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  • Blog Post: How the Imagineers came to create the "Country Bear Christmas Special" show

    Back when I lived in Central Florida in the early-to-mid 1990s, one of my favorite things to do this time of year was to go into Frontierland at WDW 's Magic Kingdom and then catch a performance of "Country Bear Christmas Special." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved...
  • Blog Post: Imagineering Field Guide goes in for a close-up on Disney's Hollywood Studios

    It's the Disney's Hollywood Studios icon that makes fan boys foam at the mouth. That 122-foot-tall Sorcerer Mickey Hat which stands of Hollywood Boulevard, blocking the view of the Chinese Theater. So if this icon is so controversial, why then did Alex Wright opt to put the Sorcerer Mickey Hat...
  • Blog Post: New book takes a behind-the-dreams look at the way Walt Disney Imagineering really works today

    Okay. Last week, JHM reviewed a new hardcover that would be the perfect graduation present for any artists and animators that are on your gift list. This time around, I'd like to talk up a book that would be a great selection for any would-be Imagineers you may have in your extended family. And that...
  • Blog Post: Walt Disney Imagineering is very serious when it comes to play testing

    Did you hear about the play test that WDI ran at The Magic Kingdom last month? Where the Imagineers used Guests who were waiting in line for a character meet-n-greet right outside of Pooh’s Playful Spot to try out a new entertainment-based queuing system? Though the Imagineers are being pretty close...
  • Blog Post: "The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World" will give you a renewed appreciation of the WDW Resort

    30 years ago this month, I made my very first trip to Walt Disney World . And for 25 years now, I’ve been writing about Central Florida’s Vacation Kingdom. I offer this info up not because I want to impress JHM readers with my advanced age. But – rather – to give you some idea of how long I’ve actually...
  • Blog Post: "The Art of the Walt Disney World Resort" is worth going out of your way for

    Over the years, I have heard a lot of stories from Disney insiders that I’ve been lucky enough to interview. Like how Alice Davis once told me that she knew that Mary Blair must be dealing with some horrific personal problems. Given that – in the early 1970s – this Disney Legend’s acclaimed sense of...
  • Blog Post: WDW's Galaxy Palace Theater to be replaced with ... Cast Member parking ?!

    "Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." -- Joni Mitchell , " Big Yellow Taxi " I doubt that anyone -- not the choirs or the cheerleaders or all of the Cast Members that have performed here over the years -- would ever...
  • Blog Post: Disney World postpones Fantasyland's facelift

    Do you hear that squealing noise coming out of Burbank? That's the sound of Mouse House management stomping on the brakes. Slowing down (and -- in some cases -- shutting down entirely) some of the more ambitious projects that the Walt Disney Company currently has in the works. All because of what's been...
  • Blog Post: "Marching Along, We're Adventurers. Singing the Song of Adventurers ..."

    If I had to name the one thing that I enjoy most out of all the rides, shows, attractions, theme parks, resorts and whatnot that can now be found at Walt Disney World, my favorite would have to be the Adventurers Club. Photo by Jeff Lange Why For? Because this Pleasure Island Club takes everything that...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : The Adventurers Club gets ready for its exit while the American Idol Experience delays its entrance

    This past Friday night, visitors to the Adventurers Club got to see a brand-new artifact added to the wall in the Main Salon : A video projection screen. Photo by Max Schilling Given that this piece of Pleasure Island is supposed to be a recreation of a gentlemen's club from the 1930s, one might wonder...
  • Blog Post: Say "Nighty-night" to Night Kingdom and "Jambo" to Disney's Jungle Trek

    Will you be visiting Walt Disney World over the next week-to-10-days? If so, keep a close eye out for any cast members clutching clipboards. Who may want to hear your opinion on WDI's recently revamped plans for Disney's Night Kingdom . That's right. WDW's answer to Discovery Cove has undergone a rethink...
  • Blog Post: The Adventurers Club that we almost got

    It's still hard for all us Adventurers Club fans to fathom that -- just seven weeks from now (give or take a day or two) -- that Pleasure Island will be no more. That on September 28th, WDW will permanently pull the plug on PI . Having spent many pleasant nights at the Club, I just can't imagine a Disney...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready for WDW's monstrous new coaster

    Judging by the long lines at " Toy Story Mania " as well as the brisk business that "Hey Howdy Hey!" & the gift shop across the way have been doing, it would appear that Pixar Place has already proven to be a very popular addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios . The only problem with the studio theme...
  • Blog Post: Will pirates soon be returning to Treasure ... er ... Discovery Island?

    Christy S. writes in to say: Jim When I was a little girl, my father and I flew down to Walt Disney World . This was just a year or so after the resort opened and I distinctly remember taking a boat ride with my father out to some island. Once we got there, these pirates led us on a treasure hunt which...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : WDI complains about all those complainers

    It's as predictable as the tides. First a new attraction soft-opens at one of the Disney theme parks. And then someone online declares this new ride or show is " ... the worst thing that Imagineering has ever designed." Which is why -- on the heels of "Spaceship Earth" 's torturous test-and-adjust period...
  • Blog Post: Why the Imagineers are still tinker(toy)ing with "Toy Story Mania"

    Have you seen that clip on YouTube ? The one that shows how the Mr. Potato Head AA figure that you find in the queue area of Disney's " Toy Story Mania " can actually pull off its own ear? Well, that's nothing. Wait 'til you hear about how the Imagineers are now pulling out their hair as they try &...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : It's lights out for DAK's "Rivers of Light" parade, while Beastly Kingdomme makes a character-based comeback

    For Disney's Animal Kingdom fans ... It's one of those bad news / good news kind of day. The bad news is ... Plans for DAK's long-in-development nighttime parade -- "Rivers of Lights" -- have been tabled. Not because Animal Kingdom management lost confidence in Steve Davison's original concept. But ...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Let the West Side Waltz begin

    An item posted this past Friday on Screamscape about how the Cheesecake Factory will soon be pulling out of DisneyQuest got tongues wagging around the Web. As Disneyana fans began wondering if this intriguing new tidbit meant that WDW's indoor interactive theme park -- long rumored to be on the ropes...
  • Blog Post: Do-it-yourself Epcot celebration leads to new fan-based business

    It wasn't what the Disneyana community wanted to hear last year. Copyright 1980 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved That -- in a January 27th interview with Deb Wills of AllEars.net -- Brad Rex , then-VP of Epcot , said that the Walt Disney World Resort had no plans to celebrate that theme park...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready to make the "Disney Magic Connection"

    Imagine that -- as you walked through a Disney theme park -- you could carry with you a wireless device that would: Tell you in real time what the current wait time at your favorite attraction was Also let you know whether there were any FastPasses left for that particular attraction And when these FastPasses...
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