Monday, December 31, 2007

Daily Figment 134: Looking Back 05

Here is the last of our series looking back at 2007. What a year it has been. This post focuses on November with three posts from December.

World Famous Matt Hochberg

Disney podcast host, forum administrator and dessert party guy...

Daily Figment 105 - Disney Legend Dave Smith
I rhapsodize about my favorite Disney Legend and my dream job.

Daily Figment 108 - Poll Results
Andy discusses the results of our second poll: Expedition Everest.

Daily Figment 114: World's Fair
I share a few links about the importance of the 1939-1940 World's Fair.

Daily Figment 115: Zip-A-Dee River Run

Andy takes a look at the beginnings of Splash Mountain. Imagine, Michael Eisner in a trash bag.

Daily Figment 116: It's a Mongello World After All!

No shameless promotion here. Just an honest and unabashed review of Lou's Audio Guide on CD. Plus, you can't mention Matt without Mongello. If you didn't pick up your copy for Christmas, now is your chance to stock up on some Vitamin M.

Andy and I wrote this on the way home from MouseFest 2007.

Makin' Memories
I post some pictures of some absolutely amazing people at MouseFest (besides me and Andy, of course).

Daily Figment 123: The Few, the Proud, the Thankful

Andy shares our trials and tribulations on our quest to ride Spaceship Earth during MouseFest. Don't worry, no spoilers here.

As Jeff mentions on this week's WDW Radio Show, the best thing about 2007 has been the community that we are all building. The fact that I can share my obsession with so many people friends is amazing--but my wife still thinks it is strange!

Geek Link - Davelandblog: The Genius of Marc Davis

Head over to Davelandblog and check out the awesome post about Marc Davis and his designs for Pirates of the Caribbean.

Dave runs a fantastic site with oodles and oodles of historical (and hysterical) pictures from Disneyland, USA.

You know the rules, kiddos...leave Dave some Disney Geek love and tell him he is doing a fantastic job!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Daily Figment 133: Looking Back 04

We are drawing closer and closer to the end of the year. So far, 2007 has been a great time to be a Disney fan. 2008 looks even better.

This time we are going to share some posts from October.

Daily Figment 79: Gone But Not Forgotten
I take you on a pictorial tour of an extinct Disney attraction.

Daily Figment 86: Our Secret
Andy shares a, uh, newsworthy item.

Daily Figment 90: Construction

I take a look at some early construction photos at Walt Disney World.

Daily Figment 91 - Book Review: A Visit to Disneyland
I review a wonderful children's book detailing a 1965-ish visit to Disneyland, USA.

Daily Figment 92: A Different Kind of World I share some scans of the early plans for Walt Disney World and it changed after Walt's passing.

Daily Figment 93: The Grand(er) Canyon
Andy shares a detail from the Wilderness Lodge.

Coming up: Poll Results!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Geek Link: Book Update

David at Vintage Disney Collectibles has posted about a rare Mickey Mouse book (which you know got me very excited!).

Make sure you head over there and check out the post. He shares a lot of details about the history of the book and some of the really cool details.

You know the drill: stop by and leave him some Disney Geek love.

Weekend Edition Daily Figment 132: Looking Back 03

We usually don't post a weekend Daily Figment, but we wanted to share some more of our favorite posts with you.
Good friend and blogging neighbor Ray ribs us about not being at Walt Disney World during his September birthday visit.

You know you want it. Andy discusses the ultimate in collectibles.

I talk about Jason Surrell's book, The Disney Mountains, and the theme of roller coasters telling stories. You should definitely pick up a copy of this book.

Andy and I look at how the Internet has effected Disney and the fans. We don't get to write posts together very often and this one was a lot of fun to put together.

Andy discusses a quote from John Hench about the pathways at Disneyland.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daily Figment 131 - Looking Back 03

Here are some more of our past postings for you to enjoy.

Daily Figment 36: Best. Ride. Ever
I talk about the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland and share what might have been!

Daily Figment 38: Happy Birthday!
Andy celebrates my birthday. Learn some surprising facts about the elder Disney Geek.

