Featured Attractions

Friday, November 30, 2018

DISNEYLAND: Sweet, Sweet Music

One of the best ways to spread the magic of DISNEYLAND was through music. As any DISNEYLAND guest going back to the very first can tell you, music is an important part of the magic in Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney knew that guests would want to take some of the music home with them and he wanted them to do so, knowing that their guests would hear the music and want to make their very own trek to California to experience the park for themselves. Oddly enough, the record labels who used to eagerly agree to release Disney soundtracks were not eager to take a risk on releasing music from this ‘themed park’ out west. It was a big mistake; the lack of interest would inspire Walt Disney to start up his own record label- DISNEYLAND Records- which would take over the release of all Disney soundtracks from them until now. Not only would the outside record labels miss out on the huge business in DISNEYLAND albums, they would lose all opportunities to release Disney soundtracks. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018


When Walt Disney was trying to finance DISNEYLAND, he enlisted various companies who weren’t necessarily interested in owning part of a theme park, but were investing solely to get access to other things they wanted. ABC, for example, invested in DISNEYLAND because it wanted a television show from Walt Disney. Western Publishing invested to get the lucrative license to produce books based on the Disney characters and DISNEYLAND. As part of the deal it produced several board games that featured the park’s various lands. The games were hugely successful in not only making money, but in spreading the magic of DISNEYLAND around the world. Many of these games made their way into classrooms and into the hands of children who would dream of one day visiting Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


The rarest kind of DISNEYLAND souvenir is one that depicts a building inside the park that is not the castle. That today’s souvenir depicts a park building that is no longer there makes it even more special! The Skyway Chalet stood guard over Fantasyland for decades, providing a delightful station for the Skyway attraction. This replica provides a Disney spin on an age old device that predicts the weather. The real life Chalet ended regular use in the mid-1990’s after the removal of the Skyway itself. The passage of new accessibility requirements for disabled access made it impossible to use the building in regular operations and it was eventually removed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

DISNEYLAND: Cel-ebration

Back in the golden age of animation, studios used clear plastic sheets called cels to produce the animated classics that we all know and love. Today, these cels are highly sought after pieces of animation history. Back then, hard as it is to believe, they were seen as waste, thrown out or cleaned off for re-use after the film was completed. Walt Disney Productions was no different from the other studios back then, discarding these magnificent pieces of art. A San Francisco gallery owner- Guthrie Courvoisier- saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and became enraptured with the beautiful artistry on display. After doing some research, he became convinced that cels could be sold like any other piece of art. He was able to convince Walt and Roy Disney to let him sell some of the pieces to gauge audience interest and the first animation art was released to the masses. When DISNEYLAND first opened, it provided the company with direct access to millions of guests and it decided to sell animation art out of a gallery located in Tomorrowland where the Buzz Lightyear attraction is currently located.

This page from the DISNEYLAND Merchandise catalog advertises framed original cels for just $3.95. Unframed cels were just $2.25. Such cels regularly fetch upwards of $1,000 these days depending on condition. If a lucky guest purchased either of the pictured Sleeping Beauty cels back then and kept them in mint condition, they (or their heirs) could probably sell them for at least $10,000 and probably much more than that. Once the market for animation cels took off, DISNEYLAND began selling them for much more than they were selling them for here. Today, most of the cels found in the parks are replicas and not originals and they sell for $250 and up.

Monday, November 26, 2018

DISNEYLAND: Wish You Were Here!

When DISNEYLAND first opened, Walt Disney knew that he would need help in spreading the word about his Magic Kingdom in Anaheim. A way to do this while generating revenue that could be used to expand the park was to sell souvenirs. T-Shirts, books and other souvenirs could be eagerly snapped up by his guests who would share them with friends and family back home. In its early years, the park was able to put together a stellar lineup of merchandise that is highly sought after even today. This week we’ll take a peek at an early catalog of treasures that could be shipped around the world direct from Walt Disney’s One and Only Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney was approached by a publisher who wanted to have him write a book about his life. Pete Martin was supposed to ghost write it for him, but since Walt’s daughter had just been married, he wanted the book to be “written” by her so that she would earn his share of the royalties. Diane wasn’t too keen on the idea of claiming full authorship, so the ghost writer was given a writing credit; a rarity in publishing. Of course, DISNEYLAND would sell the book but how could they make it special? By having both Walt Disney and his daughter autograph the books. A special treasure indeed! The signed books are extremely rare and worth quite a lot nowadays.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!

When Walt Disney arrived in Southern California after losing Oswald, he seemed oddly calm. As he told his brother Roy by telegram, he had a new idea that he was sure would help them out of their predicament. And he was ready to show the world what that was on November 18, 1928. On that day, the world would be introduced to Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie. Walt Disney’s world- and ours- would never be the same.

Mickey Mouse would become an instant success and a worldwide sensation who would easily eclipse his older brother Oswald. Soon Mickey would become an empire, his face emblazoned on thousands of products around the world.

The world loved Mickey Mouse and his famous face became known around the world. He would open doors for his creator, allowing him to make his dreams come true. Mickey’s Success would finance Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, a massive new studio and other feature length films.

Mickey would eventually help Walt Disney build his very own Magic Kingdom of DISNEYLAND, where Mickey would meet and greet millions of his fans in the most attended theme park in the world. The park’s success would lead to other attractions located in Florida, Japan, France, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Mickey Mouse would become a smiling ambassador for the United States and The Walt Disney Company.

