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  • Blog Post: Why For was the Excavator never built at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park?

    Fluffy-Not-Fat sent me a new Why For question earlier this week, saying: As a longtime fan, it's great that you've begun writing theme park history stories again. Those stories were always my favorite part of your site. So now that I've kissed your butt a little, I was wondering if you'd...
  • Blog Post: WDI's "Carousel of Projects" looks to put a new spin on the D23 EXPO's Parks & Resort pavilion

    So what was the very best part of the original D23 EXPO ? To be honest, that depended on what aspect of the Walt Disney Company most excites you. For fans of Disney's live-action movies, it would be hard to top that moment from the Studio Showcase when the wreckage of a sailing ship slowly rotated...
  • Blog Post: Between working with WDI and a new stage show, 2010 was loaded with "Great Moments" for John Tartaglia

    What's the weirdest place you ever got a job offer? Because I bet John Tartaglia has you beat. Let me set the scene for you. It's September of 2009. And the star of " Johnny and the Sprites " - having a fun few days exploring & experiencing the inaugural D23 Expo - was over at Disneyland...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: I'm dreaming of a red + white + blue + green + yellow Christmas

    My apologies if this week's Monday Mouse Watch is somewhat on the short side. But I just got back from Southern California. And since I'm flying down to Florida tomorrow morning to start covering the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I really don't have time to write a full-blown...
  • Blog Post: New book takes a behind-the-dreams look at the way Walt Disney Imagineering really works today

    Okay. Last week, JHM reviewed a new hardcover that would be the perfect graduation present for any artists and animators that are on your gift list. This time around, I'd like to talk up a book that would be a great selection for any would-be Imagineers you may have in your extended family. And that...
  • Blog Post: How a Toon Elevator helped Mickey Mouse learn how to talk

    By now, you’ve no doubt seen those online videos that made many a theme park fan go gaga. Where a few lucky Guests – as they were making a stop at Mickey’s House at Disneyland earlier this week – suddenly found themselves face-to-face with a NextGen walkaround character. A Mickey Mouse who not only addressed...
  • Blog Post: Volume 9 of the “Walt’s People” series features some great behind-the-scenes stories

    Good God. Are we really already be up to Volume 9 in the “Walt’s People” series? I can recall when Disney Historian Didier Ghez initially proposed these books (which – if I’m remembering correctly – was sometime back during the Pleistocene Epoch) that would collect & then reprint the very best Mouse...
  • 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 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 music...
  • 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: Coaster Corner: Tomorrowland favorite gets a warp speed makeover

    It’s been the smash hit of this year’s Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort . That Ghost Galaxy-themed redo of Space Mountain . During which Tomorrowland visitors have a far-too-close encounter with an angry spectre from outer space. Disneyland Guests have just been marveling at some of the effects...
  • 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: Monday Mouse Watch : The Adventurers Club gets ready for its exit while the American Idol Experience delays its entrance

    This past Friday night, visitors to the Adventurers Club got to see a brand-new artifact added to the wall in the Main Salon : A video projection screen. Photo by Max Schilling Given that this piece of Pleasure Island is supposed to be a recreation of a gentlemen's club from the 1930s, one might wonder...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready for WDW's monstrous new coaster

    Judging by the long lines at " Toy Story Mania " as well as the brisk business that "Hey Howdy Hey!" & the gift shop across the way have been doing, it would appear that Pixar Place has already proven to be a very popular addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios . The only problem with the studio theme...
  • Blog Post: Look for Mickey to get Shanghai-ed in September

    Did you catch that story late last month about Shanghai Disneyland? Wen Wei Po , a Hong Kong-based newspaper, reported that " ... after 10 years of tough negotiations ..." the Walt Disney Company had finally cut a deal to build a theme park in China's business hub. What was fascinating about this particular...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Disney World's new grim grinning gracious ghosts

    Do you remember that story that JHM ran back in January? You know, the one where we talked how -- in response to guest complaints about somewhat gruesome gags like "Please drag your wretched bodies to the dead center of the room" and "Please follow the blood red carpet into the Foyer" -- the Imagineers...
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