Category Archives: Other Fun Stuff

Star Wars Days at Legoland photos

This couple in detailed Star Wars costumes told me they volunteer to attend Star Wars Days.

Star Wars Days at LEGOLAND California (June 3 & June 4, 2017) includes new Star Wars LEGO displays,  activities such as the LEGO Star Wars™ Family Build Challenge, LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Scavenger Hunt, Jedi™ Trivia, costume contests more.

Many of the Star Wars-themed costumes were quite elaborate.
I even found R2D2 wandering around the festivities.
Any time is a good time for Star Wars fans to visit LEGOLAND. This display in Miniland is present year-round as are a number of other  displays and six larger six scenes that represent the first 30 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Another meticulously designed LEGO scene in miniature.
Come to the "brick" side - A LEGO version of Darth Vader
Come to the “brick” side – A LEGO version of Darth Vader

Special thanks to LEGOLAND California for inviting me to your annual Star Wars Days!

Disney live entertainment pioneer Larry Billman passed away

Disney live entertainment pioneer Larry Billman, as scene in the Disney movie "Miracle of the White Stallions"
Disney live entertainment pioneer Larry Billman, as scene in the Disney movie “Miracle of the White Stallions”

I’m so sad to report that Larry Billman has passed away. Larry was not only a very important of Disney live entertainment history, but a HUGE supporter of my Mouse Clubhouse. He was responsible for my interviews with people such as Chuck Corson (early Disneyland/Disney World director of entertainment), Miriam Nelson (Disneyland’s opening day choreographer) and Alyja Kalinich (Disney costume designer extraordinaire). As a historian of American Dance on Film, Larry was more than once there for me when I felt that my Mouse Clubhouse work was too overwhelming with little gratification, and he inspired me to keep going.

After I posted an interview with a friend of Larry’s who passed away, Larry wrote me the following, “…I am gratified that you have captured some of his memories for eternity. In my life now I find that most of my energies are spent writing about the dancers and choreographers of the Hollywood musicals. I write for a newsletter which is distributed by the Professional Dancers Society in California. I am currently writing 12 obituaries for the next issue – including Marc Breaux. As painful as it can be when I am writing about people I know well, I am happy that their accomplishments are being documented. After my theme park career ended, I became a “Dance Archivist” with books and articles about them and that may be my finest hour. My mission is that they (and the art they created) are remembered.”

Inspired by Larry’s own words, I invite you to listen to the voice and stories of this wonderful and truly talented individual who I will truly miss.  http://mouseclubhouse.com/interview-larry-billman/

TaleSpin series artwork

My TaleSpin credit
My TaleSpin credit

It’s been nearly 30 years since I had the honor of being the assistant producer on a bunch of TaleSpin episodes! Thanks to those of you who write me about your memories of the show! It means a lot! Hope you enjoy the artwork below!!

TaleSpin color key artwork 1
TaleSpin color key artwork 1
TaleSpin color key artwork 2
TaleSpin color key artwork 2
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book

Here’s some pages from the TaleSpin comic books,  given to me by my friend and neighbor, the late Joe Messerli, who inked the art! What a coincidence that the man who lived just two doors down from me for my childhood ended up working on the comic books for the TV series I worked on!

TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin comic book
TaleSpin artist Derek Carter gave me my own camera shop in this TaleSpin layout key
TaleSpin artist Derek Carter gave me my own camera shop in this TaleSpin layout key
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
TaleSpin size comparison
Rebecca rough construction
Rebecca rough construction
Rebecca details - I always thought it was amazing they got Sally Struthers to voice Rebecca, from one of the greatest sitcoms in history, All in the Family
Rebecca details – I always thought it was amazing they got Sally Struthers to voice Rebecca, from one of the greatest sitcoms in history, All in the Family
Molly mouth chart
Molly mouth chart
Molly details
Molly details
Head construction of Louie
Head construction of Louie
Kit Cloudkicker details
Kit Cloudkicker details
Various poses of Kit Cloudkicker
Various poses of Kit Cloudkicker
Rough drawings of Baloo's attitudes
Rough drawings of Baloo’s attitudes
Rough drawings of Baloo's attitudes
Rough drawings of Baloo’s attitudes

We sometimes had "Special Poses" designed such as Baloo in a hammock
We sometimes had “Special Poses” designed such as Baloo in a hammock

Reader’s Digest cites Shani for expert Disney vacation advice

Shani Wolf, vacation planner specializing in Disney Vacations
Shani Wolf, vacation planner specializing in Disney Vacations

The classic publication, Reader’s Digest, recently wrote an article about “Insider Secrets for the Best Walt Disney World Vacation,” and they approached Shani for her expert advice.

You can view the article at http://www.rd.com/advice/travel/disney-world-tips/

Shani didn’t want to post this because she didn’t want to “brag,” so I’m bragging for her. I’m very proud of her, and I’m thrilled that a publication as reputable as Reader’s Digest realized that Shani’s Disney background is far more than just the intense training they give her to be certified as a vacation planner specializing in Disney vacations, but also her years working for Disneyland, the Walt Disney Studios and The Disney University. She was also responsible for training thousands of new Disneyland employees in their orientation.

Shani’s clients know that they not only benefit from her great knowledge of Disney and Disney travel, but she truly cares about them, and you can’t beat her Disney-style customer service.

I’m very proud of her.

Most popular presidential nominee – Pooh for President

Pooh for President
Pooh for President

Although he’s skilled in the media, having had his own television shown and movie appearances, he has no political experience, zero knowledge of foreign polices, he’s not up on the latest technology, and, well, he’s got very-little brains. Yet, I believe this candidate could actually have a chance if he ran today. Of course, I’m talking about Winnie the Pooh. Back in 1968 (above, left), Sears stores launched a Pooh-litical marketing campaign, as it was the main headquarters of Winnie the Pooh merchandise. In 1972 (above, right), Disney took “Pooh for President” to a whole new level, with Disneyland events and even a national tour! (See images below)

Pooh for President at Disneyland
Pooh for President at Disneyland

 

In connection with the 1972 Pooh for President marketing campaign, Sears sent sweepstakes winners to Disneyland and Walt Disney World
In connection with the 1972 Pooh for President marketing campaign, Sears sent sweepstakes winners to Disneyland and Walt Disney World

Come join our Mouse Clubhouse Facebook group page! https://www.facebook.com/groups/mouseclubhouse/

 

First Annual Golden Clef Awards

1st Annual Golden Clef Awards
1st Annual Golden Clef Awards

I want to let you know about this cool event! The La Mirada Symphony will present the first annual Golden Clef Awards Gala Saturday, August
20, 2016 in California at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The event honors individuals and organizations that have made a significant and lasting impact on concert music and the musical arts.  Honored include performer Shirley Jones and composer Paul Williams. Roy Disney will be honored posthumously, represented by the Disney family with special guest, Dave Bossert and a special screening of the animated short “Destino.” Supervisor Don Knabe will also be honored for his lifetime support of the arts over the course of his public service career.

Broadway performers Rex Smith and James Mulligan along with Carly Bracco, Impressionist, Paul Boland, and Richard Allen at the piano will provide a musical tribute to the honorees. An after show reception will be held for patrons to meet the honorees.

Hostess for the evening will be actress, speaker, Morgan Brittany.

All proceeds support the admission free concerts during the La Mirada Symphony season. Since 1963 the La Mirada Symphony has been providing classical music and arts education to the Southern California community.

For tickets visit the La Mirada Theatre website at http://lamiradatheatre.com/pr_lms.htm.

For more information or an interview contact La Mirada Symphony Board President and event coordinator, Joseph Yakovetic at 909-241-6088
or his email address at yak_pro@yahoo.com.

Important podcast information

I want to let you know that I changed servers for my podcasts and as a result you may not be seeing all of the interviewss. Although it may still show that you are subscribed, be sure to go to the iTunes Store and resubscribe. You will see all the interviews I’ve already posted and a couple new ones, too! And I’ve got plenty more to come as well!

