Featured Attractions

Friday, April 28, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week! The Indiana Jones Adventure

DISNEYLAND's Indiana Jones Adventure has been a huge favorite of guests for over twenty years. The impressive technology used in the attraction was initially capable of even more impressive feats. Walt Disney Imagineering had programmed each of the vehicles to have hundreds of thousands of ride variations.


The attraction was supposed to surprise guests by beginning its journey through the temple in one of three different doors. Repeat riders would instantly notice the difference. It was all meant to be very impressive.


Unfortunately, the extremely popular attraction faced many stumbling blocks in its first year of operation. Guests were not heeding the warnings of holding onto hats and bags. Ride sensors meant to halt operations if a person fell out of the vehicles were stopping the attraction every time a careless guest dropped a hat or bag. To make matters worse the attraction's ride system, faced with a nearly infinite number of attraction possibilities, would only choose six of them. The three doors of Wisdom only led to one location. 

Walt Disney Imagineering would lower the sensitivity of the ride sensors, install netting to give guests a place to secure their belongings, but couldn't quite get a grip on resolving the problem of the attraction not choosing from the multiple possibilities. Sometimes they had to prop open the middle door to make the attraction get through the day. 

Imagineering desperately wanted time to fix the attraction and felt that it should be shut down if the three doors weren't working correctly. Park operations, faced with thousands of guests who most likely didn't notice anything amiss, won out- the attraction would only close for safety reasons. Imagineering would eventually get various opportunities to try to fix some of these issues over the years, but the attraction would never work entirely as originally conceived.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week! Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Even a classic attraction like Dumbo the Flying Elephant didn't end up as originally intended. Look closely at a vintage Dumbo from 1955- his ears are obviously not molded with the rest of his head. That's because they were intended to flap up and down while the attraction was in motion.


Unfortunately, the ears rarely worked and often caused problems with the popular attraction's daily operations. Walt Disney allowed the attraction to operate without the flapping ears. Eventually the ears on Dumbo were permanently fixed to his head. When the cars were replaced in 1990, the new models had no ear flapping mechanism.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week! The Jolly Trolley

When DISNEYLAND first opened Mickey's Toontown in 1993, it featured a rollicking trolley that took guests from Downtown Toontown to Mickey's Neighborhood.


The trolleys were meant to rock and roll down the streets of Toontown. At first, each trolley consisted of two cars connected together. Operations had a hard time getting them to operate the way they were supposed to, so the trolleys were changed to featuring just one car apiece. Soon the rocking was shutoff. Eventually, the trolleys were completely shutdown, becoming static photo opportunities. The trolleys were seen as being an operational nightmare.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week! The Flying Saucers

When Walt Disney's idea for a Space Mountain proved to be unworkable in 1960, he approved the legendary attraction the Flying Saucers.


Guests would float on a cushion of air in their own flying saucer. It seemed like it would be an exciting attraction- when it worked. DISNEYLAND's maintenance team hated the attraction and would often "forget" to get it operational again. On days when Walt was in the park, they had to get it running and keep it running all day. Even Walt knew when it was time to throw in the towel. The often closed attraction was finally put out of its misery in 1965.

Amazingly, the company would try the concept again just across the way at Disney California Adventure in Cars Land. That attraction lasted even less time than its predecessor.


Monday, April 24, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week! Wally Boag's DISNEYLAND TV show


When DISNEYLAND first opened, Walt Disney had big plans for the Opera House on Main Street. He wanted to establish a weekly variety show that would air coast to coast on ABC, hosted by Wally Boag. Wally Boag would spend the rest of the week at the Golden Horseshoe in Frontierland.

However, as DISNEYLAND's construction costs spiraled ever higher, it became obvious that Walt wouldn't have enough cash to build a state of the art broadcast studio. Since he was loathe to spend that much cash on something that wouldn't directly improve the guest experience, the outside facade was completed, but there was nothing inside for guests to see. By the time the park found massive success, Mr. Disney's thoughts had moved on to bigger and better things. The building would remain vacant for many years, sometimes holding temporary exhibits. The DISNEYLAND Opera House would eventually get built the way Walt Disney had originally dreamed, only it would become a home for Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

It Didn't Work Out Week!


