Featured Attractions

Friday, March 31, 2017

Next Week!


We've reached the end of our Disney by the Years special feature! Next week, our regular posting schedule returns!


Thursday, March 30, 2017

2016: Soarin' Around the World


In 2016 Disney California Adventure's flagship attraction received an update! New digital projectors and an updated film that takes guests around the world were added to the popular attraction fifteen years after its debut.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

2015: Paint the Night


In 2015, Disney brought the next generation nighttime parade to the original and only Magic Kingdom- DISNEYLAND- as part of the park's legendary 60th Anniversary. Disney's Paint the Night parade was a huge hit, bringing Disney's films to glittering life.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2014: Guardians of the Galaxy


It was based on one of the lesser known comic books from Marvel's stable of properties. Many felt that it would be the first film to show that not everything related to Marvel was gold. It would actually become the biggest hit of the summer. Could Marvel do wrong? Apparently not yet.

Monday, March 27, 2017

2013: Frozen


In 2013, the biggest animated feature ever made was quietly released by Disney. Frozen was originally believed by the studio to be a smaller release. It certainly wouldn't exceed the box office of the year's bigger animated release from the studio- Monsters University. It turned out to not only exceed the highly anticipated followup to Monsters Inc but also every other film released that year and every other animated film ever made.

Friday, March 24, 2017

2012: Gravity Falls

In 2012, Disney XD introduced the world to the curious world of Gravity Falls, featuring brother and sister team Mabel and Dipper. The show's carefully plotted storyline proved that there was much more to the show than met the eye.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

2011: Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure


In 2011, Disney California Adventure guests could finally voyage under the sea to experience Ariel's underwater world. Eagle-eyed guests quickly spotted a tribute to frequent Disney actor Don Knotts- Mr. Limpet, the lovable fish whose voice he provided in the 1964 Warner Brothers film.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2010: Disney's World of Color


In 2010, the first part of Disney's expansion of Disney California Adventure opened- Disney's World of Color. The fabulous water show, taking place on Disney's Paradise Bay was an instant success. Its combination of lights, lasers and water projection screens was instantly embraced by Disney guests.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

2009: Disney Buys Marvel


In 2009, Marvel became a part of the Disney Family. Marvel Studios already had an impressive plan for its cinematic universe, but the financial backing of Disney would sent its sky high hopes into the stratosphere.

Monday, March 20, 2017

2008: Phineas & Ferb


In 2008, Disney Channel premiered its monster hit Phineas and Ferb. The world would never be the same!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Breaks Box Office Records


After just one day, Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast made more money at the box office than last week's number one film made all weekend. This amazing feat will most likely produce a staggering weekend total of $160 Million.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

50 Years of Pirates of the Caribbean


50 years ago today, the greatest theme park attraction ever built opened its doors in Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom- Pirates of the Caribbean.

The idea for a pirate attraction began when Walt Disney decided to build New Orleans Square. Originally, he wanted to build a pirate museum that guests would walk through, filled with wax pirates who would tell the history of piracy in the Caribbean and in the bayous of Louisiana. Construction on the pirate museum had begun when Mr. Disney had a spark of inspiration. A mere museum wouldn't do- he wanted an entire attraction that would transport his guests back in time to the days of pirates. The existing building was demolished and construction on a new world was begun to build the elaborate attraction underground, as shown in the center of this picture:


Mr. Disney put together a dream team of Imagineers that would create something special that still entertains millions of guests to this day. Walt's dream team featured Xavier Atencio, who would, in addition to working on the attraction, get tasked with writing the ride's theme song. Mr. Atencio had never written a song before, but Walt had full confidence in him. He would produce a song that would become a classic- still enjoyed by millions around the world.


Everything about the attraction would be top notch. Walt insisted on it. His guests deserved nothing less.


Some thought that the ride might have too much going on, but Walt wanted to stack the attraction with intricate details and elaborate settings so that guests would see something new every time. He likened it to a dinner party where it would be impossible to hear everything that was said, but one could choose to concentrate on what might interest him or her.


Careful attention would be paid to things that most guests might never notice but would add to the ambience nonetheless. For example, famed Disney artist Marc Davis would paint the saucy picture of a red headed piratess that hangs behind the ghostly pirate bar. Called A Portrait of Things To Come, the painting depicts the redhead from the auction scene. Freeing herself, we can assume that she took on the pirates life herself, enjoying all the spoils. The title of the painting references both the things to come in the attraction and the things to come in her life. Details the average guest might not notice, but which were important to Mr. Disney.