I thank you so much for your support and allowing me to share the wonderful stories of these fantastic people with you!

 

My Disneyland “Fun with Music” treasure

Disneyland "Fun with Music" show pin
Disneyland “Fun with Music” show pin

Thought I’d share my newest treasure. This button that reads “I’ve had Fun with Music” was given to elementary and middle school students in the mid-1970s, who attended a very special private show in Disneyland in the original Fantasyland Theatre (previously the Mickey Mouse Club Theater – about where the Pinocchio attraction and Village Haus reside now.)

The theater was open to the public, and was used to show Disney short animated films, guest performers, and also for private company events. With the title borrowed from one of the days of the “Mickey Mouse Club” television series, “Fun with Music” was exclusively for students on an exciting field trip and, with the help of characters Father Time and Melody, Harmony,Rhythm and Boogie Man, it formed an appreciation of music by teaching the basics. The show was written by Larry Billman, who wrote, directed and produced hundreds of live shows for Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the international Disney resorts.

The band was led by Bruce Healey, who would become the Senior Music Producer/Director, Disneyland Entertainment and is responsible for much of the music you hear in Disneyland’s parades and shows.

Father Music was portrayed by Jim Adams. Although Jim wore a number of hats (literally, as an entertainer, and figuratively) during his time as a performer in Disneyland, he is best known as Pecos Bill from the Golden Horseshoe Revue from 1970 to 1982, alternating performances with the legendary Wally Boag.

Besides the show, students got to learn more about music by attending a concert performance of the Disneyland Band and visiting the attractions “America the Beautiful,” “Country Bear Jamboree,” “America Sings,” “Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room” and “It’s a Small World,” which is pictured on the button.

Although most Disneyland park Guests are not aware this program existed, the cast and crew were comprised of Disneyland’s greatest! (In addition to the names above, some of you might be familiar with some of the other participants such as Jim Christensen, Dick Cook, John Anello, Judy Nuzum, Reid Shibata, Greg Killingsworth, Terry Robinson, Joyce Hodges, and Chellie Campbell!)

I hope to bring you much more about the very unique, but little known “Fun with Music” show in the future, but I just had to share this photo of my newest treasure.

Disney Cruise Line Returning to California, New York and Texas in 2017

DCL-Fall-2017-pic
Sail on a Disney cruise returning to New York, California, and Texas in 2017

It’s official, the Disney Cruise Line is returning to California, New York and Texas and I can help book them for you immediately!

Cast off the coast of Florida, Texas or New York to enchanting Bahamian ports of call. Sail from California on Baja and Mexican Riviera cruises. Or, discover magical New England and Canadian voyages departing from New York!

Here’s more details:

Western Caribbean
Soak up the natural beauty and vibrant cultures of 3 tropical ports of call—Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Falmouth, Jamaica—during a 7-night roundtrip cruise from Port Canaveral that includes a fun stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

Bahamas
Disney Cruise Line sails to the Bahamas on a variety of sun-soaked itineraries. All cruises include a stop at Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay. And now, on special sailings from New York, Guests can take advantage of a convenient stop in Florida to visit Walt Disney World!

Canadian Coast
Sail from New York to handsome ports of call with a selection of itineraries featuring destinations like St. John, Charlottetown, Bar Harbor and fascinating cities in beautiful Nova Scotia.

Baja and Mexican Riviera
Relish a weekend getaway from San Diego to Ensenada—known for its stellar surfing conditions, innovative cuisine and legendary hot springs. Or, extend your vacation to visit lovely Cabo San Lucas. Take a week-long Mexican Riviera cruise to explore Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta and beyond!

Transatlantic
Delve into the rich history of several port cities—including Cadiz, Spain and Ponta Delgada (Azores), Portugal. There’s a bounty of sights for you to discover over the course of your 11-night sailing.

Panama Canal
Savor top-notch amenities aboard a 14-night coast-to-coast cruise that takes you through the world-famous Panama Canal. Call upon blissful port cities in Mexico, Colombia and the Caribbean before arriving in Galveston, Texas.