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  • Blog Post: An Elephant's Tale

    One of the more fun parts of doing a column like this is that nice people -- like yourselves -- will come forward with weird bits of information that I didn't have access to. Their mission: to help fill in the blanks on parts of the story that I may have inadvertently missed out on. Recently, a number...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 10

    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...
  • Blog Post: Tale of a Dragon

    There's always one of them at every party. The wet blanket. That loud mouthed jerk who spoils everyone's fun by revealing how a trick was done. The smart ass who takes the wind out of your sails by deliberately sharing something that was supposed to be secret. Well, this week, kids, I'm that smart ass...
  • Blog Post: Remembering "Light Magic" -- Part 2

    To hear the Disneyland Entertainment staff tell the story, it was all Tinker Bell's fault. You see, ever since Peter Pan's pal made her small screen debut on the very first broadcast of the "Disneyland" TV show, people have been associating this spritely little sprite with the Anaheim theme park. Which...
  • Blog Post: Remembering "Light Magic" -- Part 1

    Perhaps longtime Disneyland attractions supervisor Bruce Kimbrell was the one who said it best. While serving as the master of ceremonies at last year's "Flashback" (A cast-member-only talent show that Disneyland staffers hold annually to raise moneys for Orange County's "Make-a-Wish" Foundation), Bruce...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 7

    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...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 6

    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...
  • Blog Post: Superstar Limo: What Went Wrong?

    The following is a heavily edited (and somewhat revamped) version of a series of articles that I wrote for LaughingPlace.com back in July 2001. If you'd like to read the full-blown, four part version of this story, visit the Jim Hill archive at LaughingPlace.com . Where you'll find the original stories...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 9

    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...
  • Blog Post: Why "Western River" Went South -- Part 8

    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...
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