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  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Are you ready for the walkaround versions of the Disney Fairies ?

    I'm sure that you're familiar with the animated version of Tinker Bell that appeared from Walt Disney Productions' 1951 release, " Peter Pan " ... Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved ... not to mention the live-action version of this pixie that periodically appears in fireworks displays ... Photo by...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Charlton Heston (1924 - 2008)

    I was sorry to hear that Charlton Heston passed away this past weekend. Mind you, that wasn't because I thought that this Academy Award winner was a particularly good actor. But rather ... Well, because -- for the past few weeks -- I've been doing some research for an article that I've now got in the...
  • Blog Post: Disney Consumer Products isn't getting its hopes up for "Up"

    Following up on last month's article about how Children's Place is getting ready to sell the Disney Store retail chain back to the Walt Disney Company ... I spoke with the managers of a number of New England-area Disney Stores over the past few days. And while none of these folks wanted to go on-the...
  • Blog Post: Why do Pirate & Princess Happy Meals make McDonald's managers want to walk the plank?

    Have you heard about these Disney Princess & Pirates of the Caribbean -themed Happy Meals that McDonald's is selling now through April 10th? Given that this is the first time that Mickey Mouse & Mickey Dee have joined forces since these two mega-corporations decided to end their 10-year, $100...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Let the West Side Waltz begin

    An item posted this past Friday on Screamscape about how the Cheesecake Factory will soon be pulling out of DisneyQuest got tongues wagging around the Web. As Disneyana fans began wondering if this intriguing new tidbit meant that WDW's indoor interactive theme park -- long rumored to be on the ropes...
  • Blog Post: Disney testing new ways to slow down FastPass counterfeiters

    The next time you use as a FastPass at a Disney theme park, pay close attention to what the cast member does once you walk up to that FastPass Return entrance. After you hand over your ticket, do they quickly run their finger along the top of that FastPass before then allowing you to enter that ride...
  • Blog Post: Will making WDW seem more appealing to young urban professionals really be enough to turn around this resort's merch per capita problem?

    Have you heard about this advertorial that the Walt Disney Company had placed in the March issue of GQ ? This 8-page spread (Which is loaded with pictures that fashion photographer Ben Watts took of a handsome family of hipsters cavorting at Walt Disney World ) tries to sell WDW as this great place to...
  • Blog Post: Tune Tuesday: Get ready for the stage version of "High School Musical 2"

    Remember how I mentioned in yesterday's story that there are senior officials at the Walt Disney Company who believe that " ... the HSM phenomenon will soon blow itself out." Well, this belief does not extend to Disney Theatrical . If anything, the folks who brought us " The Lion King ," " Mary Poppins...
  • Blog Post: Night Kingdom to reimagine the Disney-theme-park-going experience

    TiggerFan452 writes in to say: Hey Jim, Just wondering if you've heard anything about these focus groups that Disney World has been recruiting people for. If you take part, you're apparently shown a preview video for something called "Disney's Night Kingdom". Any idea what this project is about and if...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Disney's "The Aristocats" ... The Animated Series ?!

    Today, the "Special Edition" version of " The Aristocats " DVD goes on sale. Copyright 2008 Disney. All Rights Reserved And while it's hard to find fault with this 1970 Walt Disney Productions release itself (Which remains just as charming as ever. With Duchess the filthy rich feline falling for Thomas...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : How Pixar fixed "Finding Nemo"

    It's the story that won't go away. How back in 2001, Michael Eisner reportedly told Disney's board of directors that he'd be postponing any further contract talks with Pixar Animation Studios . "And why would the then-Chairman & CEO of the Walt Disney Company do that?," you ask. Because Eisner had...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Disney has trouble convincing guests to come make a "Magic Connection"

    Well, the first field test of the Walt Disney World Resort 's new " Magic Connection " system was completed late last week. And -- to be honest -- things didn't go quite as well as WDI R & D had hoped they would. Don't get me wrong, folks. The problem wasn't with the technology. From what I hear...
  • 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: 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: Toon Tuesday: The story behind "The Pixar Story"

    It's going to seem like "Old Home Week" at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater tonight. What with acclaimed filmmaker Leslie Iwerks sharing the stage with industry legend Roy E. Disney during the Q & A portion of tonight's screening of " The Pixar Story " at the American Cinematheque . You see, if it hadn...
  • 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: Tune Thursday: Timon tells tails ... er ... tales about his time on Broadway

    "Hakuna Matata ! What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata ! Ain't no passin' craze ..." If ever there's anyone on this planet who understands that Disney's " The Lion King " ain't no passin' craze, it's Danny Rutigliano . For almost a decade now, he's been appearing in the Tony Award-winning stage version...
  • Blog Post: Why For were there so few stories on JHM this week?

    I got a lot of e-mail this week similar to this note from Leonard S. Which says: Jim, Only four articles last week. Now only two articles this week. That's not the Jim Hill I know. The guy who posts five articles every week, even over the holidays. You feeling alright, Jim? Trouble at home? If not, what...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Is Mickey really getting ready to take on Chuck E. Cheese?

    It's been said that "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Well, in the Walt Disney Company's case, imitation is also often a great way to start a lucrative new business line. Take, for example, that Tote a Tail line of plush that the Mouse introduced at the parks 8 months back. Which -- obviously...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Down Under Disney Style

    Now that the Walt Disney Company has grown comfortable with the idea of allowing outside firms to operate eateries inside of its theme parks (Witness the Tutto Italia Ristorante that the Patina Group just opened in the exact same space that Epcot 's L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante used to occupy...
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