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Friday, December 30, 2016

Rest In Peace, Tyrus Wong

Disney Legend Tyrus Wong, whose art inspired the production of the classic film Bambi has passed away at age 106.


Tyrus was born in China and arrived in California at age 9. He found his way to Pasadena where his aptitude for art was noted. Upon graduating from art school, he took jobs in Hollywood, first at Warner Brothers then at Disney, where he led the Bambi design team. His work with Disney had a lasting effect and is still highly regarded. He was named a Disney Legend in 2001.



Thursday, December 29, 2016

Oscar Martinez- 60 Years of Service!

Oscar Martinez celebrated his 60th year of service at DISNEYLAND today! He's the first cast member to achieve this amazing milestone. The 81 year old dynamo created the famous breakfast potatoes served at Carnation Main Street and often greets guests eating at the restaurant. Eager to sample his famous breakfast plate? Order "Oscar's Special" when breakfast is served at Carnation Main Street.


Rest In Peace, Debbie Reynolds


Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher pose with Walt Disney on July 17, 1955.



Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Rest In Peace, Carrie Fisher

Actress Carrie Fisher, who starred in the classic Star Wars films and often worked as a script doctor for Touchstone Pictures has passed away at age 60.


Carrie played the iconic role of Princess Leia in the original trilogy, making her more than just a princess. Leia took control of her own destiny, fighting alongside the men in the film. She recently reprised her role in 2016's The Force Awakens.

The daughter of Hollywood royalty, Carrie also had a lucrative career as a Hollywood script doctor, often working behind the scenes and without credit on films like Touchstone Pictures' Sister Act, which quickly became a lucrative film for The Walt Disney Studios.

Ms. Fisher will not be soon forgotten by her millions of fans throughout the galaxy.

Alice in Wonderland


Saturday, December 24, 2016

Rest In Peace, Charlie Ridgway

Disney Legend Charlie Ridgway has passed away at age 93.


Mr. Ridgway's association with Disney began before he actually starting working for the company. Mr. Ridgway covered DISNEYLAND's construction and opening in 1955. In 1963 he would join the park's publicity office, assisting the company's publicity efforts during the 1964 Winter Olympics at Squaw Valley.

He would eventually get transferred to Florida, where he would oversee the publicity efforts of Walt Disney World. His biggest project was promoting Donald Duck's 50th Anniversary in 1984. Donald and his voice actor Clarence "Ducky" Nash took a worldwide tour to promote the various celebrations and festivities taking place at the Disney Theme Parks. Mr. Ridgway retired in 1994 and was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1999.

Christmas Magic in the Magic Kingdom


Friday, December 23, 2016

Fun Facts Week: A Flying Sasser in Shanghai

One tradition in DISNEYLAND's hometown of Anaheim is the annual Halloween Parade which takes place a few miles from the Magic Kingdom. In 1953, the parade featured an enterprising group of kids who put their own float together- the clever "Flying Sasser".


Guests to the newest Disney theme park in Shanghai might notice what appears to be a random painting of loveable Disney characters that might look familiar to people a world away.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fun Facts Week: Going West

it's a small world and the Carousel of Progress weren't the only two attractions that made their way from the 1964 World's Fair in New York to Anaheim's Vacationland in California.


Walter's International Wax Museum had no ties to the Magic Kingdom, but it was announced that it would follow the path of Disney's attractions to Anaheim and open up down the street from DISNEYLAND.


When it landed in Anaheim, it had a new name- Wide World of Wax. The enterprise quickly closed, though its facade became the lobby for the Anaheim Radisson Hotel.


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Fun Facts Week: The Number 5


The number 5 would prove to be important in Walt Disney's life from the very beginning- he was born on December 5, 1901.

His beloved Magic Kingdom would open up in 1955.

His brother would pass away exactly 5 years and 5 days after he did.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Fun Facts Week: Tinker Bell's Dilemma

Since the beginning, DISNEYLAND had been trying to figure out a way to make Tinker Bell fly above Sleeping Beauty Castle the way she did on the Disneyland TV show.


At the time, the Matterhorn was not in place to create a launching pad for the pixie's flight, so the original plan was to have a radio controlled Tink that would fly before the fireworks show. Testing never went well, once famously taking place in front of a bar that was next to Disney's Imagineering offices at the time. When the test pixie flew too high, she lost radio control and horrifically crashed into the pavement, causing many of the bar's denizens to call it a night.


The park's legal team wouldn't permit a radio controlled Tinker Bell for liability reasons, so once the Matterhorn sprang up, it became the launching point for the pixie's nightly flight.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Fun Facts Week: Roy's Horror

While Walt Disney came up with all the ideas and dreams, his brother Roy was responsible for finding the money to finance the studio's projects. This often put the Brothers at odds- Roy had doubted the success of Mickey Mouse, Snow White, DISNEYLAND, the Matterhorn, etc...


