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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Casey Jr. Circus Train

posted on July 31st, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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Shortly after Disneyland park opened its gates, Casey Jr. Circus Train “came down the track” for the first time on July 31, 1955.

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The Fantasyland attraction, based on the classic Disney animated film “Dumbo,” features animal cages and ornate sleighs which take guests full steam ahead on fanciful train ride.

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As you can see, a simple scenery surrounded the attraction until the miniature scenes of Storybook Land were added with the opening of the Storybook Land Canal Boats in 1956.

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Casey Jr. Circus Train continues to delight guests (monkeys and wild animals too!) from around the world. “All aboard! Let’s go!”

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Rocket to the Moon and the Moonliner

posted on July 22nd, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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Less than a week after Disneyland opened, a first-of-its-kind attraction, Rocket to the Moon, made its debut on July 22, 1955.

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Rocket to the Moon was the perfect attraction for Tomorrowland, a land described, in part, by Walt in his dedication a few days earlier as “A vista into a world of wondrous places, signifying man’s achievements . . . a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.”

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This innovative attraction allowed Disneyland park guests the chance to travel around the far side of moon and back in just 10 minutes – all without leaving Disneyland! It’s important to remember that space flight was still years away.

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At the entrance, the 76 foot-tall Moonliner welcomed guests to their space flight. The Moonliner only stood for 11 years, but its status as a Disneyland icon remains to this day.

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Fifteen years later, almost to the date, only a few steps away from the attraction (then called Flight to the Moon) Disneyland park guests watched in amazement as man stepped foot on the moon.

Flight to the Moon eventually became Mission to Mars, and today, Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port occupies the same “space” in Tomorrowland – complete with a tribute to the original Moonliner right out in front.

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Nick Cannon Celebrates with Goofy at Disneyland Park

posted on July 7th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Television host Nick Cannon met up with Goofy recently during a visit to the Disneyland Resort while celebrating a friend’s birthday.

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Goofy was wearing his spiffy new Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration duds, and Nick even said that Goofy’s new suit looks like something he might like to wear. Of course we’ve known that Goofy has been setting fashion trends for years!

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Sleeping Beauty Castle – Part Two

posted on June 12th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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In my last post, Sleeping Beauty Castle was well under construction in the spring of 1955. Today, we’re even closer to opening day as construction enters the final phase in these rare images.

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These photos were taken only two months before opening.

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In this final construction image of Sleeping Beauty Castle, it appears to be very nearly complete. Look closely on the drawbridge and you’ll see the portcullis, set upside down, presumably awaiting installation.

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Six decades after these photos were taken, Sleeping Beauty Castle debuted special diamond enhancements for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, including more than 100,000 glass crystals that shimmer on the rooftops.

Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Sleeping Beauty Castle – Part One

posted on May 13th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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Although inspired by several medieval castles, with the help of forced perspective, Sleeping Beauty Castle was proportioned more to the imagination than to history. Walt Disney wanted this castle to be a friendly and welcoming presence in his new park so it was built on a smaller scale than its European counterparts.

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I’m not sure if the people who were building the castle knew that they were creating one of the world’s most iconic structures, or that it would inspire unique Magic Kingdom parks around the world, but they did know that this 77-foot-tall beauty was the centerpiece of Disneyland park, around which everything that followed would be built.

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We’ll check the progress on the building of the original Disney Parks castle in our next update.

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Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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Stars Shine Bright at the Disneyland Resort for World Premiere of ‘Tomorrowland’

posted on May 11th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


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Last weekend, the Disneyland Resort hosted the world premiere of “Tomorrowland” at Downtown Disney District with a special after party at Disneyland park in (where else?) Tomorrowland!

Here you’ll hear from the stars on the red carpet, including the film’s star, George Clooney, about the excitement of being at the Disneyland Resort for the premiere. They also shared some of their favorite Disneyland memories in honor of our upcoming Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.

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Following the premiere of the film, Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger and journalist Willow Bay joined George and Amal Clooney and their niece Mia aboard the Disneyland Monorail for a trip to the after party in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.

“Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22, 2015.

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Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Main Street, U.S.A.

posted on March 31st, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Today we’re looking down Main Street, U.S.A., as work continues on bringing Walt’s dream of Disneyland to life.

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I’ve always had such admiration for the people who literally put hammer to nail to build the park. Looking at these photos, I can’t help but wonder what their stories were and what pride they must have had in their unique place in Disney history.

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Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:

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A Look Back: Launching Mission to Mars at Disneyland Park

posted on March 20th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 21, 1975, six years after man first set foot on the moon, the Flight to the Moon attraction at Disneyland park was relaunched with a new destination.

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The new Mission to Mars attraction still featured a visit to Mission Control. I can still remember thinking what a cool job Mr. Johnson had.

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According to NASA, robotic missions to Mars currently take approximately eight months to travel to the red planet. So, when Mission to Mars completed its final journey on November 2, 1992, it would only have had time for 13 roundtrips from Earth were it not for a little Disney magic powered by imagination.

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A Look Back: Sneak Peek Celebration of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland Resort

posted on March 17th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


On March 17, 2005, students from Green Elementary School joined Green Army Men and Buzz Lightyear for a special sneak peek of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. Did I mention it was St. Patrick’s Day?

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Following a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A., Buzz led the kids to the Tomorrowland entrance of his new attraction where they were among the first to enter the Gamma Quadrant to battle Evil Emperor Zurg.

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Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters would not officially open for another few weeks, on the eve of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, with Tim Allen on hand for the opening ceremony.

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Mariska Hargitay Enjoys Some ‘Frozen Fun’ at the Disneyland Resort

posted on March 4th, 2015 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


Mariska Hargitay experienced some “Frozen Fun” at Disney California Adventure park recently.

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When we caught up with her at “Olaf’s Snow Fest,” Mariska and her family were having a great time with everyone’s favorite warm hug-loving snowman, Olaf!

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