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.
I just posted my interview with Gary Krueger on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, Gary talks about his times photographing Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney movie premieres and much more – and you’ll see lots of postcards of Gary’s photography! CLICK HERE for the interview and postcards
Yo ho everybody! I thought you’d enjoy this rare concept art by Marc Davis for the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. Marc was my favorite artist and responsible for creating so many of the classic scenes you see in attractions such as Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise and so much more. Marc started working for Disney as an animator and the first thing he animated was a scene in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” While he created characters such as Tinker Bell and Cruella De Ville, some of my favorite pieces were Marc’s characters that seemed to leap off the page – such as the various bears for the Country Bear Jamboree attraction. This Pirates artwork is a rough sketch for a scene that didn’t make it in the final attraction. I love it because it’s so rough, and different than a lot of Marc’s typically seen works, but still tells a story with humor. I’m grateful to Marc’s wife, Alice, another Disney Legend, for allowing me to scan it.
It was on this day in 1971 that Walt Disney World opened to the public. Learning from all the troubles they had at Disneyland’s opening day, it was decided to hold the grand opening festivities until later in the month. When WDW began, the Magic Kingdom was the sole park. There was no Epcot, no Disney’s Hollywood Studios, nor Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As for Resorts, there were no All-Star Resorts, no Grand Floridian, it was the Contemporary Resort and the Polynesian Village. Enjoy this map to explore the World as it was in 1971. (CLICK IMAGE FOR LARGER VIEW)
With the official announcement of the beloved Electrical Parade returning to Disneyland, I thought I’d post some fascinating history about it! How was a football game responsible for the parade’s closing fanfare? Whose idea was it to have the park lights dim in perfect synchronization with the parade’s musical introduction?
All this and lots more Disney entertainment history is in my interview with Don Dorsey! CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos
I just posted my interview with X Atencio on my Mouse Clubhouse website. In this conversation, X discusses his work for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, writing scripts and songs for attractions such Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and other attractions. CLICK HERE for the interview and more photos
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
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.
Although the Walt Disney World Resort opened on October 1, 1971, featuring the Magic Kingdom, two hotels, lakes, lagoons, golf courses and a campground, that day was not officially the grand opening. When Disneyland in California opened in 1955, things did not run smoothly, to say the least. There are the legendary stories such as the ladies heels sinking into the melting asphalt, and there are the lesser known stories such as when the future President of Disneyland, Jack Lindquist, waited 45 minutes for his young son to return on the Canal Boats of America that ended up being dragged back by workers in high rubber boots. In 1971, the folks at Disney were not going to take any chances in Florida, so although the new resort would open on the 1st, the official grand opening would occur on October 25th, giving them ample time to work out any kinks. On that day, Roy O. Disney delivered the dedication speech, “Walt Disney World is a tribute to the philosophy and life of Walter Elias Disney… and to the talents, the dedication, and the loyalty of the entire Disney organization that made Walt Disney’s dream come true. May Walt Disney World bring Joy and Inspiration and New Knowledge to all who come to this happy place… a Magic Kingdom where the young at heart of all ages can laugh and play and learn — together.” While the grand opening festivities occurred later in the month, today is indeed a day of historical significance… the 38th anniversary of that magic day when Walt Disney World Ambassador Debby Dane Browne first led guests into the Magic Kingdom, and the first day the public was able to experience a Disney Resort, as it began its journey to become the premiere destination resort in the world.