Daily Figment 39: Becoming a Disney Geek

I share some books for all levels of Disney Geeks.

Daily Figment 45: Book Review - The Art of Disneyland
I review the Art of Disneyland by Jeff Kurrti--an amazing and beautiful book!

Daily Figment 51 Contemporary Construction
We take a look at the construction of the Contemporary Resort.

Don't forget to leave us some Disney Geek love!

Christmas Book Update

I didn't expect to receive such a large set of books from Santa this year. I did get 11 new books and 3 older copies of the E-Ticket Magazine.


I am really looking forward to digging into these books and getting up reviews as soon as possible! I am looking forward to the biography of Roy Disney called Building A Company.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Daily Figment 130 - Looking Back 02

I've gone through our postings to find some more of our earlier gems for you (ed. note: gems? Who writes this?). Thanks to everyone that left us some comments--it really means a lot to us.

Daily Figment 08: Orson Scott Card & Ratatouille
Andy posted a quote from a review that my favorite sci-fi writer, Orson Scott Card, wrote about Ratatouille.

Daily Figment 10 - John Hench Designing Disney
I take a look at an amazing work by the late John Hench, Disney Legend and design expert. He wrote this book in 2003. It is a stunning work that goes into great detail about designing the theme parks. If you can find a copy, snag it!

Daily Figment 26: East vs. West
Ever notice the differences between the East and West side of Future World at EPCOT?

Daily Figment 27: Splash Mountain Tradition

Who did we call this year at MouseFest? Each other and Ray!

Don't forget to leave us some Disney Geek love (comments, baby!). It is just like clapping for Tinkerbell--we do believe in comments, we do...

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Daily Figment 129 - Looking Back 01

We've written 265 posts (including this one) at Imaginerding since we debuted on Saturday, May 12, 2007. We have seen a lot of changes in the Disney blog-o-sphere and we've made a lot of new friends. We want to share some of our favorite posts from the past year with you for two reasons:
  1. we're very proud of what we have done and
  2. we want to share our older stuff with you.
With a few of my blogging buddies, I have taken the time to read every single post they have ever written (Jeff, Jessica, Foxxfur and Ray). Some of the newer Disney-related blogs I have been reading since they have started, but I read 131 Disney-related blogs that I subscribe to through bloglines. I don't have the time to go back and read every post when I discover a new blog, so I find it hard to imagine that anybody else reads all of the old posts. There is some amazing info out there.

So, we are presenting some of our own favorite posts from our past.

One of the first posts I wrote that I enjoyed writing and reading is:
Father's Day Dreaming: At the Parks...
I reminisced about taking my kids to the parks for the first time and how it changed my park habits in a good way.

Andy wrote an early post:
Main Street 8:59
Andy shares a tip about getting Main Street and the Castle all to yourself.

We both were able to experience meeting Disney Legend and former Disney publicist Charles Ridgway on Tuesday, June 5 (we also ate at Taco Bell with Jeff Pepper!):
Yours Truly, Charles Ridgway
Andy wrote a beautiful post about his thoughts on the book, Spinning Disney's World, and meeting Mr. Ridgway.

Our very first Daily Figment:
My how things have changed! We knew had the concept we wanted--we were amazed at everything we could do with it. But would anybody like it?

It has been fun writing for you over the past 8 months. Leave us some Disney Geek love and tell us what you think!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Daily Figment 128 - All I Want for Christmas...

It has been an amazing year for us at Imaginerding; we have met so many wonderful people in the Disney blog-o-sphere, Disney forums and Disney podcasts. As I sit and watch A Christmas Story on TBS, I think about the one present I want for Christmas this year. I know there will some amazing presents: books, video games, a new MP3 player and a few packages from Italy marked FRAGILE. The time spent with family will be too short and I will eat too many helpings of pie.

But what do I really want for Christmas?

Admission to the WDW Crate Appreciation Society.

As you can see in the membership card above, I was admitted as a GROUPIE of the society during MouseFest 2007.

I am submitting my official application for admittance to the WDW Crate Appreciation Society to the founding members: Jessica, Lou and Jeff. Attached are three photographs of undocumented crates from the queue of Splash Mountain.

