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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Forever Remembered: The Lasting Influence of Walt Disney

By Dave Mason




In the final chapter of his four-part series on the lasting legacy of Walt Disney, historian Dave Mason provides an eyewitness account of Walt’s 1965 visit to the Walt Disney School in Anaheim, California. Join us as we travel back to 1965 and witness the lasting influence of Walt Disney...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A Rare Look at How Disney Decided to Build Tokyo Disneyland

By Ted Linhart




By 1975, combined attendance at the Disney Parks had reached over 22M (12.5M at WDW and 9.8M at Disneyland) and most of the USA populace was no more than 4 hours by plane from at least one of the Parks given their locations on the East and West Coast. It was only natural that Disney would look for ways to expand their empire and bring the Park experience to the rest of the world. Today’s article will provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the first international Disney Resort, Tokyo Disneyland, was developed through two must see documents. The 1st is a very rare August 1975 document with a now politically-incorrect title — “Oriental Disneyland: Feasibility Study Executive Summary." The 2nd is a less-rare but very interesting Cast Member opening day booklet for Tokyo Disneyland. Join us as we go back in time and look at how Tokyo Disney went from concept to reality...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Walt Disney's Final Public Appearance

By Dave Mason




In the third chapter of his four-part series on the lasting legacy of Walt Disney, historian Dave Mason provides a little-known backstory on the event which would prove to be Walt Disney’s final public appearance. Join us today as we travel back in time to Tuesday, November 1, 1966 and revisit Walt in Williamsburg, Virginia for what would go down in history as his final appearance...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Unexpected Art of Walt Disney World

By EPCOT Explorer




One of the things that make Walt Disney World so unique is the unexpected art found throughout the resort complex. A couple of areas that this really stands out is in the foyer of Cinderella Castle with its glittering, richly hued glass mosaic murals and also at Disney's Contemporary Resort that features a massive 90-foot-high ceramic mural unlike anything in the world. Join us in today's new article as we take an up-close look at how these murals were created and why they remain as some of the most well-known artistic treasures in the entire world...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Peek Inside the 1958 Disneyland Mail Order Catalog

By Keith Mahne




Imagine just for a few minutes that you are a young child in 1958 that loves the Walt Disney's Disneyland television series so much that you actually convinced your parents to take you on a fun-filled day to the happiest place on earth. You've just returned home and now it's time to look through your 1958 Disneyland Mail Order Catalog filled with the most sought after Disneyland collectibles of all time. Had they known that some of these items would go for thousands of dollars today, your parents would have bought you everything in the catalog and made one magical investment in your college fund and their retirement. But, the best part about seeing this Disneyland catalog today is getting to reminiscence back to a time when Walt still called the shots and a Disneyland ticket book cost only $5.25. Join us in today's new article as we take a step back in time and peek inside the 1958 Disneyland Mail Order Catalog...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Watch the 1986 "Disney's Living Seas" Television Special

By Keith Mahne




Who doesn't love a classic Disney television special? Especially one that celebrates the opening of a EPCOT Center pavilion. If you're in the mood to travel back to Epcot in the 1980s and revisit The Living Seas pavilion as it was on opening day then you are going to love today's new article. Disney Avenue has searched under every nook and cranny to find the 1986 NBC television special titled, "Disney's Living Seas" which was broadcast on January 24, 1986 to promote the opening of the new Living Seas pavilion at EPCOT Center. The special, hosted by John Ritter and featuring guest appearances by Olivia Newton-John, Laura Branigan and other 80s stars, is sure to put a smile on any retro Disney fans face. Join us today as we revisit the original EPCOT Center pavilion in all its glory...

Saturday, October 22, 2016

RARE 1973 WED Document on Moving the Carousel of Progress to WDW

By Ted Linhart




The Carousel of Progress is one of Walt Disney’s most beloved, iconic and celebrated attractions of all time. It is also perhaps the most well-traveled, having made a nearly 5,000-mile journey from the New York World’s Fair in Queens, NY to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA in 1967 and then to Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, FL in 1974. Join us today for an exclusive, inside look at the cost for the move from California to Florida courtesy of a rare, 1973 WED Enterprises document. It took careful planning to ensure there would be a great big beautiful tomorrow at Walt Disney World for years to come...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Celebrating Walt Disney World's 45th Anniversary: Part III - The Creation of EPCOT Center

By Keith Mahne




Walt Disney once said, "I would rather entertain and hope that people learn, than educate and hope that they're entertained." That statement, made years before EPCOT was created or even conceived, became the standard by which Walt's successors designed their version of the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow he had originally envisioned. EPCOT Center was more than just a new theme park; it was a creation that paved the way for Walt Disney World to become the most magical and unique resort destination the world had ever seen. Join us today for the final installment of our 45th anniversary celebration series as we cover the creation of EPCOT Center and the dawn of a whole new Disney era...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Finding the “Fun” in the Wait

By Rebekah Coley




It goes without saying that counting down the days until your next Disney trip can be…. painful. The days, weeks, months leading up until your departure seem to last an eternity that can’t be calculated by any measure of time. On the other hand, half of the fun in taking a Disney trip can be found in anticipating the adventure! Contributing writer, Rebekah Coley, is no novice when it comes to planning a Walt Disney World visit. Check out today’s article to see what her tips are for savoring the joy in a vacation countdown...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Summer 1968 Report to Disneyland’s Lessees

By Ted Linhart




Given the behemoth that the Walt Disney Company has become, it’s hard for today’s guests to realize that in Disneyland’s early decades its success depended on outside companies deciding to sponsor attractions. In today's new article, we will examine a rarely-seen Summer 1968 publication called “You’re in good company… A Report To Disneyland Lessees." This unusual, 20-page document was essentially a sales brochure to brag about how great the Park was, how much better it was going to be, and ultimately to get the sponsors to renew their leases. Join us for a fascinating look back at an era when corporate sponsorship played a key role in Disneyland's success...

Friday, October 14, 2016

Walt Disney’s Final Visit to Disneyland - A Medal of Honor Family Remembers

By Dave Mason




In follow-up to last week's article on Walt Disney's final official visit to Disneyland where he paid tribute to the Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, Disney historian Dave Mason has provided Disney Avenue readers with another WWII story of remarkable courage. The article includes, for the first time ever, a rare unpublished photograph of Walt Disney on the historic stage of "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" during his final visit to the Park on Friday, October 14, 1966. Join us as we journey back exactly 50 years to the day and see Walt for the last time in the Park he loved so much…

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

An Interview with Emma Ridley: Disney's Real Life Princess of Oz

By Ron Baxley




Disney's "Return to Oz" is a 1985 fantasy adventure film loosely based on L. Frank Baum's Oz novels set six months after the events of the first novel, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900), took place. Although it is not an official sequel to the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film "The Wizard of Oz," it does borrow a few elements from it, most notably the Ruby Slippers. "Return to Oz" became the cult classic it is now out of Disney's struggle since the 1930s to create an Oz film before the rights went to the public domain in 1985. In today's new article, contributing writer and Oz author Ron Baxley, Jr. interviews Emma Ridley, the actress who portrayed Princess Ozma in the 1985 Disney film which celebrated a 30th anniversary last year…

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Disneyland Magical Audio Tour - Chapter 1: Welcome to Disneyland

By Chris Lyndon




Today we begin a new series of articles here on Disney Avenue celebrating the sounds of Disneyland. At Chris Lyndon's website called DisneyChris.com you will find a collection of more than 1250 audio tracks taking you on a magical musical visit through the Happiest Place on Earth. We will be highlighting each of the 25 chapters included in this "Magical Audio Tour" in the weeks and months ahead. Join us for our first stop on this nostalgic audio tour of Disneyland's yesteryear as we begin at the Main Gate, the entrance to the Happiest Place on Earth...

