Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Today in Disney History: Splash Mountain Marks 20 Years

posted on July 17th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


On this day, July 17, in 1992, Magic Kingdom Park unveiled a major attraction that forever changed the landscape of Frontierland – the 86-foot-tall Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Inspired by the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South,” the attraction tells the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear.

Several milestones were reached in the history of Disney attractions when Splash Mountain made its debut. For instance, this attraction features more than 70 Audio-Animatronics, which is one of the largest animated casts ever created for a Disney attraction. Splash Mountain also sports one of the biggest animated props ever built with its 35-foot-wide showboat. Also, the 52 ½-foot drop down Chickapin Hill at the end speeds guests at up to 40 miles per hour, one of the fastest speeds achieved at a Disney attraction.

So which do you enjoy more: Getting soaked on the attraction, or watching others get soaked from the viewing bridge?

Check out these posts for more news from Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

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

Caption This: Lucky the Dinosaur at Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 16th, 2012 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


It was nine years ago next month that I first met Lucky the Dinosaur. We were at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to introduce Lucky, and the innovative technology from Walt Disney Imagineering that makes him possible, to the world. If you’re not familiar with Lucky, he’s a free-roaming, people-loving, 12-foot-long, 450-pound dinosaur who has occasionally appeared at Disney Parks. I last saw him at the D23 Expo in 2009.

We snapped this picture of Lucky roaming Disney California Adventure park during his very first visit in September 2003.

So, put on your pre-historic thinking caps and … “Caption This!”

Caption This: Lucky the Dinosaur at Disney California Adventure Park

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Resort

Olympians at Disneyland Park Through the Years

posted on July 13th, 2012 by George Savvas, Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort


As we prepare to celebrate the USA Volleyball Team at Disneyland park on Tuesday, we look back at some other great Olympians who have visited us over the years.

As you might imagine, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were a pretty big deal for us here at the Disneyland Resort. In addition to a big fundraiser event for the U.S. Olympic Team that May (which included pyrotechnic Olympic rings suspended from a helicopter!), we hosted thousands of athletes, officials and dignitaries from more than 140 nations during the games themselves.

In 1988, we hosted a send-off for Team USA as they prepared to leave for the Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Following the games, we saluted our returning Olympians with an event featuring then-Vice President George H.W. Bush.

This video, produced before the most recent games, features archival photography from these events as well as individual visits from some of our Olympic heroes over the last four decades.

Read more about the history of Disneyland park in these posts:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: A Huey, Dewey & Louie Milestone

posted on July 12th, 2012 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


This week marks the halfway point for Major League Baseball, but baseball is always in full swing (yes, pun intended) with Huey, Dewey, and Louie over at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort at Walt Disney World Resort. Here’s a look at the triple threat playing some ball in the middle of the “Center Court” section of the resort just prior to opening in 1994.

“Huey,

What really catches my eye in the above photo are the colors of the nephews’ T-shirts – purple, orange, and pinkish-red. Is this troublesome trio going incognito with their rouge-colored shirts? Could this have been a mistake? Actually, it’s not.

According to “Disney A to Z” by Dave Smith, “Originally there was no way to tell Donald’s nephews apart, because the colors on their costumes were used interchangeably. Because the stories for the ‘Ducktales’ television series were more complicated than they were for the short Donald Duck cartoons, it was deemed necessary to distinguish between the three nephews. So, Huey was dressed in red, Dewey in blue, and Louie in green.” Today, at Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort Huey, Dewey, and Louie still play baseball in Center Court, but in their appropriately colored shirts, clearing up any nephew confusion.

“Huey,

This year marks these loveable ducklings’ 75th anniversary, after first appearing in the Sunday comic strip “Silly Symphonies” back in 1937, where they appeared in their now classic red, blue and green t-shirts.

“Huey,

Look below for more posts from the Vintage Walt Disney World series:

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

The Disney Gallery: A Hidden Treasure Celebrates 25 Years at Disneyland Park

posted on July 11th, 2012 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


It’s hard to believe that 25 years ago today, on July 11, The Disney Gallery first opened its doors as a home to many of us at Disneyland park.
The Disney Gallery at Disneyland Park Celebrates 25 Years

For the first 20 years, this location sat high above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square, tucked away from the world below, a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered by passersby. A place conceptually designed as Walt Disney’s Royal Suite, where he could entertain and host notable public figures and family, the location became a home to numerous exhibits that lined the walls and rooms, filled with conceptual artwork that captured our imaginations and told countless stories over the years. And of course, it’s been home to many generations of great Disney artists, Imagineers and Disney Legends who stopped by for a visit many a time, meeting many of you, our Disney fans.
The Disney Gallery at Disneyland Park Celebrates 25 Years

Taking a brief hiatus in 2007 from its original location, The Disney Gallery reopened in 2009, becoming one of the first welcoming locations you encounter when entering Main Street, U.S.A.

