Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Communicore Weekly - Rolly Crump, Pirates of the Caribbean Book, Haunted Mansion Queue, Mary Blair

The latest episode of Communicore Weekly is available!

  • IT'S TIME FOR DISNEY HISTORY! - Jeff & George give a mini Disney History lesson about Rolly Crump!
  • 60 SECOND REVIEW! - Jeff & George review the new Haunted Mansion interactive queue
  • GEORGE'S BOOK OF THE WEEK! - George discusses Jason Surrell's book Pirates of the Caribbean: From the Magic Kingdom to the Movies, and why it's worth a read!
  • FANTASTICALLY FUZZY PHOTO! - Check out this week's winner!
  • THE FIVE LEGGED GOAT! - Another Mary Blair related Five Legged Goat? Why, yes it is! Classic Disney attraction It's A Small World is where this week's hidden gem is hiding!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, February 27, 2012

Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality Available!

Now is the time to get a copy of the fantastic Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality Limited Edition reprint.

For many years, Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality has been out of print and very expensive to purchase on the second hand market. The owners of Mice Chat have worked very hard with the authors to get a special edition reprinted. This is your chance to own a copy of this amazing book at a regular price.

Head over the Mice Chat Store to get your hands on your very own copy!

The following is from a review that I posted in May 2011.

The Review

The book weighs in at an eye-popping 320 pages. It is complete and utter eye candy with beautiful photographs on every page.

After a basic introduction to the development of the of the park, the authors jump right into Main St., USA and follow each land in succession. Each chapter follows a similar pattern: concept art, development ideas, execution, design and final results. The text is very engaging and supports the photographs; you learn more about the development of attractions and lands. Each of the major attractions (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, etc.) is covered in amazing detail. The multitude of concept artwork, construction photos and rare interior shots will astound you.

The real star of the book is the photos. My favorites are the aerial pictures taken of the different lands. It is a rare treat to see a bird's-eye-view of a Disney theme park and this book offers multiple shots for every land. Seeing how the Imagineers laid out the attractions doesn't dispel the magic, but creates a sense of amazement at their talents. Disneyland Paris is the first Magic Kingdom-style park that the Imagineers developed, since they were previously known as W.E.D. According to many friends, authors and Disney enthusiasts, Disneyland Paris is the most beautiful of all of the Magic Kingdoms.

Sample Pages From the Book

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Geeky Disney Links

A lot of my favorite pictures from past Walt Disney World vacations are ones that my sons have taken. We started giving my oldest son our older point and shoot digital camera to see what images he would capture. When I looked at the photos, I was surprised by what he found important and intriguing. Since he was two feet shorter than me, he found angles that I missed. The photo above is a great example; he really liked the light fixture and wanted to snap a photo of it. Of course, it took him a while to understand that he needed to stop and plant his feet before he took a picture. We have a lot of fantastically fuzzy photos from that trip.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Vintage Walt Disney World Photos

So, what makes something vintage? Is it 20 years? 40? Something from a certain time period?

I have some interesting photos I captured from a 1997 trip. That is only 15 years, but so much has changed since then. If something has changed or disappeared, does that make it qualify for vintage status? Or is it simply vintage if I can look back at the images a little wistfully and with nostalgia?

Who doesn't love the Lucite statue that welcomed you to EPCOT Center. The shocking blue was not the approved John Hench purple. I am assuming it was part of the 1994 Eisner mandated redo of Epcot.

I'm not sure what inspired me to take this picture and not one of what the floor looked like. I do remember there was an art show displaying small painted works. From what I understand, the second floor of Journey into Imagination has a lot of the older equipment up there.

A fantastic scene from Journey into Imagination. There are some great details.

This is the first example of using an image capture system in a Disney attraction. I didn't take this photo; my brother-in-law snapped it quickly. I imagine that Dreamfinder would have been quite cross!

A dinosaur topiary outside of the Universe of Energy. Notice the brontosaurus in the right-hand corner?

We hop over to the Magic Kingdom to visit Mickey's house at Mickey's Toontown Fair. I wish I had taken a better shot of the photos behind the lamp. But I also wish I had taken 1400 more photos.

