What a thrill it was to witness the Candlelight Processional this year at Epcot. This Christmas tradition began at Disneyland in 1958 and features different guest narrators each year. On this night, the guest was 2016 Olympic gold and silver medalist in gymnastics, Laurie Hernandez.
The setting is quite different than the Disneyland version, which takes place in front of the Disneyland Railroad station in Town Square. In Epcot the Candlelight Processional appears on a stage in the American Adventure pavilion, which I found to be equally as effective for a moving and inspirational performance.
Thought I’d post this picture of me with the late Billy Barty, who was born on this day October 25th in 1924. What a great talent he was. In addition to his numerous movie and television roles, he was the original voice of Figment in the Epcot attraction, “Journey Into Imagination,” where he sang the Sherman Brothers’ wonderful composition “One Little Spark.” (Side note: How I love digital photography so we now know before it’s too late if we blinked in the picture.)
For the 35th anniversary of Epcot today, which also happens to be the 46th anniversary of Walt Disney World, here’s a photo I took of one of the original opening day Epcot (or as it was then called EPCOT Center) attractions. This photo is from World of Motion and depicts the scene when sore-footed cave people decide it’s time to invent the wheel. Also, here’s some photos of Disney World under construction http://blog.mouseclubhouse.com/more-1960s-walt-disney-world-construction-pics/
I’m saddened by the passing of X Atencio, a true Disney Legend in every sense of the word, and a warm, humble, and kind person. X was a key contributor to many facets of Disney, from animation, with a specialty in stop-motion animation, to Disney theme parks, where he was a writer, no only writing dialogue for attractions such as the submarines, the Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, but also penning lyrics for some of the classic songs like Grim Grinning Ghosts, Yo Ho (A Pirates Life for Me), The Bear Band Serenade for the Country Bear Jamboree, and several others.
I hope you enjoy my interview I did with X back in 2007. I’m so grateful that he shared his story with me, and that I may share with you.
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It really saddens me to report that Marty Sklar has passed away. A true Disney Legend, Marty was originally hired to write for the Disneyland News souvenir newspaper, and soon became Walt’s top writer. He wrote many of Walt’s speeches and other company communications and ultimately became the head of Walt Disney Imagineering.
Recently, Marty and I had been in touch, as I was going to interview him. Several Disney Legends that I know how contacted Marty to encourage him to interview me, and I just love what he emailed me! “Gee Scott – How come you didn’t get Bob Iger to say I should talk to you? Looks like you have most of the Legends …”
In preparation for the interview, I’ve been reading Marty’s wonderful book, “Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms.” While I never got that interview, I’m grateful to have his stories.
I just posted my interview with Disney Legend and Imagineer, Orlando Ferrante, who talks about his time coordinating everything from attractions to complete Disney parks, as well as Disney’s participation in the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair, and the Disney Cruise Line. CLICK HERE for the interview
I just posted my interview with Ron Logan on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Ron talks about his beginnings playing trumpet in the 1958 Christmas parade at Disneyland, and climbing the ladder to become the executive vice president, executive producer of Walt Disney Entertainment, responsible for all the live entertainment in the entire company. CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos.