Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

July, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Why For aren't more Disney World attractions cloned for Disneyland?

    • 12 Comments
    Maddy Mouse wrote in to say: I have kind of a weird question for you to answer. I notice that Walt Disney World has lots of rides, shows and attractions that the Imagineers originally designed for Disneyland . But when it comes to rides, shows and attractions that the Imagineers originally designed for Disney World, most of those don't seem to make the trip back out west. Why is that? Well, it's not for lack of trying on the Imagineers' part. By that I mean, as recently as 1975, WDI was...
  • Jim Hill

    Live cast recording of "Mary Poppins" finally captures the revamped version of this Disney, Cameron Mackintosh production

    • 6 Comments
    It's been kind of a sore point for a while now (at least among theatre fans & Disney audiophiles) that the only recording of the "Mary Poppins" stage musical which was available for purchase was the original London cast recording of this show . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. / Cameron Mackintosh Limited "And why was this a sore point?," you ask. Because Disney & Cameron Mackintosh had tweaked this show in dozens of different ways since "Mary Poppins"...
  • Jim Hill

    New Disneyland parade mixes unique new look with tributes to great theme park parades of the past

    • 2 Comments
    As you watch Mickey's Soundsational Parade roll through Disneyland Park , this feeling of Disney déjà-vu is bound to come over you. By that I mean: While this is obviously a brand-new parade with a look, style and sound all its own, there are just enough elements here that harken back to great Disney theme park parades of the past (EX: " America on Parade ," which was this stylized celebration of the country's bicentennial that ran at both Disneyland and Walt Disney...
  • Jim Hill

    How Disney World's Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue almost didn't make it

    • 10 Comments
    It's the show that many Disney World employees thought would never make it through the Summer of 1974. Let alone still be going strong 37 years later. "On our opening night at Pioneer Hall, our audience consisted of six tables worth of Guests. That's one table per member of the cast," recalled Gary Goddard , one of the many talented folks involved with the creation of the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue . "By the end of our first month of performances, things were looking somewhat...
  • Jim Hill

    Perry the Platy-Bus & an Adventure Time-themed restaurant were popular with Comic-Con 2011 attendees

    • 1 Comments
    There are those who say disparaging things about Comic-Con International . Who will tell you that this 4 ½ day-long pop culture event has just gotten just too big & too crowded. Which makes it kind of impossible to enjoy. Well, while I have to admit that - no matter where you go inside of the San Diego Convention Center over the course of Comic-Con - you will invariably encounter a crowd or a line ... Photo by Noe Valladolid ... But what do you expect from an event that annually draws...
  • Jim Hill

    Jim Korkis to discuss Walt's fascination with outer space at the Disney Family Museum

    • 2 Comments
    Okay. I know. This week, the white hot center of the pop culture universe is down in San Diego. At the San Diego Convention Center to be exact. Where the 41 st edition of Comic-Con International is now underway. But if I may direct your attention 500 miles to the north, tomorrow at 3 p.m. there is something equally cool going on. And that's noted Disney author & historian Jim Korkis giving his first-ever talk at the Walt Disney Family Museum . "And what's this presentation going...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney's "Have a Laugh!" program restores & repurposes the Studio's classic animated shorts for today's audiences

    • 6 Comments
    They're the films that The Walt Disney Company was actually founded on. Those animated shorts which wowed moviegoers back in the 1930s & 1940s that then paved the way for the Studio's success in feature-length cartoons. But with the rise of television in the 1950s, America's movie-going habits changed drastically and the market for theatrical animated shorts suddenly dried up. Walt himself actively tried to find new & different ways to keep these films out there in front of the...
  • Jim Hill

    Company insiders share all sorts of great stories at the Disneyana Fan Club's annual convention

    • 9 Comments
    Disneyland Park celebrated its 56 th anniversary of its opening yesterday. But for those who couldn't wait to get that party started, there was the Disneyana Fan Club 's annual convention . Photo by Paul Schnebelen Held just down the road from the Park at the Anaheim Crowne Plaza Resort in Garden Grove, CA., this year's festivities actually got underway on Tuesday with a special off-site luncheon that was held at Garner Holt Productions in San Bernardino. Once the conventioneers returned...
  • Jim Hill

    Mitchel Musso tries his hand at hosting with Disney "PrankStars"

