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  • Blog Post: Just how spectacular was WDW's Bicentennial spectacular?

    Bradley R. writes in to ask: Jim -- I was just down at Disney World and I have to admit that the Magic Kingdom's "Celebrate America! -- A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky" show was pretty spectacular. But as good as those fireworks were, they got me thinking. Has Disney World ever staged a bigger display...
  • Blog Post: How "One Little Spark" nearly fried the Dreamfinder

    As a kid I'd tune in the Wonderful World of Color every Sunday night. Most of the time Walt would introduce some western or historic feature - or some story like "Melvin, the Manic Marmoset" - and I'd switch over to watch Ed Sullivan . He had ventriloquists ! On a good week, there'd be an animated feature...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Getting a head with Blaine Gibson

    Like most old guys, I tend to get my brain stuck in a certain time frame. So I didn't immediately recognize the man sitting in the limo. For some odd reason, I expected to see the guy I remembered. The slender, dark haired young man with the horn rimmed glasses. However, this older gentleman didn't exactly...
  • Blog Post: "Because if we get hit by a train, we're going to die and we're going to hell"

    Hey, gang Jim Hill here. My apologies for JHM going dark for three days last week. But between my Mom going in for gall bladder surgery on Monday and my Dad winding up in the emergency room with heart palpitations on Friday (Not to mention that brownout in New Jersey as well as the 60 MPH windstorm in...
  • Blog Post: Looking back on the Disney-MGM Studio Backlot project -- Part 3

    Picking up where we left off yesterday ... Despite the two MCA lawsuits, Disney continued to develop plans for the Disney-MGM Studio Backlot in Burbank . At the helm of the Disney project were two Imagineers: a young Joe Rohde (then 32-years-old) and Rick Rothschild . Their mission was to seamlessly...
  • Blog Post: Looking back on the Disney-MGM Studio Backlot project -- Part I

    Most longtime Disney fans know that Disney’s California Adventure was not Michael Eisner ’s first attempt at establishing a second Disney theme park in California. There was, of course, WESTCOT in Anaheim and Port Disney in Long Beach . But hardly anyone talks about Eisner’s first attempt to bring a...
  • Blog Post: Mist Direction or How DAK Operations just slipped Joe Rohde a Mickey

    Folks who visited Disney's Animal Kingdom late last month got something of a treat. In that -- for a while there, anyway -- most of " Expedition Everest " 's effects were actually working. The scenic mist that's supposed to drift off of Forbidden Mountain top actually did that. The fog bank that your...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : WDI complains about all those complainers

    It's as predictable as the tides. First a new attraction soft-opens at one of the Disney theme parks. And then someone online declares this new ride or show is " ... the worst thing that Imagineering has ever designed." Which is why -- on the heels of "Spaceship Earth" 's torturous test-and-adjust period...
  • Blog Post: M-I-C ... as in "I wish that this microphone would work properly"

    Now THAT'S Dedication... Shortly after Disneyland opened in 1955, someone found an unpaid bill in a desk drawer amounting to thousands of dollars. When Walt heard about it, he is supposed to have said, “Well, when you do big things, you make big mistakes.“ Here's another example of this phenomenon, from...
  • Blog Post: Toon Thursday : Mermaids, donuts and musical concrete

    Hey, folks -- Jim Hill here. Before this month's Floyd Norman column officially gets underway, I thought that I'd take a moment to let JHM readers know that Mr. Fun recently launched his very own blog. Appropriately titled Mr. Fun's Blog . So if you want more than just the usually once-a-month dose of...
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