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  • 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...
  • Blog Post: The Russians are coming !! The Russians are coming !! ... to Epcot ?!

    To paraphrase Al Jolson (the immigrant son of a Russian Jew) : "You ain't heard nothin' nyet ! " How many of you recall the Disney Decade ? That grandiose expansion for the theme parks that Michael Eisner announced back in January of 1990? One of the real highlights of this event was Michael revealing...
  • Blog Post: What a doll ! Remembering Joyce Carlson (1923 - 2008)

    The world got a little smaller this past Tuesday with the passing of Disney Legend Joyce Carlson . And -- no -- I'm not just saying that because this veteran Imagineer worked on six different versions of "it's a small world." With Joyce not only helping to create the original version of this much beloved...
  • Blog Post: A PC Haunted Mansion ?! Now that's scary

    Forget about "Grim Grinning Ghosts." Get ready for "Prim, we-don't-mean-to-offend-anyone Ghosts." That's the word coming out of Glendale these days. Reportedly in response to guest complaints about goofy but ghoulish lines like "Drag your wretched bodies to the dead center of the room," the Imagineers...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Is there really such a thing as putting too much Walt into a Disney theme park?

    Last month, theme park fans the world over rejoiced at the news that the Walt Disney Company would be spending more than a billion dollars to redo DCA . With a large chunk of this cash being committed toward the retheming of the entrance portion of this troubled theme park . Which will soon be turned...
  • Blog Post: Planning on dining at any of WDW's buffets during the coming holiday season ? Then Ho-ho-ho ! Get ready to give Mickey more of your dough

    It has not been a fun week for Disneyana fans who enjoy putting on the feed bag. First came word out of Anaheim that because some portly passengers have been causing "The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed" (i.e. Disneyland 's " it's a small world " attraction) to regularly run aground, the Imagineers...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Bruce Gordon (1951 - 2007)

    Bruce Gordon was this great big bear of a guy. Ask anyone who was ever in a meeting with Bruce when he was fighting for an idea that he believed in. They'll tell you that this man was tenacious. Whether it was getting Disneyland's first flume ride built and/or preventing that theme park's "Submarine...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 5

    Picking up where we left off ... As our Doom Buggy exits the Attic, it then descends into the Graveyard. Where diehard fans of Walt Disney World 's version of the The Haunted Mansion will notice that something 's different about this portion on the attraction. But -- that said -- they'll probably have...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 4

    Picking up where we left off ... By now, I'm sure that you've all heard about the neat effect that's just been installed in Walt Disney World 's version of the The Haunted Mansion . Where Madam Leota's head now magically floats above the table, calling " ... in the spirits, wherever they're at." Of course...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 3

    Picking up where we left off on Tuesday ... I know that this is going to sound a bit bizarre. Particularly given that -- back in 1955 -- Walt Disney built an entire theme park for just $17 million . But $30 million doesn't go as far as you might think these days. Which is why WDI really had to pick...
  • Blog Post: WDI's X-Scream Makeover of WDW's Haunted Mansion: Part 1

    Plussing . It's a practice at the Disney theme parks that reportedly dates back to the late 1950s. When Walt -- while he was visiting Disneyland one weekend -- supposedly overheard a mother tell her child: "We don't have to go on the Jungle Cruise again. We saw that ride the last time we visited this...
  • Blog Post: A special "How suite it is !" edition of Why For

    First up, Courtney writes in to say: Over at wdwnewstoday.com , there was a big announcement about a Little Mermaid ride in Anaheim. They also said that one would be coming soon to the World. Jim, does this announcement hold water? Dear Courtney -- Ah, yes. The billion-dollar-makeover-of-DCA story. Yeah...
  • Blog Post: Why For did the Mouse really rename MGM "Disney's Hollywood Studios" ?

    Last week, Lauren S. sent me this e-mail: Dear Jim, At the beginning of September, I had a wonderful vacation, dining for free at the Pop Century Resort . However, something threw me - whatever happened to the plans for the other half of the property. Years ago, I remember reading through travel guides...
  • Blog Post: "The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at Its Peak" will be a tiptop addition to any Disneyana fan's library

    Given that the Disney theme parks are now home to a plethora of peaks (i.e. The Matterhorn , Space Mountain , Big Thunder Mountain , Splash Mountain , Mt. Mayday , Summit Plummit , Grizzly Peak , Mt. Prometheus and Forbidden Mountain ), it may seem somewhat bizarre to hear that there was actually a time...
  • Blog Post: Why For the Muppets didn't make it into Tokyo DisneySea

    Hirota K. of Yokohoma writes in to say Dear Mr. Hill -- I have been greatly enjoying your recent articles about Disney theme park attractions that were never built. Could you please share some stories about rides that were proposed but never built for my favorite theme park, Tokyo DisneySea ? Thank you...
  • Blog Post: "Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering" looks to be worth the wait

    Are you familiar with the old adage that "Good things come to those who wait"? Well, Disneyana fans have been waiting a long time for " Walt Disney's Legends of Imagineering and the Genesis of the Disney Theme Park ." And a lot of folks are now wondering why it's taking so long for this Disney Editions...
  • Blog Post: Another Kingdom That Never Came: Disneyland expansion plans circa 1976

    Mike P. wrote in yesterday to say: I loved last week's "Why For " about all the pavilions and attractions that were planned for Epcot and Disney World but ultimately never built. But what about Disneyland ? Do you have any information about rides, shows and attractions that were proposed for the Disney...
  • Blog Post: New Disney patent application reveals that FASTPASS-for-pay is not so far away

    Do you want to be sure that you can score some FASTPASSES for your favorite Disney theme park attractions the next time you visit Anaheim or Orlando? Well, if that's really the case, then you'd best make reservations now for one of Disney's high end hotels. Why For? Well, according to information that...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Is Disney getting ready to send in the "Clones" ?

    Okay. Let's start your Monday morning off with a funny little Disney-related story from the September issue of " Star Wars Insider " magazine. Which alludes to a particularly bizarre moment during the production of " Episode IV - A New Hope ." It seems that -- with the hope that they might be able to...
  • Blog Post: A special "What's in a name" edition of Why For

    First up, Michael R. writes in to ask: I was wondering if there was any specific reason why there has not been a release of the " Disney-MGM Studios " version of (the " Imagineering Field Guide ") series? They've released books for the other three parks and I understand now they're working on the CA...
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