No matter how successful Mickey Mouse got, the secret of his success is that each of his fans sees him as their personal friend. The fact that he’s often a baby’s first plush toy means he’s always been there for them; he soothes them through illness and is a faithful playmate. We can’t remember never knowing of him and why would we want to? He’s our first and best friend.

To Walt Disney, Mickey was a godsend; the son he never had. Mickey’s optimistic outlook on life mirrored Walt’s, and many people who knew him have said that even today they see a lot of Walt Disney in his famous Mouse.

I can’t imagine my life without Mickey Mouse. The story behind his creation is inspiring; his smiling face reassuring. I can’t imagine a world without Mickey Mouse or DISNEYLAND. He’s always been in my life and brings back happy memories every time I see him. Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse and thank you for all the great times you’ve given me and the smiles you’ve put on my face. I will forever be a faithful Mouseketeer!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Mickey is 90! “Don’t Worry Everything OK”

When Walt and Lillian Disney boarded the train for New York City to negotiate with Universal Pictures for a new series of Oswald cartoons they knew it would be contentious. Universal and its representative Charles Mintz were already signaling that they wanted to lower the cost of producing each cartoon. What the Disneys didn’t know was that Universal had already negotiated to hire away many of Walt’s animators if he didn’t accept their offer.

And Universal thought that it held the upper hand; after all, they had originally negotiated to retain ownership in Oswald’s copyrights. As far as they were concerned, Walt Disney was just an employee working for them. When Walt refused to accept Universal’s lowball offer, he was powerless to stop them from taking his first creation. Oswald would move to Universal and The Disney Brothers Studio would be ruined; or so Universal thought. Walt Disney would begrudgingly board the California Limited, dejected and depressed. It would be a long train ride back home. Walt would send the following telegram to his brother out in Los Angeles:

A strangely upbeat telegram to send considering the dire straits the company found itself in, right? 

“Don’t worry everything OK will give details when arrive”. 

Walt Disney wasn’t trying to disguise his despair with an overly chipper telegram. He was going back to California with an idea that would not just change his company’s fortunes; it would literally change the world. The idea would catapult Walt Disney to success beyond his wildest dreams. Who could have imagined that a company worth billions of dollars today was all started by a Mouse?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Mickey is 90! He’s The Leader of The Club!

Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and Me?
M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse! Forever let us hold our banner high!

Through the years we’ll all be friends wherever we may be. M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Tribute to Stan Lee: 1922 - 2018

Comic book icon and Disney Legend Stan Lee has passed away at age 95. Mr. Lee was responsible for a second golden age of comic books at Marvel Comics, creating some of the world’s most popular superheroes like Spider-Man and the Hulk. Collaborating with fellow legend Jack Kirby, he displaced DC Comics as the number one comic book company and created an entire universe like no other.

Lee was born in New York City On December 28, 1922 as Stanley Lieber. He was a brilliant student and graduated from high school early, looking to make a career writing novels. His first job out of high school, however, was at Timely Comics where he mainly worked as an assistant, filling up inkwells and fetching lunch for the artists. It would take three years for Timely Comics to give him a chance at writing, his first published story appearing in Captain America #3. He chose to use the pen name “Stan Lee”, figuring he would use his real name on his literary endeavors.

After Jack Kirby left Timely Comics, Stan Lee would be elevated to editor at just 19 years old. He would remain with Timely Comics, only taking a break when he was drafted into World War II. Upon his return he faced a new challenge; the market for superhero comics had cooled considerably. He diversified the range of comics being sold by the company which called itself Atlas Comics by this time. Timely/Atlas had always been on shaky financial ground and Stan soon grew frustrated with his work. He felt he was spinning his wheels and not progressing in his career. He planned to leave the company, which was now called Marvel Comics, but his wife convinced him to finish out his next comic book then see if he still wanted to leave. It would be fateful advice.

Stan Lee, in conjunction with a returned Jack Kirby, would create The Fantastic Four and even more importantly, Spider-Man. Marvel’s second golden age had begun and Stan Lee was at the center of it. This new breed of comic books would spawn a multi-billion dollar empire that is now more popular and relevant than it was even during the golden age. Now a division of The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Comics has become an unstoppable force with no end in sight. Generalissimo Lee’s influence and creations will undoubtedly continue to entertain millions the world over for decades to come. Rest well, Mr. Lee and thank you for sharing your talent with the world.

Stan Lee: 1922 - 2018

Mickey is 90!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

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

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Time to fall back!

Mickey is 90! A Month of Celebrations

On November 18, Mickey Mouse will mark his 90th year, having made his grand debut in Steamboat Willie on November 18, 1928. The Walt Disney Company will honor Mickey Mouse tomorrow on ABC in a glittering celeb filled spectacular. Here on RetlawYensid.com, we’ll be honoring the big cheese all month long.

Why is Mickey Mouse so important to so many 90 years after his premiere? He’s often our first friend; a trustworthy, cuddly pal who comforts us through naps, fevers, good and bad times. He’s always a comforting presence, making us laugh and always putting a smile on our faces. He’s friendly and always keeps our secrets to himself.

He loves us unconditionally and we love him. He’s always there when we need him and his bright presence and smiling face have made his father’s Magic Kingdom of DISNEYLAND the happiest place on earth. When Walt Disney created that spunky little mouse on the long train ride back to California after losing Oswald to Universal Pictures, he was desperately trying to salvage his fledgling company. Little did he know that the idea that sprang up out of desperation would change the world. This month we honor the mouse who started it all- Happy Birthday, Mickey Mouse!