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  • Blog Post: Why For: Don't get Shanghaied by Disney theme park concept art

    MickeyFan238 sent me this e-mail earlier this week: I just can't wait until Friday. How much do you think Disney is going to reveal about the Shanghai park at this groundbreaking ceremony? Concept art for Storybook Castle and some of the Fantasyland section of Shanghai Disneyland. Copyright Disney...
  • Blog Post: Kim Irvine honors WED's pioneers with her work at the Disneyland Design Studio

    When it comes to making changes at Disneyland , it's always been something of a delicate balancing act. The Walt Disney Company - because it wants this theme park to remain relevant - is always pushing for new stuff to be added to the place. So that Guests will then be compelled to return to "The...
  • Blog Post: Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom revealed what it was really like to work for Walt

    You don't normally find alligators lurking inside of the Disneyland Hotel . Photo by Jim Hill Or - for that matter - PeopleMover cars parked just outside of this hotel's Grand Ballroom . Photo by Jim Hill But - then again - this past Saturday night wasn't exactly your average night at the...
  • Blog Post: Garner Holt to talk about the future of AA figures at Saturday's Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event

    Before we get today's article started, a quick word of warning: Today is the very last day you can purchase tickets for Saturday's Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event. And if you're a theme park history buff and you don't attend this multi-media extravaganza (which is being held...
  • Blog Post: Figuring out what was wrong with Disney's original Abraham Lincoln AA figure

    Back in the late 1950s, when Corky Wilds was working for Mitchell Camera Corporation , he'd make the trek from his home in North Hollywood out to Glendale. "This was before the highway got built. So the only way to get to Mitchell Camera's offices in Glendale was to drive up Riverside Drive...
  • Blog Post: Would Disneyland’s Dixieland really have made a difference?

    Orange County Mountie writes in to say: I have just been loving these stories that you have been doing about Disneyland ’s expansion plans from the 1970s and 1980s. All of those rides, shows and attractions that the Imagineers wanted to build back then but never got around to. In your last article, you...
  • 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: 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: 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: "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: The Disneyland expansion plan that never happened

    Danni T writes in to say: You've been posting an awful lot of Disney World stories lately. Isn't it time that you wrote something about Disneyland again? Maybe do another one of those stories where you talk about rides, shows or attractions that never got built? Ask and ye shall receive. The history...
  • Blog Post: Will pirates soon be returning to Treasure ... er ... Discovery Island?

    Christy S. writes in to say: Jim When I was a little girl, my father and I flew down to Walt Disney World . This was just a year or so after the resort opened and I distinctly remember taking a boat ride with my father out to some island. Once we got there, these pirates led us on a treasure hunt which...
  • 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: 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: Why For aren't there more countries in Epcot's World Showcase area?

    Kathy T. writes in to say: In honor of the upcoming 25th anniversary of Epcot , I was wondering if you could share some stories about how that theme park actually came into being. Well, one part of the Epcot Center story that has (in my opinion, anyway) been woefully under-reported was all the wheeling...
  • Blog Post: Another Kingdom That Never Came: Disneyland expansion plans circa 1976

    Mike P. wrote in yesterday to say: I loved last week's "Why For " about all the pavilions and attractions that were planned for Epcot and Disney World but ultimately never built. But what about Disneyland ? Do you have any information about rides, shows and attractions that were proposed for the Disney...
  • Blog Post: "Walt's People -- Volume 5" is an entertaining addition to this ongoing Disney history series

    If you've been reading JHM for a while now, you already know that I'm a very big fan of Didier Ghez 's "Walt's People" books . So -- that said -- is it really all that big a surprise that I enjoyed reading " Volume 5 " of this ongoing series. Mind you, at 443 pages in length, this paperback is the heftiest...
  • Blog Post: Why For do the Imagineers keep adding new characters to Disney's classic theme park attractions?

    Earlier this week, Perry T. sent me the following e-mail : Jim, Are you as sick as I am about how the Imagineers keep forcing characters into older attractions at the Disney theme parks? Just in the past six months, we've had that new " Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor " show replace the Magic Kingdom 's old...
  • Blog Post: Why (For) did Walt Disney actually have Disneyland's Submarine Voyage built ?

    Julie L. writes in to say: All of the other Disney sites have been running stories this week about Disneyland 's " Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ". So what's your take on this classic Tomorrowland attraction coming back to life after being shut down for almost nine years now ? Dear Julie -- To be honest...
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