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  • Blog Post: Would Walt's version of "The Aristocats" have been a bigger hit for Disney Studios?

    The full-length animated features that Walt Disney Animation Studios has produced over the past 75 years can mostly be sorted into two distinctly different piles: Those films that Walt personally had a hand in and those movies which were produced after Disney passed away. Please note that I said "mostly...
  • Blog Post: New William Kallay book reveals "How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever"

    It's the sci-fi cult classic that spawned a pricey sequel last year. Not to mention being the jumping-off point for a brand-new animated series which will debut on Disney XD later this year. "Tron: Uprising," which is due to debut on Disney XD later this summer. Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Blog Post: The post-Christmas origin of character dining at Walt Disney World

    It's one of those must-do aspects of a Walt Disney World vacation. Especially if you've got young kids. Character dining . That pricey breakfast, lunch or dinner which is periodically interrupted as Disney characters come by your table, pose for pictures and sign autographs. Copyright Disney...
  • Blog Post: "Walt and the Promise of Progress City" covers an awful lot of Disney-related real estate

    "You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen ..." Well, if you're a Disney history buff, then you must already know about Walt's land searches of the early 1950s. As Disney tried to find just the right spot in Southern California for his family fun park . Likewise if you're...
  • Blog Post: Why For did Epcot's Future World not turn out as WED had originally planned?

    Epcot Enthusiast wrote in this week to say: I saw a Tweet today that said that you and Len Testa were touring Future World and World Showcase recording stories for a new " Unofficial Guide Disney Dish with Jim Hill" podcast. Epcot is my very favorite WDW theme park. Could you please share some...
  • Blog Post: Why For did Phase II of Epcot's World Showcase never get built?

    Annoyed in Anaheim writes in to say: I have to say that I was very disappointed with the Disney Parks & Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO. They didn't announce anything significant for Walt Disney World. You'd think, given that it's been almost a quarter of a century since a new country...
  • Blog Post: How Disney World's Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue almost didn't make it

    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,"...
  • Blog Post: "Restless Nights and Disney Afternoons" webinar looks back at the early, early days of Walt Disney Television Animation

    Okay. Everyone knows how to get to Carnegie Hall (i.e. practice, practice, practice) and/or return from Oz (i.e. click your heels three times and say "There's no place like home" ). But when it comes to the entertainment industry ... To be honest, there's no one clear path when it comes...
  • Blog Post: Why For aren't there more countries in Epcot's World Showcase area?

    Kathy T. writes in to say: In honor of the upcoming 25th anniversary of Epcot , I was wondering if you could share some stories about how that theme park actually came into being. Well, one part of the Epcot Center story that has (in my opinion, anyway) been woefully under-reported was all the wheeling...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Epcot Center's very first visitors

    25 years ago today, several thousand construction workers and their family members got a special treat. Over that long-ago holiday weekend, they became the very first folks to visit Epcot Center . Copyright 1982 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved Of course, one might argue that these construction...
  • Blog Post: Why For did Rocky the Rhino wind up getting cut out of Disney's "The Jungle Book" ?

    First up is Miss Bebe Gunn, who writes to ask: Dear Jim - I really enjoyed the story you did earlier this week about Walt Disney and Richard Nixon's friendship ("You Ain't Never Had a Friend Like ... Richard Nixon?!"). But -- based on what veteran EPCOT Center cast members have told...
  • Blog Post: Sub Scam

    So how did you folks spend the Columbus Day weekend? Me? I spent 10 hours in front of the tube on Sunday watching the USA Network's "Monk-a-thon," 6 hours yesterday watching the Kim Possible "Villain-a-thon" on the Disney Channel. Which is why my butt is now sofa-shaped. Why did...
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