So, Dear Santa, will you be bringing me a new membership card this year?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Daily Figment 127 - Reading Trout Book Store Review!

As we mentioned in an earlier post, we visited the Reading Trout Book Store to see author David Koenig speak about his new book, Realityland. It was scheduled for the Friday evening during MouseFest. This was my second trip to Celebration; I had visited it in 1997 one afternoon while we were on vacation. It has grown quite a bit. At that time, they were still selling houses and there was a lot of obvious construction. 2007 paints Celebration as an upper-class private resort without the gates. There are some stores and shops, but most of the ancillary services still seem to cater to tourists.

We had some issues with parking in Celebration because of the nightly Christmas Celebration: snow in the town square, electric train rides, sleigh rides and free Christmas flavored coffee (don't ask--Andy sampled it, not me). The Town Square was blocked to parking, so we needed to circle a few times. I called the book store and spoke to one of the owners, Lori. She mentioned a few places to park. We found a spot right in front of the Christmas Tree lot and parked. It was only a few blocks from the store. Celebration is a beautiful planned community--especially at night--and it was a very enjoyable walk past restaurants, shops and holiday revelers.

Reading Trout Book Store is a few shop fronts down from the Celebration AMC Theater. You immediately feel welcome and at home. Rich green walls with bright white trim and shelves envelop you in a sense of warmth and comfort. Of course, the first thing that I noticed was the massive selection of Disney books. I will let you know, up front, that my wallet didn't suffer--my wife informed me that I had a few books coming from Santa and I needed to be careful with purchases. Since we are supposed to be back at Walt Disney World in April, we will definitely be stopping back by the store. I wonder if they sell gift cards (hint, hint)?

After a few minutes of wandering around, we settled in the chairs in front of the screen to hear David's talk. After the book signing, Andy and I toured the store. It is a small, but well-designed with areas for children's fiction, young adult, fiction, nonfiction, magazines and special interest works.In my opinion, the Disney book collection is one of the coolest parts of the book store.There are sections on corporate history, biographies and animation/film. My favorite area was the section devoted to Disney theme park-related books: guides, histories, annuals, architectural titles, gardening, cultural analysis, designing the parks and corporate-produced pieces. There were only a few titles I didn't own (but I made a list) and it is a very extensive collection. I spoke to one of the co-owners (Adam) and he, too, confessed that he was obsessed with Disney-related books. I believe his wife, the other half in the business, collects china--so it equals out.

Reading Trout Book Store should definitely be on your list for you next visit to Walt Disney World. If you live close by, stop by and check them out.

Oh yeah, tell then George sent you!

Reading Trout Books

671 Front Street, Suite 110
Celebration, Florida 34747
321-939-BOOK (2665)

Monday - Thursday: 10:00am - 9:00pm
Friday & Saturday: 10:00am - 10:00pm
Sunday: 11am - 6:30pm

Reading Trout Books offers nearly 12,000 volumes of new & used books and over 100 magazine titles. Reminiscent of a 1040’s Homefront Lounge, the store is filled with wood floors, book shelves to the ceiling, and a fireplace surrounded by deep leather chairs. Over half of books in stock are priced below $15 and the store has an expansive selection of rare Disney titles.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Eric Hollister is Real!

Thanks to Lori and Ray, we have photographic evidence that Eric Hollister of GeoMouse does indeed exist! A lot of people look up to him, even the illustrious Jeff Pepper (hey, did you know that Jeff did our logo?) found the time to break away from Lou at MouseFest to pander to someone else.

Jeff and Eric at the Disney World Trivia Family Reunion at Epcot

See the cool logos that Deanna and I are sporting? Guess who made them?

Since we don't really know what is for, all we can do is leave you with these chilling words: yes, Eric Hollister is only five-foot and twenty-inches tall.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Daily Figment 126 - Quoting Details

Walt understood the value of high-capacity attractions; after all. He wanted as many people as possible to enjoy his creations. Yet, he also had patience for smaller, more subtle diversions, realizing that fine detail created a depth and richness that kept people coming back. And if a new attraction wasn't ready exactly how he had visualized it, Walt wouldn't open it to the public.

