I can now say I have the #1 highlight of my Disney career: interviewing Disney Legend Richard Sherman. What an amazing day! I met him at the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, Calif., where he sat at Walt Disney’s piano and played “it’s a small world,” the iconic song he wrote and composed with his late brother, Robert. He’s very proud of the song’s meaning and very serious about its impact on the world. He talks more about it in the video below. As you would imagine, he was a pure delight. He was kind and funny, and after the interview he played more of his classics for the room. I hope this video captures that unforgettable day. Enjoy!
posted on April 9th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
posted on March 26th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Disney Legend Rolly Crump has very fond memories of being one of the Imagineers who helped create “it’s a small world.” In fact, he was there from day one, when Walt Disney came up with the idea. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane and vintage footage from our archives. Be sure to join in the 50th anniversary celebration of “it’s a small world” by going to smallworld50.com and uploading your own video of the unforgettable song.
posted on March 21st, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
As Thomas Smith just announced, we are celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the debut of “it’s a small world” at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. This, of course, means a trip to the archives! We found historical footage from both the 1964 New York World’s Fair and the attraction’s opening day here at the Disneyland Resort, two years later on May 28, 1966. Imagineer Kim Irvine takes us down memory lane, along with co-composer of the attraction’s unforgettable theme song, Richard Sherman. You’ll even hear from Walt Disney himself, as he shows off the plans for “it’s a small world” in a clip from the “Wonderful World of Color” television show. I hope you enjoy this trip back in time, and make sure to join the celebration at SmallWorld50.com!
posted on January 27th, 2014 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
YEEHAW! Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Frontierland is a fun stomping ground during your magical day at Disneyland park. The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree Character Roundup is in full swing every Friday – Sunday. You can visit with some of your favorite Disney Characters, learn some rope tricks and dance to the sounds of a live piano. This video captures some of the highlights. Giddy-up and come see it for yourself!
posted on December 23rd, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
The new “World of Color – Winter Dreams” at Disney California Adventure park is a holiday version of the popular “World of Color” nighttime spectacular. It has new special effects and new music, and is making new holiday memories for our guests. It opens with the “World of Color” Honor Choir, a collection of beautiful voices submitted by Disney Parks fans from all 50 states. So, what’s the story behind how this choir was created online? The “World of Color” Honor Choir is directed by Grammy®-winning composer Eric Whitacre. He’s created many virtual choirs and we’re glad he helped create this one with us. A few months ago, participants submitted their voices through a special “World of Color” Honor Choir website, singing “Glow,” a song composed by Whitacre himself. Actually, I’ll let him explain how it all came together. Disney Parks Blog interviewed him online via live link from London. Enjoy!
posted on December 17th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
For some cast members here at the Disneyland Resort, it’s Christmas nearly year-round. Our Resort Enhancement team is responsible for the seasonal transformation into Holidays at the Disneyland Resort. From decorating hundreds of trees to creating gingerbread houses, this team does it all, and you get a front row seat in this video. Enjoy!
posted on November 19th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
It’s an exciting week here at the Disneyland Resort! The ladies of ABC’s “The View” are hosting shows in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park. I had the amazing opportunity to interview Whoopi Goldberg, Jenny McCarthy, Sherri Shepherd and Barbara Walters after one of the shows. They shared what it’s like to be working here at the Happiest Place on Earth and which Disney character best describes their Disney Side. Who said Goofy? You’ll need to watch the video to find out! On a personal note, being a former TV journalist, interviewing the legendary Barbara Walters was a dream come true for me. Truly a memory I’ll always cherish. Enjoy!
posted on August 28th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Today marks the day a 5-year-old dinosaur named Lucky made his debut. He was the first Audio-Animatronics figure to walk independently! Imagineers were inspired by technology that began with Audio-Animatronics figures in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room back in 1963. Those figures, and the ones that followed at “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” and Pirates of the Caribbean could sing, talk, move and duel with swords, but they could not walk on their own. Lucky could walk and interact with guests and even give an autograph.
His first appearance was at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles on August 28, 2003. A few days later he visited Disney California Adventure park. Since Lucky was only playtesting, he returned to his home at Walt Disney Imagineering and eventually made appearances in Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland Resort. Today, he’s back home at Walt Disney Imagineering and makes occasional appearances for Adventures by Disney guests.
posted on August 16th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
You see it on Main Street, U.S.A., every day at Disneyland park – the Fire Engine. It was added to the fleet of Main Street Vehicles 55 years ago today, on August 16, 1958. A replica of a 1916 fire engine, it is a reminder of simpler times at the turn of the century. It’s also a reminder of Walt Disney and how much he loved to drive it around Disneyland in the mornings before the park opened. So take a trip with us down the memory lane we call Main Street, U.S.A., today on the 55th anniversary of the Main Street Fire Engine. You’ll be glad you did.
posted on June 26th, 2013 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations
Disney Legend Rolly Crump remembers the day Walt Disney asked him and fellow Imagineers to create a restaurant with a Tahitian décor. Rolly sculpted Tiki gods, while other Imagineers created birds that chatted. That was the birth of the new Audio-Animatronic technology. Their hard work and creativity was so over-the-top entertaining that instead of a restaurant, Walt made it an attraction – Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room! We were fortunate enough to visit Rolly at his home recently, where he took us on a trip down memory lane, back to 1963 — back to the drawing board with Walt Disney. Enjoy!
Learn more about Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room in these posts: