I just posted my interview with Jack Lindquist on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Jack discusses how he came up with the idea for the very unique grand opening of the classic it’s a small world attraction at Disneyland. CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos
Since today, February 8, 2001, is the 15th anniversary of Disney California Adventure, I thought I’d post some of my old photos from when it first opened. It sure has evolved since then! Even the name used to have “Disney’s” instead of “Disney.” Bountiful Valley Farm became A Bug’s Land. The ABC Commissary Soap Opera Bistro became the Animation Academy, and Toy Story Midway Mania was not even a thought yet. The photos below might bring back a few more memories for you.
Upon entering Disney’s California Adventure, you would find yourself in Sunshine Plaza, which included the “Greetings from California” shop. The music was themed to… (ready for it?) California!! You might hear the Al Jolson hit, “California, Here I Come,” “San Francisco Bay Blues” by Peter, Paul and Mary, or “Surfin’ USA” by the Beach Boys. Today, this is all Buena Vista Street, themed to 1920s Hollywood, when Walt Disney first came to California.
At the end of Sunshine Plaza was the park’s icon, the “Sun Icon.”
Where “Silly Symphony Swings” spin today, Guests originally got swinging in the “Orange Stinger.”
Today, the Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue attraction transports Guests to Monstropolis, but when California Adventure opened, you could board a “limo” through Hollywood for the big premiere of your new movie.
Inside Superstar Limo, Guests traveled through a stylized Hollywood, seeing the likes of Drew Carey, Cher, Tim Allen, Whoopie Goldberg and, as pictured above, Regis Philbin. This was, after all, the height of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” game show craze.
Where the Little Mermaid resides today, was the Golden Dreams theater, offering Guests a short recreation of the history of California.
Through projections, Whoopie Goldberg was seen as part of the theater’s decorations, and served as the host and narrator of the “Golden Dreams” film.
As I mentioned before, when California Adventure opened, it was the height of the “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” craze, so at the Hollywood Studios Backlot, next to Superstar Limo, you could see a recreation of the popular game show, and Guests were chosen to be contestants.
What would a Disney park be without a parade? Disney’s Eureka! The California Adventure Parade featured floats representing many of the cultures in the Golden State.
Over in Paradise Pier Guests could board the Maliboomer, to be launched 180 feet high.
While California Screamin’ has remained, the theming has changed a little, and Mickey is now found on Mickey’s Fun Wheel. The photo above displays that attraction when it was still the Sun Wheel.
I just posted my interview with Sonny Anderson on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation Sonny discusses his Disney career starting as a drummer in the Disneyland Band in 1956 and becoming a legendary talent booker for Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Disneyland’s director of talent booking Stan Freese joins me for additional insight. CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos
A long time ago… Star Tours took flight at Disneyland with a 60 hour party! It was on this day in 1987 that Guests were first able to hop aboard a Starspeeder 3000 for an exhilarating trip to Endor, even if that meant waiting in a line which stretched from Tomorrowland, down Main Street, and past the Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln theater. The new attraction replaced Adventure Thru Inner Space, and rather than inner space, would now blast off Guests to outer space. Although the lines for the popular new thrill ride subsided throughout the sixty hours, Guests were also able to enjoy such things as the new Captain EO 3-D film, eat at the all new Big Thunder Barbecue, enjoy the new Golden Horseshoe Jamboree stage show, or get caught up in the upbeat Totally Minnie parade. Although the new updated Star Tours: The Adventures Continue debuted five years ago, here are some of my photos I took back when the original was just five years old.
Learn about the amazing career of singer Jay Meyer, who you’ve probably seen as one of the singing busts in the Haunted Mansion in Disneyland, Walt Disney World or the international Disney parks. I’m working on the audio of my interview with Jay and will post it soon. Be sure to sign up for our weekly Email Updates to be alerted when I post it.
28 years ago this week, on July 11, 1987 to be exact, the Disney Gallery opened in Disneyland above the Pirates of the Caribbean entrance. The space was originally being designed as a space for Walt Disney to entertain guests and dignitaries, however all worked ceased after Walt passed away in 1966. When the Disney Gallery opened, it gave Guests the chance to visit this previous inaccessible area, and to see unique Disneyland artwork and artifacts, with new exhibits regularly. I remember the gallery as a wonderful relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle downstair, with multiple rooms, a quiet outdoor seating patio, and the friendliest of Disneyland Cast Members. I thought you’d enjoy some of my old Gallery photos. While the Gallery no longer resides in that area, there is still a Disney Gallery by the lobby of Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.
Chuck Corson (left), Chuck and jazz legend Pete Fountain (right)
I just posted my interview with Chuck Corson on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Chuck discusses his days with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Big Bands at Disneyland, and the beginning of Disneyland’s nighttime entertainment. CLICK HERE for the interview