He cared about the park, and genuinely enjoyed it. "When we opened the Mark Twain for the press, we were going around the river, and Walt kept blowing the whistle like a kid," remembered John Catone. "We finally had to tell him, 'Walt, we're gonna run out of steam.' And we did. We were dead in the water until we could get more steam."

A few years later, Catone added, "Walt wanted to take the first trip on the Monorail. To get him off, we had to shut off the power. The same with the fire truck on Main Street. He was a big kid. He was human, a person, not some executive from Burbank."

His enthusiasm and concern were contagious. Employees were dedicated to Walt's vision and made to feel as if they were part of a family.

--p. 190, More Mouse Tales by David Koenig.

I just finished More Mouse Tales by David Koenig and this quote, in particular, struck home with me. We talk a lot about details at Imaginerding. Walt cared about the details, but he also cared about having fun. I love reading the stories of Walt's eleven years at the helm of Disneyland: staying overnight in his apartment, roaming the park before opening hours and talking to the guests were all part of Walt's days. And if Walt wanted something, he got it. Whether it was driving the stagecoach, piloting the monorail or ordering a mountain to be built. But that is another story all-together.

I won't go into a lot of details about David's books right now; I will have full reviews next week. One thing that I will say is that his books are filled with details. Details about Walt, hourly employees, management and guests. I tore through both of them quickly and I am really looking forward to Realityland.

Photographs used with permission from Grumpy's Hollow and Daveland Web.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Daily Figment 125 - Details: Splashdown Photos

For our first details post, we wanted to call your attention to the Disney Geeks favorite ride: Splash Mountain.

After riding Splash Mountain for the second time on the first day of MouseFest and after meeting two Canadian podcasters (you can do the math), we spent a lot of time checking out the details of the queue. Both the entrance and the exit. Although we did take a lot of pictures of undocumented Splash Mountain crates, we found some really great details near the exit of the ride. I can only imagine the looks that Andy and I got as we took pictures of walls, boxes, crates and light fixtures.

Everyone stops at Splashdown Photos to see the picture of themselves after being tossed down Chickapin' Hill into the briar patch. While most people blew by us to get to another attraction, Andy and I took a few moments to stop, look around and savor the details. I was amazed at the intricate theming that took place in the Splashdown Photos area. Most people would have just seen a cattle line with slightly wet people waiting to pick up their picture.

The walls are covered with odes to the art of developing pictures. There are bottles of glycin, bicarbonite of soda, developer fixitive fluid, potassium bromide, photographic paper and old cameras. Of course, there were also some books scattered throughout the shelves.

One of the tongue-in-cheek details that I discovered was the bottle in the picture on the left. It is on the shelf in the first picture.

The label reads:

He He


There are some obvious ties to Splash Mountain on the label. He He and Laughing Gasous relate to the Laughing Place.

But what about the 105? It doesn't match helium or nitrous oxide with a wikipedia search. Any thoughts?

Once again, we implore you to take a moment and look around while you are in the theme parks. You will be amazed at what you can see.

Speaking of noticing the little details, our blogging friend Richard Harrison, over at Photos From the Parks, has done a great series on the Tiki Gods. Make sure to stop by his site and leave him some Disney Geek love (comments, baby!):

Addendum: Richard has added a Tiki Room tag to his series to make it easier to pull them up!

Thanks go to Jeff Pepper for the inspiration for this series. By the way, he did our logo. Awesome, ain't it?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Daily Figment 124 - David Koenig

One of the non MouseFest activities that we were excited about was the opportunity to meet author David Koenig at Reading Trout Book Store in Celebration on Friday evening. We had planned to attend this event ever since one of the owners e-mailed me to let me know that author David Koenig would be speaking about his new book Realityland. Jason Surrell, Imagineer and author, was there on Saturday evening, but we had already purchased our tickets to Matt Hochberg's StudiosCentral Fantasmic Dessert party (which was awesome!). I planned on bringing my copies of Mouse Tales and More Mouse Tales for David to sign.

