Don’t miss your chance to meet acclaimed author Ridley Pearson, as we celebrate the release of his newest book, “Kingdom Keepers VII: The Insider,” the much-anticipated, final addition to the Kingdom Keepers saga. Ridley will be making special appearances on the following dates:
March 29 – Disneyana, Disneyland park (10 a.m. – Noon)
Here’s a look at the cover as well as what you can expect from this new book:
The Kingdom Keepers’ senior year in high school is almost over. For more than three years, things have been quiet. Their battles are long behind them, they agree, the threat to the Disney realm silenced albeit at great cost. But inside the catacombs of the Aztec temple where Finn Whitman faced down his nemesis, the monstrous Chernabog, a new threat brews.
Deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers as the merciless group of Disney villains known as the Overtakers stage an unexpected comeback. But a discovery by the Keepers provides them with one hope of victory-a lost icon. It was believed to be gone forever. The Keepers have one last chance to preserve the heart of the Kingdom-Disneyland-from a terrifying destruction decades in the making.
Come with me into the wild jungles of Disneyland park for a tour of the world-famous Jungle Cruise! First I’d like to thank you, Disney Parks Blog readers, for contributing your ideas in the comments of the Paradise Pier edition of this series. Ian thought that this classic Disneyland park attraction would be the perfect place to “beheaded” and I agree! So … hello! My name is Erin and I will be your Disney Parks Blog skipper for the next several minutes as we explore the story behind this opening-day Disneyland attraction.
History tells that a Victorian house was built in this remote area of the jungle in 1911 to serve as the last outpost of civilization for explorers venturing into the jungle. The owner of the building saw the potential for a successful business and created the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. – a place for locals to post and receive mail, enjoy a civilized pot of tea and read the (usually three-week-old) newspaper.
Unfortunately, in the late 1920s the owner had to leave due to illness and the building remained vacant for several years. Then one day, a group of enterprising adventurers purchased the house to use as a base for their new jungle transportation company. The business did well enough that they were able to add on a second story and invest in the latest technologies, like shortwave radio.
But the Great Depression significantly impacted their business and they were barely able to stay … afloat. While other businesses throughout the jungle packed it in, these adventurers remained, delivering mail and freight to the few remaining outposts. Their luck soon turned around when a well-known Hollywood film director found their outpost and asked them to escort him down the river while he filmed the local wildlife. After he paid generous wage for their services, the owners realized they had a profitable tourism business on their hands – or rather, their docks. New skippers were hired, and new steamers purchased, to lead well-to-do travelers who would enjoy (and hopefully survive) these tours departing daily into the jungle.
Today the Jungle Cruise still welcomes tourists who are daring enough to brave the piranha-infested waters, head-hunting natives, twelve-inch (in some cases even one-foot) butterflies and (if they’re lucky) the backside of water. I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour into the story of the Jungle Cruise. If you did, my name is Erin … if you didn’t, my name is Tyler.
To me, one of the most magical experiences at Disneyland park is watching the Rivers of America come to life during the nighttime spectacular, “Fantasmic!” You can’t help getting swept away watching Mickey Mouse as he commands water, lasers and fireworks in the epic finale. To make the most of this experience, I’ve got a few tips to share with you today:
Arrive early – “Fantasmic!” is one of the most popular shows at the Disneyland Resort. Unlike the “World of Color” at Disney California Adventure park, the viewing area along the Rivers of America does not require a FASTPASS. But you should plan to get there early to make sure to snag the spot of your choice.
Enjoying the fireworks from Frontierland – On select nights throughout the year, our fireworks spectaculars light up the night sky following “Fantasmic!” If you are in the “Fantasmic!” viewing location in Frontierland and want to enjoy the fireworks as well, don’t leave your spot – you’ll be able to fully experience the show right where you are!
Finding the best spot to enjoy the show – The most popular viewing location for “Fantasmic!” is directly in the center; however, the show was designed to be viewed from all around the Rivers of America! Near the Haunted Mansion offers a little more space on most nights, so if you can’t find a spot, head over there. Also, if there are two shows on the evening you’ve selected, consider catching the second show. It often has more space available than the first performance.
Adding some extra “magic” – If you have seen the show several times and are looking for a different way to journey along with Mickey’s imagination, this tip is for you. Become part of the show with your own “Glow with the Show” Ear hat, available at merchandise locations throughout the Disneyland Resort. These special ears interact with the show itself, flashing and changing colors in response to the various scenes – I especially like watching the ears interact with the battle between Mickey and Maleficent. Also, you can enjoy a reserved seat and a delicious dessert platter during the show with the Premium Viewing option. Call 714-781-SHOW (7469) for more information and booking.
Navigating Disneyland park during “Fantasmic!” – If you’re not trying to catch the show and need to navigate New Orleans Square or Frontierland to get to another destination, just ask one of the cast members wearing a neon yellow shirt or jacket and holding a light-up baton. They will point you in the right direction.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fitting to highlight the only married couple who have each been honored with their own windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland park – Marc and Alice Davis. Married in 1956, the couple is said to have enjoyed a “Disney fairy-tale-romance-come-true” for 44 years until Marc’s death in 2000. Their windows, which are a tribute to their outstanding contributions to Disneyland, are side-by-side just north of the Main Street Cinema as a representation of their lifelong partnership.
