Thursday, December 31, 2015
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Monday, December 28, 2015
Let's take a look back at the year that was here at RetlawYensid.com!
The biggest story was DISNEYLAND's 60th Anniversary. In addition to telling the story behind its beginnings, planning and expansion, we also showed how DISNEYLAND would celebrate its amazing milestone.
There was the amazing return of the Electrical Parade in a new form- Disney Paint the Night: The New Electrical Parade.
A new fireworks spectacular took over the skies above the Magic Kingdom and its buildings with the amazing DISNEYLAND Forever.
Even Disney California Adventure got into the spirit with a spectacular new World of Color hosted by Neil Patrick Harris.
DISNEYLAND celebrated its anniversary in a big way- it will continue its celebration into the new year.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
"Walt Disney was the eternal optimist, and he really believed that things could be better. And Bob and Dick Sherman wrote that song as a personal ode to Walt. They really meant it. That was Walt's anthem, and they recognized that."
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Friday, December 25, 2015
"It's something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing...and adding to."
DISNEYLAND was designed from the beginning as a place that would constantly grow and change. It was what Walt Disney wanted and it is still the way things happen in his one and only Magic Kingdom.
"Dad's vision called for this, for DISNEYLAND, to be something that could grow more beautiful every year, and it has."
-Diane Disney Miller
While it is wonderful to remember DISNEYLAND's past and amazing to experience its present, it is always great to think about its future. Presently, DISNEYLAND is about to embark on its largest expansion in years, an amazing project that will bring the larger world of Star Wars to the park.
These improvements will be an amazing addition to the park that will be built right behind Frontierland beginning next month. Will things look exactly like the conceptual drawings? Possibly, but the amazing thing about Walt Disney Imagineering is that they will improve and expand on their plans literally up until construction begins, so one never truly knows what the finished project will look like.
Another sure bet for DISNEYLAND is an injection of Marvel. But what will Marvel in the parks look like? Could it be something like this?
Would Iron Man or Stark Enterprises end up in Tomorrowland? Or could it find its way into Disney California Adventure in its own land?
The company also owns a large vacant lot just down the street that has often been seen as a potential site for a third theme park. Could this be a prime location for Marvel characters- or for a park highlighting Disney's Heroes and Villains?
And don't forget about Downtown Disney- there's plans for expansion, but what will those plans look like? A new hotel tower, various new restaurants and shops are planned. What might those look like? Expect celebrity restaurants and special attractions, regardless of what they end up looking like.
So while our 60th Anniversary feature has come to an end- the true story of DISNEYLAND continues to be told every day- in the smiles on the faces of Walt Disney's beloved guests and in the magical memories still being created every day. It's just the way he wanted it- just the way he'd always dreamed.
DISNEYLAND's magic will be with us forever- for now and for always. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow- just a dream away!
Thursday, December 24, 2015
The film Lady and the Tramp begins on Christmas when Jim Dear gives his wife a special gift- Lady herself, romantically presented in a hat box.
This thoughtful gift was inspired by a real life present Walt Disney have to his wife- a cocker spaniel presented so sweetly in a hat box.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
DISNEYLAND has always celebrated Christmas in a big way, going all the way back to 1955. The Christmas parade was always the center of the festivities.
Fanciful decorations and whimsical floats helped ring in the holiday season going back to December 1955.
Long before it's a small world sprang up behind Fantasyland, parades wound their way through Frontierland. En route to Main Street and back again.
And of course, no Christmas parade would be complete without Santa Claus.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
One early Christmas celebration at DISNEYLAND was the Christmas Bowl, which featured various bands and carolers performing Christmas music. The Christmas Bowl was located on the left side of the castle, where the Fantasy Faire is situated today.
The Christmas Bowl was a short lived attraction, mainly because the area became Carnation Gardens, home of "Date Nite at DISNEYLAND".
Monday, December 21, 2015
In the beginning of the television era, the major Hollywood studios declared it to be off limits. While nowadays the networks and studios are typically all part of the same entertainment conglomerates, they were considered enemies in the 1950's. It was Walt Disney who first saw the possible benefits of aligning with this new medium.