Our last photo is if the arch that served as a gateway between New York Street and Residential Street. You can learn more about this area by visiting Werner Weiss' Yesterland site.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Communicore Weekly 6: Yak and Yeti, Disneyland Paris, Norway

Episode 6 of Communicore Weekly is live!
On this week's show:

  • 60 Second Review: Yak & Yeti
  • George's Book of the Week: Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality
  • Window of the Week: Roy E. Disney
  • Bathroom Break: Rock N Roller Coaster
  • Five Legged Goat: Norway

Click here if you want to get more information about ordering your own copy of Disneyland Paris: From Sketch to Reality.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, February 20, 2012

Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom, a Book Review

How many times have you visited the Magic Kingdom and wished that you could have an Imagineer share all of the insider information, hidden details and tributes?

The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom is a book that needs to be in every theme park junkie's collection. It was first published in 2005 with a revised update in 2009. Imagineer Alex Wright penned all five books in the Imagineering Field Guide series and it is obvious that he knows Disney history and design. He was responsible for the redesign of Space Mountain, parts of the Haunted Mansion refurbishment and he worked on Disney's Animal Kingdom. Alex's love for the Magic Kingdom is evident; the Field guide is a loving tribute to the Imagineers who created the park.

The Imagineering Field Guide to the Magic Kingdom is the perfect companion while at the Magic Kingdom park. The Magic Kingdom guide takes you land-by-land to explain how the park was designed and created. We meet the Imagineers and artists that built the park we experience today. Each land is color-coded to make it easy to find the section you want. Alex shares a lot of concept art and the stories behind the attractions. (Windows, posts and crates. Oh, my!) He also relates a lot of the hidden and not-so-hidden details. Honestly, who is better to tell you about the Magic Kingdom than one of its artists?

The book is small, measuring 4” x 9”, which makes the art small, but it is a perfect size to take to the Magic Kingdom with you. Because of the relatively small size, it is easy to slip this book into a backpack to share while in a queue or while eating. This is a book that is perfect for the person just starting to get into their geekery and for those of us that have been studying the parks for years. Ideally, you would re-read this book on the plane trip to Orlando and surprise all of your friends with all of your insider knowledge.

Alex tackles a difficult task with this book. He needed to create a work that would satisfy a newcomer and interest a hardcore enthusiast. I have to admit that I learned a few things after reading the book the first time. No matter how many times you have visited the Magic Kingdom, you will learn something from reading the Field Guide.

We start with The Haunted Mansion, representing New Yorkʼs Hudson River Valley in the early 1700s. The Columbia Harbour House and surrounding area reflect Boston in the mid-1700s. The Hall of Presidents is, of course, based on Philadelphia of the late 1700s at the time of the Revolution. Then itʼs on to Goofyʼs Country Dancinʼ Jamboree in early-1800s St. Louis, Gateway to the West. Supporting this idea is the little stream that feeds into the Rivers of America at this point—fittingly referred to as the Little Mississippi. Our next stop is the Colorado Rockies and the Country Bear Jamboreeʼs Grizzly Hall in the mid-1800s. As a later addition, Splash Mountain is something of an exception in our travels. Its 1870s-era setting is appropriate, but geographically it forces a detour toward the southern United States, necessitated by the perfect fit of its story into Frontierland. The remainder of Frontierlandʼs shops and restaurants lean toward the pioneer-days styling of the desert Southwest, with a bit of a Spanish flavor. Big Thunder Mountain represents Monument Valley and the end of your journey west (p, 75).

I have hopes that Disney will release another updated version after the Fantasyland expansion. I can only imagine the details that Alex will be able to share about the stories that went into the design and refurbishment of an entire land. In this instance, Alex has left an official record of what the park looked like before the Fantasyland redesign; it isn't often that we see an approved dissection of what the Imagineers have done.

Some of my favorite sections of the Field Guide are when Alex relates the history of the attractions. Many times, he will trace the lineage of the attraction to Disneyland or share stories of the Imagineers that worked on them. In most cases, this is a great introduction to some of the more famous Imagineers. Alex also highlights a lot of artwork from current Imagineers, too.

I recommend The Imagineering Field Guide series to most anyone with an interest in the parks. They are quick reads and will get you started thinking about the design and layout of the parks. The books also make great gifts for anyone who is getting ready to go to Walt Disney World.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Disney Links

A shot from 2000 of the McDonald's Happy Meal building near the All Star Resorts on West Buena Vista Drive. The building was opened in 1998 and was completely refurbished in 2009.