I had just finished Mouse Tales and I was halfway through More Mouse Tales during MouseFest. I enjoyed Mouse Tales tremendously and I was very excited to meet David and hear him speak. I had printed a map from our hotel to the book store and had corresponded with Adam (one of the co-owners) via e-mail. We spent Friday morning at Animal Kingdom riding Expedition Everest, meeting Ray and Nancy, getting coffee for Lou and receiving a personal DSI of Restaurantosaurus from Jeffica (Jeff and Jessica). After an abusive lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue (where I was formally denied access to the Crate Appreciation Society), we left for the Disney-MGM Studios. We met up with Lou (that guy is everywhere) and Jessica while we waited for Jeff to show up (probably getting Lou some more coffee). We hung out with Mike N. and Len from the WDWToday podcast until the Star Tours meet sponsored by StudiosCentral. The Starspeeder 3000 trip was amazing, as usual. Afterwards, we wasted time until the podfest meet. While I hung out and schmoozed, Andy got his ride fix over at Rock n Roller and Tower. We met up at 6:00 and headed out of the Studios to get some food and find our way to Celebration.

The ride was fairly quick, although Google led us down the toll road. We circled parts of Celebration looking for parking before I called the book store. They we very excited and told us a place to park about 4 blocks away. Celebration was celebrating Christmas every evening in the Town Square with snow, hot cocoa, sleigh rides and train rides. Needless to say, the town square was blocked off and parking was at a premium.

Walking through Celebration was pretty amazing. I had been there in 1997 and ten years had made a huge difference. The town was packed with people in the restaurants, shopping, drinking hot chocolate and enjoying the festive atmosphere.

We rounded the corner after the Celebration movie theater and saw the book store. We went in, met the owners and walked around the store. I have to admit that they had a very impressive Disney book collection. We saw David working on his presentation so we sat in the chairs near the screen. There were only a few people at the beginning, but it was standing room only after a few minutes into the presentation.
David spent about a half hour talking about his new book, Realityland and the creation of Walt Disney World. After writing Mouse Tales, David told us that he was approached to write a similar book about Walt Disney World. After visiting WDW for the first time, he realized that it would be a formidable task writing a book about a project as big as a city. But he was excited by the opportunity. David led us through the first couple of years of the Florida project (also called Project X), including the history and much delayed construction of the Contemporary (Tempo Bay). David shared a lot of pictures from the early days and some wonderful stories about Roy, the construction workers and other key players. Apparently, Disney had to purchase four times the needed shower heads and other furnishings due to the theft issues.

Afterwards, David spent a few minutes answering several excellent questions and he had great answers for all of them. The most intriguing ones dealt with Epcot and Celebration and how the other WDW parks were all being slowly transformed into Magic Kindgoms.

Andy and I each bought a copy of Realityland and David signed all of the books for us. He was very friendly, informative and accessible. If David comes by your area, make sure to check him out! You can also read his columns over at MousePlanet.

Thanks, David!


A very special thanks to Lou, Jeff, Jessica, Glenn and Eric for all of the amazing, kind and hysterical memories you shared about us, at Imaginerding, on Show 45 of the WDW Radio Show.

If you haven't heard the episode, Lou hosts a MouseFest Memories round table and everyone listed above participates in describing their experiences with MouseFest. Our names are mentioned quite a bit--much laughter and hilarity ensues. It was truly an amazing time and we are already planning for Mousefest 2008!

My favorite line from the show?

Glenn: "Please stand clear of my phone." Priceless.

Conspicuously, Eric Hollister is missing from every single photo we have. He must have been just slightly out of frame on each one.

If you aren't a regular listener of the WDW Radio Show, you are missing one of the best podcasts available and the very best Disney podcast period. Lou is all about delivering great content and he has a great sidekick that is a tremendous singer. (In case Matt Hochberg is reading this, WDW Today is really just haven't mentioned us on your show yet!)

Thanks to everyone for the ultimate in Disney Geek love. Spending four days with you guys was outstanding! Wait till we tell some of the stories about you guys!