Frequent visitors to this site know that we often discuss the DISNEYLAND that never was. There are quite a few moments in Disney history where something bigger was attempted but it didn't quite work out. That's what we'll look at beginning tomorrow!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Freaky Fridays: Don Rickles Does Mr. Potato Head


Nobody ever confused Don Rickles' act as being "Family-Friendly." In fact, that would probably be the last phrase anyone would use to describe Mr. Rickles. Yet in 1995 he lent his voice to a Disney movie- the original Toy Story- where he provided the voice for Mr. Potato Head. An unusual choice indeed.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Theme Park Thursdays: Dole Whips at the Tiki Room

While Dole Whips have become synonymous with DISNEYLAND's Enchanted Tiki Room, they weren't there from the very beginning; in fact, not even Dole was there from the beginning. Originally, the Tiki Room was supposed to be a restaurant sponsored by Stouffer. The company had even printed up promotional material with the Stouffer logo on them. When the restaurant idea proved unfeasible, the Tiki Room opened with a decidedly unfood related sponsor- United Airlines.


It wasn't until 1976 that Dole came on the scene and even then, the famed drink kiosk outside the Tiki Room didn't have Dole Whips. Those weren't added to the menu until 1986.


While the pineapple soft serve concoction is inextricably linked to DISNEYLAND's Tiki Room, Walt Disney World's sponsor was the Florida Citrus Group, which wanted a less exotic confection- the Citrus Swirl. The citrus swirl disappeared around the time that the Dole Whip appeared in DISNEYLAND and despite the fact that Dole doesn't sponsor the attraction in Florida, the DISNEYLAND treat laid down roots at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Toontown Tuesdays: Downtown Toontown

Mickey's Toontown consists of different distinct areas. The first area you are likely to encounter is Downtown Toontown, which includes Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin, the Gag Factory gift shop and a fun play area with various sounds and surprises waiting to be discovered.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Music Mondays: "Secrets of Life", the tenth DISNEYLAND Records Release


The tenth album released from DISNEYLAND Records was Secrets of Life, the soundtrack to the True-Life Adventure film of the same name. The orchestral soundtrack sought to test the waters to see if the company could sell such material to general audiences.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

DISNEY NEWS: Disney's Marvel Adventure



ANAHEIM, CA- Walt Disney Theme Parks spokeswoman April F. Ewell announced today that the company's second Anaheim theme park would be "re-imagined" as the all new Disney's Marvel Adventure Park. "Our guests are constantly telling us that many of the familiar Disney attractions and characters are no longer relevant to them, so we wanted to give them newer, re-invigorated attractions to enjoy. Disney's Marvel Adventure Park is the happy result!"

Spider-Man 'swings' into his new home.

No corner of the theme park will remain untouched. Paradise Pier will become home to Spidey's Fun Wheel:


The exciting Iron Man Flight School:


And the amazing Spidey Web Slingin' Swings!


The current Bugs Land area will become the thrilling Ant-Man Kiddie Land, where even the smallest can be super!


Guests will even be able to ride Agent Coulson's famed 'Lola' in the amazing Agents of SHIELD Racin' Adventure!


The famed Soarin' attraction will get a facelift when it becomes Soarin' over Stark Industries.


Plus, move over Walt! Stan the Man will take his place on the new Stark Studios Street in an amazing statue that will make guests shout "Excelsior!"


According to Ms. Ewell, the park has purchased thousands of gallons of paint to help the park make its stunning transition. "Guests will feel like they've stepped into a living, breathing comic book, with newly repainted and re-themed adventures they'll never forget," noted Ms. Ewell, "they'll love the new relevance we're bringing to this amazing theme park!" Disney hopes to have the changes up and running by the end of the year.