One year ago this month, we were looking back with fondness on a Disney Legend and looking ahead with excitement to new experiences coming to Magic Kingdom Park. Let’s take a look at what we were working on April 2013 here on the Disney Parks Blog.
As I walked out onto Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park one day, I noticed the Dapper Dans preparing to embark on their own Main Street voyage aboard a bicycle built for four. What really caught my attention was how easy they made it look. How do four men ride one bicycle together? I had to know … so I asked them to show us!
Are you a Dapper Dans fan? Tell us your favorite tune in the comments!
It’s been one month since the “wildest ride in the wilderness” reopened after an extended refurbishment here at Disneyland park. Since then, our guests have been telling us how impressed they are with the improved track and new effects at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Today we’ve got a special look at these improvements as they took shape over the last year.
As Jennifer showed you earlier today, today is the big day – the global celebration of the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” at Disney Parks. As part of this celebration, we’ve been sharing wonderful renditions of the attraction’s unforgettable song from around the world, and today I’m excited to share one from right here at the Disneyland Resort. My fellow cast members shared this wonderful video with us, and asked me to share it with our Disney Parks Blog readers.
They did a great job, didn’t they? Want to join in? Record your own version at SmallWorld50.com!
Yo ho yo ho, an ice cream sundae for me! That’s right – the Caribbean Pirates have claimed the first-ever March Magic victory on Facebook, making Disneyland the winning resort. You may remember that I made a little wager with my fellow Disney Parks Blog author, Gary Buchanan … If Walt Disney World won, he’d be doused by the world’s biggest Dole Whip (“big game” style) and if Disneyland won, he’d have to buy me the biggest ice cream sundae that Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor can make. Well, yesterday the time came for him to pay up!
As fate would have it, Gary was visiting here at Disneyland this week so he was able to make good on our wager in person. Yes, I shared with him – after all, he’s a world-class sundae champion. And there was even enough for Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer, who joined us and grabbed this photo.
Congrats to the Caribbean Pirates on their victory!
As we learned yesterday, “it’s a small world” has journeyed from California to New York and back again, and now some of its iconic dolls are making the voyage once again. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the attraction’s opening at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, these dolls will appear on ABC’s Good Morning America, where they will be featured as part of the show’s coverage of our global sing-along event. In the video below, we see how the dolls are cared for here at Disneyland park and how they were prepared for their trip.
And don’t forget – you’ve still got time to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com!
In preparing for this celebration, I had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of “it’s a small world” here at Disneyland park – during which I discovered something pretty incredible. Walking behind the large set pieces, I saw these odd little stickers:
Looking very closely, I was able to make out the date “Jan 5 1964.” Also noting that this flameproofing was done here in California led me to the conclusion that this sticker was applied after the set pieces were created and before they were shipped to New York to be assembled for their debut just months later at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.
Along with these fireproofing stickers, I found lots of smaller blue stickers labeled “GLOBAL VAN LINES.” Some of you may remember that, in addition to hosting a locker facility on Main Street, U.S.A., Global Van Lines also operated many years ago from their global headquarters adjacent to Disneyland park – in fact, it was located right here where I am sitting, which is now Team Disney Anaheim (the administrative building in which many Disneyland Resort offices are housed).
Here’s the mystery: were these stickers applied for the shipping from California to New York or vice-versa? Even my friends at the Walt Disney Archives were not sure. (Feel free to discuss your theories in the comments!)
Another discovery that fascinated me were the letter/number designations painted on the back of every single set piece. I learned that these labels aided in the assembly of the large, elaborate set pieces both in New York and at the attraction’s permanent home here in Anaheim in 1966. It was also pointed out to me that some of the larger pieces were attached by hinges, making them easier to pack, ship and reassemble. Stepping back, I realized that “it’s a small world” is one huge jigsaw puzzle!
And we’ve got a special opportunity for our biggest “it’s a small world” fans – we’ve got a few seats in the ‘it’s a small world’ Google+ Hangout On Air event open for you! Later today, we’ll tweet details from @Disneyland on how you can be part of the event and ask your question directly to Richard Sherman!
Our tour of “it’s a small world” around the world continues today with Disneyland Paris. The attraction, which opened with the park in 1992, stands out for its ornate, colorful design. My favorite detail is the double-decker bus teetering over a replica of London’s Tower Bridge.
Join us in celebrating the 50th anniversary of “it’s a small world” at SmallWorld50.com!
See the posts below for more ‘it’s a small world’ around the world: