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 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 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...