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  • Blog Post: CD reveals how Walt turned dysfunction at WED Enterprises into fun for the Disney theme parks

    I got an e-mail this past weekend from a longtime Disney fan who I won't name. Mostly because he had some very unkind things to say about Bamboo Forest Publishing 's latest audio effort, " More Cute Stories, Volume 3 : Museum of the Weird ." Copyright 2014 Bamboo Forest Publishing....
  • Blog Post: Why For did Epcot's Future World not turn out as WED had originally planned?

    Epcot Enthusiast wrote in this week to say: I saw a Tweet today that said that you and Len Testa were touring Future World and World Showcase recording stories for a new " Unofficial Guide Disney Dish with Jim Hill" podcast. Epcot is my very favorite WDW theme park. Could you please share some...
  • Blog Post: Are Disney's plans for WDW's Fantasyland Forest now being revised?

    In the months leading up to the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, whenever I spoke with Disney insiders about what the Company was going to do in response to this highly-anticipated Islands of Adventure addition, Mickey's mantra was pretty much the same: Just wait 'til you...
  • Blog Post: Pook-A-Looz give classic Disney characters a quirky new look

    From the people who brought you Passamaquoddy , Heffalumps and Woozles as well as Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo , now come Disney Pook-A-Looz . The official tagline for this quirky new line of plush is “Too cute for their own good.” But these classic Disney characters didn’t get that way all by themselves. They...
  • Blog Post: Get your ticket to ride at WDW’s Richard Petty Driving Experience

    Last Monday afternoon, I got pulled over by the Florida Highway Patrol. It was all my fault. I was out on State Road 429. I was rushing to get back to property so that Nancy and I could do a little shopping at Downtown Disney before we then headed out for the airport. And six miles north of Western Way...
  • Blog Post: Hoops and hoopla highlight ESPN Wide World of Sports’ grand re-opening

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." Ah, but when Shakespeare wrote that over 400 years ago, he was talking about teenage romance. Not two hugely successful divisions of this massive corporation that – while they had been working together for more than...
  • 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: D23 fine-tunes its selection of special events for 2010

    D23 is still a few weeks out from its really-for-real birthday (Just for the record, The Walt Disney Company launched its Official Community for Disney Fans back on March 10, 2009). But given that D23 just revealed that it will be holding first anniversary parties at Disneyland and WDW’s Magic Kingdom...
  • Blog Post: Last call (and I mean the VERY last call) at WDW’s Adventurers Club

    Feeling pretty smug (or – at the very least – hung over) because you spent last night at some hoity toity New Year’s Eve party? Well, take a gander at these shots. Which were taken on the very last night that members of the general public were allowed into WDW's Adventurers Club. Photo by Jeff Lange...
  • Blog Post: NFFC – Disneyana Fan Club members make merry with the Mouse

    Did you manage to make it to last week’s NFFC – Disneyana Fan Club Disney World Holiday Extravaganza? If not, you missed out on some primo fan events. Like what? Well, how about a private screening of “ The Princess & The Frog .” Which featured an appearance by artists & animators from Premise...
  • Blog Post: Tube Tuesday: Xmas marks the spot for the Muppets in 2009

    Thanksgiving is traditionally a time when we reconnect with friends & family. And this year, The Walt Disney Company must be feeling especially thankful for the way the public passionately re-embraced the Muppets last week. I mean, who would have thought that a viral video (which was shot on the...
  • Blog Post: Disney World soldiers on, looking for new ways to plus the Parks for the holidays

    As you walk around Walt Disney World this time of year, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by all the seasonal sights, sounds and colors. Unless you happen to be David R. Hartmann. As Art Director for Walt Disney Entertainment Design, Hartmann actually has the opposite problem. Whenever he walks around...
  • Blog Post: NFFC Disney World Holiday Extravaganza places the emphasis on in-park fun

    I don’t know how many of you got to see Jason Garcia ’s great story about the Space Mountain redo at WDW ’s Magic Kingdom (It was featured on the Orlando Sentinel ’s new Daily Disney blog . Which is well worth adding to your Favorites list, by the way). Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved Anywho …...
  • Blog Post: Tune Tuesday: Disney to celebrate the performing arts in 2010

    If you’re a fan of The Walt Disney Company’s theatrical productions , then you should probably make a point of setting your TiVo to record Friday’s “ Live with Regis & Kelly ” (when the Las Vegas company of “ The Lion King ” will be making an appearance on that syndicated morning talk show) as well...
  • Blog Post: "Clown Prince of Disneyland" is a must-own ... If you can find a copy to purchase, that is

    For the better part of five years now, I have been waiting on “Wally Boag: Clown Prince of Disneyland” (August 2009, Disney Editions). Ever since I first learned that this project was in the works, I have been dying to get my hands on Gene Sands & Wally ’s book. So imagine my surprise last week when...
  • Blog Post: Let George Do It: One-time WDW busboy becomes Disneyland’s newest president

    What with that $1.1 billion worth of construction that’s currently going on at Disney’s California Adventure (not to mention that $100+ milllion redo of the Disneyland Hotel that just got underway), the next three years are going to be a particularly tough time for the Disneyland Resort . Walt Disney...
  • Blog Post: Gary Vaynerchuk wants you to think outside of the box wine

    Epcot has long been noted known for its mix of education and entertainment. Which is why Gary Vaynerchuk fits in perfectly at this theme park. This self-trained wine expert flew into Orlando late last week to help kick-off the 14 th annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival . And in his own...
  • 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: Why the bloom is never off the rose at Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival

    Since Epcot ’s International Flower & Garden Festival is now headed into the home stretch (this celebration of Spring in Central Florida officially wraps up on May 31st with a Flower Power Concert starring Tony Orlando ), you’d think that at least some of the blooms that are currently on display...
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