In part one of “Disney Dreams,” we explored how the idea of Disneyland came about and some of the many ideas and concepts originally planned, never made it to realization. Let’s gravitate a bit in the future to 1974. By this time, Disneyland is a phenomenal success, but as Walt once said… “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”
This huge expansion project was fostered by Tony Baxter, senior Vice-President of Walt Disney Imagineering. It was to be called “Discovery Bay.” This “land” would be built on the banks of the Rivers of America, between Fantasyland and Frontierland, and would be stylized after San Francisco of the mid nineteenth century (A dramatized version) when the industrialized era was in full swing and adventure was on everyone’s mind.
Unofficial Walt Disney World ‘Earbook 2011: One Fan’s Review in Pictures, Kevin Yee, Ultimate Orlando Press, 2011
Unofficial Walt Disney World ‘Earbook 2011: One Fan’s Review in Pictures, Kevin Yee, Ultimate Orlando Press, 2011, 164 pp.
I have to remember to ask Kevin Yee whether he ever served on his high school’s Yearbook Committee. It’s a pity if he didn’t because it is clear he not only understands, but has mastered the genre. In a much broader sense, Yee simply gets Disney. The more I read his Disney-related work, the more I am impressed by his objective passion. Yee’s love of, and belief in, Disney is apparent. Yet his studied approach gives his work validity and a weight not often found in writing about Disney. He isn’t merely a fan or tour guide, but rather an observer and historian.
Posted in Disney Reviews, History, Literature, Media Also tagged 2011, Kevin Yee, Let the Memories Begin, The Magic, The Memories and You!, Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World 2011 prices, Walt Disney World History, Yearbook
Walt Disney was noted for his many quotes – one famous line he quipped, “We allow no geniuses around our Studio.” Walt himself was one of the 20th century’s greatest. His many talents included voice actor, entertainer, film producer, director, animator and most important, visionary. Many of the hundreds of talented artists, story men and writers considered it an honor just to work with this “genius”
But Walt was never a man to give accolades freely, even to his most trusted and valued artists. And any veteran at the Disney Studios knew never to embellish his or her ideas on any project no matter how brilliant it might have seemed. All waited for Walt to give it the nod, then it would be incorporated into the plans. But even if the word “genius” was not bandied about the studio, the Disney Studios over the years produced a stellar list of artists that, even if Walt did not praise them personally, history accords them their due honors. One such a man was Imagineer, artist and animator, Marc Davis.
If you enjoy hang gliders, oranges, and pine trees, then this is the perfect attraction for you! I am speaking of none other than Soarin’ which has become quite popular among the Disney community and our everyday vocabulary. Originally a Disneyland debut in 2001, this was based strictly on California’s sights (and smells). Demand for a location in Florida was urged and before we knew it, Soarin’ made its grand debut in 2005 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Epcot’s Future World.
The queue always fascinates me with its bright, shiny blue pathway (this coming from a person whose favorite color is blue) to the “main gate.” Patrick Warburton, who voiced Kronk in the underrated 2000 film The Emperor’s New Groove, hosts the pre-show. He instructs you on boarding your “flight” and basically what to expect.
Ever since the fire broke out in the Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management on January 12, 2011, much conjecture on what its return would be was rampant. It was announced at the D-23 Walt Disney World 40th anniversary conference that it would return to its original show format, as in Disneyland. On a personal note, I am very happy. I love the classic attractions, and this certainly qualifies as one. After all, this is the first successful Audio- Animatronic show at Disneyland, utilizing new technologies. The show which is identical to the Disneyland venue, opened at Walt Disney World in 1971, with a different entrance queue and larger show area. The name of the new show was the “Tropical Serenade”
Posted in Disney Company, History, Imagineering, News Also tagged Adventureland, Enchanted Tiki Room, Enchanted Tiki Room-Under New Management, History, Lago, Polynesian, Re-habs, South Seas, Tiki Gods, Walt Disney, Zazu
Greetings all! This is my very first blog post for the Disney Driven Life and I am very excited. Since I will be the Attractions blogger, I thought my first post should be centered on my favorite attraction in The Walt Disney World Resort: Splash Mountain.
Photo Credit: Briana Alessio
The first time I rode this was in May 2007. I was with my parents and had no idea what to expect. The wait was only ten minutes long. Why not? As we made our way through the queue, my hands were beginning to tremble. Whenever I try a new attraction, I am always deeply scared for my life. All I knew was that the end would bring a watery death but had no clue what the inside of the attraction was like. Much to my happiness, an enormous dive into the Briar Patch only occurs once.