So...where are the bathrooms near Space Mountain?

Hey...have we told you that Jeff Pepper of 2179 Hyperion did our logo for us?

He also did the amazing artwork for Lou Mongello's Audio Guide CD for Main Street USA. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, do it now. You will love it! That is a Disney Geek guarantee!

And a special thanks to Lori, for showing us how a true fan greets Lou Mongello!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Daily Figment 123 - The Few, The Proud, The Thankful

The most formative early image I have of the Disney Parks is of Spaceship Earth (SE) when Epcot Center opened in 1982. Seeing ‘the Epcot ball’ on TV inspired my imagination and watered the seedling that was to become my full grown Disney Geekiness. It comes as no surprise that Spaceship Earth has been a must do attraction over my numerous trips since my first visit in 1996. Of course, Spaceship Earth is currently closed for updates. A new and more modern version of the attraction has been promised. Much to my dismay, the planned soft opening for the lou and improved SE is not until Christmas. I cried a single tear when I realized I would have to do without.

The buzz started when rumors of a sneak preview were circulating around the MouseFesters. Lines starting forming around the wooden barriers surrounding the base of SE and remained all day. The rumors became fact when Jessica from If We Can Dream It told us that they had removed a small section of the barrier and had let people preview the ride for an hour on Thursday night, even though it was not yet finished. A new mission was created: ride the new (and incomplete) Spaceship Earth or I would be forced to nail my feet to the floor in Small World for one year.

George and I hung around SE quite a bit over the next few days and always managed to walk away when the attraction would open. Well, as luck would have it (Luck being our friends Ray and Nancy from Grumpy’s Hollow) on our final night at MouseFest, we were able to swing a double ride on SE 2. Allow me to set the scene…

George and I had given up on riding SE and had decided to meet Lou and Jeff in the Japan pavilion for dinner at Yakitori House. Keep in mind that it doesn’t get much further from SE than this. As I was draining the last drops of a large adult beverage to wash down the huge dinner I had just inhaled, the phone rang. I answered it.

"George, It’s Ray. He says the barriers are down around Spaceship Earth and they are letting people on! They saw it from the monorail. What do you want to do?”

Instinctively, like a Cheetah after prey, George sprang up from his chair and shouted “LET'S RUN!” I gave it a millisecond thought and then followed orders, thinking that if I un-ate on the run to SE, I could blame it on George as a stupid idea to eat and sprint. Unfortunately, the springing from the chair is where the cheetah metaphor dies. Imagine two grown men with recently filled bellies running through the park, hurdling strollers and shedding any remaining dignity they had. Remember the scene from National Lampoon’s Vacation where Chase and Hall race across the parking lot towards the entrance of Wally World? I even think Epcot was piping in Chariot’s of Fire over the park loudspeakers.

From the middle of the U.K. Pavilion, we heard someone shout “George!”. It was Mike Newell from MouseWorld Radio and the WDW Today podcast. We had been talking to him earlier outside the closed gates and he was in the same predicament as us. He had waited days with no success. We slowed down just long enough to see a look on his face that said “WOW!” and he shot us two thumbs up. He knew from our frenetic pace exactly where we were going and the two thumbs up was the proverbial banana and Gatorade you always see marathon runners take from people on the side of the race course. The last half mile was a breeze after the abbreviated but enthusiastic review.

We made it just in time to take five deep breaths, then we were on the ride. A young couple got in the same vehicle as us. We all made jokes about the smell wafting back from the front seat where George and I sat drenched from the mad dash. We all sat in somewhat stunned silence at the improvements WDI made to the story. A more linear story and updated scenes made the ride feel much more complete than version 1.0, even though the new version was only about 85% complete.

When we made it back down to the bottom, Ray called and said they had closed the gates and that was it for the night. The cast member who was assisting guests off of the ride saw by my face that the term “Please exit carefully,” did not apply.

“Do you want to go again?” Euphoria…..