Roy wanted to show his brother that he could also be involved in creative pursuits, so he separately financed a slate of low budget sci-fi films. The films failed at the box office, making Roy's foray into the creative side of things short lived.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Freaky Fridays: Holiday Hill

In 1954, construction at DISNEYLAND was in full swing. As construction teams began digging out rivers, lakes and other amusements, they were instructed not to place all the dirt in one location. This instruction was ignored and a hill of dirt quickly sprang up between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.


When the park opened, the area was landscaped and became a place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the Magic Kingdom. At some point, the park laid snow on the hill during the Christmas season. Mr. Disney quickly drew up other plans and four years later the hill was replaced by its current resident- Matterhorn Mountain.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Walt Disney: 12/5/1901 - 12/15/1966

Fifty years ago, the unthinkable happened- the world lost Walt Disney.


Mr. Disney was simply following his dreams. As it turned out, those dreams would make him known around the world.


Today, fifty years after his death, Walt Disney's dreams live on. Babies who don't even know who Walt Disney was still embrace his characters and his Magic Kingdom.


"In 1966, the world was saddened hearing of his death. But it's such a comfort to know his soul lives on, together with his dreams. And his memory will live forever in my heart."

-Annette Funicello


“Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, ‘Isn’t it a shame that Walt Disney couldn’t be here to see this?’ and I said, 'He did see this, that’s why it’s here.'"

-Art Linkletter



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

1955: DISNEYLAND Opens!

In 1955, Walt Disney's greatest dream came true- DISNEYLAND opened its gates to the world, welcoming the first of what would eventually become hundreds of millions of guests.


It's hard to believe, but many people predicted the park wouldn't last six months. Now over six decades later, Walt's dream has only gotten bigger- and it shows no signs of stopping.


"Just imagine- if you were standing right here over 60 years ago, you'd be standing in the middle of an orange grove. One visionary man stood right where you are now, but instead of orange trees, he envisioned a Magic Kingdom. This man's name was Walt Disney. And his dream would be called DISNEYLAND."


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

1954: DISNEYLAND Under Construction


In 1954, Walt Disney began construction on his Magic Kingdom. It would take a year to finish.

Monday, December 12, 2016

1953 - Peter Pan

In 1953, Walt Disney Productions released Peter Pan which would be the last film that would be distributed by RKO. 


When RKO refused to distributed Disney's True Life Adventure films because it didn't believe there would be a market for them. Roy Disney setup Buena Vista Distribution to release the True Life films and made it the official distributor of Disney pictures.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Walt Disney Birthday Week: There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow


There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
And tomorrow's just a dream away

Man has a dream and that's the start
He follows his dream with mind and heart
And when it becomes a reality
It's a dream come true for you and me

So there's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Shining at the end of every day
There's a great, big, beautiful tomorrow
Just a dream away


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Walt Disney Birthday Week: Just One Dream


Just One Dream

One dream
We come from everywhere with just one dream
This home is where we all can share in just one dream 

One day
I still believe if we can see the possibilities
The world can be a better place 

So many miracles are happening around us every day
Look to the mountaintop, not the mountain in your way 

Side by side, heart to heart
We can finish anything we start
Anything can be done
With just one dream 

The hardest thing to do in life is try to understand
The reason why we have to cry 

One friend
You know that's all it takes is just one friend to lend a hand
A helping hand, that's all it takes 

So many people miss the miracle of what it is to care
Love is what brings us all together, anyway 

Side by side, heart to heart
We can finish anything we start
Anything can be done
With just one dream 

Hand in hand, we can do
What it takes to make our dreams come true
Each of us, if we trust
In just one dream 

We are the wings
We can fly into forever
Like a promise of the sun
We're born to shine 

We have the strength
We can change the world together
Build a stairway to the stars we can climb 

Side to side, heart to heart
We can finish anything we start
Anything can be done
With just one dream 

Hand in hand, we can do
What it takes to make our dreams come true
Each of us, if we trust, in just one dream 

In just one dream


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Walt Disney Birthday Week: Feed the Birds


Walt Disney's favorite song came from Mary Poppins- Feed the Birds. He would often ask the Sherman Brothers to sing it for him at the end of a stressful week.


Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people she calls
Come, buy my bags full of crumbs

Come feed the little birds, show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you

Feed the birds, tuppence a bag,
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds that's what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies

All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can't see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she's calling to you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she's calling to you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Walt Disney Birthday Week: A Suitcase and a Dream


Suitcase and a Dream

Plenty of people, they started with nothing
Just a suitcase and a dream
They packed up their cases and went to new places
Just a suitcase and a dream

They made the world into a place like you have never seen
It's like they hit the jackpot on a slot machine
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Gotta suitcase and a dream
A suitcase and a dream

Mr. Disney, he traveled west just a few bucks to his name
Along the way he met Mickey Mouse and the world would never be the same
He had a suitcase and a dream
A suitcase and a dream
Suitcase and a dream

It don't matter if you're rich or broke
It don't matter if you've given up hope
All you need is a little drive
To make your dreams begin to come alive

Everybody's got their ideas 
and me I've got mine too
So I packed up my suitcase and packed up my dreams
And now it's time to follow through

I've got a suitcase and a dream
Suitcase and a dream