On May 14-15, D23, the Official Disney Fan Club celebrated Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. For two magical days in the Fantasia Ballroom, D23 members were treated to the most amazing collection of stories, history, unseen pictures and videos of the creation of Walt Disney World. There were Disney Legends on hand to help tell the story of Walt’s dream here in Florida… Marty Sklar, Dave Smith and Robert Sherman just to name a few. The stories and history told here was a Disney Fan’s nirvana. Whether you just had a casual interest, a history buff or Disney fanatic, this was the place to be.
There are not enough words of praise I can heap upon the folks at D23 for the amazing show put on this weekend. It was well presented, in fact so much information was available, and there is no way I could possible cover a tenth of what transpired in those two days. What I will do is to go over the major highlights (For me, everything was a highlight!) and hope you can appreciate this major event.
Posted in D23, Disney Company, Events, Imagineering, Movies, Resorts, Travel Reports Also tagged Animal Kingdom, Bay Lake, D-23, Dave Smith, EPCOT, Florida Project, History, Magic Kingdom, roy disney, Walt Disney
Photo Credit: Ray Pilgrim
My kids love Disney animated movies. They grew up on them and continue to watch them over and over. For children with autism they need predictability and familiarity. It’s had for them to process something new, so they look for what they know. Having watched many of the Disney movies has helped my son and daughter get ready to go to the Disney Parks.
In part I we discussed good mental health and your child on vacation. In part II we continue that discussion on the mental health benefits.
Disney provides a safe environment filled with fantasy that sparks the imagination. Safety, high on the hierarchy of needs, can be reinforced on scary rides, thrill rides or by learning to greet a character that seems massive and strange. Take this opportunity to insist that your child act in ways that are safe by wearing the seat belts or keeping their legs and arms in the vehicle and all other safety precautions. If your child is frightened of rides or characters take this event to build trust and to encourage them to take a chance while accompanied by you. Take this chance to remind them that you would not put them at risk. Prepare your child for what’s ahead. If the ride is dark, then tell him so and let him hold your hand or sit close. Holding your child close in a doombuggy and keeping the haunts at bay can strengthen trust with your child, a trust that is invaluable when they are teens and you want them to come to you with problems or trouble. Remind your child that Mickey wants them to remain safe, too, and that he will keep all pirates and ghosts out of harm’s way. Seize this opportunity to allow your child to express her emotions. Take pride that your child trusts you enough to say “I’m scared” rather than be embarrassed because he is fearful of the Haunted Mansion. The benefits of teaching your child to express fears like “I’m afraid to ride Dinosaur” or “The Haunted Mansion is scary” far outweigh teaching your child to “bottle up” emotions. A child who learns to express emotions freely may be more apt to express fears to a parent.
Posted in Children, Parents, Psychology, Relationships Also tagged adventures, Children, dining, Disney, EPCOT, mental health, NIMH, parenting, psychology, travel
Photo Credit: Dennis Brown, NDU 5
This week I wanted to discuss the top teen attractions at Disney’s California Adventure. It’s a great park for teens, especially adrenaline junkies (Honestly, who doesn’t get that craving every once in a while?). Here is my list of top teen attractions at Disney’s California Adventure.
1. Soarin’ Over California- This is a great attraction for all ages. It’s relaxing and full of energy at the same time. It’s an absolutely beautiful tribute to the state of California. I have ridden with people who are afraid of flying and of heights, and none of them have gotten scared. It’s probably the closest I will ever get to hang-gliding (the real thing freaks me out). When riding, pay close attention to the wonderful scents of pine trees, oranges, and more.
Posted in Teens Also tagged Boudin Bakery Tour, California Screamin', Character Close-Up, Disney Animation Building, Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland, Grizzly River Run, Magic Kingdom, Mission Tortilla Factory, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Soarin' Over California, Sorcerer's Workshop, teenagers, teens, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Toy Story Midway Mania, Toy Story Zoetrope, Turtle Talk with Crush, World of Color
Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? – Yoda
I am sure most of you knew who said that quote. The melding of 2 forces–Disney and Star Wars–is something out of this galaxy.
Star Tours is a motion simulator attraction currently operating at Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Park, and Disneyland Paris. The ride is based on the successful Star Wars film series created by George Lucas, making it the first Disney attraction based on a film produced by another company.
When one thinks of Walt Disney World they may think about Mickey Mouse, riding Dumbo, or playing with the Princesses. For me, I think about the pins, T-shirts, Vinylmations, and Disney “silly bands” that I want to purchase. Yes, shopping is a Disney attraction that I am always up for riding. Think about it – you are in awe of the theme of the stores, the “it” item that has been given that special Disney touch, you are placed in a queue to check out, and your hands go up in the air and squeal with excitement when you get a gift with purchase!