive a special lanyard and medal. Let's take a look at this new adventure in this week's Walk in the Park article...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

In Search of Excellence - Walt Disney World 1984

By Keith Mahne

Back in the mid 80s, PBS aired a great little documentary called In Search of Excellence that takes a look at eight American companies and what makes them thrive. As you would expect, the Walt Disney Company made the list and was featured in the program. The film researches how great organizations like Disney are able to succeed; because they make both their customers and employees happy. The company that Walt Disney founded continues to pursue excellence, and out of this comes business success. Today, I have taken the portion of the documentary that focuses on Disney, specifically Walt Disney World, which provides us with some wonderful insight into the Park back in 1984. We will get to see some great shots of the Magic Kingdom, including some backstage footage of newly hired cast members going through orientation. Join me today as we peak behind the curtain and take a look back at Walt Disney World in 1984...

Friday, August 7, 2015

Making of: Frozen

By Brittany Bell

Editor's Note: Friends, I am so excited to welcome Brittany Bell as our newest contributing writer here on Disney Avenue. Please join me in welcoming Brittany to the Disney Avenue family!

- Keith Mahne

And now, here's Brittany...


Since its release in November 2013, Frozen has taken the world by (snow) storm. It is now one of the highest grossing animated films of all time, taking in over $1.27 billion worldwide, surpassing that of Toy Story 3 and The Lion King. The presence of Frozen in the Disney universe took off seemingly overnight, and now one can’t experience anything Disney without finding themselves humming to “Let It Go”. But, before it warmed our frozen hearts with its tale of sisterly love, Frozen was imagined to be a much different story than it is now. Let’s take a look at how Frozen came to life in this new Making of article…

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #16 - Lee Cockerell Interview

This time around on the Disney Avenue Podcast, we interview the former Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort, the incredible Lee Cockerell. As the Senior Operating Executive for ten years, Lee has led a team of 40,000 Cast Members and was responsible for the operations of 20 resort hotels, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, a shopping & entertainment village and the ESPN sports and recreation complex in addition to the ancillary operations which supported the number one vacation destination in the world. Lee offers us some wonderful insight on what it takes to run a resort complex like the incredible Walt Disney World. This is a show you won't want to miss...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Day Disneyland Was Invaded By Yippies

By Keith Mahne

The day was August 6th, 1970, Disneyland was being temporarily removed of its slogan “The Happiest Place on Earth” when it was taken over by a group of long haired, radicals known as Yippies. Why was Disneyland chosen by this group of young protesters to rise up against the establishment? How did Disneyland prepare for this invasion? Let's find out in today's new article...

Monday, August 3, 2015

Disneyland in the 60's

By Keith Mahne

Much like retro Disney World videos, I'm a sucker for vintage Disneyland ones as well. I take joy in watching visitors dressed in their Sunday best and love noticing how different things have changed over the years. There is nothing quite like basking in the magic of vintage Disneyland. Seeing the park during a time when attractions like the Skyway, PeopleMover, and Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland continuing to mystify guests and realizing that everything present was touched by Walt is what I enjoy the most. Today, let's travel back to Disneyland of the 1960's and revel in the magic together...

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Dream Called Walt Disney World

By Keith Mahne

I am absolutely obsessed with retro Walt Disney World! I love collecting old souvenirs, looking at vintage photos, listening to original soundtracks, and especially, watching old travelogues of the vacation kingdom of the world. My endorphins go crazy as those cozy, nostalgic memories come flooding in. Watching the older videos reminds me of why I fell in love with WDW in the first place. A retro Disney World video that I particularly enjoy, as do my endorphins, is called A Dream Called Walt Disney World, which was released in 1980. It's jam packed with that vintage, classic Disney we all adore. Get ready to be transported to a time when the Magic Kingdom was the only park on property and you could still jump on a slide at River Country for a fun filled day in the cool waters of Bay Lake...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

EPCOT Construction Cavalcade: 1979-1981

By EPCOT Explorer

Sometimes, when writing and researching you come upon a group of interesting things and have no idea what to do with them, as they are just implicit pieces of a whole body of study. Although that sounds frightfully academic, this even happens in researching something fun, like EPCOT Center and Walt Disney Productions. So… in that spirit, let's take a look at some wonderful, early EPCOT Center photos from it's formative years. You're not going to want to miss these...