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  • Blog Post: No foolin'. Here's a story about that Star Wars-themed dual track coaster which Imagineers thought about building back in the 1980s

    Given that April 1st is typically the day when a number of Disney news sites post these elaborate prank stories where they then try & convince a few poor April Fools that their obviously bogus article is legit, I thought that JHM should go the other way today. In that I'm going to post a story...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Disney theme park conceptual artist Collin Campbell

    How many times have you looked at a piece of Disney theme park concept art and thought: "Oooh, I wanna go there right now." Collin Campbell's painting of the Fort Wilderness Railroad Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Collin Campbell was an absolute master when it came...
  • Blog Post: Why For: Don't get Shanghaied by Disney theme park concept art

    MickeyFan238 sent me this e-mail earlier this week: I just can't wait until Friday. How much do you think Disney is going to reveal about the Shanghai park at this groundbreaking ceremony? Concept art for Storybook Castle and some of the Fantasyland section of Shanghai Disneyland. Copyright Disney...
  • 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: Would Disneyland’s Dixieland really have made a difference?

    Orange County Mountie writes in to say: I have just been loving these stories that you have been doing about Disneyland ’s expansion plans from the 1970s and 1980s. All of those rides, shows and attractions that the Imagineers wanted to build back then but never got around to. In your last article, you...
  • Blog Post: The Disneyland that You Almost Got: Big Town USA

    MonkFan wrote in to say: I really enjoyed that “ TRON attraction that Disneyland almost got ” you wrote earlier this month. So I was wondering if you have any more stories about rides & attractions that almost got built at the Parks that you could share. Maybe something about my favorite part of...
  • Blog Post: The TRON attractions that Disneyland almost got

    Now that the official trailer for “ TRON Legacy ” has popped up on the Web and Disney XD has revealed that it has a TRON animated series in the works , theme parks fans are now wondering what the Imagineers will be doing to help support what-the-Company-hopes-will-be its next big franchise. Well, before...
  • 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 music...
  • Blog Post: Is it possible to experience your favorite Disney Park attraction for the very first time … again?

    At last month’s “ Practically Perfect Night at Mary Poppins ” event at LA’s Ahmanson Theatre , a D23 member stood up and asked the cast of the North American touring company of this Disney / Cameron Mackintosh production how they did it. Where they found the energy to perform like that, night after night...
  • 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 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: Seldom-seen concept art a highlight of "The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland"

    Having already put together Imagineering Field Guides for the Magic Kingdom , Epcot and Animal Kingdom , Alex Wright has taken a break from writing about the Walt Disney World Resort (Reportedly because the folks at Disney Editions want WDW Guests to get used to calling the park-formerly-known-as-MGM...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Disney World's new grim grinning gracious ghosts

    Do you remember that story that JHM ran back in January? You know, the one where we talked how -- in response to guest complaints about somewhat gruesome gags like "Please drag your wretched bodies to the dead center of the room" and "Please follow the blood red carpet into the Foyer" -- the Imagineers...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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 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: 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...
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