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Story of Walt Disney’s Final Official Visit to Disneyland

By Dave Mason




Walt Disney and Disneyland have had some very special and memorable milestones over the course of their history. One such milestone that many Disney fans may not know about took place on Friday, October 14, 1966. On what is now understood to have been his final visit to Disneyland, Walt Disney hosted his own personal tribute to a remarkable group of America's greatest heroes. Unfortunately, that gathering would represent the last known day that Walt would step foot inside his Magic Kingdom. In today's new article, we will return to that little known event and pause to remember the historic occasion with a never-before-published photograph of Walt in the Park he loved so much…

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Celebrating Walt Disney World's 45th Anniversary: Part II - The First Year of Magic

By Keith Mahne




Walt Disney World's opening day, Friday, October 1, 1971, drew only about 10,000 visitors to the Magic Kingdom. But the Park's executives were far from disappointed at the low turnout. They had deliberately chosen to open during Florida's quietest month for tourism, on the traditionally slowest day of the week, to avoid the problems posed by peak crowds on Disneyland's first day. However, that year's Thanksgiving weekend put the resorts training and capacity to the test as thousands flocked to the vacation kingdom to see for themselves what the Disneyland of the East was really like. Join us today for Part II of our 45th anniversary celebration series as we cover Walt Disney World's first year of operation and learn what that was like for the men and women who were there helping to make the resort complex the true Vacation Kingdom of the World we know and love today...

Monday, October 3, 2016

A 1976 WED Proposal of What EPCOT Could Have Been

By Ted Linhart




10 years after Walt Disney’s death, the idea of an “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” still percolated within the Disney Company but the vision had changed dramatically from the grand scope of its legendary founder. As we celebrate Epcot's 34th anniversary this month, let's take a look at a rare and fascinating 1976 document published by WED Enterprises that outlines what Epcot could have been after the idea of an actual city was abandoned and before it became a true theme park. In this incarnation, Epcot would be a think tank for companies to showcase new technologies to the public and then take them to market.  Come explore this real gem called “EPCOT: What It is - How It Works - Values Of Participation”...

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Kick Off Halloween with the Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House Album (1964)

By Chris Lyndon




It's that time of year again here on Disney Avenue when the crypt doors creak and the tombstones quake. HalloWishes is playing in the Disney Avenue Music Player and our Halloween Banner is up (keep an eye out for lightening). What better time to revisit one of the best selling Disneyland Records of all time than now. You will hear these frightening sounds as never before as Chris Lyndon from DisneyChris.com has painstakingly cleaned up this album for your listening pleasure, removing all background hiss and editing glitches. Join us as we kick off the Halloween season with some frightfully vintage Disney tunes...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Celebrating Walt Disney World's 45th Anniversary: Part I - Bringing the Magic to Florida

By Keith Mahne




In commemoration of Walt Disney World's 45th anniversary, Disney Avenue will be running a 3 part series on the development of the Florida resort that is jammed-packed with quotes over the years from Disney employees who were responsible for the concept, planning and construction that led to Opening Day, October 1, 1971. Join us today for Part I as we remember the obstacles the Company faced as they attempted to bring the magic of Disney to Florida as we celebrate the creation of the Vacation Kingdom of the World...

Monday, September 26, 2016

What Would Our World Look Like Today If Walt Had More Time

By Brittany Bell




Walter Elias Disney was an innovator. He made his dreams become a reality, and sought to bring new entertainment experiences to the world. He also strived to create a better, more connected world, an idea which he materialized in his plans for E.P.C.O.T.: the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. If one were to visit Epcot today, some of Walt’s original ideas still are alive and well. In addition, one quick ride on the Magic Kingdom's PeopleMover will give guests a glimpse at Walt’s model for his groundbreaking idea for the future of our cities—a model that is only a fraction of his entire dream. However, Walt’s untimely death halted, and almost lost, all plans for his EPCOT City, with the idea only coming back to the table in the late 70s when construction on EPCOT Center began. With all of the new ideas and innovation planned for EPCOT City, one can’t help but wonder what the world would look like today if Walt had lived another ten or twenty years. Join us in today's new article as we journey into a dream of the future: one in which Walt Disney’s E.P.C.O.T. became a reality and the effects it would have on our world today…

