Featured Attractions

Monday, September 24, 2018

Mickey Mondays: Mickey By The Years- 1937

The biggest thing to happen to Walt Disney Productions in 1937 was the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- and Mickey Mouse showed up at the premiere to celebrate!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Food Fridays: Stouffer’s Plaza Pavilion

In 1964, Walt Disney oversaw a massive expansion of DISNEYLAND’s infrastructure. Upset at the poor reputation that the park’s food service had gotten over the years, Walt Disney removed ABC’s UPI division from running the park’s food service concessions and brought in new sponsors with higher quality reputations. One of which was Stouffer’s, which ran high end restaurants years before it began selling frozen foods. One of the restaurants it ran was the Plaza Pavilion on Main Street. Selling the company’s famed lasagne and spaghetti, the graceful location bumped up DISNEYLAND’s food service reputation and operated under various sponsors for 30 years until it closed as a restaurant in the late 1990’s. The building was used for various non-food purposes for over ten years until it became the Jolly Holiday Bakery, a Mary Poppins themed restaurant.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

National Talk Like A Pirate Day! DISNEYLAND’s Redhead

For decades, the loveliest lass in all of Pirates of the Caribbean was the redhead, who attracted the attention of all the pirates attending the wench auction. With the current social climate, the scene was no longer deemed appropriate for a theme park and the saucy redhead became a piratess herself.

Revisionist history? Hardly. The storyline for the attraction always featured a pirate’s life for the redhead- you just had to know where to look. In the beginning of the ride in DISNEYLAND, the haunted bar frequented by the skeleton crew has always had an interesting painting behind the bar- a close look at the painting shows a familiar sight- the redhead!

Yes, the same redhead from the later scene became a lady pirate- her fate revealed before we see her at the wench auction. The painting was even called “A Sign of Things to Come”. The backstory of the redhead was that she escaped the clutches of the pirates and became a pirate herself. When the attraction was shoehorned into Florida’s Magic Kingdom Park, this scene was not included in the ride.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Toontown Tuesdays: Mickey By the Years- 1936

In 1936, Disney went meta. In the cartoon short Mickey’s Rival, we are introduced to a pompous character named Mortimer who becomes a rival for Minnie Mouse’s attention.

Why was this meta? Walt Disney originally wanted to name his famous mouse Mortimer. After asking his wife what she thought, she felt the name was pompous and suggested Mickey Mouse instead. When the idea was pitched for an annoying rival for Mickey, Walt had the perfect name- Mortimer Mouse.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Mickey Mondays: Mickey By The Years- 1935

Silly Symphonies was a separate movie series created by Walt Disney to produce music themed cartoon shorts that weren’t tied to the hugely popular Mickey Mouse, though they were “presented” by him. The series was more ambitious than the Mickey Mouse shorts and was the first to feature the expensive technicolor process in 1933.

The huge success of the Mickey Mouse shorts led Roy Disney to discourage his brother from using the expensive technicolor process to produce them; after all, Mickey Mouse was popular enough, why spend the extra money to make them? Walt Disney, however, was never willing to settle for second best, so in 1935, he was finally able to convince Roy to let him begin producing the Mickey shorts in color. The first was Mickey’s Band Concert.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Theme Park Thursdays: A Shopping Wonderland

When DISNEYLAND first opened, it was surrounded by orange groves. It would take time for the business world to see that there was a lot of money to be made in Anaheim. In order to fill the void in shopping options around the Magic Kingdom, the DISNEYLAND Hotel built its own shopping plaza, which originally featured a wide array of merchandise.

Guests could buy California fashions, the latest cameras and electronics and yes, even Disney merchandise. A barber shop, salon, car rental shop and airline ticketing station rounded out the options at the hotel’s travel port.

The hotel would further expand its offerings, adding the DISNEYLAND Hotel Plaza, an additional complex filled with shops and a spa. By this time the area surrounding the park had finally filled in. The additional facilities were designed more as a way to keep guests on the property versus providing services that the area lacked.

In the 1980’s after the Hotel was officially taken over by DISNEYLAND, the shops and restaurants became more Disney oriented. Shops that used to sell a variety of items only sold Disney merchandise. The Disney characters  began making more frequent appearances on the property and the restaurants were renamed after Disney characters.

In 1999, the various amenities and plazas were removed to make room for Downtown Disney. The memories, however, remained.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Walt Wednesdays: Mickey By The Years- 1934

In 1934, Walt Disney saw his biggest creation become gigantic- Mickey Mouse made his very first appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a gigantic balloon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Toontown Tuesdays: Mickey By The Years- 1932

Even in the beginning, Mickey Mouse’s birthdays were celebrated by Hollywood; in this picture, Bela Lugosi helps celebrate Mickey Mouse’s 5th Birthday.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Theme Park Thursdays: Babes in DISNEYLAND.

The Main Street Opera House in DISNEYLAND was originally supposed to host a weekly television show that would feature Wally Boag as its host. The show would be a variety show of sorts, filmed at DISNEYLAND and broadcast coast to coast. Budgetary restrictions prevented the studio from being built and a facade was constructed to hide the woodshop that was built behind Main Street to assist with the park’s construction.

By 1961, however, the woodshop was no longer needed and guests were always clamoring for more things to see and do. Walt Disney decided to open up the woodshop, which was little more than a warehouse type building, and move the sets from his film Babes in Toyland to Anaheim, which would add another attraction to the park and promote his latest film. The sets remained until 1963, when the real Opera House began construction. It would provide a permanent home for Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Walt Wednesdays: Mickey By The Years: 1931

In 1931, Walt Disney and his staff were inundated with letters from children writing to Mickey Mouse. How could the studio cultivate and encourage its fan base? Walt Disney decided that setting up a club for Mickey’s biggest fans would keep Mickey Mouse in the public eye and provide special opportunities for local theaters to host marathon showings of Mickey’s shorts. Therefore he established the very first Mickey Mouse Club.

This Mickey Mouse Club would encourage theaters to plan special matinees that would only show Mickey Mouse cartoons, which would have the added advantage of earning more money for Walt Disney Productions.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Toontown Tuesdays: Mickey By The Years- 1930

By 1930, Mickey Mouse was a sensation, spawning a huge line of merchandise and toys.

Despite the world being in the depths of an economic depression, Mickey Mouse still sold millions of dollars in merchandise, becoming a phenomenon.

Both the Lionel Train Company and the Ingersoll Watch Corporation were saved from bankruptcy by the mighty Mickey Mouse phenomenon. Mickey Mouse was becoming more than just a fad.