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  • Blog Post: 9/11 at Walt Disney World: First Person Accounts

    Be careful what you ask for. Last Thursday, as part of my " Disney theme park emergency plan is simple as A, B, C " article, I asked that JHM readers who were actually at Walt Disney World when 9/11 happened to come forward & share their stories. And -- boy -- did you guys respond. I literally...
  • Blog Post: Disney theme park emergency plan is simple as A, B, C

    Martin L. writes in to ask: Jim -- This may seem like kind of a weird question to ask. But I was wondering if you had any stories about what really happened in the Disney theme parks on 9/11? How did Disney break the news to all those guests that something horrible had just happened and that -- as a...
  • Blog Post: You wanna go where every birdie knows your name...

    Late last week, I finally got to check out Disneyland's refurbished "Enchanted Tiki Room." And I have to tell you that -- what with all their new paint & feathers -- I'm guessing that the AA cast of this Adventureland favorite probably look as good as they did back when this attraction first opened...
  • Blog Post: The short, short life of Disney World's STOLport

    Maybe you've seen it. Just off to the right through the trees after you've come through the Magic Kingdom's toll plaza. That long strip of road that seems to go nowhere on the other side of the Epcot monorail beamway. Sometimes you'll see buses out there idling near that long stretch of tarmac. "So that...
  • Blog Post: Could park-wide plumbing problems be sending DAK's expansion plans down the tubes?

    Given how thick and lush the foliage is at Disney's Animal Kingdom, it will probably come as no surprise that this theme park has an extensive drainage system. Photo by Jeff Lange But what may surprise Disneyana fans is to learn that -- in spite of the fact that Disney's Animal Kingdom is less than seven...
  • Blog Post: "Dead Men Tell No Tales ..."

    Say you're the Walt Disney Company. And you're still looking for ways to cash in on your 2003 hit film, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." The studio side of the Mouse House already has two sequels to this Gore Verbinski movie in pre-production (Over 7,000 would-be extras turned...
  • Blog Post: Will DCA's new "Monsters, Inc." ride be "Buzz" worthy?

    Well, there's good news (sort of) coming out of Glendale these days. A budget has finally been approved for the redo of DCA's "Superstar Limo" attraction. Which is why -- in early 2005 -- the Imagineers will begin gutting that show building in that the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area to make way for...
  • Blog Post: Davy Crockett & Georgie Russell rate a window at Disneyland? What a crock!

    Let's review the week (to date) here at JHM, shall we? On Monday, I infuriated SaveDisney.com fans by daring to suggest that Roy Disney -- during the time that he was Chairman of Walt Disney Feature Animation -- could have done more to help save hand-drawn animation at Walt Disney Studios. On Tuesday...
  • Blog Post: Beware the Placeholder

    Jeff Lange just returned from Walt Disney World. Where he got some killer shots of the work that's being done at the Magic Kingdom in the area where "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" used to be located. Photo by Jeff Lange As you can see from this photo, there's virtually nothing left of the "20K" show...
  • Blog Post: Snow Job

    Go ahead. Ask a Disneyana fan who Marc Davis was. Better yet: Find yourself a comfy chair, sit down, and THEN ask a Disneyana fan who Marc Davis was. Because you're about to get an earful. First you'll probably hear about how Davis was this legendary animator at Walt Disney Studios. The guy who played...
  • Blog Post: "Autopia" on the road to Hong Kong Disneyland?

    (c) Disney / Pixar Say you’re a theme park like Hong Kong Disneyland. A project that – even though it’s still at least a year away from opening to the public – has already acquired a reputation for being built on the cheap. For offering far too meager an assortment of attractions...
  • Blog Post: Remembering Dragon Rocks

    Okay. Quick show of hands. How many of you read that great story that Mark Goldhaber wrote for MousePlanet last Wednesday? You know, the one where Mark interview former Imagineer Paul Torrigino about "Dragon Tower"? Where Paul revealed all this truly cool information about what Beastly Kingdom (AKA Disney...
  • Blog Post: Never Mind About "The Future That Never was." What about the Tomorrowland that Tokyo Disneyland almost got: Sci-Fi City.

    Let me share a piece of e-mail that I got earlier this weekend: Jim -- Have you seen the 2005 Birnbaum WDW guide yet? I picked up my copy today at Barnes & Noble and was shocked to find absolutely no listing for WDW's Carousel Of Progress and The Timekeeper show. Was this just a printer's error on...
  • Blog Post: The Beach you'll never reach: Disney's abandoned plans for Florida's Eastern shore

    Relax. That loud noise that you've been hearing coming from Florida's coastline is NOT Hurricane Ivan. But -- rather -- a collective sigh of relief from the staff of Disney's Vero Beach Resort. "What's with all the sighing?," you ask. Well, late last week, it was reported that the damage that Hurricane...
  • Blog Post: While strolling through the park one day ...

    Training the trains While visiting Disneyland on Saturday afternoon, I was genuinely pleased to see that "Big Thunder Mountain Railway" was back up and running again. Photo by Nancy Stalder Mind you, no Disneyland guests were actually ever allowed to ride these trains. They were repeatedly just being...
  • Blog Post: Don't expect any big changes with "Big Thunder"

    I know this is going to seem somewhat hypocritical (not to mention bizarre) for a webmaster to say something like this ... But -- you know -- you can't believe everything that you read on the Internet. Take -- for example -- the rumors that are currently flying around the Web about the ultimate fate...
  • Blog Post: The WDW attraction that almost was: "Journey to the Center of the Earth"

    Hey, gang -- Greetings from New Boston, N.H. Where -- as of this moment -- I'm still journeying to the center of my desk. Trying to dig my way out from under a three week accumulation of mail. But just because I've gotten 'way behind in my correspondence doesn't mean that you nice folks have to go without...
  • Blog Post: An Imagineer's insight on "Disney's America"

    As I mentioned in my other column today, I dug a few pieces out of the JHM files that I think you'll enjoy. This is from a 1993-era interview, where then-WDI senior VP Bob Weis talks in detail about what his plans for "Disney's America." I think you'll find it most interesting. "This is not in any way...
  • Blog Post: The EPCOT that we ALMOST got

    Most JHM readers already know about all the plans that Walt Disney had dreamed up for EPCOT. That "Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow" that Walt wanted to have rise out of that large chunk of swampland that Walt Disney Productions had purchased just outside of Orlando. And I'm sure that most...
  • Blog Post: Tales from the Tour: Making a Mountain out of Moat Movings

    Scott Liljenquist - the Ubbermeister of Mouseketrips.com - just dropped me an e-mail to remind me that I have another set of Disneyland Resort tours coming up on Saturday, June 26th & Sunday, June 27th. More to the point, Scott wants me to let JHM readers know that there are still a few slots open...
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