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wonderland-Themed Options at the Disney Parks

By Ron Baxley




Published Wonderland and Oz author Ron Baxley, Jr. leaps down the rabbit hole to illogical, mad adventures and shows us some Wonderland-themed options at the Disney Parks for his latest Disney Avenue article. Join him and be sure not to be late for this very important date...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

RCA’s 1968 Proposal to Build a Communication System at Disney World

By Ted Linhart




When Walt Disney World was being developed and constructed it needed a world class communications system in order to fulfill the goals Walt himself set for “The Florida Project.” And so, in 1968, RCA stepped up to the plate with a proposal for a system that attempted to provide those solutions for the Disney World complex, although it may have been decades ahead of its time. In today's new article, you will be able to see that exact same 72-page RCA proposal thanks to a copy once owned by an executive who actually worked on this very enthusiastic and exciting project. This is a piece of Disney World history you won't want to miss...

Monday, September 19, 2016

Listen to Disney's Polynesian Resort Music Loop

By Keith Mahne




Here is the music loop you've all been waiting for!! Sit back and relax as you listen to 3 hours of magical Disney Polynesian Resort music that plays at the unload area/Monorail Station, the Great Ceremonial House (lobby) including Kona Café and Captain Cook's, the Lava and East pools, and along the beach. I can't think of a more magical way to be transported to one of Walt Disney World's most beloved resorts between trips than this. Enjoy friends...

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Imagineers Remember Creating Pirates of the Caribbean

By Keith Mahne




The talking skull in Pirates of the Caribbean has warned guests that "Dead Men tell no tales" millions of times over the years. The poor mayor has been dunked countless times (and still hasn't drowned). The auctioneer has been trying to unload the same plump young wench on the same six pirates hundreds of times a day, 365 days a year with no takers. And those same six pirates have been wanting the "red 'ed" without success for almost 50 years. Day after day, year after year, the pirates have been singing and pillaging and plundering and kidnapping and extorting and marauding, much to the delight of the thousands of Disneyland guests who line up daily to see the less-than-daring exploits of these fun-loving scalawags. In fact, Pirates of the Caribbean has emerged as perhaps the most successful attraction ever built at a Disney Theme Park and it's all thanks to the Imagineers. In today's new article, we'll hear from some of those very same Imagineers who have shared their memories over the years on creating one of the best Disney attractions that has been exciting guests with almost 50 years of plundering fun...

Thursday, September 15, 2016

An In-depth Look at the WEDway PeopleMover

By Keith Mahne




In 1964, the first Disney designed PeopleMover system carried guests through the Ford pavilion at the New York World's Fair. Three years later, Disneyland inaugurated a similar system called the Goodyear PeopleMover which has carried countless numbers of people over millions of passenger miles before its unfortunate closer in 1995. The year 1975 brought the WEDway PeopleMover to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom by utilizing a linear induction propulsion system to economically transport thousands of guests silently every day. The Community Transportation Services (CTS), a former subsidiary of Walt Disney Productions, was responsible for all the research, development, construction, testing and operation of transportation systems for the Disney Parks, including Walt Disney's planned Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT). In today's new article, thanks to a 1977 booklet created by the CTS, we will take an in-depth look at the WEDway PeopleMover, your quiet and carefree highway in the sky...

Monday, September 12, 2016

How the Imagineers Saved Disney California Adventure

By Jimmy Wienholz



Disney California Adventure has been perhaps the most troubled theme park ever built by the Disney Company. When the park first opened in 2001 it was immediately the subject of controversy among die-hard Disney fans who felt that the park was built on the cheap and quite tacky. Thankfully in 2007, Disney announced a major expansion as well as a major overhaul of a significant portion of the park. Construction lasted for five years and was completed in stages, culminating with the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land in June 2012. The evolution of Disney California Adventure is fascinating and is a real testament to how talented Disney Imagineers truly are. Let's take a look at how Disney saved the park in today's new article...

