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  • 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: 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: Monday Mouse Watch : Changes to Disney Dining Plan infuriate WDW guests

    There are many things that one might expect to hear at a full-service eatery at the Walt Disney World Resort . An attentive server asking a guest if they can get them another Coke. Or an anxious parent -- as they clutch their camera -- asking when's Mickey going to come through the restaurant again....
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: "Not a creature was stirring ...," not even the guy who writes all of those stories about the Mouse

    My apologies, folks. I know that JHM has been light on content for the past week or so. But there's a good reason for that: Snow. Lots & lots of snow. As this New York Times article will tell you, New England has had a ridiculous amount of the white stuff dropped on it over the past few weeks. To...
  • Blog Post: Wanna make the holidays a bit more magical for one deserving family?

    Over the past week or so, I must have received a dozen or more e-mails just like this one from Disney Defender: Photo by Jeff Lange Jim, Have you heard about the revamped version of Spaceship Earth that just soft-opened at Epcot ? The Imagineers have absolutely ruined this classic Future World attraction...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Will MGM's upcoming name change really allow the Universal Orlando Resort to nudge Disney out of the spotlight?

    What's in a name? Well, as Universal learned the hard way back in 1998, when it decided to rename its recently expanded resort " '>Universal Studios Escape " and thus confused hundreds of thousands of tourists ... Sometimes picking the wrong name for your theme park and/or resort can prove to be disastrous...
  • Blog Post: Planning on dining at any of WDW's buffets during the coming holiday season ? Then Ho-ho-ho ! Get ready to give Mickey more of your dough

    It has not been a fun week for Disneyana fans who enjoy putting on the feed bag. First came word out of Anaheim that because some portly passengers have been causing "The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed" (i.e. Disneyland 's " it's a small world " attraction) to regularly run aground, the Imagineers...
  • Blog Post: A special "Toon Much of a Good Thing" edition of Why For

    First up, Danny writes in to ask: Jim, Any reason that you know of why Pixar started skimping on their DVD packages? Up to and including " The Incredibles ," no company did the medium justice better than Pixar. But the discs for " Cars " and " Rataouille " (which I have an advanced copy of) are pathetic...
  • 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 2

    Picking up where we left off yesterday ... Audio is obviously an important component of the Haunted Mansion . Yet how many times have you been on this Magic Kingdom favorite and had your ride-thru ruined because the attraction's soundtrack was playing intermittently? Where one moment you'd hear Paul...
  • Blog Post: A special "How suite it is !" edition of Why For

    First up, Courtney writes in to say: Over at wdwnewstoday.com , there was a big announcement about a Little Mermaid ride in Anaheim. They also said that one would be coming soon to the World. Jim, does this announcement hold water? Dear Courtney -- Ah, yes. The billion-dollar-makeover-of-DCA story. Yeah...
  • Blog Post: Another WDW might-have-been: Fort Wilderness Junction

    As regular readers of JHM already know, the history of the Walt Disney World Resort is littered with great what-might-have-beens stories. Terrific sounding attractions that never quite made it off the drawing board. Entire resorts that were all planned & ready to go, only to suddenly fall out of...
  • Blog Post: Did Disney World visitors "Myst" out on an amazing new interactive attraction?

    In Las Vegas parlance, they're known as whales. Those really big spenders who want to do more than just stand in a line, doing what typical tourists do at Walt Disney World. So -- with the hope that this project might make WDW more whale-friendly -- back in the late 1990s, the Imagineers began meeting...
  • Blog Post: Why For? : Epcot's Space Center, Jim Korkis and Walt Disney World swamp boat rides

    First up, Lee H. sends along a note and a photo, seeking some info about Disney's original plans for Epcot's Space pavilion: Hey Jim, First off, let me just say that I love the site. This is despite the fact that you tend to leave me hanging on some of your longer stories (remember Tower Tales...
  • Blog Post: Why For? : Baxter in 20K, Tiki Room Jokes, Haunter Hollywood Hotel, Disney TV Special, Project Gemini and a Mea Culpa

    First, an apology. You know, in yesterday's review of Carlene Thie's "Disneyland Under Construction" books, I'm afraid that I may have come down a bit too hard on Ms. Thie. Or -- at the very least -- criticized things that I didn't really know about. For example: In yesterday's...
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