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  • 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: Look for Mickey to get Shanghai-ed in September

    Did you catch that story late last month about Shanghai Disneyland? Wen Wei Po , a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that " ... after 10 years of tough negotiations ..." the Walt Disney Company had finally cut a deal to build a theme park in China's business hub. What was fascinating about this particular...
  • 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: Woo Hoo ! "The Simpsons Ride" officially opens at Universal Studios Florida

    In God's Waiting Room (AKA Florida), you're bound to run into a few blue hairs over the course of your day. Though -- that said -- one wonders what the AARP would make of the bunch pictured below. Photo by Nancy Stadler Believe it or not, the multiple Marges that you see above aren't actors. They were...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Has WDI solved all of "Toy Story Mania" 's problems? Not Yeti

    By now, you've probably heard about the Mr. Potato Head that's been installed in the queue area of " Toy Story Mania ." How this 5 foot, 2 inch AA figure (Which reportedly cost a million dollars to build) will actually address individual quests as they stand there, waiting in the attraction's queue area...
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: "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...
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