Walt Disney would never see the fully completed attraction; he passed away three months before it opened. But he could always see the attraction in his head and his Imagineers wouldn't disappoint in bringing his vision to life. That's why it endures even today. Other versions were built around the world, but the greatest one remains the original one built by Walt Disney in his Magic Kingdom. It is just like he dreamed it- as good as good can be for over fifty years.


Friday, March 17, 2017

2007: Epcot's Gran Fiesta Tour


Epcot's Mexico Pavilion received a much needed renovation in 2007. The world famous Three Caballeros were inserted into the pavilion's banner attraction- the Gran Fiesta Tour. Depicting a frenetic trip through Mexico City in search of Donald Duck, the attraction celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

2006: Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully To The Rescue


In 2006, the lovable Boo joined Sully and Mike in Disney California Adventure's newest attraction. Replacing Superstar Limo in the park's Hollywood Land, the attraction represented the first 3D representation of the beloved Monstropolis.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2005: DISNEYLAND is 50!


“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

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

2004: The Rise of ABC

In 2004, ABC found itself in a tailspin. NBC's Jeff Zucker smarmily said that Disney should shutdown ABC and do itself and everyone a favor. Disney CEO Michael Eisner responded by saying that all ABC needed was one big hit. During the 2004 television season it got three of them.




ABC instantly became a force to be reckoned with. NBC went into a tailspin of its own that would result in it combining itself to Universal Studios to stay afloat and Mr. Zucker' departure after his bungling of the Jay Leno situation.

Monday, March 13, 2017

2003: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl


It had so many things against it- movie critics panned it before it even began filming because it was a movie based on a theme park attraction; Disney Studios executives hated Johnny Depp's portrayal of Jack Sparrow; some people pointed out that movies based on pirates frequently failed. Despite all this, however, the public came out in droves to see the film, surprising the industry, McDonald's and even Disney itself. McDonald's had paid to sponsor the film, but only displayed posters and showed clips from the film during commercials. Unbelievably, they had no toys, cups or anything else to sell from the film. (They would make up for this when the sequel premiered.) Disney had licensed very little from the film at all, just throwing it out there to see what would happen. Only after it knew it had a hit on its hands did the normal hype and merchandise spring forth. A multi-billion Dollar franchise had exploded, seemingly out of nowhere.

Friday, March 10, 2017

2002: A Bug's Land Opens


Disney California Adventure would already start growing in 2002 with the opening of A Bug's Land, a new, themed area inside the park. It would be the first of many expansions.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

2001: Disney California Adventure Opens


In 2001, the DISNEYLAND Resort premiered, opening its biggest expansion since DISNEYLAND opened in 1955. Disney's California Adventure would open in February of that year.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2000: Fantasia 2000


When Walt Disney produced the original Fantasia, he had intended for it to be something that he could change over time. New sequences could be added in and removed at Walt's will. Unfortunately, the film was not as commercially successful as he had hoped and all such plans were canceled. 

When the 1990's video release was a huge moneymaker, Walt Disney's nephew decided to take some of the profits and make Walt's dream come true. The result was Fantasia 2000.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

1999: Mickey Mouse Works


In 1999, Disney brought back Mickey Mouse in a big way- with ABC's Mickey Mouse Works, a Saturday morning TV show that featured new and classic Disney animated shorts featuring the world's favorite mouse.

Monday, March 6, 2017

1998: DISNEYLAND's Original Parking Lot Closes


The 100 acre DISNEYLAND parking lot, a staple of the parkgoing experience since 1955 is closed in 1998 to make way for the DISNEYLAND Resort expansion. The land would become Downtown Disney, Disney's Grand Californian Hotel and Disney California Adventure.

Friday, March 3, 2017

1997: The Lion King Musical Premieres


The Lion King inspired the greatest parade in DISNEYLAND's history, the stirring Lion King Celebration. Both would inspire the most successful musical in Broadway history. The musical premiered in 1997.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

1996: 101 Dalmatians


In 1996, Disney would release its first live action film based on one of its classic animated features. 101 Dalmatians was a huge success and even garnered a Golden Globe Best Actress nomination for Glenn Close.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

1995: ABC Becomes Part of Disney


In 1995, The Walt Disney Company surprised the world by announcing a $19 Billion deal to buy Capital Cities/ABC. As a result, ABC, ESPN, Lifetime and A&E would come into the Disney family.