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December, 2012

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Jim Hill

    Why For did Universal Orlando sell off all of that property it bought from Lockheed Martin?

    Paul G writes in to ask: Why on earth are so many Disney fan websites so negative? There are a good number of them that I don't even look at anymore because they spend so much time complaining about every last little thing. They are so negative! (thank you Jim for being one of the few who, while not being slavishly supportive, are at least still in touch with the realities of life and still passionate about your love of Disney). Dear Paul G. Look, to be fair here, I first have to admit that ...
  • Jim Hill

    Don't let the stress of after-Christmas shopping prevent you from checking out the Disney Store's Twice Upon a Time sale

    Given that Christmas 2012 is now rapidly receding in the rear view mirror, before we all start packing away our holiday decorations, I thought that it might be fun to show you how the Times Square Disney Store decked its halls this year. Photo by Jim Hill As you might expect, the interior of this 20,000 square-foot facility was very festive ... Photo by Jim Hill ... thanks to those ginormous ornaments, faux snowflakes and Mickey-shaped wreathes that were dangling from the ceiling. Photo by Jim Hill...
  • Jim Hill

    Huffington Post - Never mind the reindeer who saved Christmas. Meet the woman who rescued Santa & Rudolph

    Never mind about the reindeer who saved Christmas. Meet the woman who rescued Santa & Rudolph You remember the end of " Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ," right? As this stop-motion holiday special draws to a close, Santa Claus first turns to the camera and wishes the audience watching at home a Merry Christmas. Then Santa and his sleigh -- pulled by Rudolph and a team of six other reindeer -- flies off into a moonlight sky. Copyright Classic Media Inc. All rights reserved That seems...
  • Jim Hill

    Over 70,000 New Yorkers visited Disney Theatrical's "Inside the Lion King" exhibit during its 16 day-long run

    Kristin T. sent me an e-mail earlier this week offering her thoughts about Disney Parks ' new Limited Time Magic promotion. To be specific ... ... I can't help but think that this money could be better spent in other ways. Wouldn't it have made more sense in the long run if the Imagineers had taken the budget which had been set aside for 52 weeks of surprises at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2013 and used that amount to build a single new ride, show, or attraction? That way, it...
  • Jim Hill

    Why For do the WDW monorails not make a stop at Wilderness Lodge?

    First up, Brandon S. writes in to say: Hi Jim, I love listening to the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish podcasts with you and Len Testa . Even when you guys are touring the resorts and not just the Theme Parks its really cool to here all the stories about how things came to be. One question I always have when looking at a map of WDW or visiting the resort is why Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is NOT on the monorail loop since it is really very close to it? It seems like if it was on the monorail...
  • Jim Hill

    From the JHM Archives: How the Chefs at Universal Orlando made Butterbeer real

    Just yesterday, Universal Orlando served up its five-millionth glass of Butterbeer. Which is quite an achievement. Given that -- prior to the June 2010 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure -- this beverage only existed between the pages of J.K. Rowling 's best-selling books and/or could be seen but not tasted in Warner Bros. "Harry Potter" film series . How exactly did the Chefs at Universal Orlando make Butterbeer real? Though the press...
  • Jim Hill

    WDW's "Be Our Guest" restaurant really is putting its servers to the test

    When many Guests enter New Fantasyland at The Magic Kingdom and see the Beast's Castle looming in the distance, their initial thought is "Ooh! I wanna go on that ride." Which explains that trio of Cast Members that you'll typically find stationed along the bridge that leads up to this impressive-looking structure. As these folks cheerily explain to all those looking to enter this building's queue (especially when lunch is being served), " Be Our Guest " isn't really...
  • Jim Hill

    Huffington Post - The Tinker Bell drone that Disneyland almost got

    The Tinker Bell drone that Disneyland almost got Over the past week or so, there have been a number of stories out there about media companies and drone technology. With TMZ insisting that it wasn't really in the market for a celebrity-seeking missile, Mid-Missouri NPR affiliate KBIA revealed that it had in fact launched its own drone program. Which Scott Pham , KBIA's content director said that he hoped to " ... use this technology to tell stories." Well, as it turns out Pham wasn't...
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