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

    Chapter 1: Falling in France Just ask the bellhops who work at Disney-MGM Studio theme park. They'll tell you all about the weird questions that guests ask them about this amazing attraction. "Is this really a ride?" "Can I go up partway, but get out before the final drop?" and (my personal favorite...
  • Blog Post: Discoveryland U.S.A. -- Part 2

    Okay. We've already talked in detail about WDI's extra cool plans for turning WDW's tired old Tomorrowland into a dazzling Discoveryland. So why didn't this charming Magic Kingdom revamp ever make it off the drawing board? Two words. Euro Disney. Ask any senior Disney Company official about how the resort...
  • Blog Post: Discoveryland U.S.A. -- Part 1

    Beth from Elmira, NY writes: Jim - I just wanted to drop you a quick note to welcome you back to the Web. I also wanted to mention how much I enjoyed the first installment of your "Tower Tales" series over at Tower-of-Terror.com. I find it just fascinating that WDI once planned to recreate Nemo's secret...
  • Blog Post: Universal Domination?

    Mark September 25th on your calendar, kids. Why? Because that's the date of the next Vivendi Universal board meeting. A day that could have a truly significant impact on the theme park world. How so? Well, on that date, Vivendi's new chairman, Jean-Rene Fourtou, is expected to unveil his plans to dig...
  • Blog Post: Can Coney make a comeback?

    90 years ago, this was the center of the amusement park universe. Home to no less than three world class wonderlands that were filled with what were then state-of-the-art rides and attractions. Today, the only word that accurately describes New York's Coney Island area is sad. The bare steel skeleton...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 4

    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...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 5

    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...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 2

    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...
  • Blog Post: Better In Japan : Tokyo Disneyland gets one honey of a ride

    On September 1st, Tokyo Disneyland gets one honey of a new ride. "Pooh's Hunny Hunt" doesn't sound like the sort of attraction that would significantly push the envelope when it comes to theme park ride design. But don't let the cutesy pooh name throw you, folks. This new Fantasyland...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 1

    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...
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