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  • Blog Post: Is DAK's Beastly Kingdom DOA? -- Part 1

    You can park your car in the "Unicorn" parking lot. You can buy your admission ticket at a ticket booth with a huge dragon's head on it. And -- for a while there -- you could even catch a glimpse of a fire-breathing monster as you took a cruise along Discovery River. So what are the chances that Walt...
  • Blog Post: The Deep Secrets of "Mission: Space"

    After a summer of demolition, the "Horizons" show building is no more. Its old Future World location has been scraped clean and -- even as you read this -- a new foundation is being poured for the massive "Mission: Space" attraction. Theme park enthusiasts worldwide are itching to ride this cutting edge...
  • Blog Post: Is DAK's Beastly Kingdom DOA? -- Part 3

    December 1998. Everyone at Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is abuzz with news about Universal Studios expansion plans for its Florida property. "I've heard that -- on opening day -- they're going to have three mega-coasters up and running." "Well, I've heard that their 'Spiderman' attraction is going...
  • Blog Post: Is DAK's Beastly Kingdom DOA? -- Part 2

    Okay, kids -- before we get back to the story of how "Beastly Kingdom" ended up on Disney Animal Kingdom's (DAK) endangered species list -- you need to understand what the Mouse's original expectations were for its fourth Walt Disney World (WDW) theme park. Here's what Disney CEO Michael Eisner had hoped...
  • Blog Post: The ExtraTERRORestrial Files -- Part 4

    OUR STORY SO FAR: It was supposed to be the scariest show ever presented at Disneyland. A squirm-in-your-seat, scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs special effects extravaganza. Had construction of "Tomorrowland 2055" actually gone forward, "The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter" could have easily become...
  • Blog Post: The ExtraTERRORestrial Files -- Part 1

    It was the attraction that was supposed to be the next big thing for the Disney theme parks. The show that would change forever how guests would think about the Mouse by mixing in-theater effects with 3D sound to create high-tech terror. At least that was what was supposed to happen. But -- instead of...
  • Blog Post: California Misadventure -- Part 5

    OUR STORY SO FAR: All Michael Eisner wanted was to turn Anaheim into Orlando. Was that too much to ask? Given all the problems Disney had getting Westcot through the approval process ... Yes, I guess it was. Everything that could have gone wrong with Disneyland's first expansion plans did. Orange County...
  • Blog Post: The ExtraTERRORestrial Files -- Part 3

    OUR STORY SO FAR: It was going to be the next big franchise for the Disney theme parks. A terrifying sit-down show that would dazzle audiences worldwide with its amazing use of 3D sound and in-theater physical effects. That was the plan, anyway. In reality, Disney's "Alien Encounter" attraction was beset...
  • Blog Post: The ExtraTERRORestrial Files -- Part 2

    OUR STORY SO FAR: 1984 was a dark time for the Disney empire. Teens reportedly felt that all the rides and shows found at the Mouse's theme parks were lame, preferring the edgier entertainment to be found at Universal Studios and Six Flags Magic Mountain. That's why newly arrived CEO Michael Eisner ordered...
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