In its current home, The Disney Gallery continues the tradition of great storytelling through frequently changing exhibits, such as the current installation, Crowning Achievements ~ Creating Castles for Magical Kingdoms.

The Disney Gallery has been my home away from home, so I welcome you to make it yours, too!

Read more news from Disneyland park in the posts below:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Scaling the Majestic Matterhorn at Disneyland Park

posted on July 6th, 2012 by Shawn Slater, Communications Manager, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Creative Entertainment


Mountain climbers have returned to the icy slopes of the majestic Matterhorn at Disneyland park this summer, continuing a tradition begun in the earliest days of the attraction. Our experienced team of climbers makes safety a top priority, and they’re able to have a little fun up there, too. In this video, Technical Director Mike Layman and the climbers themselves give us a unique perspective on this only-in-Disneyland experience.

The video also offers a glimpse of Alpine musician Happy Hans and his son, who were on hand for the grand reopening of the Matterhorn Bobsleds on June 15. While that was a one-day special appearance, you can enjoy the sight of the climbers on the mountain every day through Labor Day.

Check out these posts for more news from Disneyland park:

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Looking Back at Epcot’s Maelstrom

posted on July 5th, 2012 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


“The

On this day back in 1988, the trolls of the Maelstrom attraction at Norway Pavilion at Epcot began shouting “Disappear! Disappear!” to guests traveling nearby. Below is a rare look into the attraction while still under construction on July 15, 1987.
“The

Although the Norway pavilion opened in May 1988, it wasn’t until July 5 when Maelstrom had its official opening.
“The

Originally called SeaVenture, as shown above in the construction photo from March 1988, the Maelstrom still takes guests on an incredible voyage through the past, present and mythological world of Norway.

Look below for more posts from the Vintage Walt Disney World series:

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Epcot’s Off Kilter Marks 15 Years of Music July 1 at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 28th, 2012 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This July 1, Epcot’s Off Kilter Celtic rock band will mark 15 years of performances at the Canada Pavilion in World Showcase.

Off Kilter founder Jamie Holton first started playing the bagpipes when he was 11, inspired by his family’s Scottish heritage and his father’s love for bagpipe music.

In addition to classic Celtic folk tunes, Off Kilter will often throw radio hits into the mix, like Bryan Adam’s “Summer of ’69″ or Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “Takin’ Care of Business.” (Both Canadian bands, by the way.) If you’re lucky enough to hear Off Kilter play “Farewell to Nova Scotia,” don’t be surprised if it suddenly sounds a whole lot like “Mickey Mouse March (The Mickey Mouse Club March).”

Entertainment is subject to change. Check the park’s Times Guide for more.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney History, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Opens Its Doors

posted on June 28th, 2012 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today marks the 24th anniversary of the opening of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Nestled on the bay of the Seven Seas Lagoon, this 867-room resort is just a quick Monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom Park.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort

Back in July 1987, the resort was already well under construction. Looking towards the back of the photograph below, you’ll notice a Magic Kingdom Park without Splash Mountain.
Construction on Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort

Originally named Grand Floridian Beach Resort, the resort was renamed in July 1997 after the addition of the health club and spa in 1996.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Was Originally Named Grand Floridian Beach Resort

Estimated to open in late 2013, the resort will expand to include an estimated 147 villas as part of Disney Vacation Club, further adding to the Victorian elegance for which Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is known.

Look below for more posts from the Vintage Walt Disney World series:

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney History, Hotels & Resorts, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintage Walt Disney World: Looking Back at River Country

posted on June 21st, 2012 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


Today, you can take a plunge on Summit Plummet at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park or conquer Crush ‘n’ Gusher at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, but hitting a water park at Walt Disney World Resort was not an option until River Country opened back in 1976.
River Country at Walt Disney World Resort

When River Country opened, it was described as a “unique new water-oriented land.” River Country promised to be “everything kids ever wanted to do at the old swimming hole down by the river in the good old days, plus all the comforts for Mom and Dad so they can participate too.”
River Country at Walt Disney World Resort

One of the areas within River Country was Whoop-N’-Holler Hollow, with two separate twisting journeys (260 feet and 160 feet respectively) plunging into The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole.
Whoop-N’-Holler Hollow in River Country at Walt Disney World Resort

For over 25 years, River Country provided a refreshing escape from the warm Florida summers for guests of all ages.

Check out more posts from the Vintage Walt Disney World series:

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney History, Walt Disney World Resort