Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Original Grand Opening of Disney's California Adventure

By Keith Mahne

In the summer of 1995, Michael Eisner gathered company executives in Aspen, Colorado to think of an idea for a second theme park in California. From those meetings, Disney decided it would build a park themed to the history and culture of the state of California. Construction of the park began in 1998; the park's construction was accompanied by Downtown Disney and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, and renovations of the Disneyland Hotel and Disneyland Pacific Hotel. The park officially opened on February 8, 2001. Today, courtesy of Disneyland's Cast TV, we will get a look at the openings and dedication ceremonies of the theme park, surrounding hotels and attractions...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Secrets and Stories of Walt Disney World's Food

By Keith Mahne

The attractions are thrilling, the parades are grand, the magic is in the air so the food at Walt Disney World has certainly got to measure up. There are plenty of places to appease your appetite at the vacation kingdom of the world. Sure, you can find burgers, fries, cotton candy, popcorn and the occasional turkey leg, but they also serve fancy filets, fresh fish and cuisine from around the world. Today, let's feast our eyes on the incredible food offerings found only at Walt Disney World and take an inside look at how they do it. Believe me, you're gunna be hungry after this one...

Saturday, September 26, 2015

CalArts: Walt Disney's Magic School

By Keith Mahne

Picture a place with maze-like hallways. You walk through those hallways, passing cubicles filled with art supplies and artwork. Photographs and doodles fill in the blanks to reveal the style and personality of the occupant. Sometimes the cubicles are the size of a broom closet, and sometimes as large as a walk-in. If you continue, you might come across a wood shop, or a sculpture studio, or a room filled with computers. Pass the library, and at certain times of the day you might hear a string trio playing bluegrass music. You're probably thinking you are observing Imagineers in action while on a tour of 1401 Flower Street (Imagineering Headquarters in Glendale, California) however, it happens all day, every day in Valencia, at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a school made possible by Walt Disney. Join me today as we have a look at Walt's magic school where Imagineers are born...

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Walt Disney's Airplane

By Keith Mahne

If you’ve ever experienced The Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, chances are you’ve seen “The Mouse” – a white airplane with a Mickey Mouse icon on its tail. As the tour states, this airplane was used to fly Walt Disney on secret scouting missions over Central Florida when he was looking for the perfect spot to build Walt Disney World. Over the course of its history, Walt's Gulfstream 1 was filled with so many legendary passengers and magical memories that make it a vital piece of Disney history. Join me today as we take a look inside Walt Disney's plane and recall a few special flights along the way...

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Halloween Arrives at Disneyland

By Daisy Sparks

The Halloween season has officially arrived at the Disneyland resort and contributing writer Daisy Sparks takes us on another one of her famous photo tours around the park! We'll see how the HUB and Big Thunder Ranch have added their festive Fall decorations, check out the Haunted Mansion with its seasonal Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, see the Fall food offerings and so much more! It's one of the best times to be at Disneyland and we're going to travel there today in this edition of Disney Avenue's Walk in the Park...

Monday, September 21, 2015

21 Royal Street - Disneyland's Newest High End Happy Haunt

By Michael J. Kouri

Today we have a very special guest joining us to tell us all about 21 Royal Street, Disneyland's newest, high end happy haunt, the talented Michael J. Kouri. Michael is a published author of over 50 books on a wide variety of topics including history, the paranormal, collecting and Disneyana. Micheal visits Disneyland often and will be one of our "special" Disneyland reporters. I know you're going to love Michael's review of 21 Royal Street inside New Orleans Square and without further ado, here's Michael...

Friday, September 18, 2015

192 RARE Photos of Walt Disney World's Opening Day

Every so often something extremely magical occurs in the world of Disney history and today is one of those days. A very special friend of Disney Avenue has decided to share his large collection of photos that were taken on the opening day of Walt Disney World. It was a Friday, October 1, 1971, and George Miranda and his wife Becky were on their honeymoon. The trees were newly planted, the attractions brand new, and some areas were yet to be completed. This was a very special time in their lives and also for the Walt Disney World resort. Thankfully, George had his camera and documented opening day better than anything I've ever seen. Join us today as George shares his personal memories and spectacular photos of Walt Disney World's opening day 44 years ago. This isn't just your average picture article... this, my friends, is an experience...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Disney Avenue Podcast - Show #17 - Dave Bossert Interview

The Disney Avenue Podcast returns with another amazing guest from the Disney universe. Dave Bossert, who is currently the Producer, Creative Director and Head of Classic Projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios, joins host Keith Michael Mahne and Dusty Sage of MiceChat.com for a spectacular interview. Join us and listen to this highly talented artist, filmmaker and author tell us all about his storied career. This is a show you won't want to miss...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How 999 Happy Haunts Made the Haunted Mansion Their Home

By Brittany Bell

Halloween in the Disney Resorts is now in full swing with decorations, food, theming and, of course, Halloween parties. As the resorts get a festive makeover and guests prepare for silly spooks, there is one attraction that continues its delights and frights all year round. Read on to hear the story of how the 999 happy haunts of the Haunted Mansion made their way into the Disney parks…

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Walt Disney and the State of the Company in 1966

