Saturday, December 24, 2011

Journey Into Imagination

     There are never too many pictures of this attraction online. The original JII when Figment wasn't annoying, he was cute.  People need to experience THIS Figment.

Dreamfinder in the Dreamcatcher
"You've got a Figment"
"Some happy songs, some snappy dances!"

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Daredevil Circus Spectacular at EPCOT Center

     October 1st, 1987 marks the debut of the Daredevil Circus Spectacular, which performed in Communicore plaza.  The 80's was a difficult time for the parks.  And guests just really did not understand EPCOT Center.  The lack of traditional Disney characters as well as it was so completely different than anything that came before it.  Among the people that did not understand EPCOT Center was Michael Eisner.  While looking for ways to improve EPCOT Centers earnings, he decided that Futureworld needed a circus.  A "future" themed circus. It was billed as "The Greatest Show In Space".  Instead of being in a circus tent, it was right in the center of Futureworld which was transformed into an 8 ring "Spacearena".  The show only lasted till March 19th, 1988.

Check out the pavilion logos in the bottom left of the picture

        There were four elephants in the show, and they were not just elephants, they are "mutant prehistoric pachyderms from the steaming jungles of a little known planet in the Archturian Cosmos!They were actually the Christiani Elephants.  They performed on a stage built on top of the Fountain of Nations.  The fountain below gave the "Space ring" a cool look.  That was one sturdy stage,  it had to hold 36,000 pounds of pachyderm. 

"Space cycles" over Communicore


"Sincotron climbs the heights of a space probe needle!"

Two full rings of trapeze featuring The Flying Rodriguez Family
More Space cycles featuring The Winn Troupe
Archturian Power Drones during the finale
     This show also featured live music by The Future corps.  Also some of The Winn Troupe performed on "The Wheel of Destiny".  Here is a fabulous video which looks to be shot from the roof of Communicore East. There is two other parts to watch as well

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles

      The Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles appeared at Disney MGM Studios in 1990 and did performances until 1996.  The Turtles would pull up in their Turtle Party Wagon (which did not resemble the van they drove in the animated series) and dace around their stage while April O'neal sang.  This stage was located back on New York Street.  They did "sign" autographs and took pictures with guests as well.
Lets open my autograph book that I got in 1989
This was the first instance that I can remember where the character used a stamp for and autograph
The outfits were too cumbersome to actually sign their names
I guess them having three fingers didn't help either

April O'Neal was the only human character, so she is able to sign her name
     This was huge with my brother and I since we absolutely loved everything Turtles around this time. The cartoon show (1987) was very popular as well as action figures and other mechandise. The live action film debuted in 1990, along with two sequels to follow in the early 90's.  There is also many shows that have aired over the years on television.  There is actually a new series the will begin airing on Nickelodeon starting in 2012.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

World of Motion asthetics

     This space in EPCOT Center has changed a lot since 1986 when this photo was taken.  I loved when everything was more open and less cluttered.

      There were views available all over Futureworld that are nonexistant today.  Don't get me wrong I love test track, but the exterior of the pavillion seems kind of overcrowded.

Here is an example of blocked sightlines

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Treehouse Villas

     I have some pictures of the Treehouse Villas as they were in about 1986.  But first a small bit of history on the Treehouse Villas.

      The Villas opened in 1975 and closed in 2002.  One reason that the Treehouse Villas  were closed was because of the lack of access for the disabled.  For a while the villas were used as private residences for Disney’s International and College Program and later housed Cast members.
      In order to reopen the villas Disney would have to follow the guidelines set forth by the “Warren S. Henderson Wetlands Protection Act” legislation of 1984.  Because of the fact that they are built on protected wetlands, no more construction was allowed.  When Disney did decide to refurbish the units (60 of them) they actually lessened the overall footprint of each unit by about 70%.  They did this by removing the living space on the ground floor and extending the space that is located up 10 feet of the ground.

      The "new" Treehouse villas are 3-bed 2 bath octagonal homes on 6 concrete pillars. They are prefabricated a mile away from the site, trucked in 3 sections plus the roof, lifted into place and assembled there atop the pillars.  Four of the Treehouse Villas are handicap accessible and include an entrance ramp.  They opened as DVC at the Saratoga Springs Resort in 2009.

Here are some exterior photos

You can see the space for the bedroom on the lower level that does not exist anymore

A good view from the Sassagoula river, which I bet the trees and shrubs are a lot bigger now to block some of the view
I thought it was so cool  that you walked up on to the deck and across a "bridge" to get inside
A look at the deck from the door
the kitchen
Not a lot of room in there

sitting area adjacent to the kitchen
My brother and me enjoying the Disney Treehouse villas
Looking at the door from the middle of the living room
Look at that TV!
Looking toward the bedroom hall
you can see the center support beam behind me in my dads sweatshirt
    I also loved the spiral staircase that lead down to the bottom floor bedroom.  I know I have more pictures of the villas including the downstairs bedroom.  And also pictures of the Peacocks that used to roam around the grounds all the time.  When I find them I will post them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Contemporary Cinema Ticket

    I used to love taking the monorail over to the Contemporary to see a movie.  Our family used to stay in the Polynesian most trips and even as young as 8 my brother and I used to be able to go to the Contemporary by ourselves to play video games and catch a movie.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nemo channeling Walt?

