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  • 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: WDI panel to be a high point of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 20th anniversary celebration

    I realize that this is incredibly short notice. But if you’re a theme park history buff, you should really find a way to get down to Orlando next week. Why For? Because next Friday morning, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be celebrating its 20 th anniversary. And in addition to the two fan-run events...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: Does WDI plan on gagging our next Commander-in-Chief as part of the 2009 redo of WDW's "Hall of Presidents" ?

    While some of us are obsessing about the impact that today's primaries may have on the upcoming presidential race ... The Imagineers are already looking ahead. Nine months ahead, to be exact. To that period immediately after the U.S. has selected its next Commander-in-Chief. Which means that it will...
  • Blog Post: Will Liberty Square bridge repairs actually force the Mouse to reroute the Magic Kingdom's parades?

    It was supposed to be one of the more authentic touches found in the Liberty Square section of WDW 's Magic Kingdom . A recreation of Concord Bridge ... Copyright 1969 Walt Disney Productions. All Rights Reserved ... AKA the Old North Bridge. Where -- on the morning of April 19, 1775 -- 300 to 400 colonials...
  • 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: 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...
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