Marc and Alice first met at the renowned Chouinard Art Institute, which was a training ground for many Disney artists. Marc was an instructor and Alice was a student. Marc joined the Disney Studio in 1935 as an assistant animator, and later became an Imagineer. He was also a member of the elite group referred to as Walt’s “Nine Old Men.” Marc dedicated his creative genius to helping Walt bring his ideas to life. When reflecting on his years at Disney, Marc once said, “I rarely felt confined to the animation medium. I worked as an idea man and loved creating characters, whether they be for animation or any other medium.”
Marc is probably best known as the father of some of Disney’s most memorable animated women, including Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians,” Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty,” and Tinker Bell from “Peter Pan.” When asked to choose a favorite among his creations, Marc replied, “Each of my women characters has her own unique style; I love them all in different ways.”
During this time, Alice was making a name for herself as the original “designing woman” at Walt Disney Imagineering. She collaborated with art director and Disney Legend Mary Blair on the “it’s a small world” attraction for the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair. Alice researched, designed and supervised the creation of more than 150 highly detailed costumes for the Audio-Animatronics children of the world. Later she translated pirate attire from her husband Marc’s original drawings into clothing designs and patterns for Pirates of the Caribbean in 1965. Alice once recalled with a gleam in her eye, “I went from sweet little children to dirty old men over night.”
While both retired in 1978, Marc continued to lend his expertise to the development of Epcot Center and Tokyo Disneyland, and Alice continued as a consultant. Marc was named a Disney Legend in 1989 and Alice in 2004. They were also long-time supporters of the California Institute of the Arts, which was founded by Walt Disney.
Marc’s window reflects his personal passion for primitive art: “Far East Imports – Exotic Art – Marc Davis – Proprietor”; while Alice’s window highlights her role: “Small World Costume Co. – Alice Davis – Seamstress to the Stars.”
At the dedication of her window on May 10, 2012, Alice stated, “All things good you have to wait a while for. After 83 years, I got my wish.”
Iconic film star from the 1930s, turned U.S. diplomat, Shirley Temple Black, passed away yesterday at the age of 85. Although she never appeared in a Disney film, she knew Walt Disney, and has a unique place in our history including an animated caricature cameo in the Donald Duck short, “The Autograph Hound,” as well as her service as a member of the Disney board of directors in the mid-1970s.
But we have a special memory of Shirley Temple here at the Disneyland Resort that some people may not be aware of.
Her daughters Lori and Linda can be seen in the background, along with her husband, Charles Black.
She later said this was the last time she saw Walt Disney, whom she remembered fondly.
It was 18 years earlier that Shirley, at the height of her phenomenal film career, presented Walt Disney with a special Academy Award (including seven miniature statuettes) for “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” in acknowledgment of the “significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.”
Shirley: “I’m sure all the boys and girls in the whole world are going to be very happy when they find out the daddy of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand and all the others is going to get this beautiful statue. Isn’t bright and shiny! Aren’t you proud of it, Mr. Disney?”
Walt: “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust. You know I think that Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand, Snow White and all the dwarfs are going to be very proud that you presented it.”
The excitement continues to build as Captain America makes his way to Disneyland park in Anaheim this spring, just in time for the April 4 theatrical release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”!
While Captain America may still be struggling to find his place in the modern world, you’ll soon be able to find him in Captain America: The Living Legend and Symbol of Courage, part of Innoventions at Disneyland park in Anaheim. Here, Captain America will stand proud in a patriotic setting befitting the First Avenger, ready to greet friends and fans alike. And when visiting Innoventions, you can also experience Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries and Thor: Treasures of Asgard.
Captain America is set to arrive at Disneyland park in Anaheim, starting March 7. Are you looking forward to meeting him this spring? Let us know in the “Comments” section.
Audiences around the world have fallen in love with the movie and its music, making “Frozen” one of Disney’s biggest hits of all time! And today I have an update for you on Anna and Elsa, the royal sisters from the film, who have been spotted at Disney Parks since November.
With things in Arendelle well in hand, Anna and Elsa plan to continue visiting guests at the parks for the foreseeable future. When at Disneyland Resort, they can be found in Fantasyland in Disneyland park, and you can meet them in Norway at Epcot when they make their way to Walt Disney World Resort. While you’re in Norway, be sure to check out the new “Norsk Kultur” gallery, with an exhibit exploring how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the filmmakers in the creation of “Frozen.”
If you let your conscience be your guide, you will probably find yourself visiting Disneyana in Disneyland park on March 5. Why? Because a brand new hand-painted Ink & Paint Cel featuring Jiminy Cricket will make its official debut, along with a special appearance and signing with some of the artists.
This limited edition 1000 “Jiminy Cricket” cel will be available in a variety of formats including Unframed, Framed, Framed Cel with Postcard and Framed Cel with Postcard and Pin. All framed pieces available with your choice of black or gold frames. If you are unable to make it to the Disneyland Resort, a limited number of cels will be available to pre-purchase online. So if you can’t wait, be sure to visit ArtofDisneyParks.com to place your order today through March 4!
The limited edition 1000 “Off the Page – 25 Years” cel will also be available in several formats including: Unframed, Black Framed Cel, Black Frame with Pin and Cel, Black Frame with Pin, Postcard and Cel as well as a Gold Frame. Disney Event Services is currently taking pre-orders for this piece, so place your order today! But keep in mind, all orders must be placed no later than Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 5 p.m. (Eastern).
If you’re curious about the limited edition pins that are only available if you choose the framed postcard and pin option, wonder no more. Here’s a sneak peek of what they’ll look like!