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Goofy’s Kitchen as Goofy and “Campy” as a Summer Camp Dining Hall

By Ron Baxley




Gawrsh! Who wouldn't enjoy a fun-filled breakfast or dinner with Goofy as your host? Goofy's Kitchen at the Disneyland Hotel welcomes you to the eatery where boisterous fun is the order of the day. It's a place where you can come and enjoy all you care to eat while snapping memorable photos with Goofy and the gang. In today's new article, new contributing writer Ron Baxley takes us with him on a recent trip to the restaurant and offers his review of this memorable dining location you won't want to miss...

Friday, September 9, 2016

A Look at Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida

By Rebekah Coley




Ever since Walt Disney began producing feature-length animated films, audiences have fallen in love with the concept of cartoon musicals. To no one’s surprise, the movies’ colorful locations, lovable characters, and catchy melodies have translated well into several stage productions. Starting with Broadway’s extremely successful adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (1994), Walt Disney Theatricals has gone on to produce several smash hits. Many Disney fans are familiar with these shows; however, one had fallen under the radar for Disney Avenue contributing writer, Rebekah Coley. Musical lovers will definitely want to check out today’s article to read her thoughts on Elton John and Tim Rice's fantastic musical Aida...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Walt Disney World: Innovation In Action

By Keith Mahne




How would you like to take a behind-the-scenes look at Walt Disney World back in the 1990s that focused on the challenges and creative solutions being researched and implemented by the Walt Disney Company with Epcot as the testing grounds? Thanks to a booklet put together by the Disney University specifically for cast members titled "Innovation In Action," we are going to take a closer look and explore the systems and projects that have made, not just Epcot, but the entire Walt Disney World Resort complex the real Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow that it is today...

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Meet Me Down on Main Street (1957)

By Chris Lyndon




In 1957, Disneyland Records produced a fantastic album featuring the Mellomen Quartet singing a dozen barbershop ballads inspired by Disneyland's Main Street USA. This group also provided many vocal performances for both Walt Disney's animated and live-action films, television shows and theme park attractions throughout the 1950s and 1960s. The bass singer with the group was none other than Disney Legend and voice-over icon, Thurl Ravenscroft. Learn the rich history of Walt Disney and the Mellomen Quartet and hear the nostalgic and soothing album "Meet Me Down on Main Street" in today's new article...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Watch the World Premiere of Mary Poppins (1964)

By Keith Mahne




The world premiere of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins took place on a warm summer night in August of 1964 at the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The glamorous premiere was broadcast live on local Los Angeles television along with a separate live radio broadcast of all the opening night festivities. The complete recordings for these two broadcasts are not known to exist. However, a variety of film and sound elements from that special night were recently discovered in Disney vaults spanning two continents. The surviving film clips you are about to see are a mix of color and black and white. For the first time, the recordings have been cut together and matched as close as possible to recreate the excitement of that gala premiere. Let's return to the summer of 1964 and join in on the excitement of Walt Disney's most incredible film as we visit the world premiere of Mary Poppins...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

An In-depth Look at Walt Disney World's Original Monorail System

By Keith Mahne




Disneyland opened in 1955 with an exposition of transportation systems, from double-decker buses to riverboats. Already a mini-city in transportation activity, Disneyland inaugurated the first daily monorail service in 1959. The design and development of the monorail system reflected Walt Disney's personal commitment to not only build an attraction, but more importantly, to provide a transportation system for the future. With the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, the Disney organization revealed a new monorail system as the primary transportation link between the resort hotels, Ticket and Transportation Center, and the Magic Kingdom called the MARK IV Monorail. In today's new article, thanks to a 14 page booklet from the 1979, you'll get to learn everything you've ever wanted to know about Walt Disney World's original monorail system...