By Keith Mahne

Today we have something really special to share with you. Something that will allow us to return to the Walt Disney Company back in early 1966. Walt and the Company were riding on cloud nine. Everything was going as planned and so many projects were taking shape, such as the Florida Project and the Mineral King one as well. The Sherman Brothers just signed a new contract, Walt's appearance on the Jack Benny Show was a huge hit, and Disneyland's Tencennial was still going strong. There were so many incredible things taking place for Walt that was all captured in the 1966 edition of The Disney World magazine that we are about to see. Join us today as we revisit Walt and the state of the Company in 1966...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Making of: Adventure Thru Inner Space

By Keith Mahne

It was in 1965 that Walt Disney approached the Monsanto Company with his idea of building a new and expanded Tomorrowland. The original Tomorrowland had, within a decade, become more of a Todayland and it was time to think about updating the entire land, including replacing the Hall of Chemistry attraction, presented by Monsanto, with something that reflected the excitement of the present and future. Out of this partnership came the attraction Adventure Thru Inner Space. Join us today as we return to our Making of segment and explore the creation of this Disneyland classic...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Grab Your Disney Avenue Shirt Today

We are thrilled to announce the release of our Disney Avenue shirts! There are 3, limited edition designs to choose from and they will only be available for the next month. We put a lot of time and hard work into creating 3 beautiful designs that we think really captures the spirit of DisneyAvenue.com and that Disney magic. Join me today and I'll fill you in on all 3 of our unique designs...

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Imagineering Legend John Hench Shares His Memories of Walt Disney

By Keith Mahne

John Hench was a true legend of the Walt Disney Company. Hired by Walt Disney to work on Fantasia, John was employed at the Studio until the early 1950s, when he left to join the creative group Walt was assembling to help him plan and design Disneyland. Hench went on to design many iconic elements for Disney's theme parks, including Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, Space Mountain, and Spaceship Earth at Epcot. John was also Disney's "official portrait artist" of Mickey Mouse. Because of his resemblance to Walt Disney and his frequent visits to Disneyland, he was often asked to sign autographs and pose for pictures with park visitors who mistook Hench for Disney himself. John was respected by Walt Disney as one of the studio's most gifted artists and the pair had a close relationship. Let's hear a few wonderful stories as John Hench shares some special memories of Walt Disney...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Why WED Enterprises Changed to WDI

By Keith Mahne

He is the symbol of magic, imagination and creativity. It seems that with a simple wave of his wind, pixie dust appears and marvelous creations come to life. He is Sorcerer Mickey, the symbol that represents the creative genius of Walt Disney Imagineering. But this little guy didn't always grace the name tags, letterhead and business cards of WDI. Join me today and let's take a look at why WED Enterprises became Walt Disney Imagineering...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Old Antique Shops of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom

By Keith Mahne

There was once a time when guests of Walt Disney's Magic Kingdoms could explore a great selection of antique clocks, unique jewelry, 19th century art, and other treasures from the past. If you were visiting Disneyland you would find these treasures at the One Of A Kind Shop located in New Orleans Square. If you were at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and wanted to do a little antique shopping, Olde World Antiques, located in Liberty Square, was the place you wanted to be. Let's explore these quaint, little shops of Disneyland and Walt Disney World yesteryear in today's new article...

Monday, September 7, 2015

A Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition - Fall is Coming

By Daisy Sparks

Although the weather still very much feels like summer (it’s been hot! hot! hot!), Disneyland has slowly been putting up fall decor. This year, Halloween at Disneyland will run from September 11th - November 1st. Let's check out the new decor and so much more in today's Walk in the Park: Disneyland Edition article...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

One Family’s Journey to Walt Disney World

By Brittany Bell

Two weeks ago, my family and I were gearing up for our annual trip to Walt Disney World. We had been numerous times before (my mom and I are still trying to figure out how many times we’ve been), but little did we know when we woke up that Saturday morning, this trip would be more memorable than any of its predecessors. In one hour, our family vacation went from easy breezy to a scene straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation. Read on to hear a story that’s almost too hilarious and crazy to believe…

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Dave Brubeck Quartet Just Added to the Music Player

By Keith Mahne

I'm excited to inform you that we just updated the Disney Avenue Music Player with a wonderful new album by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Many of you have written in to say how much you enjoy the music we feature here on the site. I'm right there with you and listen to it daily. I always like to fill you in on new additions and today we have another to share with you. Let's meet up after the page break and I'll fill you in on the new tunes...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A RARE Slideshow of WDW's Magic Kingdom from September 1971

By Keith Mahne

We have another real treat for you today here on Disney Avenue. Another friend of the site has shared something really special with us and I can't wait to show it to you. Gray Grimme, who had been working for Admiral Joe Fowler and Buena Vista Construction the spring and early summer of 1971 getting Walt Disney World ready to open, has a wonderful slideshow he'd like to share with us. The slideshow features some amazing shots of the Magic Kingdom in September 1971, a month before it opened, with some really rare and stunning views of the Park. Join us today as we take a look back to Walt Disney World a month before the resort opened to the world...

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Disney Documentary Hour: Walt Disney World: A Dream Come True (1986)

By Keith Mahne

Welcome back to another fan-favorite segment here on Disney Avenue called Disney Documentary Hour. This segment takes us back to some of the best, vintage Disney documentaries and specials from years past. Today we'll enjoy a personal favorite of mine titled Walt Disney World: A Dream Come True from 1986. You're not going to want to miss this classic! Grab some popcorn as we watch this old Disney Channel special and return to the good ol' days of Walt Disney World's yesteryear...