The young couple behind us was quiet and the cast member assumed they were with us, so we all rode again. This time was interesting because the ride was mostly empty and we all talked about the improvements and the weaknesses. Although they were not fellow MouseFesters, it was clear they knew their Disney. We all agreed the new animitronics were a significant improvement and felt the new garage scene was deeply cool. And George finally got his library--it was encouraging to know that instant community spontaneously develops all over the place at Disney.

I won’t bore you with my review of the ride because you know I loved it.

Lou and Jeff, thanks for the weird Japanese treats. I think it gave me some sort of strange ginseng boost that helped me leap that last double stroller.

Ray and Nancy, thanks for the save.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Daily Figment 122 - Book Update Splash Mountain Style

Anyone who knows us at Imaginerding is well aware that we consider Splash Mountain to be the ultimate Disney ride. Although Andy's favorite ride is Spaceship Earth and mine is the Haunted Mansion, we both agree that Splash Mountain offers a great story, wonderful songs, a fun (although wet) ride and a lot of details. Other rides may have better lineages (Haunted Mansion and Pirates) but Splash is an all around "really-good" ride*.

On our first day at MouseFest (Magic Kingdom day), we were able to ride Splash Mountain twice without any wait. We took as many pictures as we could in the queue and the daylight areas of the ride for future posts. Just for you, though, we broke our rule and took a flash picture inside the ride--just this once. We saw this book on our first ride and didn't have our cameras out. Andy nailed a great shot on the second go around.

We present to you another book update: How to Catch a Rabbit by Brer Wolf.

Since I wasn't able to snag a review copy of this title or step out of the log, I can't do an official book review. What I can tell you is that I would not recommend this book. After spending nearly 10 minutes following the author's escapades throughout the attraction, I can safely conclude that Mr. Wolf is a hack and that the book didn't help Br'er Fox secure any rabbits while on the ride. Near the end, Br'er Fox did catch the rabbit, but ended up throwing him into the briar patch after some quick talking by said rabbit.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this rare item, it is worth it from a collector's standpoint. Otherwise, I would leave this title in the swamp.

Once again, another great reason why you need to slow down, look around and enjoy the details while you are in the parks.

As the famous architect Ludwig Mies van der Mouse once said, "Walt is in the detail."

*As voted on by George and Andrew.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Geek Link: Walt Disney at the Studios

Alain at the always impressive Disney and More blog has posted a pictorial article about Walt's days at the studio in the 1950-1960 time period.

Make sure to check it out and leave him some Disney Geek love!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Daily Figment 121: Wishlist Redux!

Everything we do here at Imaginerding is to try and help you enjoy the parks even more. Hopefully all of the items we have discussed in our Wish List posts will help you slow down, notice the details and have an amazing vacation. So, don't forget to check out the items that we have shared so far (I know--we actually talked about something besides books):

I consider both of the following books to be core course material for the beginning Disney Geek certificate. The more readily available title is Since The World Began by Jeff Kurrti. It is out of print, but there are hardcover and paperback versions available on Amazon.

Since The World Began takes a look at Walt Disney World during its first 25 years. Lots of full-color glossy photos surround ride descriptions, attraction info, history, hotels and concept art. There are sub-sections about the 1964-1965 World's Fair, the monorail, prototype systems and the roadway signage system, to name a few. There are 8 chapters with 192 pages (including the index). This is a great introductory text to the first 25 years of Walt Disney World. You even see concept art for the Courtyard of Nations. This would definitely help if you ever get to partake in Lou's Fact or Fiction segment on the WDW Radio Show. It is a great read that does more than educate; it takes you on a trip through WDW's past. You will gain such a larger appreciation for everything the Imagineers have done.

Disney: the First 100 Years by Dave Smith is also available in hardback and paperback. It was released in 1999 to commemorate and help celebrate Walt's 100th birthday. This book breaks down Walt's life and the company he co-founded year-by-year (although some years are grouped together). This is a condensed history of the company that has created the most enduring animation, a beloved and worshipped theme park, an icon and one of the world's largest entertainment corporations. This book covers it all. It is a great read that is easy to digest and process and will lead you on your way to Disney Geekness.

Either title will make your Disney Geek (you or your someone special) happy this holiday season.