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Disney's Attention to Detail: God Is in the Detail

By Randy Crane




If you were to ask a Disney Parks fan what it is that makes the Disney Parks unique and special, you may get several answers. World-class service. Fun for the whole family. Great storytelling. But one phrase that you’ll hear more than almost any other is, “Their attention to detail is amazing.” How does remembering that the Imagineers care about the design details of the Disney Parks help us to also remember that God cares about the everyday details in our lives? Author Randy Crane returns in today's new article to explain...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Look Back at Walt Disney World's First 10 Years

By Keith Mahne




From the Walt Disney World Vacation Kingdom dedication plaque in Town Square: "WALT DISNEY WORLD is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney and to the talents, the dedication and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney's dream come true..." Walt Disney's dream...what a dream it was: a complete vacation resort destination; a total environment that Walt himself referred to as "a new, different kind of world...big enough to hold all the ideas and plans we can possibly imagine." And the dream came to life and started to grow: the Magic Kingdom, resort hotels and villas, campgrounds, abundant facilities for recreation, shopping and entertainment; all set against a lovingly preserved and designed backdrop of rolling landscapes and winding waterways. And, as Walt had suggested, there was still plenty of space for the Disney-style thinking, tinkering and building called "Imagineering." Today, this 27,443-acre wonder stands as the leading vacation destination on earth and the first 10 years of its existence played a big part in that. Let's review Walt Disney World's first 10 years and discover why it remains as happy and joyous a place as the day it opened on October 1, 1971...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Disney Look Cast Member Handbook

By Keith Mahne





Since Disneyland opened in 1955, guests have treasured the elements that set the Disney theme parks and resorts apart — the cleanest venues, the friendliest cast members, and the most exceptional show. Though each of these three things are extremely important and are what keeps Disney a step ahead of the competition, Disney's cast members are by far the most important of them all. But did you know that there is a secret ingredient used within the company that keeps cast members looking their best while "on stage"? It's called the Disney Look. This look has changed with the times, yet always remains true to Disney's ideal of offering wholesome family entertainment in the world's top vacation destinations. In today's new article, let's peek inside the pages of a Disney Look handbook and see what it really takes to be a Disney cast member...

Monday, August 15, 2016

Echoes of Disneyland

By Keith Mahne




If you're a fan of Disney Avenue, you probably realize how much we love Disney music around here. Let me tell you about a classic Disneyland album you're going to love. It's called Echoes of Disneyland and it was created by a man named Dee Fisher, a true staple at Disneyland during its first fifteen years in operation. Dee was the manager of Disneyland's Wurlitzer music store at the corner of Town Square and Main Street USA. On many a quiet evening he would fill the air with the haunting yet subdued tones of his electric organ in a twightlight concert of familiar Disney tunes. After many guest requests, he recorded this album, live at the Park, for Disneyland records in 1957. Listen to the beautiful and soothing sounds of this magical 1957 album in today's new article...

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Story of Disneyland's Original Music Man

By Keith Mahne




In more than a half-century as one of the world’s greatest bandmasters, Vesey Walker’s proudest achievement was his Disneyland Band. Vesey organized and directed more than 50 college, military, school, and youth bands over his career, but at Disneyland, the master “music man” finally found the one place in the world to organize a thoroughly professional band, performing daily throughout the year—not just for Saturday football games or annual parades. This is the story of Disneyland's original music man, including a rare 1956 Disneyland concert recording, that you won't want to miss...

Sunday, August 7, 2016

4 Reasons the “Festival of Fantasy” Parade is a "Must See"

By Rebekah Coley




One of the many things that set Disney Parks apart from their amusement competitors is their enchanting entertainment. In lieu of campy “rocking to the oldies” musical revues, Disney Parks Entertainment prides itself on creating shows that thematically fit with their assigned park. Recently, the parks worldwide have been “pulling out all the stops” in terms of debuting inventive parades, firework displays, and stage productions. With all of these new options, it can be easy to forget about the incredible productions that just hit the Magic Kingdom streets a couple of years ago. Specifically, we are referring to the parade “Festival of Fantasy”. Check out today’s article for 4 reasons the “Festival of Fantasy” Parade is not to be missed...

