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    Just a moment ...

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    On the first anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, Jim stops with the senseless Disney-related yammering for a few minutes ... and asks you to reflect (albeit briefly) on last year's tragic events....
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    Jim Hill explores the origins of this much beloved Disney- MGM attraction.

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    Jim Hill explores the origins of this much beloved Disney- MGM attraction....
  • Jim Hill

    Discoveryland U.S.A. -- Part 1

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    Never mind Disneyland's late, lamented "Tomorrowland 2055" (the coolest proposed retheming of a Disney theme park land to never make it off the drawing board at WDI). Jim Hill now offers up photographic proof of the snazzy New Tomorrowland that Walt Disney World almost got. ...
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    Discoveryland U.S.A. -- Part 2

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    So how come this cool version of the future never made it over to Orlando? Jim Hill explains how too many hotels in France eventually resulted in Disney World getting a downsized Tomorrowland....
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Domination?

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    With media mogul Barry Diller reportedly waiting in the wings to take control of Universal Entertainment, things could get really interesting down in Orlando really soon....
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    "Pirates" already under attack? "Mansion" to be closed before it even opens?

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    In the wake of the disastrous box office performance of "The Country Bears" movie, the word out of Hollywood is that the Mouse may be having second thoughts about making more movies based on popular Disneyland attractions. ...
  • Jim Hill

    "Finally, a site that won't fire him." (I hope)

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    In his first official story for the website that bears his name, Jim Hill is not exactly thrilled to find himself back in the spotlight....
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    Can Coney make a comeback?

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    Borrowing a page from the successful revitalization of NYC's 42nd Street & Times Square area, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is actively looking for ways to turn around this historic seaside amusement district. But will a minor league baseball stadium be enough to bring back this blighted area in Brooklyn? ...
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    M - I - C in NYC

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    In another classic from the archive, Jim Hill exposes many of the myths and stories that have arisen over the years about Walt Disney Productions' involvement in the 1964 - 1965 World's Fair. ...
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    Texan with Big Dreams + Big Apple = Big Trouble

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    Learn how Six Flags theme park legend Angus Wynne Jr. bet big and lost big at the 1964 / 1965 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR. Jim Hill explores the myths and legends that surround the story of the ill-fated Texas Pavilions.

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  • Jim Hill

    Better In Japan : Tokyo Disneyland gets one honey of a ride

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    Why WDI's best rides and shows aren't going into Disney's stateside theme parks.

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  • Jim Hill

    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 1

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    On Saturday May 20th, 1,400 Disneyland fans will gather in New Orleans Square to take part in the special ticketed "Celebrating the Pirates of the Caribbean" event. These folks will have paid $85 apiece for the privilege of paying tribute to what many call the greatest theme park ride ever created. As part of the evening's festivities, these guests can attend a panel discussion featuring many of the folks who helped create this legendary attraction. These Imagineers are sure to reveal many never...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 2

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: Master Imagineer Marc Davis was hoping to build on the lessons WED had learned while creating Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean." But - for a while there in 1967 - it looked like the Imagineers wouldn't get the chance to build any new attractions, as Roy O. Disney toyed with the idea of selling the company off to the Westinghouse Corporation. Eventually, Roy came to his senses and declared that Walt Disney Productions was not for sale. He also announced that the company *WOULD...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 4

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: In 1969, Master Imagineer Marc Davis convinced Roy Disney and WED head Richard Irvine to take on the most ambitious theme park attraction Walt Disney Productions would ever attempt to produce. "Western River Expedition" - a comical journey through the old West - would have made use of every trick Imagineering had in its book. The ride would feature dozens of audio animatronic figures as well as eye-popping special effects. To top it all off, "WRE" would be housed in the largest...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 5

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: Roy Disney personally okayed development of "Western River Expedition (WRE)," a massive new attraction for WDW's Magic Kingdom. Marc Davis - the Imagineer who dreamed up the original concept for the ride - wanted "WRE" to be the most ambitious theme park ride Walt Disney Productions had ever built. Those lucky enough to have seen Marc's concept drawings and / or view the model of the show say that this water based audio- animatronic extravaganza would have truly set the standard...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 6