       I just watched Pinocchio (One of my favorite "Walt era" Disney features by the way) and Finding Nemo back to back,.this was just a completely random selection of movies to watch together, and I noticed many similarities in these two films.  Andrew Stanton was the director of the critically acclaimed computer animated film Finding Nemo, in which he also supplied the voice of Crush the 150 year old turtle.  He also studied character animation at The California Institute of the Arts. Anyway my point in this that some of the themes present directly coincide with each other.

        Let us take Pinocchio,  Geppetto goes searching for his "son" who went missing.  He also gets swallowed by a whale in the ocean.  And his son Pinocchio has a great idea at the end to get them all out of Monstro the whale. In Finding Nemo, Marlin (Nemo's father), goes searching for his son who is taken from him.  Marlin also gets swallowed by a whale.  toward the end of the film Nemo has a bright idea to help free Dory from the fisherman's net.
        The major difference in these films are that Marlin has already felt the pain of losing the ones he loves and Geppetto has yet to feel the pain of losing his loved one.  So Geppetto is not too protective yet and Marlin is overly protective based on experience.  I wonder how overly protective Geppetto got after Pinocchio became a real boy and almost lost him previously.
      Also there is Jiminy Cricket who represents Pinocchio's conscience.  In Finding Nemo there is a vague reference to a conscience in the scene where Dory and Marlin descend into the abyss to locate the divers mask.  And Marlin pretends to be Dory's conscience in the pitch black.
      Maybe this is a stretch, and is purely coincidence, but I would like to think that there is always inspiration coming from the beginning of the Disney company.  And especially Walt himself.  It is amazing what Walt and his animators, story men, and the like were able to accomplish over 70 years ago.  The films are truely timeless through the story and the quality of the pictures themselves.  Which I believe film makers now could always glean ideas from Walt's previous accomplishments.  What do you think?


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Park Tickets 2

     I have these tickets that are still good!  I think of it like currency, only going to go up in value.  If I do not use them.
This ticket is from 1989 and is still valid!
Would I use it at the newly opened studios? Nah it is not a park hopper,
 and MGM was built to be only a half day experience

I wish!

This is a comp ticket from 1986

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Park Tickets

     Check out these park tickets that I have from the 1970's.  These are from when Walt Disney World charged an entry fee to get in the park, with an additional fee for ride vouchers to experience most of the attractions.  Some of the attractions were included with park admission like The Walt Disney Story, Hall of Presidents,  If You Had Wings, Circle Vision 360 film, and The Diamond Horseshoe Revue.
Here are a couple of  ticket book options available to purchase after your initial park admission fee

Look there is still have two D tickets and one B ticket left.   
These tickets could be used for any attraction.  These you save for the big ones like Pirates, Space, 20,000 leagues, and Haunted Mansion.  These tickets are dated 1979.

    With a D ticket I have access to The Enchanted Tiki Birds in Adventureland, Tom Sawer's Island in Frontierland ( remember it closes a dusk), the Admiral Joe Fowler, Richard F. Irvine Riverboats in Liberty Square.  Also the Skyway to Tomorrowland from Fantasyland and also from Fantasyland to Tomorrowland, only one way trips though.  The Mickey Mouse Revue, also in Fantasyland.  In Tomorrowland you can ride the Grand Prix Raceway, Star Jets, and Mission To Mars.

      With a B ticket you can ride Dumbo and The Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland.  In Liberty Square you can take a ride on the Mike Fink Keel Boats.  In Frontierland you can shoot targets at the Frontierland Shooting Gallery.  In Adventureland you can tour the Swiss Family Treehouse.

    What is interesting is that Disney refers to all the attractions as adventures.  So you purchase tickets based on how many "adventures" you would like to experience.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

All America Parade

       This blog has no direction as of yet, but what inspired me to begin was an article from the book Four Decades Of Magic by Chad Emerson (highly recommended reading by the way).  The article was written by Tom Corless of and  is titled "When is the Three O'clock Parade? Then, Now, and Forever."  Here he writes about a little known parade that ran from late-1987 through September 1989.  I was in the park to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of America.  Tom states that it was incredibly difficult to locate information on this parade.  By happenstance I was browsing through an old photo album and came upon several pictures of this exact parade.  I decided that I should share these pictures that I have for all the Disney history buffs out there.  Enjoy!

I don not know where this parade starts, so this looks good.

Mickey and Minnie in colonial outfits
Looks like flags from original colonies and early America

Missed the float right before this with a eastern seaboard lighthouse and more of these cast members in ponchos

These floats seem to represent the American southwest
There is something endearing about a character riding a horse
You know Woody would be on this float if it was after 1996
These floats look like the American northwest
Song of the South characters before Splash Mountian
Not sure what Capt. Hook and Smee are doing in front of the Midwest floats
Definitely Midwestern
Country Bears
Is this the hen from The Wise Little Hen?  Donald Ducks first cartoon.
"The Spirit of America"
very long paddle boat

Donald Duck the Captain
Daisy too
I know this float was rebuilt for the Mickey Mania parade with skateboarders riding over the ramp
Not sure what this float represents other than a big wave
Ahhh the famous castle float
Look at all the random characters on this float,  Sheriff of Naughtingham, Cinderella, Snow White, The Gummi Bears
I think that is the White Rabbit from Alice on the back
Happy 200 years America!