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A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: Residential Street

posted on April 29th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Do you remember Residential Street? The nice, quaint neighborhood in the heart of Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Of course, this neighborhood was actually a line of facades. Used in various TV shows and commercials as well as movies, some of the homes on Residential Street looked familiar to guests when they drove by on the Studio Backlot Tour.

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Homes made appearances in such films as “Splash Too” and “Ernest Saves Christmas,” but the most recognizable ones from Residential Street belonged the family from “Empty Nest” and the ladies from the “Golden Girls.”

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Below is an aerial view of Residential Street in October 1988 prior to the opening of the park.

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

A ‘Hollywood’ Classic: The Magic of Disney Animation

posted on April 24th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


When Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened The Magic of Disney Animation gave a firsthand look inside the interworking of Walt Disney Animation Florida.

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This behind-the-scenes tour began with the short film “Back to Never Land” taking guests on a journey through the animation process.

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Afterwards, guests had the opportunity to peer through glass walls to witness members of the animation team at work. guests also had the opportunity to watch an animator sketch a Disney character right before their eyes.

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Walt Disney Animation Florida was responsible for the primary production of three full-length animated feature films – Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and Brother Bear. They also produced three animation shorts, “Off His Rockers,” and two Roger Rabbit Cartoons – “Trail Mix-Up” and “Roller Coaster Rabbit.”


For more posts in this series, read the posts below:

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Past Epcot International Flower & Garden Festivals

posted on April 17th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Celebrating its 21st year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is in full bloom. My favorite part of the festival is all the topiaries throughout the Park. Here’s a look at a past topiary from the 1998 festival – Phil. (Hercules’s trainer)

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There are almost 100 topiaries at Epcot this year with 79 character topiaries to enjoy. What’s your favorite topiary past or present from the festival? Tell me in the “Comments” section below!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark VI, 1989-Present

posted on April 15th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


The Mark VI Monorail made its debut at Walt Disney World Resort in June 1989. Below is a look at one of the first trains being loaded onto the monorail track.

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The Mark VI trains had wider monorail doors, improved air conditioning (great for that warm, summer Florida weather) and communication systems and increased interior height for standees.

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The first two Mark VI Monorails were operated and tested at night without guests until December 1989 when Monorail Blue started transporting guests. This new fleet of monorail trains, built by Bombardier, increased guest capacity by 30 percent.

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Today, the Mark VI Monorail trains carry an average of 16 million passengers annually at the Walt Disney World Resort, and is still one of the coolest “non-attraction” attractions, in my opinion, at Walt Disney World Resort.

See the posts below for more on the history of Monorails at Disney Parks:

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Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: It’s Off To Work We Go

posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Heigh-ho! Today is “Don’t Go To Work Unless It’s Fun” Day, and while I think I have a pretty fun job, I would love to spend a day in the mines with a certain seven guys. Here’s a look at the Seven Dwarfs with Snow White at Magic Kingdom Park from 1971.

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Soon enough, we’ll all get to ride through the mines when Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens in New Fantasyland later this year!

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Blizzard Beach, 1994

posted on March 20th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Finally, it’s the first day of spring! While everyone up North begins to officially thaw out (hopefully), it’s the perfect time to celebrate the place at Walt Disney World Resort that was created by thawing out – Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

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Covering over 60 acres, this one-of-a-kind themed water recreation area is home to the thrill slide Summit Plummet, as seen above, still under construction back in December 1994.

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It’s the perfect place to chill out on a warm Florida day, and all you need is a bathing suit. No gloves, boots or heavy coats required!

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Filed: Disney History, Disney's Blizzard Beach, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: A Journey Into Imagination

posted on March 6th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


The Journey Into Imagination attraction opened during this week in Epcot in 1983. As a treat, here’s a photo we’ve never released on the Disney Parks Blog before.

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Above, Figment is in the Literature section of the former attraction where, along with Dreamfinder, they demonstrate how the words on the pages of a book come to life with the help of your imagination!

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Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Love Your Pet (Sidekick)

posted on February 20th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Mickey has Pluto. Aladdin has Abu. Lilo has Stich. It’s Love Your Pet Day so be sure to send some extra love to your pet of choice (dog, monkey, alien, etc.) today. Here’s a look at Pluto helping out his loyal owner Mickey Mouse with all of his fan mail back in 1988.

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Which Disney character would you like as a pet? Tell us in the comments section below!

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Filed: Walt Disney World Resort

The History of the Walt Disney World Monorail: Mark IV, 1971-1989

posted on February 13th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


As we continue our popular series on the history of the monorails at Disney Parks, Erin Glover asked me to step in and tell you the stories of the Mark IV and VI monorails at the Walt Disney World Resort. When Walt Disney World Resort opened in 1971, it also brought with it a new era in monorail trains, the Mark IV. The nearly 3-mile monorail track provided a means of transportation for guests visiting Magic Kingdom Park.

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The Imagineers wanted to uphold Walt Disney’s vision of an immersive experience when developing the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, ensuring that guests left the real world behind. The Seven Seas Lagoon separated guest parking from the entrance to Magic Kingdom Park, making the monorail an integral part of transporting guests into a truly far-away land.

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Imagineer Bob Gurr based the design of the Walt Disney World Monorail System on the original monorails at Disneyland Resort while giving it an updated look.

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On opening day, there were ten trains built with five cars each on two monorail tracks (express and Disney Resort hotels) for guests to make their way to experience the magic.

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Filed: Disney History, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: ‘The Three Caballeros’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 6th, 2014 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This week back in 1945, the movie “The Three Caballeros” was released in the United States. The three stars from the movie Jose Carioca, the parrot; Panchito, the Mexican charro rooster; and Donald Duck have made several appearances at Disney Parks throughout the years. The first appearance at Walt Disney World Resort was at the Mickey Mouse Revue in Magic Kingdom Park singing “The Three Caballeros” for audiences.

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Today, you can still find this fun trio at Disney Parks. Can you name the three locations below?

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort