One of the things I love about the Disney parks in Japan is the attention to detail. Even at the sinks! This one in Tokyo DisneySea dispenses the soap in the shape of Mickey Mouse! As it says over the faucet, “Clean hands, happy faces!”
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.
During our recent vacation in Japan, we got to visit the most beautiful Disney Store I’ve ever seen. Both inside and out, this store was so pretty, and there was so much creative merchandise.
The Disney Store is located in Ikspiari, which is the Tokyo Disney version of Downtown Disney or Disney Springs.
One of the things I fell in love with was this new merchandise called Ufufy, which are Japanese-style egg-shaped plush.
I love the classic characters and the simplicity of this line. If you enlarge the picture above, you can see the Pooh and Piglet Ufufy I just had to buy!
Having worked on the original “DuckTales” TV series, it was particularly fun for me to visit the McDuck’s Department Store in Tokyo DisneySea. Enjoy a few more photos below.
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Disney characters Gelatoni and Duffy are extremely popular in Japan! I was amazed to see how many people were carrying or wearing Duffy and Friends merchandise. I do think they are pretty adorable.
Some of Scrooge’s treasure sits in the fountain in front of the McDuck’s Department Store.
A golden Scrooge McDuck statue sits in the center of the store, greeting guests as they enter.
Hope you enjoy these photos!
Staying at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa is almost like a cruise. It’s not just a place to stay, but there is a daily list of events that you can participate in. Be sure to check the “Daily ‘Iwa” to find out about all the unique daily happenings!
Today we participated in the nature walk, where we learned about so much of the tropical landscaping here at the resort. Our guide, Cy, was fascinating, with an obvious passion for the topic. Not only did he point out the various species of nature, but he explained the various uses for the abundance of plants and trees, and even how some of them specifically fall into traditional Hawaiian lore.
I was surprised when the tour ended because it felt like it was only ten minutes but it was really 45 minutes long!
Disney has created a true Hawaiian paradise!
Aloha, from Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa! Following a most wonderful stay in Japan , we are now staying in Hawaii at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa.
Aulani is an exceptional experience with a very inclusive history of Hawaii within its boundaries! The entire resort is like a big museum of Hawaiian culture with little touches of Disney throughout.
To me, the photo above represents so much of what Aulani is all about. Just a simple piece of artwork on the wall that many will walk by and some may not even take much notice, but this mural represents Pele, the fire goddess, along with her brother who uses his shark form to serve as her guide.
The wall opposite the mural may appear to just be pretty tile, but it’s actually made from the inside of coconut, or “niu,” shells! There are also tiles above, not pictured, made from the outside of the coconut shells. These types of details are abundant here at Aulani.
I’v’e waited many years to see the Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Dream Lights parade, and I finally got the chance to experience it last night. It not only lived up to my expectations, it far exceeded it!
With an updated version of the popular Electrical Parade them, “Baroque Hoedown,” the floats were grand and beautiful, and had so many effects! The “it’s a small world” finale was completely color as in the photo and then went to all white. The Genie from “Aladdin” was his traditional blue and then suddenly wearing a Donald Duck Suit, and then a Mr. Incredible outfit and he kept changing. This isn’t video but crafted out of the “millions of sparkling lights.”
I will post more photos of this extraordinary parade in the future along with other photos from Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and other Japanese Disney experiences.
Here are some more never-before-seen photos of Walt Disney World under construction. These were taken by Donald M. Gardner, who was the chief electrical engineer at MAPO, the manufacturing department at Walt Disney Imagineering. An electrical and mechanical engineer, Don worked not only on the opening of Walt Disney World, but also worked on Disneyland projects and attractions such as the Walt Disney World monorail. Enjoy!
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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.