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  • Blog Post: Trio of special events tempt Southern California’s Disneyana fans

    This coming Saturday (provided – of course – that the Bay State isn’t still under water ), I’ll be down in Avon, MA. taking part in the 15 th annual Janet McDonald Memorial Walk Against Cancer . This fundraiser is something that my family does every year in order to honor the memory of my late cousin...
  • 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: Monday Mouse Watch: Looking over the fence at Ariel's Undersea Adventure

    I'm sure -- by now -- you've seen photographs of those colorful construction fences that ring " The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure " work site. Photo by Angela Ragno Just as I'm sure that -- by now -- you've seen a concept painting or two of what the exterior of this currently-under-construction...
  • 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...
  • 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: Why For did Sony Pictures decide not to go forward with production of “Spider-Man 4” ?

    Ask and ye shall receive. When I asked you guys for some new Why For questions last week, I had hoped that I might get a few. But given the dozens of great Disney-related questions that have come pouring over the past seven days, it’s clear that you folks really missed this particular JHM column. Thanks...
  • Blog Post: Mickey & Minnie say "Farewell" to Toontown Fair, "Hello" to the Town Square Exhibition Hall

    What with all of the excitement associated with the Fantasy Forest project , Disneyana fans seem to have overlooked one important aspect of this Magic Kingdom expansion. As in: Given that Mickey's Toontown Fair is going to be flattened to make way for new Dumbo Circus & Disney Fairies -themed areas...
  • Blog Post: Cars Land construction continues, Golden Vine Winery to close in January

    Greetings from the 11 th floor of the Sheraton right across the Disneyland Resort. Which offers this view of Disney’s California Adventure. Photo by Angela Ragno Yep, the hotel room that Angela & I have been using as our base of operations at the D23 EXPO features a primo view of all 10 acres of...
  • Blog Post: Keep an eagle eye out for The Haunted Mansion’s Hatbox Ghost

    While I was out at Comic-Con last month, I was slipped a preview copy of the Fall 2009 issue of Disney twenty-three magazine . Which features a terrific cover story, “Celebrating 40 years of Frights & Delights at Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion.” Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved This 10 page...
  • Blog Post: Marty Sklar honored with Window on Main Street

    Early this morning, Martin A. Sklar ’s friends & family gathered at Disneyland . Where this Disney Legend was then honored with his very own Window on Main Street . And it was kind of appropriate that Marty spent his last official day as a Disney employee at the very place where his career with the...
  • 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: Monster Mansion comes roaring back to life at Six Flags Over Georgia

    This past Thursday, Six Flags Over Georgia had a genuinely festive feel. A Dixieland band played while specially invited guests enjoyed a picnic lunch inside of this closed-to-the-public theme park. “And what was the special occasion?,” you ask. Well, a quick look at the centerpieces on the picnic tables...
  • 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: "Imagineering Legends" is the ideal gift for the Disneyana fan on your Christmas list

    "There can be only one ..." And -- no -- I'm not channeling for the Highlander here. I'm talking about the real budgetary challenge that many consumers are facing this holiday season. Where -- instead of heaving multiple presents at friends & family as they have in years past -- they can now afford...
  • 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: WDW's Galaxy Palace Theater to be replaced with ... Cast Member parking ?!

    "Don't it always seem to go, That you don't know what you've got Till it's gone They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." -- Joni Mitchell , " Big Yellow Taxi " I doubt that anyone -- not the choirs or the cheerleaders or all of the Cast Members that have performed here over the years -- would ever...
  • 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...
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