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  • 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: How a Toon Elevator helped Mickey Mouse learn how to talk

    By now, you’ve no doubt seen those online videos that made many a theme park fan go gaga. Where a few lucky Guests – as they were making a stop at Mickey’s House at Disneyland earlier this week – suddenly found themselves face-to-face with a NextGen walkaround character. A Mickey Mouse who not only addressed...
  • Blog Post: Volume 9 of the “Walt’s People” series features some great behind-the-scenes stories

    Good God. Are we really already be up to Volume 9 in the “Walt’s People” series? I can recall when Disney Historian Didier Ghez initially proposed these books (which – if I’m remembering correctly – was sometime back during the Pleistocene Epoch) that would collect & then reprint the very best Mouse...
  • Blog Post: An Olympic-sized Why For

    First up, Davis P. writes to ask about JHM’s American International Toy Fair coverage this week : I thought that Jim Hill Media was a website that mostly covered Disney’s theme parks and animated films. What made you decide to go to New York and cover Toy Fair this year? Dear Davis P. Why did Nancy and...
  • Blog Post: What happens when things actually do sort-of, kind-of go horribly wrong at a Disney theme park

    At the D23 EXPO back in September, I noted – with some amusement – that the new attractions that are now in the works for Hong Kong Disneyland follow the tried-and-true WDI formula. In that the critical event, the thing that sets everything in motion (Be it Albert the monkey opening an enchanted...
  • Blog Post: Tune Tuesday: Disney to celebrate the performing arts in 2010

    If you’re a fan of The Walt Disney Company’s theatrical productions , then you should probably make a point of setting your TiVo to record Friday’s “ Live with Regis & Kelly ” (when the Las Vegas company of “ The Lion King ” will be making an appearance on that syndicated morning talk show) as well...
  • Blog Post: The Muppets lead the way with Disney Parks & Resorts' new "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" promotion

    Because Kermit the Frog helps hammer together the framing for a new Habitat for Humanity house, he gets to take his little nephew Robin off to Disneyland to experience “ Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride .” And because Miss Piggy muscles some plywood into place at this very same construction site, she then gets a...
  • Blog Post: "Now it's time to say goodbye ... " : Remembering Wayne Allwine (1947 - 2009)

    Wayne Allwine , the man behind the mouse, is gone. This sweet 62-year-old passed away on Monday due to complications from diabetes. Now some folks will tell you that Wayne was one of only three men to voice Mickey Mouse (with the other two being Walt himself and veteran Disney Studios sound man Jimmy...
  • Blog Post: "Dream Castle Lights" dazzle at night, disappear during the day

    Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to break out all of those Christmas lights and start decorating the exterior of your home. Mind you, Rob Hamberg got kind of a headstart on the rest of us. This Walt Disney World Entertainment show producer didn't wait 'til turkey time to start his holiday decorating...
  • Blog Post: Will Disney World's new "Buy 4 Get 3 FREE!" promotion really be enough to get you to book a trip to Orlando in early 2009?

    Bob Iger didn't mince words during yesterday's earnings call . Though Disney's CEO said he was pleased with the Company's overall performance in fiscal 2008, 2009 looks to be a very different story. What with advance bookings at the Walt Disney World Resort down almost 10% from what they were a year...
  • Blog Post: Disney hopes that our next Commander-in-Chief can inspire some consumer confidence

    It all comes down to what happens tomorrow night. More importantly, Wednesday morning. As in: Who winds up in the White House and how Wall Street & consumers then react to this news. That's what I've repeatedly been told by Mouse House personnel. That the Walt Disney Company wants to see who wins...
  • 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: Mickey Mouse balloons brighten a grey day in Boston

    Yesterday was a cold, grey day in Boston. More like November than September. It was just the sort of day that the phrase "Blue Monday" was invented to describe. Photo by Jim Hill So how do you turn a day like that around? By handing out some Mickey Mouse balloons? 2500 of them, to be exact. Photo by...
  • Blog Post: Can Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" avoid a grizzly fate at the box office?

    Ah, what a difference almost-a-year makes. Some of you may recall how in late July 2002, Disney's "The Country Bears" opened in theaters nationwide. This Walt Disney Pictures production got absolutely hammered by the critics. Grossing only $16.9 million during its entire domestic run, "Country...
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