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Tale of Two Soarin’s

By EPCOT Explorer




In some ways, nothing has changed. There’s still grandiose and emotionally charged music. Cultural and natural landmarks beckon and shimmer. Excited passengers gasp and whoop when surprised with a bird’s eye view of the world that they very rarely get to see from such an angle. But in other ways, everything has changed: Soarin’ is no longer flying over California, but is now flying around the world. The scope of the attraction has changed, altering the thematic landscape of EPCOT. In so doing, Soarin’s change is less of a transformation, but a transition from a narrow and specialized approach to an experience that is now broad and sweeping. These changes are both harmful and helpful to how Soarin’ now operates and how it makes a thematic statement that fits into EPCOT. In today's new article, let's attempt to describe and analyze each version of the attraction, and showcase their strengths and weaknesses in this Tale of Two Soarin's...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A History of The Muppets

By Brittany Bell




With recent news about new Muppets attractions at Walt Disney World, it’s safe to say the franchise is getting a revival at the Disney theme parks. Though they have had a presence in the Parks since the opening of Muppet*Vision 3D at the then-named Disney’s MGM-Studios in 1991, the rebirth of the TV show, along with new Muppets movies, makes it safe to say that the silly and whimsical group is ready to make a mark on the Parks once again. However, these characters were not always a part of Disney; in fact, they date all the way back to 1955, when creator Jim Henson was still a college student at the University of Maryland. The rich history of these now-beloved characters is where our journey takes us today in this history of the Muppets…

Monday, August 1, 2016

Around the World Tour of Disney’s Haunted Mansions

By Jimmy Wienholz




“Welcome Foolish Mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.” No matter which Disney Park you may be in, or what variation of that famous introduction you might be hearing, it’s quite hard not to get excited about the journey to come. The Haunted Mansion is one of the more infamous attractions WED Enterprises has ever conceived, and most people can’t help but get a smile on their faces when they think about going for ride in a “Doom Buggy.” However what some folks may not know is that there are actually 5 mansions world wide, and it has three variations that offer different creepy takes on the original concept. Today it is a true to pleasure to be your “Ghost Host”  (well at least in print) and take you on a haunted tour of the 5 mansions that will have you wanting to “Hurry Back” to the closest Haunted Mansion near you...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Disneyland's Spectacular New Tomorrowland of 1967

By Keith Mahne




In 1967, Disneyland had one of its most exciting summers in its history. A summer jam-packed with the Park's largest variety of entertainment, the most attractions ever and a brand new $22 million ($158 million in today's dollars) Tomorrowland. In today's exciting new article we'll explore all the wonderful things that came to Disneyland's Tomorrowland for the spectacular Summer of 67'. If you enjoy vintage Disneyland then you are going to love this one...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Walt Disney World's 1986 Resort Offerings

By Keith Mahne




If I had a Disney time machine and was looking at dates to visit the Walt Disney World Resort, one year that I would pick without a doubt would be 1986. EPCOT Center was only a few years old and featured the original Imagination Pavilion and also, the best dark ride known to man, Horizons. I could also take a dip in River Country or check out the beautiful wildlife at Discovery Island. I could even get another look at the original Polynesian Resort lobby with its sorely missed and extremely relaxing waterfalls. 1986 was definitely the good old days. Let's see all the exciting things Walt Disney World had to offer as we revisit the "vacation kingdom of the world" in 1986 in today's new article...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Day Disney Decided To Build EPCOT Center

By Keith Mahne




On October 2, 1978, Card Walker, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of Walt Disney Productions, announced the Company's decision to move forward with the EPCOT Center project. Disney was particularly proud to be able to make the announcement before the 26th World Congress of the International Chamber of Commerce meeting at Walt Disney World. Being that the ICC is perhaps one of the most respected business organizations in the world and, until that year, had never assembled outside the capital city of a host nation, it made the announcement to the world all the more special. Even then-President Jimmy Carter, who showed great interest and enthusiasm for EPCOT Center, was in attendance. It was a day to remember and that's just what we'll do in today's new article...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The History of Disney's Rarely Talked About Independence Lake Project