    • 27 Comments
    James Brown was often called "The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business." But ever since the Godfather of Soul went to that great R & B revue in the sky back in December of 2006 , the hard-working title has been up for grabs. So if anyone is out there actively compiling a list of possible candidates for this show business title, I'd like to nominate Mitchel Musso . Seriously. Mitchel Musso. (L to R) Kyle Massey and Mitchel Musso on the set of "Life is Ruff." Copyright Disney...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Orlando gives "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" midnight show attendees exclusive after-hours access to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    • 5 Comments
    All over the US today, there are muddled Muggles wandering about. Devoted Harry Potter fans who just couldn't wait to see " Deathly Hallows - Part 2 ." Which is why - rather than opting to catch the very first show of this new Warners Bros. Pictures release on Friday morning - they decided to see the midnight show of the 8 th HP film on Thursday night instead. Mind you, the Harry Potter fans who caught the midnight show of "Deathly Hallows - Part 2" at the AMC Universal Cineplex...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney World attempts to improve its overall Guest experience with additional daytime parades and more "Fantasmic!" performances

    • 18 Comments
    It's kind of the quintessential Disney theme park joke. The brain-dead WDW visitor who walks up to the Cast Member in the Magic Kingdom and then asks "What time is the 3 o'clock parade?" Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Well, starting on July 18 th , this will actually be a legitimate question. As the Magic Kingdom begins a two-week-long experiment to determine what impact (if any) changing the step-off time for the "Celebrate A Dream Come True" parade...
  • Jim Hill

    A fried power cord leads to some gratuitous self-promotion

    • 4 Comments
    My apologies, folks. I had hoped to have a brand-new article up on the site this morning. But about 7:30 p.m. ET, New Hampshire had a brown out. And even though I had my laptop plugged into a power strip which supposedly had surge protection, the power cord for my HP 6000 series still wound up getting fried. And since I'm heading out for Logan Airport at 4 o'clock this morning (So I can then fly off to LA at 7 a.m. Which will - in theory, anyway - put me in Garden Grove in plenty of time...
  • Jim Hill

    Maggie Parr's artwork to be showcased this week aboard the Disney Dream, at WDW's Art of Disney Gallery

    • 0 Comments
    You know Maggie Parr 's work, don't you? Of course you do. If you've ever been to Disneyland Park and wandered through Mickey's Toontown , you've seen some of the show buildings that this acclaimed artist has designed. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Or if you've ever looked up while shopping in WDW 's World of Disney , you've seen some of the witty murals that Maggie created for this Downtown Disney Marketplace landmark. Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Jim Hill

    Paradise Gardens puts European-inspired cuisine on Disney California Adventure's menu

    • 2 Comments
    A portobello mushroom and spinach flatbread pizza garnished with pesto & artichokes? A Mediterranean-themed skewer piled high with tofu & vegetables? An expresso brownie? This is theme park food? It is according to Karlos Siqueiros , the manager of concept development for Food Operations at the Disneyland Resort . In much the same way that the Imagineers used The Walt Disney Company's $1.1 billion reinvestment in Disney California Adventure as an excuse to reinvent that theme park, Siqueiros...
  • Jim Hill

    Big Thunder model makes for a fun addition to the Disneyland Hotel

    • 7 Comments
    As part of this week's hit-and-run trip to Southern California, I made a special trip to the Disneyland Hotel yesterday. Just so I could then check out that replica of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which had recently been installed in the Frontier tower lobby. Photo by Jim Hill When you're in the park itself, while it's relatively easy for Guests to enjoy this runaway mine train ride, you can't really get a sense while you're actually riding the thing how genuinely clever...
  • Jim Hill

    How a dead parrot led to Tom Kenny doing Rabbit's voice in Disney's "Winnie the Pooh"

    • 3 Comments
    Rabbit wasn't Tom Kenny 's favorite character when he was growing up. In fact, when this veteran voice actor saw the original "Winnie the Pooh" featurettes back in the 1960s, he came away from those movies with a very unique take on this character. "I must have been about six when these films first came out. And given what a fussbudget Rabbit could be in those 'Pooh' featurettes ... Well, I came away from those Disney movies thinking that the character was a woman,"...
  • Jim Hill

    On July 4th, let's remember that theme park which didn't go forth: Disney's America

    • 14 Comments
    Picture this: It's August of 1994. And things are not looking good for the Disney's America project. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved What had once been envisioned as a $558 million regional theme park (which was deliberately designed to appeal to the 19 million tourists who visit Washington D.C. every year. Not to mention those 11 million locals who live in and around the Beltway) was now a PR nightmare for the Company. Since Disney's America had been officially...
  • Jim Hill

    DFC's Disneyanamania event to celebrate all things Disney

    • 3 Comments
    For most people, when you mention the month of July, they think of the Fourth & fireworks, family get-togethers. The chance to kick back and relax. Whereas for Mouse House enthusiasts, the fun actually starts after the Fourth. When hundreds of these folks hit the road for Garden Grove, CA. so that they can then take part in the Disneyana Fan Club 's annual convention . And this time around, the DFC has lined up a dazzling array of guest speakers, panels and presentations. Each of them especially...
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