Nature walk at Disney’s Aulani

The plumeria is just one of the many native trees found at Aulani
The plumeria is just one of the many native trees found at Aulani
Cy does a wonderful nature walk at Aulani
Cy does a wonderful nature walk at Aulani

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!

Pele mural at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

Pele mural at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa
Pele mural at Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa

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.

Aloha!

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights

Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights "it's a small world" finale
Tokyo Disneyland Electrical Parade Dream Lights “it’s a small world” finale

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.

More 1960s Walt Disney World construction pics

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!

Walt Disney World Preview Center was established so the public could get a glimpse of the resort to come.
Walt Disney World Preview Center was established so the public could get a glimpse of the resort to come.
Construction on the "basement" which Fantasyland sits atop
Construction on the “basement” which Fantasyland sits atop
The Haunted Mansion under construction
The Haunted Mansion under construction
Looking at the Walt Disney World Railroad station from Town Square
Looking at the Walt Disney World Railroad station from Town Square
The Contemporary Resort, not yet completed
The Contemporary Resort, not yet completed

Disney Legend Marty Sklar has passed away

Here's a photo I took of Marty Sklar back in 2010
Here’s a photo I took of Marty Sklar back in 2010

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.

My Presentation in the Golden Horseshoe

Scott does a presentation inside the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland
Scott does a presentation inside the Golden Horseshoe at Disneyland

Big thanks to the Disneyland Golden Ears group for having me back to do another presentation in one of my favorite places in the world, the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland!

In this talk I was able to share stories that have been personally told to me by people who were greatly involved in the creation of Disneyland, and who worked closely with Walt Disney.

It gives me great pleasure to be able to share these stories that I’ve had the honor of recording over the years, and I’m very grateful to the warm reception I received from the Golden Ears!

Tony Solaroni, a Tokyo Disneyland character

Tony Solaroni in Tokyo Disneyland
Tony Solaroni in Tokyo Disneyland

This Disney character is Tony Solaroni, an Audio-Animatronics alien in Tokyo Disneyland at the Pan Galactic Pizza Port. Although he speaks Japanese, thanks to the clever subtitles above his head, I learned his unique alien-style pizza-making process including using the cheese-o-matic and the  glib-globulator.  (I love that he’s wearing a Disney nametag.) See ya soon, Tony!