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Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland Park

Vintage Walt Disney World: What’s Your Ticket?

posted on March 7th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


To this day whenever I get a ticket at Walt Disney World Resort, I immediately look to see who’s on it. I’m not going to lie, I’m always hoping for Mickey Mouse (He’s been my favorite since I can remember). If you’re anything like me, you save your tickets from all sorts of events. I still have my ticket from my very first visit to Walt Disney World Resort.
Vintage Walt Disney World: What’s Your Ticket?

I was unsure why my Mom wrote my hometown and name on my ticket, so I called and asked her. Her response, “You expect me to remember what I did in 1988?” I’m guessing it was just in case I lost it (I can’t imagine she let a 10-year-old be responsible for his own ticket). Here’s a look at some tickets throughout the years from Walt Disney World Resort. (This is not a comprehensive look.)


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Today in Disney History: Journey Into Imagination Opens at Epcot

posted on March 5th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Today in Disney history is a biggie for fans of early Epcot history. On March 5, 1983, the original Journey Into Imagination attraction debuted in FutureWorld at Epcot, introducing guests to Dreamfinder, Figment and a lovely little song titled “One Little Spark.”

“Today

The original attraction’s storyline began with Dreamfinder gathering up materials to inspire new ideas. With the help of his imagination he creates a companion named Figment, who is described as having: “Two tiny wings, eyes big and yellow. Horns of a steer – but a loveable fellow. From head to tail, he’s royal purple pigment and there, voila, you’ve got a Figment – a Figment of imagination!” From here, Dreamfinder took Figment – and us guests – along on an exploration of the Dreamport, the place where the duo used their imaginations to try out new ideas in the arts, literature, technology and more.

“Today

The attraction’s Image Works post-show offered guests a chance to experiment with creativity hands-on in different activity stations, including Magic Palette (digital drawing), Lightwriter (laser writing/drawing technology), Bubble Music (image projection combined with sound), and other interactive fun. One of my personal favorites was the Rainbow Corridor/Sensor Maze, pictured above, which assigned a color to each person who entered and followed the person throughout.

The attraction later became Journey Into Your Imagination in 1999, and the current version, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, debuted in 2002.

What are your favorite memories of Figment? Share your birthday wishes the “Comments” section below.

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Ken Anderson

posted on March 4th, 2013 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


Fantasyland is the most magical land of them all – the heart and soul of Disneyland. It is a place of endless enchantment, where it’s always “happily ever after.”

On March 12, Fantasy Faire will make its debut at Disneyland park as a natural extension of Fantasyland. Here, guests will be immersed in a charming European village inspired by their favorite Disney stories as they meet beloved Disney Princesses in a setting befitting royalty. Ken Anderson worked as an animator and art director on many of the Disney films portrayed in Fantasyland. He was also a trained architect, which made him the perfect person to transform film environments into three-dimensional attractions. Anderson’s work on the original Fantasyland in 1955 and his continued efforts on the “New Fantasyland” in 1983 were instrumental in defining the style of Fantasyland that has been the heart of Disneyland since opening day.

Anderson began his Disney career in 1934. Walt Disney referred to him as his “Jack of all trades” because of his masterful skills as an architect, artist, animator, storyteller and designer. Anderson worked on the experimental “Silly Symphonies” before serving as an art director on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” He had the uncanny ability to wiggle his ears, a characteristic he bestowed upon the endearing dwarf, Dopey. He also worked on “Pinocchio,” “Alice in Wonderland” and contributed technical innovations for mixing live-action with animation in “Song of the South.” He later improved upon this technique while serving as an animation art director for “Pete’s Dragon.”

In the early 1950’s, Walt recruited Anderson to work on a new project – one that was secret at the time. Anderson joined WED Enterprises (now Walt Disney Imagineering) and he became one of the first to work on Disneyland. In 1954, he was the primary designer of Fantasyland. He worked on Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Adventures and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. After Disneyland opened, Anderson remained involved in Fantasyland while working on “Sleeping Beauty” at the Walt Disney Studio. Anderson oversaw the Storybook Land Canal Boats attraction, and in 1957 he worked on the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough.

Anderson went on to contribute show concepts for the Haunted Mansion and worked on the development of the Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disneyland. He retired in 1978, but continued to work as a consultant for WDI.
“Windows
Anderson’s window on Main Street, U.S.A, is located above the Market House. He was an avid fly fisherman, and in jest the inscription names him proprietor of a bait company. This is ironic because fly fisherman typically do not use bait; they are catch-and-release fishermen. Anderson was named a Disney Legend in 1991.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Becoming Castaway Cay

posted on February 28th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today back in 1996, The Walt Disney Company acquired a Bahamian Island named Gorda Cay. For all you fans of Disney Cruise Line, you know it better as Castaway Cay. Here’s a look at the island soon after the acquisition.
Castaway Cay Shortly After Acquisition by The Walt Disney Company
Castaway Cay stretches 3.1 miles long by 2.2 miles wide, and less than five percent of the island’s 1,000 acres have been developed.
Visit Castaway Cay with Disney Cruise Line
Located 225 nautical miles from Port Canaveral, Castaway Cay continues to be the most magical island in the Bahamas.

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Caption This: Finding Pluto at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on February 25th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


I love looking at old Disney Parks photos, especially shots taken inside merchandise shops – they totally remind me of my childhood trips to Walt Disney World Resort and the toys I remember pleading my mom for.
“Can

Check out this vintage photo of Pluto plushes. The shot was taken at Downtown Disney (then the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village) in the mid-1970s.

It sure looks like Pluto has a lot of friends (of all sizes). What do you think he has to say that will keep him as top dog?