By Keith Mahne




In our last article we discussed the history of Disney's well known Mineral King Project, which turned out to be a publicity nightmare for the company and tarnished its nature-friendly reputation. This time around we'll discuss a project that is not as often talked about, Disney's Independence Lake Project that was in development in the latter half of the 1970s. As you'll soon learn, Disney just wasn't meant to build a resort in the California wilderness. Join us in today's new article for this rare piece of Disney history...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Disney's War For The Wilderness: The Mineral King Story

By Keith Mahne




At the same time as Walt was secretly buying up land for a new theme park resort in Florida, his associates were scouting locations for an ambitious new Disney ski resort in California. The plans for the resort were incredible with dozens of lifts, hotels, restaurants, parking lots, and even a planned Disney attraction you may have heard of called Country Bear Jamboree. However, not everyone was as excited as Walt. The project eventually hit a wall of opposition from environmentalists causing Disney to have a huge public relations problem on their hands. Learn the story of Disney's war for the wilderness in today's new article...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review of Disneyland's Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour

By Daisy Sparks




Who wouldn't love the opportunity to literally walk in Walt Disney's footsteps through Disneyland and learn about Walt's life all while experiencing classic Disney attractions along the way? Disneyland's Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour takes you on a magical journey as you learn how Walt Disney wove his personal history into the development of Disneyland. And lucky for us, Disney Avenue contributing writer Daisy Sparks recently embarked on the tour and has a wonderful review that's packed with photos. Learn all about this special tour and bring some Disneyland atmosphere to your front door while you do in today's new article...

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Explaining Disney's Survey Markers

By Keith Mahne




Have you ever walked around a Disney Park and noticed those tiny, three-inch in diameter flat disks buried in the ground and wanted to know what they are? Disney does a fantastic job of separating what's considered "on-stage" and "off-stage" through the use of Utilidors, berms and tree lines. However, tiny objects called survey markers made their way "on-stage" even though they relate more to the "off-stage" world. Believe it or not, these tiny metal markers play an important role in the history of Disney. Find out exactly what those Disney survey markers are and why they are important in today's new article...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Most Amazing Interview with Disney Legend Bob Gurr featuring Tim Delaney





Welcome to one of the most exciting shows in the history of the Disney Avenue Podcast. Today’s guest is no stranger to the Disney community and has always been a man on the move. For nearly 40 years, he has helped move countless Disney theme park guests aboard vehicles and ride conveyances of his own design. As he’s often stated, “If it moves on wheels at Disneyland, I probably designed it.” And he certainly has. He has developed more than 100 designs for attractions ranging from Autopia and Matterhorn Bobsleds to the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Monorails. He is the one and only Bob Gurr. This is a show you won't want to miss...

Saturday, July 9, 2016

That Time Walt's Plane Took Snow White on a "Personal Appearance" Tour Across the US

By Keith Mahne




The year was 1967, Disney was looking at unique ways to promote the re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to theaters all across the United States. The idea eventually came up to take Snow White, along with the dwarfs of course, on a personal appearance tour across the country and, this is the best part, they used Walt's own personal airplane to do it. The Disney characters were scheduled to visit 18 cities on what was billed as a "coast-to-coast" publicity event. In today's new article, we'll hear from someone who played one of the dwarfs to get their first-hand account of the tour and what is was like flying on Walt's plane...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A WDW Veteran in Disneyland

By Brittany Bell




It’s no surprise that Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort are two completely different vacation destinations. Though they both may be owned by the Disney Company, and have similar layouts, themes, and goals, they also have very particular differences. Veterans to both Parks can point out some of those differences quite easily; all which give each resort its own identity and feel while also still living up to the Disney standard. Join us today as we discover what one Walt Disney World veteran thought about the Disneyland Resort upon her first visit out West...