Daveland is in the midst of celebrating his 2000th post and he has a lot of great photos to share. Make sure you head over to his site and leave hims lots of comments and congratulations.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, February 17, 2012

Carolina Disney Program

Don't forget: Ryan Wilson, from the Main Street Gazette, will be part of a discussion about Disney theme parks on Saturday, February 18 at 2:00 pm at the Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC.

This is also the opportunity to see a screening of a fantastic short film about a family's trip to Disneyland and the Los Angeles area. It is a very charming and heartwarming film. The father loved making amateur films and documented the family trip in a light and humorous way. There is a lot of fantastic Disneyland footage.

A Disney Documentary and A History of the Parks 
A screening of the film Disneyland Dream about a family winning a trip to Disneyland in 1956 with Marsha Orgeron, head of N.C. State's Film Studies Dept. 
Plus, Disney theme Park history with (the awesome) Ryan Wilson of 
Saturday, Feb. 18 @ 2 p.m.
Cameron Village Library
1930 Clark Avenue, Raleigh

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Communicore Weekly Five Weekaversary!

Many people said it couldn't be done. 

Even more told us that it shouldn't be done. 

Regardless, we made it to the Five Week Anniversary of Communicore Weekly, the Greatest Online Show!

  • Five Weekaversary—Welcome to the Show!
  • This Day in Disney History
  • Bathroom Break--special thanks to Ryan Wilson of the Main St. Gazette
  • Fantastically Fuzzy Photo—congratulations to Scott Otis (@otisney
  • Five Legged Goat
  • Plus, we look back and share clips from our past five shows!
And yes, that is Jeff and I battling mic to mic. In different states, even!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Post on Walt and Lilly at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Head on over to the Walt Disney Family Museum site and check out the article that I wrote for Storyboard, the Museum's blog.

I celebrate Valentine's Day with a story that looks at Walt and Lilly's early romance.

Enjoy and make sure to leave a comment over at the WDFM!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Well That Ain't Cinderella Castle

In my day job, I am a public librarian. I have always had a deep-seated fondness for books and it shows at Imaginerding and with my chosen career of librarianship. When I was doing some collection management (technical term), I ran across an older children's book that covered Florida. When I find any book related to Florida (or California), I take a moment to see what it says about Walt Disney World or Disneyland.

The book is from 1991 and I was pleased to see the map on the first few pages. Obviously, this is a fairly generic look at Florida, with highlights hitting the major industries, tourist spots and landmarks. As far as Walt Disney World, the editors have chosen Cinderella Castle and Spaceship Earth to represent the Vacation Kingdom.

This section states: Walt Disney World opened near Orlando in 1971. This famous amusement park had drawn many millions to the state. The caption reads: EPCOT Center (below) is part of the Walt Disney World complex near Orlando.

And this is what I couldn't believe:
This was a two-page spread near the middle of the book and I had to look at it for a second, because this was a book about Florida, not California. So, why is a picture of Sleeping Beauty's Castle from Disneyland in this book? After a few moments of looking at the picture, I realized that the castle is reversed!

The photo is credited to a stock photo image company, so the editors might have simply requested a Disney castle and not paid attention.

This snippet appeared later in the book:
Orlando is southeast of Gainesville. Walt Disney World is near Orlando. This huge amusement park offers rides and a movie studio. EPCOT Center is also part of Disney World. It shows what life in the future may be like. Sea World, near Orlando, exhibits sharks, dolphins, whales and manatees.
I always find it interesting to see how Walt Disney World was promoted through travel guides, maps, brochures and, now, library books.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Links of Disney Goodness

Disney Program at Raleigh, NC Library!

Do you live near Raleigh, NC? Ryan Wilson, from the Main Street Gazette, will be part of a program discussing the histories of Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Besides getting to meet Ryan, this should be a great opportunity to meet other North Carolina-based Disney fans and enthusiasts. (I will be there, too. Isn't that reason enough?)
A Disney Documentary and A History of the Parks 
A screening of the film Disneyland Dream about a family winning a trip to Disneyland in 1956 with Marsha Orgeron, head of N.C. State's Film Studies Dept. 
Plus, Disney theme Park history with (the awesome) Ryan Wilson of 
Saturday, Feb. 18 @ 2 p.m.
Cameron Village Library
1930 Clark Avenue, Raleigh

Disney Links

This is a shot of my first time experiencing Star Tours in 1994. There are some interesting details in the photo, including a trash can, the snow speeder and the sail barge skiff.

Enhanced by Zemanta