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Vintage Walt Disney World: Saluting the Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on February 21st, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This week we celebrated President’s Day. But every day in Magic Kingdom Park, the leaders of the United States of America are celebrated at the Hall of Presidents. Here’s a look at the original lineup of presidents from December 1971.
Original Lineup of Presidents at The Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom Park, December 1971

Showcasing over 220 years of history in just 25 minutes, the Hall of Presidents has added seven presidents since opening in 1971 as one of the original Magic Kingdom Park attractions during President Nixon’s term in office.
The Hall of Presidents at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Fun fact: President Obama is the 44th president. So, why are there only 43 presidents on stage? Grover Cleveland’s to blame. He served two non-consecutive terms as both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.

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Rare Photos Found of Historic Orange Bird at Downtown Disney

posted on February 19th, 2013 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


Every once in a while, inspiration for a blog post seems to find me – and that was surely the case with this one!
Orange Bird at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (Now Downtown Disney) in the 1970s

Earlier this month, I was digging for photos in our company photo archive to run with a completely unrelated blog post when I came across these shots, which were taken at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in the mid-1970s (exact date unknown).

Those of you Disney history fans may be familiar with Orange Bird, the friendly little Disney character who was created to promote Florida citrus products at Walt Disney World Resort. Orange Bird originally greeted families at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, where guests could also buy citrus drinks and Orange Bird merchandise. The character disappeared from the park in the early 1980s – until last spring, when Walt Disney Imagineering and D23 partnered to return a historic Orange Bird sculpture to its original place at the Sunshine Tree Terrace.

Orange Bird at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (Now Downtown Disney) in the 1970s Orange Bird at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (Now Downtown Disney) in the 1970s Orange Bird at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (Now Downtown Disney) in the 1970s

 
So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a cluster of photos of Orange Bird taken in the mid-1970s not in Adventureland, but at Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village (now Downtown Disney). From what we can tell, the location was a shop formerly called Captain’s Tower, which is now home to Disney’s Pin Traders. At some point in this shopping area’s history, it featured a fresh citrus display highlighted with a sizeable Orange Bird statue and signage.

It’s okay, my fellow Orange Bird friends. Go ahead and geek out.


Read these posts to learn more about Orange Bird:

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Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Roger Broggie

posted on February 18th, 2013 by Jon Storbeck, Vice President, Disneyland Park


The Disneyland Railroad was inspired by Walt Disney’s love of trains. Since he first conceived the idea of Disneyland park, every concept design had one thing in common: “… it will be surrounded by a train,” said Walt. Roger Broggie, the first Walt Disney Studio employee to be recruited for the hand-picked team at WED Enterprises (now called Walt Disney Imagineering), was instrumental in helping Walt fulfill this dream.

Disneyland Railroad on Main Street, U.S.A.

Hired in 1939 as a master machinist, one of Broggie’s first assignments was the installation of the multiplane camera at the Burbank studio. Because he was familiar with fabricating small camera parts with great precision, Walt approached him to create a one-eighth scale live steam locomotive. Broggie helped create the Lilly Belle, a miniature live steam engine named for Walt’s wife, Lillian. A replica of the Lilly Belle is currently on display in the Disneyland Main Street Train Station. In 1949, Broggie helped Walt build his miniature trains in the Studio Machine Shop and later installed the Carolwood Pacific Railroad in the backyard of Walt’s Holmby Hills home.

In 1950, Broggie was promoted to head of the Studio Machine Shop and he became the transportation specialist. As plans for Disneyland progressed, he oversaw the development of the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad, the Monorail system and Matterhorn Bobsleds. He also worked on new processes and techniques such as Circle-Vision 360, a motion picture format with screens that completely surround the audience, and “Project Little Man” which became the prototype for Audio-Animatronics technology.

While working on “Project Little Man,” Broggie and fellow Imagineer Wathel Rogers constructed a 9-inch-tall figure of a moving, talking man that mimicked vaudevillian tap-dancing using cams, cables and tubes. The original figure is on display at the One Man’s Dream attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and earlier figures from “Project Little Man” are part of the D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum through April 30, 2013.

Broggie is known for epitomizing the essence of Walt Disney Imagineering – the blending of creative imagination and technical know-how. His legacy lives on at Disney as his grandson Garry (son of Imagineer Roger Broggie, Jr.) carries on the tradition as a third-generation machinist and supervisor at the Disney Studio machine shop.

Broggie was honored with a Window on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park on March 30, 2007. His window is above the Magic Shop and fittingly refers to him as “Roger Broggie, Shopmaster” and “Advisor to the Magic Makers.” Additionally, he has a window dedicated to him at Magic Kingdom Park in the Walt Disney World Resort, and on October 21, 2003, Walt Disney World Railroad Steam Engine #3, was re-dedicated as the Roger E. Broggie in his honor. In 1990, Broggie was named a Disney Legend.

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Vintage Walt Disney World: Mickey’s Valentine Through the Years

posted on February 14th, 2013 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Candy conversation hearts. Flowers. Little tiny cards asking someone to “be mine.” Ah, Valentine’s Day. Here’s a look at Mickey and Minnie enjoying the day back in 1995 at Walt Disney World Resort. Love. It never gets old.

Mickey and Minnie at Walt Disney World Resort, Valentine's Day 1995 Mickey and Minnie at Walt Disney World Resort, Valentine's Day 1995

 
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1956 Photo: Walt Disney at Opening of Skyway to Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

posted on February 13th, 2013 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


This rare photo of Walt Disney was taken at the opening of the Skyway attraction on June 23, 1956. Standing on the steps of the chalet-like setting in Fantasyland that served as its home for nearly 30 years, he looks pretty happy to me – don’t you agree?
1956 Photo: Walt Disney at Opening of Skyway to Fantasyland at Disneyland Park

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