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Dispatch from Disneyland: essays from an Imagineer's grandson who crew up in the park


John Frost writes, "I am the author of TheDisneyBlog.com, which Boing Boing has linked to many times over the years. My's grandfather was one of Walt Disney's Imagineers who helped carve Disneyland out of Southern California Citrus Groves. Every summer of my youth, my's family drove down from Portland, OR to experience Walt's park. So when I thought about writing a book, Disneyland seemed the natural subject. Originally funded via Kickstarter, Dispatch from Disneyland is my love letter to The Happiest Place on Earth. The collection of short stories, essays, and interesting facts will make you laugh, cry, learn and most of all wish you were at Disneyland right now."

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Hand-painted Haunted Mansion shoes


Artist Rachelliles352's Deviantart profile is full of gorgeous hand-painted shoes. Of course, my favorite set are these custom-painted Haunted Mansion high-tops -- there's a wonderful line there, and some sweet color-sense.

Custom Disney Haunted Mansion Magic Kingdom Shoes

The Haunted Mansion, the Haunting, and "Boo" vs "Brr" in spook-house design


Long Forgotten, the very best Haunted Mansion blog on the net, has a stellar piece on the influences that went into the Haunted Mansion's scary corridor of doors, and the delicate balance the corridor strikes between two different kinds of scariness, called "Boo" and "Brr." The piece starts from the premise that the Imagineers who designed the Haunted Mansion were heavily influenced by the 1963 classic horror film The Haunting (the film adaptation of Shirley Jackson's horror novel The Haunted of Hill House, later remade as a 1999 film with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Liam Neeson). This isn't a very controversial idea, as there are many parallels between the Mansion and The Haunting, though Long Forgotten finds some particularly subtle and fascinating lifts I'd never seen mentioned before.

More interesting, though, is the way the corridor -- and the Mansion itself -- slides from "Boo" to "Brr" as you pass through it, and the ways that subsequent fine-tunings and renovations have changed this calculus. As with all of Long Forgotten's pieces, it's a very well-argued and illuminating piece of design criticism that made me rethink something with which I'm very familiar in a totally new light.

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Haunted Mansion Valentines

From the wonderful mind of Yeah-Disneygeek, a fine selection of Haunted Mansion Valentine's Day cards!

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Printable Haunted Mansion tombstone templates


Spoonful's Haunted Mansion Cupcake recipe comes with a set of printable tombstone templates that you can print to cardstock and use to garnish your carb-delivery-vehicles. But they'd also be great for other projects: graveyard dioramae, lapel badges, etc and so forth.

Haunted Mansion Cupcake Tombstones

(via The Haunted Mansion Disney)

Walt Disney's purchase-order for Disneyland's petrified tree

One of the weirdest white-elephants at Disneyland is the petrified tree-stump in Frontierland, which Walt Disney bought after spotting it in Colorado Springs, where resident Jack Baker bought and sold fossils through his company Pike Petrified Forest Fossil. The Colorado Springs Gazette published a scan of Walt Disney's letter to Baker regarding the sale.

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Podcast: Imagineer Rolly Crump on designing the Haunted Mansion


Jeff sez, "On episode 5 of the DoomBuggies Spook Show podcast (MP3), designer Rolly Crump gives a very candid interview in which he talks about his career working on Disneyland's Haunted Mansion with Walt Disney at WED Imagineering, and tells personal stories including the time he spent working with co-tinkerer Yale Gracey designing special effects for the Haunted Mansion, and how he was drummed out of the Haunted Mansion project after Walt died."

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HOWTO make an animated Haunted Mansion-style crystal ball


This simple, effective "crystal ball" illusion is documented by Nikki on Ehow: basically, you put a video loop on your phone's screen, drape it in black cloth, and insert it into a crystal ball, and voila, you've got your own Madame Leota (or whatever video you choose), as seen in the Haunted Mansion at the Disney parks worldwide!

Super Simple Crystal Ball (via The Haunted Mansion Disney)

Haunted Mansion earrings

Etsy seller Migotochou created these earrings sporting custom Haunted Mansion beads inspired by the Disney ride's iconic wallpaper. (via The Haunted Mansion Disney)

Disney Princesses as Princes

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Delighted by The Crowned Heart's "Gay Disney" illustrations, Let There Be Doodles created a series of Disney "Princes." (via Laughing Squid)

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Trail of the Unicorn by Carl Barks: Excerpt

Fantagraphics has announced the latest volume in its exemplary Carl Barks Disney Library. These full-color hardbound anthologies contain some of the very best comic book stories of all time. The latest volume is called Trail of the Unicorn and is available for pre-order. In the meantime, enjoy this 21-page PDF preview!

Disney podcast musical about menace of Michael Eisner

It's been two years since I first blogged Communicore Weekly, a great Disney podcast. Now, two years and 104 episodes later, they've launched an ambitious new project: Communicore Weekly: The Musical! It's a one-hour, fully orchestrated musical story about the battle against evil Michael Eisner.

Host Jeff Heimbuch writes: "Through the use of patent-pending time travel technology, Communicore Weekly was able to obtain an episode of the radio broadcast 'Theater On The Move' from the year 2215. In this episode, they are celebrating the 200th anniversary of Communicore Weekly: The Musical, and have brought the actors playing the pivotal roles of Jeff and George onto the show to discuss the lavish anniversary production and to share the music of the show."

Featuring all-new, all original songs from Amplify This Music (better known as the Communicore Weekly Orchestra), Communicore Weekly: The Musical will have you in stitches when you're not tapping your feet along to the catchy tunes.

'In the two years we've being doing it, we've really tried to make Communicore Weekly not just one of the most unique Disney podcasts, but one of the most unique podcasts out there, period. I've never heard of a podcast producing an entire musical before. Since we've always been a very musical show, it was a natural progression for us to actually produce a musical,' says Jeff Heimbuch, co-writer of the musical.

'Writing the music for the show is always a lot of fun, because the guys come up with some pretty crazy ideas. When faced with the challenge of writing original songs that fit into this ridiculous story, I absolutely could not turn it down. Plus, George is my brother, so it would have been really awkward if I had said no,' says Andrew Taylor, co-writer and musical genius.

'I like turtles,' says George Taylor, co-writer, 'But I hate squirrels.'

'My lawyer said I'm not allowed to comment,' says Steve Williard, co-writer and another musical genius.

Following in the footsteps of some of the greatest Disney films, by pairing a great story with fantastic music, Communicore Weekly: The Musical is sure to entertain people of all ages.

Communicore Weekly: The Musical (Thanks, Jeff!)

Minimalist Disney posters


Ironically, the field of minimalist posters has become rather cluttered. But some designs stand out from the noise, including Tony Sherg's Disneyland Minimalist set. Unsurprisingly, my favorites are the Haunted Mansion posters, but there's lots more to love there.

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Haunted Mansion fan-art


Ori Hartstein drew this great Haunted Mansion-inspired butler-and-maid scene, part of her series of Haunted Mansion pieces. I love the composition and character design here.

Disney’s Haunted Mansion-inspired cast member Maid and Butler art

Kickstarting turning Walt Disney's birthplace into a museum

Ricky sez, "Two theme park attraction designers have purchased the Chicago home in which Walt Disney and his brother Roy were born and lived until 1906. They have launched a Kickstarter project to fund the restoration of the house that was built by Walt's father Elias in the late 1800s to turn it into an historic landmark and high-tech museum. They are well on their way to their hefty goal of $500,000, aiming to complete the project in 1 year's time." (Thanks, Ricky!) Cory 6