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: If you've read Parts 1 through 6, you've already have a pretty good understanding of the history of "Western River Expedition." At least from the Marc Davis point of view. So there's no need for me to do yet another recap. But please be aware that Imagineering is a highly collaborative place. People of all ages - from all walks of life - work there. And these folks don't always get along. Imagineers often have disagreements about how certain theme park attractions should be constructed...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 7

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: 75 years of films, TV shows and videos have taught us that all Disney stories end happily, right? Well, not this time, kiddies. After five years of hard work and planning, Marc Davis watched as his dream project - "Western River Expedition," an audio animatronic extravaganza that could have been the best thing WED ever did - slowly fell from favor. But what could Marc do? Times had changed. Where once Disney theme park guests had gone gaga over elaborately themed attractions like...
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    Superstar Limo: What Went Wrong?

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    Given that it's been over two years since this DCA attraction was last open to the public, many people have forgotten how horrible Superstar Limo was. More importantly, why this Hollywood Pictures Backlot ride wound up being so bad. In a revamped version of a July 2001 LaughingPlace.com series, Jim reveals all the embarrassing details....
  • Jim Hill

    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 8

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    OUR STORY SO FAR: Marc Davis was tired. Tired of the excuses he kept getting as to why "Western River Expedition" (WRE) wasn't getting built. Tired of having his other new attraction ideas never make it off the drawing board. Most of all, Marc was tired of repeating himself. So - when Davis was asked to do yet another version of Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction for Tokyo Disneyland - Marc decided it was time to pack it in. So Davis retired from Walt Disney Productions in 1978, preferring...
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    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 9

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    Before you hit the trail, check out a few more stories about the greatest attraction that never was ! A NOTE TO READERS: You know, you'd think - after eight long, drawn out chapters - you people would have had enough of "Western River Expedition." (I know *I* have.) But - judging by all the notes that keep turning up in my mailbox - you folks still have a lot of questions about this proposed WDW attraction. So - before we officially say "adios" to Thunder Mesa - I'm going to try to tie up a few loose...
  • Jim Hill

    Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 10

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    I spend weeks writing articles about Disney theme parks that haven't opened yet. Months researching attractions that never made it off the drawing board. A lifetime collecting never-before-revealed stories about Disney animated features. None of that matters anymore. After the ton of mail I received last week from you folks, I now know what turns on DIG readers. Grabs your attention. Sends chills racing up your spines. Not stories about corner cutting or staff in-fighting. Not items about soon-to...
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    An Elephant's Tale

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    They say "an elephant never forgets." Well, neither does Jim Hill. In this classic from the archive, he fills you in on the bizarre fate of Big Red, that enormous fake pachyderm who used to play such a crucial part in the "Kilimanjaro Safaris" ride at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park. ...
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    Tale of a Dragon

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    As Jim recovers from the inagural run of the JimHillMedia Walt Disney World tours, we dip into the deep fires of hell ... okay, the archives ... for this classic piece. Did the discovery of photos of nasty looking knights really give Disneyana fans a true sneak peek of Animal Kingdom's future? Or did it just reveal a forgotten piece of the park's past? Jim Hill peels back the armor to give us the real inside scoop. ...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering "Light Magic" -- Part 1

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    In the first installment of this series, Jim Hill exposes Disneyland management's genuinely odd attitude when it comes to discussing this ill-fated streetacular. He also reveals some of the other ideas that Disneyland's Entertainment staff supposedly toyed with as possible replacements for the "Main Street Electrical Parade." ...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering "Light Magic" -- Part 2

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    In the second installment of this series, Jim Hill talks about the weird role that Tinker Bell & a miniature helicopter played in the development of "Light Magic." He also discusses how Michael Eisner's interest in "Riverdance" may have accidentally helped nudge this troubled MSEP replacement project even further off track....
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