June 29, 2013

Magic Eye for Tiki Room 50th Celebration

One of the sites I check every Friday is Mint Crocodile's wonderful Magic Eye blog. As a relocated Californian in Colorado, I do not get to the parks often, so I rely on Mint for a great blog to keep me visually informed on what goes on at Disneyland

This week, Mint seemed a bit late, but was it worth it! Here is his incredible photos of The Disney Gallery and the tribute to Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. As you can see from the John Hench concept art above, it's pretty beautiful. Get over there now if you're a lover of all things tiki room!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 28, 2013

Professor Quizzit's Flight Academy

Just loved this logo for Professor Quizzit's Flight Academy- and wanted it on my blog...
Relaunched 2013!

(Image copyright Adventure Camp Colorado.)

June 27, 2013

Not Top of the Class

Just saw Monsters University. It's a good film, full of heart and an interesting story, but something is missing. Certainly better than many things out there now, but given Pixar and their reputation for world class films, I was a tad bit disappointed.

Monsters Inc. is one of my most loved Pixar creations, so I was extremely excited to see more adventures with Mike and Sully. My wife thinks the lack of "door action" slowed the pace and interest of the film. Perhaps. I'm a bit more inclined to think it was the familiarity with the storyline, as the "opposites attract" buddy story is a staple of Hollywood films. 

The animation is top notch. The environments stunningly beautiful. John Goodman and Billy Crystal are terrific, but it's Helen Mirren as the dean that propels the plot in a way both harsh, blunt, and eventually with heart. No spoilers here. I will say the first half is a solid "A" grade film, and the second half still a solid "B".  The big question: Will I buy it on DVD? Perhaps...

(Art copyright Disney/ Pixar.)

June 26, 2013

Hat Tip to Hat Removal?

Could it be? Is D23 tipping its hand in its commemorative pin collection for the 2013 event? Here's a nice little souvenir pin showing Mickey Mouse lifting off the hat he "borrowed" in the Sorcerer's Apprentice. Is this foreshadowing Imagineers finally removing the monstrosity from Disney's Hollywood Studios? Let's hope so!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 22, 2013

Odd Disneyland Main Street Poster

Trying to finish up my Disneyland Attraction Poster series and my look at Tomorrowland. Came across this Main Street U.S.A. poster, and I had never seen it before. I can't even remember where I found it. Can anyone tell me its origin and if it was a final concept poster or a proposed one that was never used?

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company)

June 20, 2013

Disappearance of Beastly Kingdom Foretold in Press Kit?

This Animal Kingdom Press Kit sure is an interesting piece. If you look closely, what do you see? Well, it's what you don't see: a mythical animal. Makes me think the suits in Imagineering already knew that Beastly Kingdom / Kingdomme was not to be, maybe ever. Anyone know what's inside of this?

(Art copyright the Walt Disney Company.)

June 15, 2013

Things I'll Never Say

There are many stories I tell and many things I write that reveal what's in my heart, what's happening in my life. Not so right now- and actually, many things I will never write here. The things I've seen, the things I've done, and the things I've heard.

It's just the way life is sometimes. But I will say this: the longest road is the one each man must walk alone. The one that leads to eternity. And even though I do not know exactly where the bend in this road leads, I know Who I am following- the One who never leaves me or forsakes me.

June 10, 2013

Surprising View at California Adventure

It's the summer of 2013, and the new expansion of Disney California Adventure is about one year old. The gorgeous Buena Vista Street and the stunning Cars Land (with super E Ticket  Radiator Springs Racers) continues to sop of the crowds. 

It would be very easy to overlook some of the older parts of the park as we're busy exploring what's new. Yet, sometimes pieces of the old present some excellent photo opportunities as well as take us to a place far away from the city of Anaheim.

Such is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. If an adult (and childless) guest can get beyond the toon focused, family friendly entrance, some terrific views are to be found. Like the one above.

Looking at this, it's easy to imagine yourself far away and high above the crowds. Well done, Imagineering

(Photograph copyright Mark Taft.)

June 5, 2013


Once upon a time, Disney's Animal Kingdom was the place to go on the Walt Disney World property if you were looking for adventures of the wild variety.

Sure, there were the sedate encounters and beautiful landscapes, but it didn't take long for guests to find the thrills in the park. The Imagineering team led by Joe Rohde designed it to be just like that!

The real animal encounters found on Kilimanjaro Safaris, the now historic lost animals of Countdown to Extinction, and the mythical (A-mode) Yeti waiting to be discovered on Expedition: Everest gave visitors goosebumps of a different sort compared to what could be found elsewhere. It was a unique and successful twist on the Disney theme park. Yet, it's been watered down as the years go by.

Just take a good, hard look at the park's three premier thrill attractions, and its easy to see the decline in show quality and presentation. Less drama, less detail, less functionality = less guest satisfaction. Pretty simple math, huh?

Will the pending Avatar project wake up a sleeping giant? (Will it really be announced at D23? And if it does, will guests love it?) Or will it take something more memorable- like the dragons found (above) on the abandoned plans for Beastly Kingdom (Kingdomme) - reused in some new ways- to bring a once vibrant park back to life? 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

June 3, 2013

International Village to World Showcase, EPCOT Center

Here you go: Version One of World Showcase, known as International Village, back when it was a whole separate theme park from Future World.  EPCOT Center went through a lot of changes before it became the incredible park it was at opening 1982.

Looking at this piece of Imagineering concept art, its pretty easy to see the PeopleMover in the background. There's the international signs pointing to the various countries, and alas, there's also the very 70s looking concrete version style that has plagued Disneyland's Tomorrowland since 1955!

Thankfully, the designers took a second and third look at the plan, and decided to present a more traditional architecture for each of the countries represented. The end result: much more charming- and  a vision much more in line with the fantasy version of countries imagined by travelers that never make the journey overseas.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)