On Christmas Day in 1950, Mr. Disney crossed into "enemy territory" by producing One Hour in Wonderland for NBC. Presented by Coca-Cola, it was the first production on television produced by a Hollywood studio. The hour was hosted by Walt Disney and featured Edgar Bergen and Kathryn Beaumont, who was the voice of Alice in the upcoming Alice in Wonderland.
It was the highest rated show that year and it sparked an idea in Walt Disney's mind- could TV help him finance his biggest dream- DISNEYLAND?
Sunday, December 20, 2015
When Walt had a crazy dream, it was his brother Roy who always found the money to accomplish it. Roy didn't always agree with his brother's projects, but he always helped make them come true. Roy O. Disney passed away on this day in 1971.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Friday, December 18, 2015
As the new millennium began, exciting things were happening around DISNEYLAND. Finally realizing the error of its ways, the City of Anaheim embarked on a massive effort to improve the area surrounding DISNEYLAND. Unsightly signs and poles were removed. Lush landscaping was brought in. The results were impressive.
Disney was also putting the finishing touches on an impressive array of new offerings that would propel the Anaheim property into the stratosphere.
Disney's California Adventure
Disney's Grand Californian Hotel
These new attractions were designed to cement DISNEYLAND Resort as the centerpiece of any Southern California vacation. Downtown Disney and the Grand Californian Hotel were instant successes. Disney California Adventure required some assistance, but altogether, the components came together to make an immersive vacation destination that had the added advantage of being located close together, making park hopping a breeze.
DISNEYLAND wasn't left out of the equation. The park received a remodel of its famed Submarine Voyage attraction and a new Fantasy Faire.
In 2005, the park celebrated its 50th Year in a big way. The huge influx of heavy spending guests, eager to recapture the nostalgia of the past, convinced the company that its crown jewel was DISNEYLAND and investing in its future like Walt had done would result in massive rewards.
So the company embarked on a plan to improve and expand in Anaheim, which resulted in the massive Cars Land in Disney California Adventure and the all new Buena Vista Street.
DISNEYLAND would continue to evolve and grow just like it always had. Who knows what the future holds in store? We do (sorta). Join us next week as our year long salute to Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom comes to its conclusion with a look into the future of DISNEYLAND.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
When Star Tours first opened, Walt Disney Imagineering touted its ability to re-program the attraction as a major selling point. For 22 years, however, guests embarked on the same journey to Endor. In 2011, however, the company finally re-launched the attraction with a variable ride engine with over 40 different possibilities.
With the release of the new Star Wars sequel, new locations and adventures have been added to the ride, just four years after its initial release.
The negotiations between The Walt Disney Company and Lucasfilm for the updated Star Tours sparked further discussions about possibly making a deal that would result in Lucasfilm getting acquired by Disney. In 2012, the formal deal was announced. The world of Star Wars and Indiana Jones would officially become part of The Walt Disney Company.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Walt Disney's wife, Lillian Disney passed away on this day in 1997. Mrs. Disney worked at the Disney Brothers Studio as an inker and caught Walt's eye quite early on. They were soon married and would remain so until Mr. Disney's death. Lillian's biggest contribution to her husband's success was insisting that he change the name of his mouse character from Mortimer to Mickey Mouse. This simple change doubtlessly made their clever little "son" a much bigger success than he might have been otherwise.
In 1982, The Walt Disney Company opened the massive EPCOT Center in Orlando and the response was tepid. The company had spent billions on the place, but hardly anyone was showing up. Despite inheriting this headache from the previous CEO who had been chosen by Roy Disney, Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron Miller felt he had to step things up to get the company back on track. He decided the person who could help him do that was George Lucas.
The company had been presented with motion simulator technology and felt that it could be used for a space themed attraction. Ron wanted the space attraction to be based on the biggest franchise around at the time- Star Wars.
George Lucas was extremely interested and even came up with another possible attraction- Captain EO. Unfortunately, the company wasn't patient with Mr. Miller and ousted him in 1984. His replacement put things on hold, but eventually the great idea was approved and it became an iconic DISNEYLAND attraction.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
"On what would have been Walt's 100th birthday at DISNEYLAND, I began to play his favorite song- 'Feed the Birds' when a bird suddenly flew down from a tree and landed right on my piano. It stayed there until I finished the song, then as quickly as it flew down, it flew away. I’m convinced, that that bird was Walt."